The Washington Free Beacon

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The Washington Free Beacon
Washington Free Beacon.jpg
Type Online news site
Format Website
Editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti
Managing editors Sonny Bunch, Aaron MacLean, Stephanie Wang
Founded 2012
Political alignment Conservative
Headquarters Washington, D.C.

The Washington Free Beacon is an American web site that publishes news and associated content from a neoconservative perspective. It states it is "dedicated to uncovering the stories that the powers that be hope will never see the light of day" and producing "in-depth investigative reporting on a wide range of issues, including public policy, government affairs, international security, and media."[1] It was founded by Matthew Continetti and Michael Goldfarb and launched on February 7, 2012, as a project of the 501(c)4 organization Center for American Freedom.[2] In August 2014, it announced it was becoming a for-profit news site.[3]

The site is noted for its aggressive, ideologically driven reporting, modeled after liberal counterparts in the media such as Think Progress and Talking Points Memo.[2][4] Jack Hunter, a staff member of U.S. senator Rand Paul's office, resigned in 2013 after a Free Beacon report detailing his past as a radio shock jock known as the "Southern Avenger" who wore a luchador mask of the Confederate flag.[5] The publication also broke several stories about former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's successful 1975 legal defense of an accused rapist that attracted national media attention.[4][6]

The New York Times described the Free Beacon's reporting as "gleeful evisceration."[7] However, its tactics have also led to attacks from media critics and watchdog groups. The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf called the Free Beacon's stated mission "decadent and unethical."[8] Media Matters for America founder David Brock sent a letter to news organizations in 2014 saying, "If credible media outlets regard the unethical practices of The Free Beacon as valid, all of journalism will be debased."[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Smith, Ben (5 January 2012). "How to fight liberals: Imitate them". Politico. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Rothstein, Betsy (4 August 2014). "Washington Free Beacon goes private". Daily Caller. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Auletta, Ken (2 June 2014). "The Hillary Show". The New Yorker. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Antle, Jim (21 July 2013). "Southern Avenger no more: Rand Paul aide Jack Hunter leaves staff, returns to punditry". Daily Caller. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Kreutz, Liz (20 June 2014). "Hillary Clinton’s Handling of 1975 Rape Case Emerges Again". ABC News. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (23 February 2014). "A Conservative Provocateur, Using a Blowtorch as His Pen". New York Times. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Friedersdorf, Conor (8 January 2014). "The ascendant ‘smear wing’ of the conservative movement". The Atlantic. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "David Brock Advises Media Of The Washington Free Beacon's Unethical Practices". Media Matters for America. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 

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