It must be a slow news day.
On Thursday morning, Matt Drudge, the owner of the popular, right-leaning Drudge Report, removed AIG and the stimulus from his lead story, replacing it with a story that hits closer to home for Duke fans. DUKE COACH SLAM DUNKS OBAMA: FOCUS ON ECONOMY NOT NCAA PICKS, read the all-caps, bold headline. (No red font, BREAKING or DEVELOPING, for those Drudge enthusiasts to whom that might make a difference.)
The link led to a story about Obama’s NCAA Tournament picks–Baracketology, if you will–that centered around Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s dismissive reaction to Obama’s bracket. The president picked Duke to the Elite 8 before he had the Blue Devils losing to Pittsburgh in the East Regional. Krzyzewski, who has supported Republicans in the past, took a lighthearted jab at Obama in response.
“Somebody said that we’re not in President Obama’s Final Four, and as much as I respect what he’s doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets,” Krzyzewski said.
UPDATE: 3 p.m.
After reading more about the situation and reading some of the comments below, I realized that Krzyzewski’s comments were more in jest than anything. His follow-up comment is especially telling: “Why would I care about that? I love the guy, and I think he’s going to be great.”
Originally, I wrote: “Lighten up, Coach K, and good riddance, Drudge.” So I retract the first part of that clause, but now, I’m more firm in the latter half.
Drudge, perhaps the most influential man in journalism, not only links to the story, but leads with it–and conveniently links to a Fox News story that doesn’t mention the laugh or the “I love the guy” qualification. In a space typically reserved for, you know, news, Drudge blows up a misleading story. Not the first time he’s done that, but it seems particularly egregious to give a story millions of eyeballs when it’s just not true, especially on a day that’s supposed to be reserved for pure college basketball glee.
Thanks to those who corrected me below.
Doesn’t everyone miss the time when athletics were outside the realm of politics?