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The 10 Best Albums of 2020, Ranked

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Editor’s Note: take a look at the Most Anticipated New Albums of 2022.

2020 has been a year unlike any other, unfolding amidst a collage of quarantine-induced isolation, powerful rallying cries for social and racial justice and perhaps the most divided political climate in recent U.S. history. But, as it turns out, there’s nothing like the ringing in of a new decade with endless twists and turns to give rise to some truly remarkable new music. Like a melodic phoenix rising from tempestuous ashes, incredible new albums emerged from a year marked by some of the darkest depths and hopeful highs in recent history. These are some of those most outstanding new albums of the year — musical triumphs that encapsulate the isolation, trials and even occasional euphoria of life in 2020.

Editor’s Note : we’ve put together a roundup of the most anticipated albums of 2022.

10. Makaya McCraven & Gil-Scott Heron – We’re New Again

In 2010, legendary poet, novelist, musician and spoken-word performer Gil Scott-Heron released his final album, I’m New Here . An innovative icon that many people consider the world’s first rapper and the godfather of hip-hop, Scott-Heron made a legendary cultural impact before his death in 2011 at the age of 63.

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In 2020, Chicago musician Makaya McCraven combined the vocals of Scott-Heron’s final album with a set of bold new compositions in We’re New Again . With contributions from fellow musicians including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul and Brandee Younger, the album has been heralded by critics as a triumphant musical tribute. As Pitchfork put it, “The ability to live with such contradictions and give them life with his words is part of what made Scott-Heron’s work special… McCraven’s music inhabits that complicated space and keeps its sharp edges intact.”

9. Bob Dylan – Rough and Rowdy Ways

At 79 years old, Bob Dylan released his 39th album, Rough and Rowdy Ways , in June of 2020. As Dylan’s first new release in eight years, this record is a portrait of a poet who still has his finger firmly on the pulse of American culture.

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As Rob Sheffield at Rolling Stone remarked, the album’s release couldn’t have come at a more pertinent point in the year. “Dylan has brilliantly timed his new masterwork for a summer when the hard rain is falling all over the nation: a plague, a quarantine, revolutionary action in the streets, cities on fire, phones out of order,” Sheffield mused . “But the man offers no words of comfort — he just spins these outlaw tales with the cold-blooded wit and sardonic passion that keeps him pressing on.” And that’s exactly the type of energy we welcomed and harnessed in order to steel ourselves and press on through this unprecedented year.

8. Son Lux – Tomorrows I

In August of 2020, musical trio Son Lux released Tomorrows I , the first of a trio of albums to be released over the course of a year. Throughout the trilogy’s first chapter, the experimental group casts aside traditional musical restrictions as they explore new sounds inspired by everything from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change to social inequality and protest.

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The album encapsulates the unsettling feeling during a year when the world has been inspired, or perhaps sometimes forced, to question, reevaluate and redefine itself on a massive scale. “We’re peeling things apart and putting them back together throughout this record,” explains the band’s founder Ryan Lott. “Emotionally, relationally and musically.”

7. Lido Pimienta – Miss Colombia

If you have yet to check out the musical stylings of Lido Pimienta, there’s no better time than the present. The Colombian-Canadian singer/songwriter was suddenly thrust onto the world stage in 2017 when her album La Papessa won Canada’s Polaris Music Prize. Pimienta’s music is delightfully hard to categorize, with its mixture of contemporary electronic stylings and traditional Afro-Colombian and Indigenous influences.

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Her 2020 album, Miss Colombia , takes its name from the 2015 Miss Universe pageant that saw host Steve Harvey accidentally awarding Miss Colombia the crown rather than Miss Philippines, the actual winner. Throughout the album, which Pimienta calls “a cynical love letter to Colombia,” the artist tackles racism, inequality and social expectations. “It encompasses the collective feeling [of a people] that is just f****** tired,” she explains. F****** tired? There couldn’t be a more perfect way to sum up what 2020 has made every last one of us feel.

6. Moses Sumney – Græ

February and May of 2020 saw the releases of Moses Sumney’s two-part album, Græ , a collage of styles that incorporates and elevates elements of folk, jazz, pop, soul and rock. Throughout this thoughtful epic of an album, Sumney somehow manages to perfectly translate the emotional and physical isolation of this year’s lockdowns into a stirring musical experience.

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The Los Angeles Times heralded Græ as one of the top albums “of our strange quarantine season — bleak but tender, sprawling yet intricately detailed, as suffused with the need for physical contact as [the record is] alert to its dangers and prohibitions.” Given that this is only Sumney’s second album to date, there’s no better time to begin following the career of an artist who’s destined to be around for a long time — and who has a seemingly transcendent ability to capture emotions in song.

5. Roisin Murphy – Roisin Machine

If you miss the feeling of a dance floor oozing with sweat, lust and smoke that’s lit only by a disco ball twinkling overhead, this is the album for you. Many pop stars this year tried their best to bottle up the experience of a dance floor, but October’s release of Roisin Machine , the fifth full-length solo album of Irish electronica/dance artist Roisin Murphy, was the true victor. If you ever find yourself tired of brooding over the human condition and need an album that’ll leave you eager to get up and dance, Roisin Machine is it.

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As the iconic artist announces right at the beginning of the album, “I will make my own happy ending,” a mantra that could serve us all well during these uncertain times. With thoughtful, well-defined beats and lyrics, Roisin Machine finds Murphy in the height of her element and showcases her talent in a truly spectacular fashion.

4. Lil Uzi Vert – Eternal Atake

After Lil Uzi Vert’s album Luv Is Rage 2 blew up in 2017, the Philly rapper seemed to disappear into what some suspected was a label-initiated hiatus. Turns out he went to outer space — and came back to tell us all about it in Eternal Atake . His glorious return with this 2020 album resurrected his trademark genre-bending hip-hop style with doses of video game blipping, intergalactic gospel choirs and lyrics that’ll get stuck in your head for weeks.

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Pitchfork calls it “a scope-defying hour-long epic that couldn’t be made by anyone else. It’s a seamless blend of drill-influenced rapping, melodic crooning, and beats that are aware of hip-hop’s trends, but stretch them to places unimaginable.” Though saddled with three years’ worth of pent-up expectations, Eternal Atake not only delivers exactly what fans hoped it would but also so much more — making it absolutely worth the wait.

3. Bad Bunny – YHLQMDLG

It’s never been so hard not to love somebody whose name begins with the word “bad.” Bad Bunny’s second solo studio offering, YHLQMDLG , features appearances from a host of fellow artists — greats like Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Jowell & Randy, Kendo Kaponi, Nengo Flow, Nesi, Pablo and Myke Towers. Skyrocketing to the top of “best of” lists everywhere, YHLQMDLG , also became Spotify’s most streamed album in the world this year.

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The abbreviation in the title stands for “Yo hago lo que me da la gana,” which means “I do whatever I want,” and it’s a promise that Bad Bunny makes good on in all the best ways. Throughout the course of the record, the Puerto Rican artist redefines the boundaries of reggaetón and shatters stereotypes with songs like Yo Perreo Sola, which openly champions LGBTQ+ rights. Overall, it’s totally fun but also incredibly fitting for a year when calls for social justice were made louder and clearer than ever before.

2. Run the Jewels – RTJ4

This was the album of the Black Lives Matter uprising in the summer of 2020. Run the Jewels, a hip-hop super-duo helmed by Killer Mike and EL-P, delighted fans in June of 2020 when they not only dropped their fourth full-length studio album, RTJ4 , early but also offered it up for free. To truly understand why such blatant disregard for the corporate agenda has never been more appropriate, just take in an earful of the rallying cry of the album’s lyrics — almost every track will show you.

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The hip-hop duo masters the art of rap as a political tool with an absolutely fearless message that calls out everything from social injustice to police brutality to capitalism. The entire record is nothing less than the stuff that revolutions are made of. And it couldn’t have come at a more apt time in history — a time when the utter failings of the U.S. government have been laid bare and change is needed more than ever.

1. Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters

After an eight-year hiatus, Fiona Apple suddenly appeared once again on the scene, much to our collective excitement, with her self-produced album Fetch the Bolt Cutters . Throughout the 13-song record, you can almost hear Apple shaking off the old pop-style restrictions that used to bind her as her trademark warble delivers us songs that are daring, unexpected and straight from the heart.

