Today a conservative news outlet, the Washington Free Beacon, launches. Its editor-in-chief is Right Turn guest blogger Matt Continetti. He gets the ball rolling with a piece titled “Combat Journalism.” He agreed to do a Q&A with Right Turn to explain what WTB is and what he wants to accomplish:
What will the Free Beacon do that other news outlets won’t?
We’re not reinventing the wheel. There is plenty of excellent reporting from a conservative perspective. Investigating, conducting interviews, providing context — the mainstream media do all of these things well, so long as the target is someone with conservative views on the size of government or the detention of terrorists. We’ll be using similar techniques to cover the administration, Democrats in Congress, the professional left and the network of 1 percenters who fund the progressive movement.
Where did the name “Free Beacon” come from?
The name is a tribute to the WFB’s favorite 20th-century president, Ronald Reagan. From his Jan. 11, 1989, farewell address: “How stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.”
We aim to be a beacon of freedom in a sea of servile liberal media. I was also happy to realize that our Web site’s initials are those of one of my heroes, National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr.
Is the focus foreign policy?
Our editorial team, which includes Bill Gertz and Adam Kredo, will be enterprising and competitive reporters on the topic of national security. There is no question that the weakness of progressive foreign policy often gets short shrift from the mainstream media. But foreign affairs will not be our sole focus. We will also cover liberalism’s bankrupt domestic policy, and the Democrats’ cronyism and clientelism, among much else.
Many mainstream journalists don’t believe they are biased. What examples would you give to make the case that they operate with blinders so thick that they screen out whatever doesn’t comport with their world view?
Most journalists have never met a conservative, read conservative books, listened to conservative lectures, or taken conservative ideas seriously. This isn’t surprising. The world is a large and complicated place, and few if any of the professors an aspiring journalist encounters in college will be conservative. When journalists report, they rely on what they learned in school and what established experts, who are almost always liberal, tell them is right. Examples of the bias that results are almost too numerous to mention.
I wrote an entire book on the onslaught that greeted Sarah Palin when John McCain named her the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008. The treatment of the Koch brothers has also been ridiculously one-sided. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation was run through a meat-grinder just last week. But the appropriate response is not to gripe. The appropriate response is to fight back, to turn the table, to flip the method so that the right covers the left the way the left covers the right. Which is where the WFB comes in.
Yesterday President Obama’s spokesman made the remark that workers leaving the job market was a “positive” thing. Why isn’t that front-page news like Romney’s “very poor” comment?
Good question. Why is it okay for Obama to support his Super PAC “reluctantly” when we are told that Republicans are shredding the fabric of American democracy when they support theirs? Why was George W. Bush a “war criminal” for detaining terrorists at the prison in Guantanamo Bay when we are told Obama is a reluctant warrior who’d rather not continue his predecessor’s counterterrorism policies? We all know the answer. The WFB is trying to do something about it.
With the Free Beacon, are you giving up hope on mainstream media outlets?
We gave up hope long ago.