Mar 102010

Senate Staffers Warned to Stay Clear of Drudge Report
by Andrew Marcus

The Senate’s official gatekeeper, said the Drudge Report, a conservative news aggregator, and “are responsible for the many viruses popping up throughout the Senate,” according to an e-mail to the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Drudge responded that his millions of other satisfied customers have had no complaints. He also revealed the following statistics:

“The site was seen 149,967 times since March 1st from users at and 244,347 times at [10,825 visits from the White House,]” the Drudge Report wrote.

We made some very rough calculations and arrived at the following analysis:

149,967 Hits to Drudge from since March 1 = 16,663 hits per day

244,347 Hits to Drudge from = 27,150 hits per day

If one spends just 30 seconds scanning headlines, that’s 139 hours per day of scanning headlines in the Senate. That requires 17 Senate staffers putting in a full 8 hour day.

In the House that’s 226 hours spent scanning Drudge, requiring 28 Staffers working 8 hour days.

What’s the total cost of government labor expended reading The Drudge Report in Congress? It depends on who’s scanning the headlines.

The Average Legislative Assistant in The House gets $37,321 Per Year (approximately $18.66 per hour). In The Senate the average is $48,276 (approximately $24.14 per hour) *these numbers assume a paid 2 week vacation. (Averages available here)

Estimate cost of Senate Drudge surfing: $3355
Estimate cost of House Drudge surfing: $4217

Estimate total cost of Congressional surfing of The Drudge Report: $7572 per day

As far as the White House goes, how much it costs depends upon whether a man or woman is scanning the Drudge headlines:

The White House logged 10,825 hits since March 1 which works out to 1203 Hits per day. At 30 second scans, that totals 10 Hours per day.

The average Female White House Staffer earns $72,956 per year ($36.48 per hour) while the average Male White House Staffer earns $82,346 per year ($41.17 per hour). *these numbers assume a paid 2 week vacation. (Averages available here)

A female Staffer earns $365 per day scanning Drudge.
A male Staffer earns $412 per day scanning Drudge.

That means if President Obama ordered only women White House Staffers to scan Drudge headlines, he could shave $17,155 off the Executive Branch’s Drudge budget per year. (as of July 2009)

Total cost per day of Legislative and Executive Branches in scanning Drudge Headlines: $7937

Estimate total cost of Congressional and Executive Branch labor devoted to reading the Drudge Report in the first 9 days of March 2010: $71,433**

At that pace, the Congress and White House will spend roughly $2.8 Million in tax payer dollars to surf The Drudge Report in all of 2010.

**(Conservatively estimated – all numbers double if the reader spends an average of 60 seconds reading Drudge)

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