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As Glide Magazine so eloquently put it, “The album exudes freedom, it exudes breaking constraints, it exudes Fiona Apple, and it might just be the album that we look back on when we think back to this COVID-19 era.” This one’s the perfect soundtrack for using your quarantine time to rethink and redefine who you want to be as a person going into the future. And it’ll remain a meaningful touchstone that reminds us all what we’ve endured and how powerful our capacity for persistence really is.

Years from now, hopefully with the COVID-19 virus in our past, we will look back on cultural milestones that truly connected us with our collective feelings during that time period. Fiona Apple, whether she meant to or not, delivered us a self-reflective album that truly defined our collective consciousness in 2020.


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What's Your Question?

Military Ranks at a Glance

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Military personnel have ranks that indicate their pay grade and level of responsibility within the armed forces. If you’re considering a career in the military, you should be familiar with these ranks. This information helps you decide whether you want to enter the service immediately or earn a degree first and set goals for your career.

Understanding military ranks is helpful even if you’re not in the military. If you’re researching your family history, you’re better prepared to read the military service records of your ancestors. This knowledge also gives you a deeper understanding of what’s happening in books about military history or war novels.

When men and women join a branch of the military, they become part of the enlisted rank. This rank requires at least a high school diploma. In the Army, the enlisted ranks range from private to specialist. Enlisted ranks in the Navy and Coast Guard start at seaman recruit and go through petty officer third class. Marine Corps enlisted ranks include private to corporal. In the Air Force, the enlisted ranks go from airman basic to senior airman.

Noncommissioned Officer

Noncommissioned officers (NCO) enter the military at the enlisted rank and earn promotions based on service and performance. These individuals train troops and serve in a leadership and management capacity. In the Army, the NCO rank starts at the corporal level and stops at sergeant major of the Army. The NCO class for the Navy goes from petty officer second class to master chief petty officer of the Navy. The lowest NCO rank in the Marine Corps is sergeant, and the top rank is sergeant major of the Marine Corps. Air Force NCO ranks range from staff sergeant to chief master sergeant of the Air Force.

Warrant Officer

Warrant officers are highly trained specialists who enter the military at the enlisted rank. They earn this rank through a recommendation from a commander and a review by a selection board. Army and Marine Corps warrant officers have the title warrant officer or chief warrant officer. In the Navy, personnel with this rank have the title USN warrant officer. There are no warrant officers in the Air Force.

Commissioned Officer

Commissioned officers have the highest rankings in the military. These individuals have at least a bachelor’s degree and may need advanced degrees to earn promotions. Commissioned officers may also enter the service immediately after attending military school. They serve as direct representatives of the president. In the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, commissioned officer ranks start at second lieutenant and continue to general. The first commissioned officer rank in the Navy is Ensign and continues to admiral.

Where to Find Rank Insignia

If you’re looking at photos of service members, you can identify their rank by looking at their uniforms. All branches of the military have combat and dress uniforms, and they put patches, pins and boards on the uniforms to show their ranks.

On an Army uniform, the insignia for enlisted personnel goes on the center of the combat uniform and the sleeves of the service uniform. Enlisted marines place the insignia on the collars of their combat uniforms and the sleeves of their service uniforms. Air Force uniforms have enlisted insignia on the sleeves of combat and service uniforms. Officers in the Marines and Air Force wear pins on the shoulders of their service dress uniforms. In the Army and Navy, they have shoulder boards.

Navy Insignia Placement

Navy uniforms are more complex than the rest of the military branches because they have four different uniforms. On working uniforms, insignia for enlisted personnel and officers goes on the center of the chest. The service uniform has the insignia on the collars. Enlisted personnel wear insignia on the left sleeve of their full dress uniforms. Chief petty officers have insignia on the left sleeve of blue full dress uniforms and the collars of white full dress uniforms. Officers wear stripes on the bottom of blue full dress uniforms and boards on the shoulders of white full dress uniforms.


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Press Gazette

Top 50 largest news websites in the world: Sputnik, Drudge and Fox see biggest traffic falls in February

By Aisha Majid

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Traffic to the world’s 50 most popular news websites fell by almost a quarter (24%) between January and February, according to Press Gazette’s latest analysis of traffic to the most popular news websites.

Global visits to the top 50 English-language news sites combined fell to 6.6 billion in February, down from 8.7 billion the previous month, according to data from web analytics company SimilarWeb, with traffic nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.

Numbers were significantly lower than the 9.4 billion peak in visits during last November, the month of the US election.

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Yet, while visits were down compared to January, traffic was still 14% up year-on-year.

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A number of right-leaning and alternative sites saw both the biggest individual drops and gains globally in February.

Pro-Trump US website Newsmax was the fastest growing site year-on-year with a 337% surge in clicks and views up from 8.5 million to 37.2 million.

At the other end of the list, the Drudge Report, Breitbart News and Fox News were among the sites that shed the biggest proportion of their audiences compared to last February.

Influential conservative news aggregation site the Drudge Report saw its year-on-year visits fall by 41% from 71.4 million to 42.4 million, while visits to Fox News were down 22% to 261.9 million.

Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik was also among the sites that saw the biggest year-on-year drop in visits. Although the site made it into the top 50 for the first time since Press Gazette began publishing SimilarWeb rankings, entering in 38th place, monthly visits were down 34% from 73.9 million in February 2020 to 48.9 million.

Views to the Drudge Report, Breitbart, Sputnik and Newsmax together accounted for 3% (176 million) of the 6.6 billion total visits to the top 50 sites in February.

A number of the fastest growing sites identified in Press Gazette’s last analysis including the Epoch Times, which is backed by the Fulang Gong sect, right-wing YouTube alternative BitChute, and pro-Trump The Gateway Pundit, fell out of the top 50 altogether.

As in previous months, the rest of the top 50 is primarily made up of mainstream news websites from the US, UK, Canada and Australia, which command the bulk of visits.

BBC.co.uk and BBC.com combined once again came out on top with 1.2 billion website visits in February which, while 16% lower than the previous month’s figures, is up 23% year-on-year.

Next most-viewed was CNN with 710 million sessions on its websites (CNN.com and edition.CNN.com), although this was 37% lower than the 1.1 billion visits that CNN’s two sites received in January.

The next largest websites belonged to the New York Times (379 million visits, up 16% year-on-year), Yahoo Finance (330 million, up 102%), Mail Online (310 million, down 2%), the Guardian (296 million views, down 3%) and Fox News (262 million, down 22%).

Most sites in the top 50 continued to report year-on-year growth in views, but every outlet except Yahoo Finance saw a month-on-month fall in traffic compared to January.

Where does major news website traffic come from?

The SimilarWeb report for Press Gazette also examined the source of online traffic for the largest English-language news outlets.

The majority of visits to large websites continued to be either direct – i.e. web users go straight to them – or originate from online searches.

The Drudge Report came out on top for direct visits (90%), followed by Newsmax (82%) and Breitbart (76%). Among the sites with the lowest proportion of users arriving directly were US News (10%) and Forbes (14%) which instead received most traffic through organic search – i.e. unpaid search results.

Top for organic search were US News (87%), Cosmopolitan (85%), Hello magazine (74%) and Forbes (74%).

Paid search, when site owners pay to appear high up in search engine results, accounted for very few clicks to the top news sites. Only a handful of news sites, among them Bloomberg and Australia’s ABC and News.com.au, used paid search at all. Even then, paid results accounted for less than 1% of their traffic.

Facebook was the main social media referrer for most news websites coming out as the number one source for 25% of sites – putting it significantly ahead of second-place Twitter which represented the top source of social media referrals for 15% of sites. Twitter and Reddit were more commonly the second-most popular social media network referrer.

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More than two decades old, The Drudge Report hits a new traffic high

It's an astonishing feat of longevity. Despite the fact that many on the right have lamented The Drudge Report's descent into full-on Trumpism, the bare-bones link aggregator is still incredibly dominant and just had its best month in its 21 year history.

