- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 23, 2020

As far as Derek Christensen is concerned, there can’t be too many Drudge Report alternatives, which is one reason he started his own.

The former Army specialist and Afghanistan veteran last month launched Eagle Slant, the latest conservative news-aggregation website to take on Matt Drudge’s 23-year-old standard-bearer since it began what critics describe as its leftward drift under President Trump.

“Drudge is clearly a different site these days, and that’s what I want to avoid,” said Mr. Christensen, who lives in Northern Virginia. “I want mine to be rock-solid, where people know what they’re going to get. Drudge definitely went off the rails.”

His three-column format has the clean, pared-down look of his favorite Drudge competitors, Citizen Free Press and The Liberty Daily, sprinkled with a handful of photos, tweets, videos and Gifs. The page also features the “MSM [Mainstream Media] Trump Narrative Tracker,” which features the latest Trump-related headlines.

The 35-year-old Christensen decided to take the plunge after leaving the Army in 2018 and then working in web development. First, however, he had to tell his wife.

“I knew I had the capability and the skill set to do it,” Mr. Christensen said. “And I had the interest and the passion and the support of my wife, and my wife is actually quite liberal. Breaking that news to her was almost worse than telling my family I was leaving for the Army.”

The Drudge Report still rules the aggregation roost even though its traffic has dropped, falling 26% in total visits from August to December, as its conservative rivals pick up steam, according to data from the marketing-intelligence firm SimilarWeb.

For example, Citizen Free Press has seen its page views double since September, according to figures from Quantcast, placing its traffic at about 5% of that of the Drudge Report.

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

The news-aggregation business isn’t for slackers. Mr. Christensen said he’s putting in 12-hour workdays on average to keep up with the news cycle and make sure his page stays fresh.

“I’m trying to strike a balance of seriousness and light-hearted humor,” he said. “I want to keep it fun and enjoyable. It’s super easy to be too serious these days. Everything’s serious.”

As for the other Drudge competitors, which include Whatfinger News, the Bongino Report, Rantingly, NewsAmmo, and Gab Trends, Mr. Christensen said, “I see them as allies.”

“I don’t think there can ever be too many alternative Drudge competitors out there, because there’s so much information out there,” he said. “I just wanted to have my own unique take on it.”

The former Lou Dobbs producer who runs Citizen Free Press under the pseudonym “Citizen Kane” welcomed Eagle Slant to the arena.

“Happy to have another source of conservative truth in a media landscape increasingly dominated by anti-Trump voices,” he said. “As Derek knows, once you start news aggregation, you can never stop. Readers expect updates 12 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. Makes you appreciate what Matt Drudge has accomplished, albeit with help, for 26 straight years.”

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