Gossip guru

BEST known for breaking the story of Monica Lewinsky’s liaison with former president Bill Clinton, Matt Drudge is the most notorious internet journalist-cum-gossip-merchant working today.

Mr Drudge, who grew up in the Washington DC suburbs, established The Drudge Report in 1995.

Since then, the site has become as notorious as it has been successful.

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On Wednesday when he published allegations about John Kerry’s personal life, Mr Drudge’s website was visited 15 million times - a 70 per cent increase on its average audience.

Mr Drudge, whose site provides links to other organisations’ stories as well as carrying his own "exclusive" reports, set it up while working in a CBS gift shop in Los Angeles - as a means of sharing the Hollywood gossip and rumour he heard.

Although he is scorned by many of the United States’ more "traditional" journalists, Mr Drudge was invited to speak at the National Press Club in Washington DC in 1998.

"We have entered an era vibrating with the din of small voices.

"Every citizen can be a reporter, can take on the powers that be," he said.