For the first time, The Drudge Report moved into second place on Similar Web's top U.S. Media Publisher rankings , placing just behind MSN.com with about 1.47 billion page view for the month of July. The Drudge Report's traffic beat out the likes of news sites from Disney Media Networks (which includes ESPN.com and ABCNews.com), Yahoo, Google, Time Warner and Fox Entertainment Groups.

Drudge remains successful despite — or perhaps because of — its old-school look and format. While the other top ranked sites in SimilarWeb's ranking have millions of referrals from Facebook desktop users, Drudge had only around 515,000. As legendary journalist Carl Bernstein noted last month, Drudge is an "influence unequaled" in American politics.

Whether or not Drudge could have "stopped Trump," as Business Insider mused is doubtful, but his descent into total pro-Trumpism is notable, as is his at times bizarre banner headlines, most recently about how Hillary Clinton was somehow "copying" Trump's hairstyle . But regardless of what anyone thinks, Drudge clearly recognized and caught on to one of the biggest political stories of this decade and is now enjoying the fruits of such labor.

Drudge Report Passes New York Times in Web Traffic and Engagement in First Half of 2018

News aggregation site bumps the Gray Lady out of the No. 6 spot, according to new report by SimilarWeb

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The Drudge Report has moved ahead of the New York Times in online traffic and engagement for the first half of 2018, according to a newly released analysis by SimilarWeb.

SimilarWeb’s latest Media Publications ranking, which covers the first six months of 2018, shows Matt Drudge’s right-wing news aggregation website flopped places with the Times for No. 6 for top U.S. media publications online.

The rankings are based on a total of traffic, page views and unique views, according to SimilarWeb, though a video accompanying the rankings noted that the Times website had 249.3 million visits compared to 144.3 million visits for Drudge.

Similarly, SimilarWeb’s No. 1 site, MSN.com, has 70 million fewer visits than the new No. 2, espn.com; a rep for SimilarWeb did not respond to a request for comment.

Also Read: From Ben Shapiro to Glenn Beck, Here's Who's Winning and Losing in Right-Wing Media

CNN came in at No.3 with 396.6 million visits. And both Drudge and the New York Times finished ahead of Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post, which came in at N0. 9  with 177.9 million visits.

Since bursting onto the scene in 1998 after exposing the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal (and Newsweek’s decision to kill its own scoop), the Drudge Report has become one of the most trafficked sites in the country.

With just a fraction of the overhead costs of legacy media competitors, Drudge is currently the 41st most visited website, according to SimilarWeb , just above Hulu, which is 43rd.

Also Read: Breitbart and Drudge Hit by Google Cloud Issue, Go Offline

Neither Drudge nor the Times responded to requests for comment.

Watch the full top 10 list in the video above.

17 Times Fox News Hosts Criticized Donald Trump, From Charlottesville to Helsinki (Photos)

It's been known for a long time that Donald Trump is a fan of Fox News. And, in turn, the conservative network is a fan of his, often running positive stories about the administration that Trump then uses to fuel his Twitter feed . But Fox News isn't always on board the Trump Train. Here are 17 times Fox News gave Trump the business.

Megyn Kelly calls Trump out on women Trump famously feuded former anchor Kelly after she asked him a tough question at a Republican primary debate about derogatory statements he's made about women. Trump took it personally, judging by his response on Twitter and in interviews. He later famously said Kelly must have had "blood coming out of her wherever" regarding the question. Watch the debate question here .

Kelly to Trump: "Facts matter" Trump kept hammering at Kelly on Twitter and elsewhere. When he called her out for not using the IBT poll when he was leading the Republican primary field, Kelly rebuked him with a tweet showing she did use the poll. "Facts matter," she wrote.

Fox mocks Trump with statement on debate skipping poll After polled his Twitter followers to see if he should drop out of a Fox-hosted Republican primary debate,  Fox responded artfully with a sarcastic statement that it had learned from "secret" sources Trump might be treated unfairly as president by foreign leaders.

Bill O'Reilly calls out Trump's tweet with totally wrong stats "The O'Reilly Factor" grilled Trump in a Nov. 2015 interview about his tweet that erroneously said black people killed whites at a rate of 81 percent, while whites kill blacks at a rate of 15 percent. O'Reilly told Trump, "You shouldn't tweet." Trump did not take that advice.

Shepard Smith backs CNN on Russia reporting Anchor Shep Smith was on Team CNN after Trump's January press conference , in which he refused to take a question from CNN's Jim Acosta, saying, "You're fake news." Smith said, "neither they (CNN) nor any other journalists should be subjected to belittling or delegitimizing by the president-elect of the United States." Watch it here .

Chris Wallace bucks Trump calling media "enemy of the public" After his press conference in January 2017, Trump continued his attack on media he doesn't like on Twitter. Anchor Chris Wallace wasn't having it on "Fox & Friends." Wallace said Trump's comments "crossed an important line" and said they were dangerous.

Smith calls Trump out on terrorism lie Smith isn't a fan of Trump's false assertions. When Trump said the media "doesn't want to report" terrorist attacks , Smith took him to task. "The White House knows that it was false or could have learned that it was false with a quick Google check, but either did not do so or decided not to tell the truth.” Watch it here .

Wallace says the media is too easy on Trump In an interview with TheWrap , Wallace said he thinks Sunday political shows in particular should be tougher on Trump. "I think if anything, the media has treated him too well. By that I mean they’ve allowed him to play by different rules." Read the full interview .

O'Reilly tells Trump Putin is "a killer" In a February interview, O'Reilly brought up Trump's apparent refusal to criticize Vladimir Putin, calling the Russian president "a killer." Trump famously responded by saying, "What, you think our country is so innocent?" Watch it here .

Smith wails on Trump's refusal to talk about Russia hacks Nobody on Fox hits Trump harder than Shep Smith. "We have a right to know… You call us ‘fake news’ and put us down like children for asking questions on behalf of the American people." Watch it here .

Smith backs CNN and rebukes Trump's 'fake news' assertion Trump's favorite insult against media he doesn't like is to call it "fake news." But Shep Smith again supported CNN against the president after Trump's anti-media speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee.  Watch it here .

Neil Cavuto tells Trump he's the problem, not mainstream media Responding to Trump's tweet claiming the mainstream media wants him off social media, Cavuto called out Trump for losing track of his own agenda. "Mr. President, it is not the fake news media that's your problem, it's you," Cavuto said. Watch it here .

Smith blasts Trump administration on Russia: "Lie after lie after lie" Shep Smith was at it again following the news breaking about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer. He took the Trump administration to task for its many lies about meetings with Russia, including Jared Kushner failing to report the meeting on his security clearance forms. "My grandmother used to say, 'What a tangled web we weave when first we try to deceive,'" Smith declared on air, leaving fellow anchor Chris Wallace speechless. Watch it here .

Eboni K. Williams slams Trump's remarks about Charlottesville

Following the Unite the Right rally in which a counter-protester was murdered, Trump blamed "both sides" for the violence. On "Fox News Specialists," host Eboni K. Williams took Trump to task for not standing up to white nationalists and white supremacists who support him, calling his initial remarks about the rally "cowardly and dangerous."

Watch the clip here .

Brian Kilmeade calls Trump tweet "ridiculous" blaming U.S. for Russia relations

In a rare sight in the lead up to the summit in Helsinki between Trump and Putin, Trump tweeted , "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!" On "Fox and Friends," a show that has been extremely favorable to Trump (he even calls in), host Brian Kilmeade said of the tweet, "That’s by far the most ridiculous tweet of late, and that is insulting to past administrations. He can’t be saying that going into the Russian summit." Watch the clip here .

Cavuto blasts Trump's performance in Helsinki: "disgusting"

Neil Cavuto took Trump to task more than once after his Helsinki press conference with Putin. When former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tom Dupree said Trump could have rebuked Putin for his Russia's attack on U.S. elections, Cavuto said, "But he didn’t and that’s what made it disgusting. That’s what made his performance disgusting. I’m sorry, it’s just the only way I feel. It’s not a right or left thing for me, it’s just wrong." Watch it here .

Trish Regan says Trump "should have defended us" against Putin

Fox Business host Trish Regan got mad about Trump's performance on her show "The Intelligence Report." "He should have defended us," she said. "He should have defended his own intelligence community. Or just don’t take the meeting! Don’t go to Helsinki if you can’t look the guy in the eye and tell him what’s what!" Watch it here .

