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Drudge Manifesto Hardcover – October 1, 2000

118 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Working from a small apartment in Hollywood, Matt Drudge became one of the country's most notorious journalists when he reported that Newsweek had spiked a story about a sexual relationship between President Clinton and a certain White House intern. Of course, there are many (mostly professional reporters) who argue that Drudge should not be labeled a journalist at all, and it is upon this issue that the Drudge Manifesto is based. As Drudge notes, he has "no budget, no bosses, no deadline," and as a result of this independence he is both feared and reviled, admired and respected. Ostracized by the establishment he may be, but his popular appeal is undeniable: the Drudge Report Web site received over 240 million hits in 1999, and the numbers are rising. Members of the White House staff check in daily, as do many of the media elite who viciously denounce Drudge in public. Like it or not, he has become a force in Internet journalism.

Drudge collaborated with Julia "You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again" Phillips to produce a writing style that reads like a breathless and often disjointed e-mail. But the book is a vehicle for ideas, not sparkling prose, and its value lies in Drudge's assessment of the current state of the media as well as his take on its future. One of the most interesting (and certainly the clearest) parts is a transcript of a Q&A session conducted at the National Press Club on June 2, 1998, which lays out Drudge's manifesto better than the book itself. The NPC is hostile territory for Drudge, and, unsurprisingly, he is grilled by moderator Doug Harbrecht. In the end, Drudge makes a strong and thoughtful case for his methods and his right to be a reporter. And he gets in plenty of zingers of his own: "You know, these questions are pretty tough, and I think if you directed this type of tough questioning to the White House, there'd be no need for someone like me, quite frankly."

This is also a chance for Drudge to sound off. He boasts of beating CNN (by eight minutes) to the announcement of Princess Diana's death; of being the first to report Bob Dole's selection of Jack Kemp as his running mate; of his scoop of the Microsoft-NBC merger. He replays the events surrounding his decision to release the Lewinsky information on January 17, 1998 (the book is dedicated to Linda R. Tripp), and volunteers his favorite Web sites and sources. His book is not only a manifesto but a manual for anyone interested in following his lead. "With a modem, a phone jack, and an inexpensive computer, your newsroom can be your living room, your bedroom... your bathroom, if you're so inclined," he writes. In today's media climate, that's the way it is. --Shawn Carkonen


"Matt Drudge is journalism's bad boy, Clinton's worst nightmare, the guy who scoops the big-time media." -- Playboy magazine

"Matt Drudge is the kind of bold, entrepreneurial, free-wheeling, information-oriented outsider we need." -- Camille Paglia

"Matt Drudge is the man who is to the Internet, what I am to broadcasting." -- Rush Limbaugh

Sludge. -- President Bill Clinton

The country's reigning mischief-maker. -- The New York Times

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Hardcover; First Edition edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451201507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451201508
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,411,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Dan Baker on October 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In a world where people are afraid to speak out against the big journalistic machine, it is refreshing to read a book that puts it all on the line. I couldn't put it down. It is an easy (but thought provoking) read. If you have halfabrain you won't want to miss this edgy manifesto co-written by Hollywood legend Julia Philips.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ken Cook on October 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I literally read this book in one sitting. Had this book on order for months and it finally arrived today. I started reading it around 4PM and simply could not put it down. Dinner occurred between pages 96 and 120 and finally finished it around 8PM tonight.
This is clearly one of the greatest American stories I have ever read. A young clerk in a dead-end job, Matt started pulling Nielsen ratings out of CBS wastebaskets and posting them on the Internet. Soon, his mailing lists involved hundreds of people in the entertainment industry, many of which began giving him inside scoop on other things. Matt posted these as well and his website began to take off. Soon people from all over the country began feeding him tips. He developed some White House contacts and the rest is history.

Matt Drudge was one of the first people to realize that on the Internet, anybody could post anything and it could be seen by everybody everywhere. Matt has total editorial control of what he posts. Nobody can tell him he can't, nobody can fire him, nobody can blackball him because he doesn't belong to anything. For no matter how much the "mainstream" media try to discredit him, there will always be low-level employees at CBS, the New York Times or the Washington Post who will feed him inside information - or dish the dirt. And they HATE him for it!

I've been visiting the DRUDGE REPORT for four years now on a daily basis. It is my home page so I probably hit it at least 20-25 times a day. Yet whenever I see that blue siren flashing, I still get those same butterflies in my stomach, sort of like when they break into your favorite TV program with a SPECIAL NEWS REPORT. The amazing thing about Matt Drudge is that it could easily have been any one of us.
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75 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Jussi Bjorling on October 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As anyone familiar with Matt Drudge's work might expect, this book is something of a mishmash. Drudge regales the reader with anecdotes from his reporting over the last several years, mixed in with a healthy dose of his theories of politics and the media. The result can be a little overbearing, as Drudge frequently and fondly refers to himself as one of the great journalistic pioneers of our era, but when his ego is in check, he can be extremely thoughtful (presenting, for example, an innovative approach to the responsibilities of journalism and how they have already been compromised by others). The dirt he has dug up in the course of his work is also great reading.
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147 of 166 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Matt's book should be required reading for every high school political science class; but, it never will be. Terrific insight into the motivational factors behind U.S. politics and this year's election. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the press and what it chooses to report.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By supremefiction on October 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Drudge is a modern-day hero, and here is his manifesto. It sparks with energy, a fast and exciting read. Be there with him and his cat as he pulls the trigger on the Lewinsky controversy. Smirk as the old media compliment him in person even as they fear and revile him in their official capacity. Cheer as he gets his own radio show and a third of a billion hits a year on his website. He comes off in the book like a wired Jack Kerouac, his road the information superhighway. As you read you'll be surprised at how many things he got right, things that people tried to refute after he published them but were ultimately proven true.
As Kenneth Fearing wrote as long ago as 1956, "Inside the electronic world, the screening and control of public messages occurs at the many checkpoints previously noted, and there is little need for the blunt intervention of archaic censorship (though no doubt it is sometimes exercised, without any audience learning, or much caring, that it has taken place). But most of the control is automatic. Instead of blue-penciling passages suspect of sinister intent it is easier to cancel the commentator or executive sub-editor who tends to be careless about the by-laws governing free speech. New and younger editors invariably function better; they have no illegal information, no haunting memories to forget." Four decades later Drudge used the internet to break the media stranglehold. He'd like Fearing's poetry and novels (for example, The Big Clock) of communications cartels and corporate conspiracies. Fearing would appreciate the little guy who busted the big combos.
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Karl on November 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Matt Drudge, with 'Drudge Manifesto', has proven himself as much of a creative writer as he is a courageous reporter and inspiring internet pioneer. From detailing the days leading to the break of the Lewinsky story, to recounting his first time in the White House press gallery, to telling of his days as a youth growing up in DC, Drudge bares his soul. And he does it in darling fashion.
Untypical of his press peers, Drudge is fun to read -- without a trace of arrogance or liberal bias. He is a genuine Gen X'er, able to relate to readers under 35, who have been raised in this pop-culture era of cynicism and distrust for our institutions of government and media. Despite his cutting-edge philosophy and insight, Drudge has relied on the old-fashioned spirit of the Fourth Estate to rekindle America's appetite for news. That energy, that passion for truth, makes Drudge's book impossible to put down.
Entertaining throughout, 'Manifesto' is just that, as Drudge declares TV and traditional print journalism as "dead, dead, dead." It is just another reason Drudge is feared by the outdated, corporate-run mainstream press corps. But with this dandy of a book, Drudge has made it known to those perched in journalism's ivory towers that he and the internet are here to stay.
Let the future begin.
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