The Drudge Effect on Space Policy

Driving Public Perception Image Credit: Drudge Report

Driving Public Perception
Image Credit: Drudge Report

By any measure, the Drudge Report is one of the most influential media websites in the world. So what does it mean when Drudge develops a fascination with space?

In the weeks since the U.S. presidential election vaulted Donald Trump to the on-deck position of the most powerful job in the world, Drudge has been on something of a tear in aggregating media stories regarding outer space, with reports of Chinese and Russian lunar ambitions topping the list. Today however, it is the Moon itself, accompanied by a story from the U.K’s Mirror, a Drudge favorite, predicting holidays on the Moon in 10 years based based on loosely interpreted remarks by Moon Express Co-founder Naveen Jain. A second story, this one in The Guardian, is a somewhat more in-depth piece looking at the starry eyed “tech titans” who are driving high profile NewSpace developments.

Given that Drudge aggressively promoted the Trump campaign, it it worth considering the fact that it may be one of the more influential sources in shaping the views of many non-space people who also happened to support the President-Elect. Whether or not that filters up to the highest level is a different matter, but it is interesting to note that while Drudge is rarely hesitant to take shots at Jeff Bezos in his role as head of Amazon and owner of the the Washington Post, the choice of stories regarding NewSpace, including Blue Origin, is generally rather positive.

Where this may (or not) play out is in how the Trump Administration chooses to address NASA and America’s goals in space. To the extent that Drudge does indeed reflect as a well as inform the views of many of his millions of daily visitors, it could be the U.S. is more prepared to see a commercially oriented public/private space program than is generally assumed to be the case, particularly when governed by a party which is often beholden to the large defense contractors and legacy aerospace.

Posted in: NewSpace, Space Tourism

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