Donald Trump’s favorite network, Fox News, isn’t always rosy on what he says and does, especially when he backs Russia over the U.S. intelligence community

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Bias of Drudge Report

Drudge Report

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How we determined this rating:

Unless otherwise noted, this bias rating refers only to online news coverage, not TV, print, or radio content.

Drudge Report

The source displays media bias in ways that moderately align with conservative, traditional, libertarian, or right-wing thought and/or policy agendas.

About Drudge Report

What a "lean right" rating means, bias reviews, community feedback, confidence level, additional information.

Articles from Drudge Report

Drudge Report is a news media source with an AllSides Media Bias Rating™ of Lean Right.

Sources with an AllSides Media Bias Rating of Lean Right display media bias in ways that moderately align with conservative, traditional, libertarian, or right-wing thought and/or policy agendas. A Lean Right bias is a moderately conservative rating on the political spectrum.

Drudge Report Rated Lean Right in Aug. 2018 Editorial Review

Drudge Report was given a Lean Right AllSides Media Bias Rating following an  Editorial Review in August 2018.

Despite its reputation as being very right/conservative, the AllSides panel noted that the Drudge Report regularly features news stories that are mostly being covered by outlets AllSides rates on the left. The panel found that the Drudge Report often aggregated stories from outlets we rated as Left or Lean Left at the time of review, including The Huffington Post , The Washington Post , NBC , and more. While the Drudge Report did feature news stories and articles from sources on the left, it also featured lots of stories from sources with a Right, Lean Right, or Center AllSides Media Bias Rating™ , including Fox News , The Wall Street Journal , and Breitbart .

In fact, upon first looking at the Drudge Report, at least one member of the AllSides panel initially thought that the Drudge Report might warrant a Lean Left or Center bias rating. This initial instinct is consistent with a  2005 UCLA study  which found the Drudge Report has a Lean Left media bias; read more about that study here .

The AllSides editorial panel noted that the Drudge Report often uses sensational stories or language in its headlines and the stories it chooses to feature. Some members of the AllSides panel expressed concerns about the Drudge Report publishing sensationalist or fake news .

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As of March 2023, people have voted on the AllSides Media Bias Rating for Drudge Report. On average, those who disagree with our rating think this source has a Lean Right bias.

As of March 2023, AllSides has medium confidence in our Lean Right rating for Drudge Report. Two bias reviews have affirmed this rating or multiple reviews have returned differing results. If we perform more bias reviews and gather consistent data, this confidence level will increase.

Drudge Report is a news aggregation website. Run by Matt Drudge with the help of Joseph Curl and Charles Hurt, the site consists mainly of links to stories from the United States and international mainstream media about politics, entertainment, and current events, as well as links to many columnists. Occasionally, Drudge authors new stories himself based on tips. The Report originated in 1996 as a weekly subscriber-based email dispatch. It was the first news source to break the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the public after Newsweek decided not to publish the story.

Drudge met Andrew Breitbart in Los Angeles during the 1990s and became his mentor, with Breitbart later helping to run the Drudge Report. 

UCLA Study on Drudge Report Finds Center / Lean Left Bias Due to Aggregation

A 2005 UCLA stud y found that Drudge Report has a center/lean left bias, due to the website aggregating news from other media outlets. The study's lead author was Tim Groseclose, formerly UCLA faculty and currently Adam Smith Chair at George Mason University's Mercatus Center.

The study authors wrote (emphasis ours):

Another result, which appears anomalous, is not so anomalous upon further examination. This is the estimate for the Drudge Report, which at 60.4, places it approximately in the middle of our mix of media outlets and approximately as liberal as a typical Southern Democrat, such as John Breaux (D-LA). We should emphasize that this estimate reflects both the news flashes that Matt Drudge reports and the news stories to which his site links on other web sites. In fact, of the entire 311 think-tank citations we found in the Drudge Report, only five came from reports written by Matt Drudge. Thus, for all intents and purposes, our estimate for the DrudgeReport refers only to the articles to which the Report links on other web sites. Although the conventional wisdom often asserts that the Drudge Report is relatively conservative, we believe that the conventional wisdom would also assert that—if confined only to the news stories to which the Report links on other web sites—this set would have a slant approximately equal to the average slant of all media outlets, since, after all, it is comprised of stories from a broad mix of such outlets.

Previous AllSides Media Bias Ratings™ for Drudge Report

AllSides previously rated The Drudge Report as having a  Right media bias. We switched its bias rating to Lean Right following the Aug. 2018 Editorial Review .

Third-Party Accusations of Bias

The Drudge Report has been criticized in the past for running stories that were hoaxes, poorly sourced, or unfactual , including a theory that Barack Obama was not a U.S. citizen, a hoax about a former prostitute who claimed her son was fathered by Bill Clinton, and a false statement that an undocumented immigrant started the October 2017 Northern California wildfires.

Bias of Drudge Report's Audience

According to a  2014 Pew Research study , the clear majority of Drudge Report's audience (74%) is right-of-center (by comparison, 26% of all Pew panelists were right-of-center). 8% of  Drudge Report's audience is left or left-of-center (compared with 38% of all respondents to the survey). Roughly 18% of Drudge Report's audience holds political values consistent with the political center or exhibit mixed values (compared with 36% of all panelists).

Drudge Report Ownership and Funding

Owner: Matt Drudge

drudge report ranking


Drudge Report, RIP

Like many people, there was once a time when I visited the Drudge Report multiple times per day. Drudge often had a fun mix of contrarian articles and unusual viewpoints that were hard to find without its help as a curator of articles.

But in recent years, the site has become more...

But in recent years, the site has become more or less indistinguishable from a standard mainline legacy media site. It has consistently carried articles and headlines that promote Russiagate hysteria and pro-FBI, pro-CIA positions.

To a certain extent, this wasn't shocking, since the site has always been bad on foreign policy and had a neoconservative slant in that respect.

But now the Drudge Report consistently leans in favor of COVID lockdowns and promotes panic, authoritarianism, and generally pushes crisis porn on a daily basis. It is now, for all practical purposes, a sister site to CNN.com or The Atlantic .

The only aspect of the site that remains unchanged is its devotion to carrying lurid stories on the topics of pornography, brothels, and Hollywood gossip. Rarely does a week go by, for example, when the Drudge Report doesn't carry at least one new headline on sex with robots, or perhaps robot brothels. These headlines historically were good for a laugh. But now these headlines, never actually worth a click, are just side by side with standard mainstream media headlines that parrot the views of the CDC, the WHO, or some other group of government "experts."  In other words, the joke headlines aren't valuable enough in themselves to warrant a visit to the site anymore.

Why did this happen?

Some claim that Matt Drudge sold the site to others and new editors have taken over. I have no idea if this is the case. It's entirely possible that Drudge is still the editor but is phoning it in. After all, the problem may simply be that he's just getting old and lacking in ideas. He may have just lost his touch.

Either way, it's now safe to ignore the the Drudge Report as a source of any "alternative," rare, or unusual viewpoints. You'd get pretty much the same content going straight to   the Washington Post.

When commenting, please post a concise, civil, and informative comment. Full comment policy here

9 months of qt down.

Waiting for financial collapse is hardly a fast-moving process, nor something to look forward to. But the winding down of the balance sheet and eventual bust to follow must be explained to the public. Inflation metrics are still higher than anyone would like. The stock market still flounders....

Waiting for financial collapse is hardly a fast-moving process, nor something to look forward to. But the winding down of the balance sheet and eventual bust to follow must be explained to the public. Inflation metrics are still higher than anyone would like. The stock market still flounders. There is no end in sight.

Continuing from last month’s QT countdown : From Feb 1 to Mar 1 the US Treasuries ( UST ) balance decreased by $62 billion and the Mortgage-Backed Securities ( MBS ) by $15 billion.


Mar 1 2023 Balance Sheet from the FRED Data

The Fed’s balance sheet shrinkage is ever so slight but still underway, while the 10-year minus 3-month Treasury Yield continues to fall into uncharted territory when looking at the last 40 years.


