- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 5, 2019

Another rival to the Drudge Report has joined the world of conservative news aggregators.

Fox News contributor Dan Bongino went live Wednesday with the Bongino Report, the latest conservative challenger to kingpin Matt Drudge, whose eponymous website, a conservative must-read for two decades, has been accused of trending leftward.

“Forget Drudge – if you want real conservative news, visit us at BonginoReport.com every day,” said Matt Palumbo in an announcement on the Dan Bongino Show website.

He cited the Drudge Report’s recent decline in traffic, noting that average monthly viewership has dropped from 96 million to 77 million from July to October, based on data from the market-intelligence firm SimilarWeb.

“In all likelihood, that’ll only continue trending downward. What kind of reaction could possibly be expected by going against their readers?” said Mr. Palumbo. “So bad have things gotten that President Donald Trump went as far as to ask Jared Kushner to figure out ‘what’s going on with Drudge.’”

He referred to a report last month in the Daily Beast, which cited unnamed sources, about the president’s concerns with the Drudge Report’s apparent anti-Trump tilt.

The Bongino Report joins a half-dozen upstart conservative aggregators that have gained traffic as Drudge has faltered, including Citizen Free Press, Whatfinger News, Liberty Daily, Rantingly, NewsAmmo and Gab Trends.

None of the rivals can boast Drudge’s daily traffic but all have thrived, increasing their average monthly traffic and engagement, as measured by average visit duration and average pages per visit, from September-October 2018 to 2019, according to SimilarWeb.

Drudge has also been criticized for increasingly linking to legacy media sites with an anti-Trump tilt such as CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times.

The front of the Bongino Report on Thursday featured stories from conservative sites such as War Room, the Blaze, the Independent Women’s Forum and Lifezette, as well as Mediaite and the Associated Press.

The latest conservative aggregator will feature “fifty of the best conservative stories of the day, seven days a week, from topics ranging from the impeachment hoax, the spygate scandal, the 2020 election, our culture war with the left, economics, immigration, and more,” said Mr. Palumbo.

The Washington Times has reached out to the Drudge Report for comment.

Conservative radio host Mark Levin, who hosts a weekly show on Fox News, gave the Bongino Report his blessing, calling it in a tweet “refreshingly reliable and solid, for Liberty-loving patriots.”

Certainly there’s a demand for conservative aggregators. The anonymous owner of Citizen Free Press, who goes by “Citizen Kane,” said the two-year-old website’s traffic has grown 550% in 2019, attracting more than 15 million pageviews per month and making it a major player among conservative websites.

“We welcome Super Dan Bongino to the space and wish him much success,” said “Kane,” a former Lou Dobbs producer, in a message. “We’re all on the same team, trying to provide conservative news junkies with their daily fix of truth they won’t hear anywhere in the anti-Trump Media Industrial Complex.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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