Drudge, the Kerry affair, and a scoop

by on February 14th, 2004

Late last week Internet news guru Matt Drudge dropped a bomb. Much like he broke the Monica Lewinsky story in 1998, he once again scooped the mainstream media with stories of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s infidelity.

But who scooped Drudge?

Before Drudge ran his famous bold-black headline, WatchBlog.com writer SoL had everyone beat. His article, Rumor: A Kerry Affair & Push Polling, was posted Feb. 6, a week before Drudge picked it up.

Because of the belief that Wesley Clark may have had something to do with the leak (after all, Republicans would rather have waited until after Kerry’s nomination), some have tried to link WatchBlog with the Clark campaign.

The first to do so was Jonah Goldberg of NRO’s The Corner.

“That blog [WatchBlog] I linked to below which commented on the Kerry rumor on Feb 6 is apparently run by a guy named Cameron Barrett who works for Wesley Clark,” he wrote on Thursday.

Sure, it jibes with the “Clark’s behind it” story, but there’s just one small problem: Cameron Barrett hasn’t been involved with WatchBlog for several months now.

And I speak from experience. As a WatchBlog managing editor, I can confidently say that because of Cameron’s hectic schedule with the Clark campaign, WatchBlog has had difficulty in completing a much-needed server move. Furthermore, WatchBlog has since Cameron’s leave been under entirely new management, and Cameron’s only affiliation with the site has been on the hosting side of things, a main reason why traces of his involvement with WatchBlog continue to exist on the site.

Which brings me to the following at the bottom of the main WatchBlog page: “© 2003 – Cameron Barrett.”

Investigating no further, one could easily assume Cameron to still be in charge of WatchBlog; the traces of his existence are readily apparent throughout the site. But it’s a dangerous assumption because WatchBlog is now caught up in the Clark mess.

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