Drudge Emotes to Refute Favoritism Charges

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By Eddie Scarry

Matt Drudge, editor of the Drudge Report, has been accused of playing favorites in the Republican presidential primary race. It has been suggested by Politico (here, here, here and here). On Sunday’s NBC “MTP”, former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said Drudge is in the tank for Mitt Romney and anti-Newt Gingrich. He said Romney’s campaign staff “got Matt Drudge in their back pocket.”

Monday morning, Drudge responded on his site using a photo of Thompson (sporting a peculiar goatee) and a series of emoticons: “;D   ;O   $$”

Each emoticon linked to an older front page of the Drudge Report that gave favorable, top headline coverage to Gingrich and his campaign. “NEWT ON TOP,” one headlined declared. “NEWT RISING,” read another.

Quick, someone alert MSNBC contributor Meghan McCain that Drudge is demonstrating what an emoticon is on his website. As it happens, an emoticon is a face illustrated through text and not a synonym for “a tiny amount,” as McCain seemed to think earlier this month.