The Washington Free Beacon, which has operated under the auspices of the Center for American Freedom since its inception in 2012, announced Monday that it’s breaking from the conservative think tank and “taking its talents to the free market.”
In a post that was accompanied by a gif of a bikini-clad Kate Upton licking a popsicle, Free Beacon founder Michael Goldfarb and editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti laid out their lofty vision for the site.
Since its launch in February 2012, the Free Beacon has been a project of the Center for American Freedom, a nonprofit that has graciously supported our reporters, editors, and contributors. But we have large ambitions. And in order for the Free Beacon to grow, for it to take its rightful place alongside the New York Times and the Washington Post, it must become a newspaper like any other—online in our case, but making its way in the private sector, funded by investors, sustained by advertisers, and seeking out elusive Mexican oligarchs.
Goldfarb and Continetti also wrote that the Center for American Freedom “has been renamed and reconfigured as the Center for American Opportunity” and will be ushering in the new era with the launch of Opportunity Lives, which they described as “a news platform devoted to highlighting stories of success, entrepreneurship, and problem-solving across the United States.”
Since its founding more than two years ago, the Free Beacon has relished its subversive role on the right, embracing a concept referred to as “combat journalism.” Continetti described the idea in a 2012 dictum that heralded the site’s launch.
What would happen, though, if a website covered the left in the same way that the left covers the right? What picture of the world would one have in mind if the morning paper read like the New York Times—but with the subjects of the stories and the assumptions built into the text changed to reflect a conservative, not liberal, worldview? What would happen if the media wolf pack suddenly had to worry about an aerial hunting operation?
You are about to find out. The Washington Free Beacon is here to enter the arena of combat journalism. Our talented staff will add to the chorus of enterprising conservative reporters, publishing original stories, seeking out scoops, and focusing on the myriad connections between money and power in the progressive movement and Obama’s Washington. Our research and war room divisions will supplement that reporting with context, additional materials, and breaking video. At the Beacon, you will find the other half of the story, the half that the elite media have taken such pains to ignore: the inside deals, cronyism cloaked in the public interest, and far-out nostrums of contemporary progressivism and the Democratic Party. At the Beacon, all friends of freedom will find an alternative to the hackneyed spin, routine misstatements, paranoid hyperbole, and insipid folderol of Democratic officials and the liberal gasbags on MSNBC and talk radio. At the Beacon, we follow only one commandment: Do unto them.
In a 2013 interview with the New York Times, Goldfarb acknowledged the Free Beacon’s cheeky side.
“We’re true believers, but we’re also troublemakers, and if you look at the work we do, a lot of it has a sense of humor,” Goldfarb said. Though he said The Beacon had made a serious investment in its journalism, nonetheless, “We get up every day and say, how do we cause trouble?”