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Pay No Attention to the Matt Behind the Curtain
1999-05-30 02:00:54


Jabber Streams
 
Some of us taste liquid death and like it.
-- Liquor Pig

 

Fresh from hooking an Internet audience of Art Bell fanatics with rotten bait on Thursday, America's favorite cub reporter, Matt Drudge, was hot on the trail of an even bigger trout: one that the Las Vegas Review-Journal netted well before Drudge, which still didn't stop him from claiming the prize fish as a "world exclusive" in Saturday's Drudge Report.

The story -- which Pigdog had previous knowledge of but chose not to report in respect of the privacy of the individuals involved (heck, we can claim anything we want, right Matt?) -- was the bombshell involving Art Bell's son's filing of a lawsuit against a Nevada school district for failing to prevent his (Arthur Bell IV's) rape by the HIV-positive substitute teacher who sexually assaulted him in 1998. It became quickly apparent that this is the "personal problem" responsible for Bell's mysterious intermittent absences from the radio airwaves over the past several months.

This is also the story Drudge claimed he was going to break on Thursday to the thousands of readers of his website, and the same story Drudge promised that Bell would come clean with on his Coast to Coast radio show that same night. Both promises were broken, however, when Bell remained silent and Drudge refused to spill the goods to Art Bell fans gathered on IRC, where he had directed interested readers for further information (after a quick yank-down from the Drudge Report of the earlier claim -- see our earlier story).

Then two things happened, in not-so-quick succession: first, the Review-Journal posted the details of the assault case and lawsuit and noted it as the reason for Bell's retiring act, on Friday. Then, Saturday, possibly still steaming from Pigdog's alleged underestimation of his total readership (aside to Matt: next time you send us a nastygram, please remember to turn off the CAPSLOCK. It hurts our eyes, and we usually read our mail when we're still hung over,) Drudge posted essentially the same story on his site and labeled it as a "**World Exclusive**." Drudge's version was a roughly similar but badly truncated version of the Las Vegas paper's earlier story, but Drudge at least did go out and find one of his ubiquitous "well-placed sources" to provide the scintillating revelation that, basically, Bell's son is pretty well bummed about the whole deal.

How do you get a "World Exclusive" from a story that was already in the public eye at least 12 hours previous and possibly much longer than that? I don't know either, but doesn't it seem like "scoops," much like candy bars, microprocessors and "Internet Celebrityhood," are getting smaller all the time? Or maybe Matt just has some fancy new math he uses for his figurin'.

Stay tuned, natch...

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

wary@pigdog.org


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