10 Year Minus 3 Month Yield from FRED Data

With the gray bards denoting formal recessions, the whole world should be waiting for the next big event, black swan, global financial crisis, or any other name to describe a stock market crash and economic collapse.

Even those relatively new to economic ponderings should on some level understand why government and central bank intervention can only cause more harm than good. Consider remarks by Governor Michelle W. Bowman at a workshop on “ Market Disfunction ” made Friday:

It's a pleasure to be with you today and to be part of this discussion on how central banks can support the effective functioning of financial markets.

Inexplicable market dysfunction requiring market intervention is a longstanding narrative. According to the Governor, the Fed plays an instrumental role in the economy, as explained:

During periods of financial system stress, the Federal Reserve can use additional tools, such as lending facilities and open market operations, to directly support the effective functioning of key financial markets and the flow of credit throughout the economy.

What she fails to disclose is the Fed’s role in causing these periods of financial distress. We are currently in a period of financial stress, it’s just that things have not become “bad enough,” so we are not in a period of panic.

Looking at the above two charts, few seem able to recall the 2018 to 2019 period where the Fed tightened its balance sheet, not too different from what it’s doing today. The problem is that this was only five years ago, which may as well have been a lifetime ago in economics; it’s also one of the reasons to do the monthly official QE Countdown.

Naturally, the yield curve in 2019 and 2020 also went into negative territory, also not too different from what it’s doing today.

Then, 2020 happened. They blamed Covid for that crisis, the same way they blamed evil lending practices, the collapse of Bear Stearns, and AIG for the 2007-09 crisis. Something else, other than the Fed, will take the blame for the next crisis.

The Governor tells us that the Fed monitors these periods of financial distress. But what she’s not telling the public is that the Fed is primarily responsible for these periods of panic. So far we can enjoy some serenity in the eye of the storm. I continue to remind as many people as possible that great distress is at our front door, but things are still good enough where the Fed doesn’t have to step in (through monetary inflation and low rates) to “support the effective functioning” of the market; and so, the countdown to crisis goes on.

Don’t Fall for the Fed’s Theatrics

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will testify in front of Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Politicians...

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will testify in front of Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Politicians will use the sessions to pressure the Central Bank to adopt their party’s preferred monetary policy and as an excuse to bring up their favorite economic talking points. But these hearings also serve a larger purpose — to frame a recession as if it is possible to avoid.

Like everything in politics, events like this are all about optics. Republicans will call on the Fed to stay the course and fight “Bidenflation.” Democrats will use the meetings to signal how much they oppose unemployment and will also call on Powell to condemn the GOP for using the debt ceiling to force spending negotiations.

But Powell is also there to play the optics game. There are two fronts that he will need to navigate. First, he must make sure to not say anything of substance. Every word the Fed Chair utters or writes is poured over by investors and money managers worldwide. One slip-up or unexpected remark can send global markets spiraling.

But silence isn’t an option. The Central Bank needs to keep up an appearance of transparency. The solution, made famous by Alan Greenspan and adopted by every Fed Chair since, is to use so much jargon that one can appear to offer detailed answers while saying nothing at all—an exercise called Fedspeak.

But the other way Powell is sure to mislead the American public this week, with help from politicians of both parties, is by giving the appearance that, however unlikely, it is possible to avoid a recession.

When the Fed slashed interest rates to rock bottom in 2020 to prop up an economy gutted by government-imposed shutdowns, the Central Bank sent a false signal to investors and entrepreneurs.

As a result, new lines of production were started that investors mistakenly believed were valued by the end consumer. These new lines of production bid resources away from other ventures that had been producing things consumers actually wanted.

So our problem is not an economy running too hot or too cold. It’s an economy that has run off course. And economies that run off course need to be corrected. Recessions are that correction.

Talking about the speed of the economy or the relationship between unemployment and inflation obscures this basic underlying reality. But it’s a reality that the Fed must deny if it wants to stick around. That’s Powell’s main job this week.

Idaho House Votes to Authorize State Gold & Silver Holdings

The Idaho State House today approved a bill to enable the State Treasurer to protect state funds from inflation and other financial risks by holding some physical gold and and silver.

State representatives voted 40-29 to pass ...

State representatives voted 40-29 to pass  House Bill 180 , the Idaho Sound Money Reserves Act, sending the measure introduced by Representative Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls) and Senator Phil Hart (R-Kellogg) to the Senate for a hearing.

Supported by Idahoans and groups such as  Sound Money Defense League , HB 180 would permit – but not require – the State Treasurer to hold some portion of state funds in physical gold and silver to help secure state assets against the risks of inflation and financial turmoil and/or to achieve capital gains as measured in devaluing Federal Reserve Notes.

Speaking on the house floor, Rep. Vito Barbieri (R-Dalton Gardens) said, “We need to give our treasurer the ability to consider doing what so many central banks around the world have been doing, which is acquiring gold. Gold and silver are also right there in our U.S. Constitution."

The Idaho State Treasurer currently has very few options for holding, managing, and investing Idaho’s “idle moneys.” Due to statutory constraints, Idaho’s reserves are invested almost exclusively in low-yielding debt paper that carries counterparty risk while its value is diminished by inflation.

Stefan Gleason, president of Idaho-based  Money Metals Exchange , pointed out that the Idaho Treasurer's office is dangerously handcuffed. "Because of Idaho’s outdated 'idle money' statute, state funds are herded into debt paper instruments whose real value is being absolutely slaughtered by inflation right now.”

“That’s because the state reserves are principally invested in low-interest debt paper, e.g., U.S. Treasuries, money market funds, corporate debt, repurchase agreements, and other dollar-denominated debt,” Gleason continued.

Responding to growing concerns about rising government debts and Federal Reserve money printing, Ohio recently followed Texas in acquiring a 5% physical gold holding in its public pension funds. And West Virginia,  Mississippi , Maine, Tennessee, Montana, and  Missouri  are presently considering bills in 2023 with provisions akin to Idaho's HB 180.

Jp Cortez, policy director of the Sound Money Defense League, said “Inflation has impacted every Idaho family. With inflation rates in the 7% to 9% range. the real annual rate of return for Idaho taxpayers on its $10.4 billion in ‘idle moneys’ is deeply negative.”

The State Treasurer manages several particularly large funds -- the IDLE Pool holds roughly $5.3 billion, the Local Government Investment Pool has $4.1 billion, and the Diversified Bond Fund has $1 billion.

HB 180 adds the authority to hold physical gold and silver directly and in a manner that does not assume the counterparty and default risks involved with other state holdings. HB 180 bill does not grant any authority to buy stocks, futures contracts, or other gold-based proxies or financial instruments. There are at least five depositories in the region that would be eligible to hold Idaho’s gold and/or silver.

"It’s prudent to provide the State Treasurer with options to hedge against the accelerating inflation that’s been foisted upon savers, wage-earners, retirees, and the Gem State itself by short-sighted politicians and central bankers in Washington, DC, said Cortez. "A failure to pass HB 180 could be costly. Inflation is a match that has already set Idaho’s big pile of debt paper ablaze."

House Bill 180 can be heard before the Senate State Affairs Committee as early as next week.

The  Sound Money Defense League  is a public policy group working nationally to promote sound money policies, including reaffirming the constitutional role of gold and silver as money. It also maintains the authoritative  Sound Money Index  which tracks and ranks the policies of all 50 states.


The en-vogue mainstream critique of the Fed is that they made a mistake by raising rates “too late,” implying that a recession could have been averted if only the Fed had acted sooner. But this misses the bigger picture, that the bust (or recession) was set in motion prior to 2021, beginning the moment the Fed intervened in the market.

The same day, Governor Philip N. Jefferson wrote a response to the Managing Disinflation paper. Not much is worthy of repeating, but this excerpt helps illustrate the problem:

The Volcker disinflation of 1981–82 resulted in a painful recession. But the reduction in inflation was large. Thus, measured in terms of percentage points of inflation reduction, as is conventionally done, it was not particularly costly.

Simplified:  the Volcker recession was painful, but not costly because the statistical data tells us so.

Mises readers knew a long time ago the inevitability of recession, that there was no policy error . The only thing we can count on is that the Fed will try to fix the problem it created, by doing what it does best, creating more problems to fix.

