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Smudging Drudge — Love him or despise him, Matt Drudge is still a force to be reckoned with in the world of online media. After starting up his news-gossip Web site www.drudgereport.com in the ’90s, Drudge was catapulted to national notoriety when he broke news of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Although Drudge claims to be an independent populist, the Drudge Report reeks of right-wing, conservative bias — the stories he typically chooses to highlight usually show liberals in a bad light. Plus, anyone who’s friends with Ann Coulter just can’t be trusted.

So, that damned liberal media has decided to have a bit of fun with Drudge. The parody site www.smudgereport.com lifts Drudge’s distinctive layout, but the content has a strong left-wing flavor. For example, the current lead headline is “Since When Was God Pro-war and Pro-rich?”

The site isn’t updated as often as Drudge’s domain, but there are some interesting, off-the-radar stories to be found, and Smudge’s headlines are just plain funny: “A Bush Hater Apologizes — NOT!” There are also links to similar liberal sites, columnists and commentators — we were pleased to note Detroit’s own Peter Werbe (peterwerbe.com) was included.

There’s also the Drudge Retort at drudge.com which is much of the same, but not quite as snarky. And lord knows we damned liberal media types just love snarky.

Know of any interesting, educational or bizarre Web site you’d like to see featured here? Send it to backslash@metrotimes.com

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