Keeping the lines straight

The Washington Free Beacon, a faux news site founded in 2012, is becoming a supplier to the National Senate Republican Committee of attacks on U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. The NSRC tries to soften Reid up until the GOP can find a candidate to run against him.

On March 5, for example, the NSRC sent out a 6:10 a.m. message to reporters claiming that Reid was allegedly supporting President Obama allegedly putting Iran “on a 10-year path to a nuclear weapon.” That mailing was sourced in part to a Beacon item.

Then, an hour and 56 minutes later, the NSRC sent out another mailing attacking Reid for allegedly providing federal monies to corporations that financially aided a green energy project that once had a couple of former Reid aides in its organizational structure. That item was also sourced to a Beacon item.

The Beacon was created as a 501(c)4 by a Republican group, the Center for American Freedom. While it occasionally targets Republicans, its main targets are Democrats. Last year, it created a short splash by recycling Hillary Clinton's handling—as an attorney—of a 1975 rape case.

Incidentally, to show how necessary sorting out front groups has become, shortly after the Beacon released its item about the green energy group and Reid, its accusations were seconded by an outfit called the National Legal and Policy Center, which is another 501(c)4 group that targets mostly Democrats and a few Republicans. SourceWatch has called it an “industry funded conservative political and policy lobbying organization.” SourceWatch was created to help sort out front groups.