Murray Rothbard's Birthday

Today would have been Murray Rothbard’s ninety-seventh birthday. He was an unforgettable friend whose immense knowledge of many different fields was unsurpassed, in my experience. In a lecture on the Austrian theory of the business cycle, he mentioned the common objection that the expansion...

Today would have been Murray Rothbard’s ninety-seventh birthday. He was an unforgettable friend whose immense knowledge of many different fields was unsurpassed, in my experience. In a lecture on the Austrian theory of the business cycle, he mentioned the common objection that the expansion of bank credit might have no effect if investors anticipated trouble. After the lecture, I asked whether Mises had answered this point. He said, “See his response to Lachmann in  Economica , 1943.” I often went to used bookstores with him, in both Palo Alto and Manhattan, and listened to him as he commented on nearly every book on the shelves. When he was a student at Columbia, he admired the philosopher Ernest Nagel, who he said would always encourage students to do new work. Murray was like this himself. He constantly encouraged students to work on Austrian and libertarian topics. His support for me was never failing, and I owe him everything. If only he were still here now, to guide and instruct us!

Keep Asking the Wrong Questions

The problem with central banking can be articulated with just one sentence, Federal Reserve Governor Lisa D. Cook recently stated :

As policymakers, my colleagues and I make decisions that impact...
As policymakers, my colleagues and I make decisions that impact the entire country.

Unlike the local bakery which stays in business so long as it provides a valued service, the opposite is true for policymakers. What the Fed offers is decidedly against the public’s interest, but the public can hardly escape the Fed’s services .

With this concentration of power comes more questions, such as “what if policymakers make the wrong decisions or by their very nature are incapable of making the right ones?” Consider further remarks made by the Governor that speaks to a concerning lack of basic foundations of economics.

Diversity is essential in every profession. That is especially true in professions that thrive and evolve by answering questions, like economics.

Heartwarming. The media tells us diversity is good. Surely when a central banker speaks of it, it must be extra good! But when discussing economics, which apparently will “evolve by answering questions,” we should be referring to intellectual diversity , not physical diversity.

There is a 1971 audio recording of Mises doing a question and answer session. Near the beginning he states the questions he considers “the most important and most urgent,” regarding inflation. The synopsis asks:

What is inflation? What causes it? What are the effects?

These questions move economics forward. It should be the role of economists to advance the field of study by seeking answers that represent the real-world economy, not to centrally plan the world.

Half a century later, in an excerpt from Dr. Per Bylund’s latest book , he writes:

To form an understanding of how the economy works, we must be humble before the fact that it exists and there is an order to it—it has a nature. The task of the economist is not to predict the specifics of the future but to uncover the underlying processes that produce the economic outcomes that we can observe. 

The Governor is honest, as economics does evolve through inquiry. But the Federal Reserve and mainstream economists stopped asking legitimate questions long ago. Both have become social messaging agents tasked with sculpting the future. They are not led by embracing thoughts different from their narrative. Rather, the only diversity the Board of Governors embraces are physical attributes.

Questions such as what is inflation have been purged from the lexicon of most PhD holders, replaced with non-economic matters such as how to achieve more diversity. As for using data to “impact the entire economy,” the Austrian could articulate how market intervention, such as expanding the money supply, has devastating consequences to the nation as a whole, and cite the history of such; this is the Austrian Business Cycle Theory .

Contrast this to the govern, who believes :

We are driven by data, which we collect in abundance.

The Fed’s ideology creates more answers than questions it resolves. Inquiry, self-reflection, acknowledgment of history and reality are all ignored. Instead, the Fed functions like a pre-programmed robot, where it's only capable of sticking to the script. Whether championing physical diversity at the expense of intellectual diversity, or touting the predictive ability of data, no matter the devastating consequences to the masses, it will never stop.

The Fed plays a zero-sum game. It cannot give to one person without taking from another. History shows they give most generously to the already rich and powerful. Mainstream economists have proven themselves equally as impotent. But when more and more people start asking serious questions: “What is inflation; what are its causes and effects?” It should lead them first to scrutinize the system and then to change the system. Once understood, the fraudulent nature of the central banking system cannot be ignored.

Prospective 2024 Candidates, Slash Governments

The Great Depression was forced by 8 years of 7.8 percent average annual True Money Supply increases; Great Inflation I, by 18 years of 9.9 percent increases; the Financial Crisis, by 12 years of 11.0 percent increases. By April 2022, Great Inflation II had already been forced by 14 years of...

The Great Depression was forced by 8 years of 7.8 percent average annual True Money Supply increases; Great Inflation I, by 18 years of 9.9 percent increases; the Financial Crisis, by 12 years of 11.0 percent increases. By April 2022, Great Inflation II had already been forced by 14 years of astounding 22.2 percent increases.

Now the outgoing congress has grabbed control of spending from December 24, 2022, through September 30, 2023. A full 4,155 pages of executive funding decisions were drafted in secret by a logrolling legislative committee, passed without meaningful debate by legislative majorities, and signed by the acting president. Of the outgoing senate’s Republicans, the yes votes totaled 36 percent and the non-votes totaled another 6 percent.

This logrolling isn’t constitutional. The executive power includes the power to set line-item priorities on how to best execute the laws. The legislative power only includes the power to set the overall total appropriation.

And this logrolling has devastating real-world costs . Legislators who vote for this logrolling, and executives who sign off on this logrolling, rob everyone who earns money and everyone who saves money.

Inflation must be stopped at its source

Great Inflation II won’t end until spending is slashed by politicians.

Executives’ duty is to only sign bills that they interpret to be constitutional, to only execute laws that they interpret to be constitutional, and to not execute the rest, removing these from spending. Candidates not currently holding an office should specify every law they would not execute.

Legislators’ duty is to only vote for those bills that they interpret to be constitutional, and to sponsor repeals of the rest, removing these from spending. Candidates not currently holding an office should specify every law they would sponsor a repeal bill on .

The Constitution makes its rules clear.

There must be no administrative agencies in any jurisdictions. Laws must provide every rule and sanction , must be passed by legislators and signed by executives, must be enforced by executives, and must have their cases opined on by judges.

There must be no violations of the national government’s enumerated powers . There is no power for any national-government criminal law other than on treason, on counterfeiting, and on the natural laws that bind national governments.

State and local governments must be of republican form , and this includes that their powers must be limited and enumerated. These governments should be out of schools , out of licensing , and out of zoning and permitting . They have criminal law to simplify and enforce, and that’s about it.

Politicians must compete to slash governments

When former president Donald Trump suggests that he would lay off the top managers , that action would at best just amount to hiring new managers, not slashing governments.

When Florida governor Ron DeSantis has signed increasing budgets , that hasn’t been slashing his government.

But when Representative Thomas Massie tried to force an on-the-record roll-call vote about the coronavirus stimulus , that was using his constitutional powers as fully as he could to slash governments.

Based on these politicians’ records to date, a competition between them wouldn’t even be close .

Inflation is an unconstitutional government power-grab —stealth taxation without representation.

Prospective 2024 candidates need to compete to slash unconstitutional government. Either current officeholders start slashing governments now and keep slashing governments, or we keep suffering until future officeholders start slashing governments eventually.

Constitutionalist candidates know this full well. They need to step forward and show how it’s done. If they’re defeated this time around, inflation will only continue, and as it does, their credibility will only grow.

Crises only ratchet up government when constitutionalists don’t step up, take risks, and take charge.

In the unfolding current crisis, voters are primed to support constitutionalists. If constitutionalists start stepping up—now—then instead of yet-another crisis getting leveraged to grow leviathan, this revolutionary time a crisis will again get leveraged to produce limited government.

Mississippi Legislature Votes Overwhelmingly to End Sales Taxes on Gold and Silver

State lawmakers of both houses have just voted overwhelmingly to exempt physical gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bullion from the Mississippi state sales tax, sending the bill to Governor Tate Reeves (R) for his signature.

Senate Bill 2019 , sponsored by Sen. Chad McMahan (R – 6), passed yesterday out of the full senate by a vote of 47-2. This afternoon, Rep. Jody Steverson’s identical House Bill 1661 passed out of the full house chamber on an overwhelming voice vote.

