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Anatomy of a Drudge Hit Gone Wrong

Politico got a Drudge hit Monday morning. That’s always a good thing. But there are three odd things surrounding the story about rapper Snoop Dogg encouraging President Obama to legalize marijuana in a D.C-based radio interview:

  1. The story was more than a month old.
  2. The story had been written on Politico CLICK already (last month).
  3. Even then, it wasn’t an original story to the site.

So, what happened? Let’s look at the timeline of this Drudge hit train wreck.

Way back on Dec. 7, a lesser-known D.C social scene blog called Glittarazzi wrote up a story on Snoop Dogg’s radio interview. They didn’t get a Drudge link. The next day (half a month in Politico time), CLICK’s Karin Tanabe aggregated the story, giving proper credit to Glittarazzi for originally writing it. CLICK didn’t get a Drudge hit either.

Here’s where it gets weird. On Jan. 8, Jezebel, a site owned by Gawker Media, aggregated the month-old story, giving credit to Glittarazzi. No Drudge hit for Jezebel. The next day, Patrick Gavin writes the story again for Politico, except this time on the front page. BINGO. He gets the coveted Drudge link.

Even weirder: Gavin’s story linked to CLICK’s original blog post of the story from December. What?!

Politico might have just re-posted Tabanbe’s story on the front. It would have certainly saved an editor time; in this case, an editor who didn’t bother to read it carefully anyway.

We wrote the original writers of each story and the editors at Politico to find out what happened. Glittarazzi‘s Kelly Ann Collins told us she wasn’t aware of the Drudge link train wreck.

“This does happen in this business,” she said. “Maybe the second reporter (Gavin) didn’t realize or something like that. I’m sure Toby at 99.5 would like his link, too! He did the audio (from the interview with Snoop Dogg).” She continued, “We are the little guys and the big guys sometimes trample us. But that’s OK. In 2012 we’ll dominate.”

Cassie Murdoch, who wrote up the piece for Jezebel, said she doesn’t “really have any thoughts on why it was picked up by Drudge,” but she said it’s possible the story only became relevant now because Snoop Dogg was arrested on marijuana charges this weekend.

That still doesn’t account for Politico publishing the story twice. None of the writers or editors have responded to us about it.

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