An aspiring media mogul has thrown down the gauntlet to Matt Drudge.
Mike LaSalle wants to pit his new Men’s News Daily Web site against the canny Mr. Drudge and his 5-year-old Drudge Report, the archetypal news and gossip site that has brought many a hair-raising rumor to full flower in other print and broadcast outlets.
“My site is better. It is easily 10 times better. And far more professional, thought-provoking and substantive,” Mr. LaSalle said yesterday.
“All the Drudge babies have grown up to be monsters,” Mr. Drudge said in a telephone interview from his Florida office. “They’re all trying.”
Men’s News follows the Drudge model, with news of the day and links to some 80 newspapers and journals. But it is tinctured by an unabashed manly agenda. There are a half-dozen “guy sites” and information on a whole constellation of masculine concerns, including links to “Masculinists Trinity,” “Suffering Patriarchy” and “Jesus Men,” among other things.
“The site is designed to highlight men’s issues from an international and essentially conservative perspective,” Mr. LaSalle said. “And to give men a place to pick up their daily news unfiltered by the kind of political correctness and pampered journalism common in most news outlets.”
He adds quickly, “But we are emphatically not misogynists.”
Indeed, the California-based Mr. LaSalle, 42, is married with three children. His views were tempered by several combative years in divorce court with his first wife.
“I was totally dissed by the court system while gaining custody of my son,” he said. “Combine that experience with how the media portrays men, particularly fathers as buffoons and morons and I knew I needed to create this news site.”
After four months, the site (www.mensnewsdaily.com) gets as many as a thousand user “hits” daily. Mr. LaSalle said he got notable traffic recently with a story about a woman demanding $323,000 a month in child support from her former husband.
With deep roots in Hollywood, Washington and New York, the Drudge Report (www.drudgereport.com), meanwhile, gets between three and four million hits on an average day, and logged 96 million in the past month, according to the site itself.
With a dozen on-screen advertisements and commercial links to off-site shopping, the Men’s News lacks the stark cachet of the Drudge Report. Mr. Drudge’s diverse compendium is almost pure content, save for the occasional photo and screaming headline. His daily gems, sourced and anonymous alike, cause regular hubbub in print and broadcast media.
Mr. LaSalle is unfazed.
“I want to get original material. Of course I want to get original material,” he said. “I am just starting out here.”
Though still on a mission to “remind men they have issues different from women,” Mr. LaSalle has begun his quest for news items of his own by soliticing material from the academic world.
“We are men, we are conservative, we are awake, and we are most definitely here,” Mr. LaSalle added.