Backed by the Sound Money Defense League , Money Metals Exchange , and in-state Mississippi dealers and investors, the legislative effort built upon last year's momentum. In 2022, a similar sales tax exemption bill had passed out of the Mississippi House of Representatives overwhelmingly but it missed a deadline in the Senate needed to receive a hearing.

If Gov. Reeves signs the bill next week (or if he simply chooses not to veto it), Mississippi will become the 43 rd state to exempt sales of sound money from state sales tax. The effective date is July 1, 2023.

Every one of Mississippi’s neighbors (Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee) have already stopped taxing the monetary metals. Most recently, Tennessee ended this tax in 2022, and Arkansas and Ohio eliminated this tax in 2021.

Under the status quo in Mississippi, citizens are discouraged from protecting their savings against the devaluation of the dollar because they are penalized with sales taxation for doing so.

Eliminating sales taxes on gold and silver is good public policy for several reasons:

  • Levying sales taxes on precious metals is inappropriate.  Sales taxes are typically levied on final consumer goods. Computers, shirts, and shoes carry sales taxes because the consumer is "consuming" the good. Precious metals are inherently held for resale, not "consumption," making the application of sales taxes on precious metals inappropriate.
  • Studies have shown that taxing precious metals is an inefficient form of revenue collection.  The results of one study involving Michigan show that any sales tax proceeds a state collects on precious metals are likely surpassed by the state revenue  lost  from conventions, businesses, and economic activity that are driven out of the state.
  • Taxing gold and silver harms in-state businesses.  It’s a competitive marketplace, so buyers will take their business to neighboring states, such as Alabama or Louisiana (which have eliminated or reduced sales tax on precious metals), thereby undermining Mississippi jobs. Levying sales tax on precious metals harms in-state businesses who will lose business to out-of-state precious metals dealers. Investors can easily avoid paying $136.50 in sales taxes, for example, on a $1,950 purchase of a one-ounce gold bar.
  • Taxing precious metals is unfair to certain savers and investors.  Gold and silver are held as forms of savings and investment. Mississippi does not tax the purchase of stocks, bonds, ETFs, currencies, and other financial instruments. 
  • Taxing precious metals is harmful to citizens attempting to protect their assets.  Purchasers of precious metals aren't fat-cat investors. Most who buy precious metals do so in small increments as a way of saving money. Precious metals investors are purchasing precious metals as a way to preserve their wealth against the damages of inflation. Inflation harms the poorest among us, including pensioners, Mississippians on fixed incomes, wage earners, savers, and more. 

The trend across the nation is to eliminate taxes on precious metals. The state of Louisiana and Ohio both experimented briefly with reimposing sales taxes on precious metals purchases.  They both quickly reversed course (within two years) and reinstated their sales tax exemptions on precious metals -- because businesses, coin conventions, and state tax revenues were leaving the state.

After the two identical Mississippi bills are transmitted from their respective chambers, Governor Tate Reeves must sign or veto the legislation within 5 days after transmittal (excluding Sunday), or it becomes law without his signature.

In 2023, bills to restore sound, constitutional money have also been introduced in  Alaska , Iowa , West Virginia ,  South Carolina ,  Missouri ,  Minnesota ,  Tennessee , Montana, Idaho, Wyoming , Kansas, and more.

Currently Mississippi is tied for 45 th  out of 50 in the  2023 Sound Money Index . Passage of these measures would increase the state’s ranking dramatically.

What the US Government's Annual Financial Report Doesn't Tell You

Last week, two federal government entities produced financial reports. The Treasury Department issued the latest annual (FY2022) Financial Report of the United States Government (FRUSG), and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors issued its weekly H.4.1 report on the financial condition of the...

Last week, two federal government entities produced financial reports. The Treasury Department issued the latest annual (FY2022) Financial Report of the United States Government (FRUSG), and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors issued its weekly H.4.1 report on the financial condition of the Federal Reserve Banks. These reports deserve closer scrutiny by citizens and taxpayers.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen introduced the FRUSG with a traditional “Message from the Secretary of the Treasury.” Yellen’s message laid claim to much broader responsibilities than one might think appropriate for a report on the government’s finances.

Yellen opened with a paragraph describing positive trends in the overall economy, including how “the American economy continued its historically strong recovery from the pandemic amid serious global economic headwinds …” Again, this is a report describing the finances of the federal government, not the economy. The report theoretically secures accountability for government stewardship, or lack thereof, in the dollars it takes from citizens by force in taxes, or those it borrows on the backs of future taxpayers.

Yet Yellen chose to emphasize claims for the federal government’s responsibility for the (growing) overall economy -- not how well it managed the public purse. She went on to identify three specific laws passed by Congress and signed by the President she deemed responsible for strengthening “American” economic growth over the long-term. One of them was the “Inflation Reduction Act,” which she called:

… our nation’s most aggressive action to tackle the climate crisis, while also providing funding for fairer enforcement of our tax code and improved taxpayer service.

Her opening message didn’t identify how the “Inflation Reduction Act” would reduce inflation, however.

More importantly, she didn’t discuss how the laws she advertised mattered for the federal government’s financial performance – the key reason for an annual financial report in the first place.

Following these opening claims, Yellen asserted that the report serves as a “comprehensive view into our nation’s finances and economic outlook.” Consider the possibility of a dangerous extension of authority underneath this “comprehensive view.”

The report looks not at our federal government’s finances, but at “our nation’s finances and economic outlook.” If Yellen considers financial accountability to include not only accountability for the federal government’s finances, but the finances for all of us, what happens to the nature of private property? How about popular sovereignty?

Yellen then provided some brief (and selective) observations on results in the report, including “a decrease in the federal budget deficit.” Unfortunately, this decrease was to a deficit of $1.4 trillion, a still-negative-result and a rate of deterioration in government’s financial position more than 50% worse than the three years before the arrival of COVID and associated government spending responses.

And while focusing on the budget deficit, Yellen chose not to report on the more-economically-meaningful result in the accrual accounting measure called the “net operating cost.”

Take a look at the summary chart below, from p. 3 of the 250+ page report, showing the cash-accounting-based “budget deficit” and the accrual-accounting-based “net operating cost” over the last five fiscal years.


The trend in the red bars (the budget deficit) is much easier to see than the trend in in the white bars (the net operating cost). But the net operating cost trend is distinctly unfavorable, on closer inspection.

In closing her introductory message, Yellen repeated an alarmingly broad claim of responsibility for the scope of the federal government’s accountability:

It is my duty and pleasure to present the Fiscal Year 2022 Report to the American people, which demonstrates the government’s steadfast commitment to accountability and transparency in managing the nation’s finances.

The government’s (possessive “s”) “steadfast commitment” apparently relates to its role in managing the nation’s finances – not only the federal government’s finances. And an alarmingly possessive “s” continues to appear in another context later in the latest annual report.

On p. 65, in the financial statements section, the report includes an overall balance sheet for the federal government. Assets fell short of reported liabilities by about $30 trillion in FY 2021. In the latest fiscal year, that shortfall mushroomed to $34 trillion -- a $4 trillion deterioration far in excess of the budget deficit strategically emphasized by Yellen in her opening message.

Introducing the unbalanced balance sheet, the report delivers (on p. 55) the following comforting words:

There are, however, other significant resources available to the government that extend beyond the assets presented in these Balance Sheets. Those resources include stewardship PP&E in addition to the government’s sovereign powers to tax and set monetary policy.

The government should be OK, the implication goes, despite the picture in the Balance Sheets, given the government’s “sovereign powers to tax, and to set monetary policy.” The government can take away the money of the people, or inflate the value of their money away.

This report theoretically secures financial accountability of the government to We The People – the real sovereign, in our United States. Yet the government claims to possess the sovereign power to tax the People to assuage any concern for its unbalanced balance sheet.

Yes, our government has the power to tax. But does it possess, as an entity reporting to We The People, the sovereign power to do so? Isn’t our nation grounded in popular sovereignty? Do we have to bend and bow to our Sovereign?

And speaking of the “sovereign” power to set monetary policy, what about the other report that came out last week – the Federal Reserve Board’s weekly H.4.1 report on the financial condition of the Federal Reserve Banks?

