A few weeks ago, Eric Boehlert suggested that Drudge’s ability to set the zeitgeist appeared to be waning – the seriousness of the credit crunch outweighed the tabloidish frivolity of a typical Drudge banner.   Over the last few days, we’ve seen this observation play out as Drudge’s efforts to set the tone and direct the coverage have fizzled. 

  • On Tuesday, Drudge tried to make hay of the fact that the Obama campaign cut a video urging people to take the day off to vote.
  • On Monday, Drudge tried to cause a controversy over a 2001 radio interview Obama gave in Chicago.
  • Over the weekend, Drudge highlighted an interview Joe Biden gave to a local television anchor that was over the top and tried to make hay out of the preparations for Election Night that are underway in Chicago.

That’s just a sample but six months ago, those kinds of headlines would send the cables into a tizzy and get guys like my buddy Greg Sargent screaming bloody murder about Drudge’s influence.  (I must confess that I have occasionally been known to sing in that chorus as well.)

But lately it seems that the “Roger Ailes of the Internet” isn’t packing the kind of heat that made him famous.  I’m not on the trail but it seems like reporters aren’t chasing every item on Drudge as hard as they once did.  Time will tell whether that will be the case next month when the world is hopefully calmer and the siren goes up and the font turns red.