A longer story, but in a single week, we had a $3 billion increase in a curious negative liability called “earning remittances due to the U.S. Treasury.” Granted, it’s only one week, but that’s a big chunk of change on an annualized basis. These are effectively financial losses in the Federal Reserve Banks whose financial statements are not consolidated in the Federal Government’s overall financial statements .

More to read, and report on, in the days ahead.

CNBC’s Version of the Fed's 2% Inflation Target

On Saturday, Dr. Mark Thornton published a 3-minute recording for Minor Issues podcast on The Fed’s 2% Inflation Target . It had the usual honesty, integrity and simplicity readers of the Mises Institute are...

On Saturday, Dr. Mark Thornton published a 3-minute recording for Minor Issues podcast on The Fed’s 2% Inflation Target . It had the usual honesty, integrity and simplicity readers of the Mises Institute are accustomed, with the introduction reading:

Mark Thornton explains the target as another smokescreen that was originally intended to stabilize monetary policy, currencies, and exchange rates, but has become a justification for inflation and central bank manipulation.

As if in response, two days later CNBC published The curious history of the Federal Reserve’s 2% inflation targeting, explained . Stark is the contrast:

The 2% inflation target is key to the Federal Reserve’s vision for stable prices in the U.S. economy, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Someone is not telling the truth.

Either central banks use the 2% target to deceive the public into their various anti-capitalistic interventions, for public detriment; or, they use 2% as a planning tool to achieve an ill-defined notion of “stable prices” for the public good.

Past and current successes at meeting the 2% target appear to have no bearing on its continued use. However, it is the origin story which reveals over 30 years of deception.

But, “the 2% inflation target, it’s relatively arbitrary,” Josh Bivens, director of research at the Economic Policy Institute, told CNBC.

CNBC correctly sources the arbitrary 2% target to New Zealand, who adopted it in 1989. They found PhD holder Arthur Grimes, of Victoria University, who happily takes credit for one of the worst, if not the worst, economic policies ever.

As his story goes:

In the late 1980s, New Zealand was facing incredibly high inflation when freshly minted Ph.D. economist Grimes started his work at the central bank, which at the time was not independent from the government. “We were saying, ‘OK, if we have independence, what should we target? Interest rates or the money supply?’” Grimes said. “And I just one day, I said, ‘Well, actually, what are we trying to achieve? We’re trying to achieve price stability. Why don’t we just have an inflation target?’”

Our fate was sealed.

With no regard to anything that at least could substantially be defended, it was the whimsical fancy of a “freshly minted” PhD holder who came up with the idea. We’ll never know where we’d be today if they fought high (price) inflation by simply stopping the manipulation of interest rates and the money supply, as they could have done.

Unfortunately, the idea of 2% spread in popularity across the world, where as recent as 2017:

… some economists  wrote a letter  to the Federal Open Market Committee, making the case for a higher target.

They even cite a professor from John Hopkins who wrote:

There’s no evidence that 3% or 4% inflation does substantial damage relative to 2% inflation.

Rather than mainstream economists, media, or policy makers asking serious questions about the 2% strategy, we get continued support of the conspicuously false narrative. With reported Consumer Price Index figures much higher than anyone wishes to see, any memories of wanting a high inflation target becomes laughable.

To add insult to injury, CNBC concludes that now, in “post-pandemic normal,” central banks are coming under scrutiny for inflation targeting. Despite the fact that in 2020, I wrote about that exact topic in The Origins of the 2 Percent Inflation Target , or that Austrians have been writing about inflation for over a century before me. Yet we should never be surprised. A society who uses dishonest money is, by definition, a fraudulent society. This deception gets interwoven into the very fabric of all our institutions and then permeates across all levels of our interactions with each other. We must never celebrate capital destruction or economic absurdities. This is an origin story that should only be lamented.

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Drudge report traffic plunges as content turns against trump, social links for keith j. kelly.

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drudge report ranking

The Drudge Report posted a 45 percent decline in web traffic in September as the site alienated its core readers by turning against President Trump ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

The data — derived from comScore, which tracks the industry — were released in a report by TheRighting, a website that analyzes traffic to right-leaning websites. TheRighting told The Post that the Drudge Report had 1,291,000 unique visitors in September, according to data supplied by comScore, down from 2,340,000 in the same month a year ago.

September’s eye-popping decline marks the ninth month in a row that the political news aggregation website run by reclusive founder Matt Drudge has seen traffic fall, TheRighting said .

The plunge comes at a time when demand for political news has been soaring on both sides of the aisle leading up to a highly charged presidential election. And experts say it’s directly tied to the Drudge Report’s sudden and unexpected switch earlier this year from a conservative-leaning news outlet to one that’s decidedly anti-Trump.

“It’s catastrophic what has happened to his web traffic,” said Matt Lysiak, author of “The Drudge Revolution.” “He’s on a fast track to irrelevance.”

Lysiak says some of the Drudge Report’s suffering can be traced to competition from social media services like Twitter. “But what accelerated his decline is when he shifted to the left and turned on Trump and lost many of his core readers. By any criteria, this shift was a complete disaster for him,” Lysiak said.

“Liberals are never going to love Drudge, even if he’s not linking to stories about Hunter Biden and Joe Biden,” Lysiak said of the website that made its name in the 1990s by being the first outlet to report on the brewing Monica Lewinsky scandal. “They’ll always remember what happened with Bill Clinton.”

Drudge had been an ardent promoter of Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election and was reportedly invited to the White House in 2017. But the site and its founder have drawn criticism from readers, including the president, for linking to largely negative stories about the president in recent months.

Stories topping the Drudge Report on Friday included a link to a Washington Post article about Trump’s public musings over a potential loss to Joe Biden and a Pennlive.com story about growing regional delays in the US Postal Service’s delivery times.

“Congratulations Dan. You, Breitbart and others have decimated the business at Drudge,” the president tweeted earlier this month. “It’s gone the way of the @NBA, ratings down 70%. People want the TRUTH! Drudge Report sold out, suffered a massive ‘nervous breakdown’. Happening @FoxNews also???”

The “Dan” whom Trump congratulated appears to be Dan Bongino, founder of fast-growing Bongino.com, which saw its unique visitor traffic surge 780 percent in September, according to TheRighting.

Drudge, who has become a topic of conversation among media and Wall Street circles in recent months due to rumors that he’s seeking a minority investor, did not return calls seeking comment.

Growing appetites for political news, meanwhile, have helped traffic to Fox News’ website grow 9 percent in September compared to a year ago, with 104.1 million unique visitors, The Righting said. That lags behind CNN, which pulled 144.5 million unique visitors, up 11 percent, but beats the New York Times brands’ 95.1 million unique visitors in September, up 3 percent compared to the same month a year ago, and the Washington Post with 91.6 million unique visitors, also up 3 percent from a year ago, TheRighting said.

Other right-leaning news sites that have benefited this election cycle are the Washington Examiner, which pulled 15.9 million unique visitors, up 11 percent, and The Blaze, which attracted 12.3 million unique visitors, up 106 percent, according to TheRighting.

The fastest-growing sites in September were Bongino.com, up 780 percent to 2.6 million unique visitors, according to TheRighting; The Gateway Pundit, up 456 percent to 5.7 million, and CNS News, up 417 percent to 3.9 million unique visitors.

“Strong audience growth for most conservative websites continues to be driven by a heated news environment that shows no signs of cooling off,” said Howard Polskin, president and chief curator at TheRighting, whose tagline is “Alerting liberal audiences to today’s headlines from the right.”

“Notable stories in September 2020 included the escalation of the pandemic, the dramatic revelations in Bob Woodward’s latest book on President Trump, the fireworks that characterized the first Trump-Biden debate, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the contentious nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and the explosive story in the New York Times about Trump’s tax returns,” Polskin said. “These stories played like a reality show and kept audiences thoroughly engaged throughout the month as they kept turning to news media to learn the latest unfolding developments.”

Down last month was right-wing conspiracy site InfoWars, founded by Alex Jones, which saw traffic fall 1 percent for the fifth month in a row, The Righting said. The Daily Caller also saw traffic drop 9 percent for the month as it recorded its second monthly decline in a row.

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