from consortiumnews.com: The death of Rev. Sun Myung Moon at 92 ends the long personal saga of a Korean theocrat whose life intertwined his bizarre religion with threads into organized crime and right-wing politics. Moon also showed how a fortune spent on media could change Washington’s political dynamic, as Robert Parry wrote in 2010.
(Published on May 1, 2010)
As an investigative journalist, I’m not much for catchy political metaphors, but the revelation that snakes and rodents are infesting the Washington Times building as the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s newspaper sinks into a financial swamp does have some poetic justice about it.
After all, for several decades, the right-wing Washington Times has sent disinformation slithering through the U.S. political system while creating a nest for propagandists who have befouled American democracy with irrationality and dirty tricks. Indeed, one could say that Moon’s newspaper pioneered the modern style of deceptive “journalism” that is the daily fare on Fox News, angry talk radio and right-wing blogs. The immediate cause of the Washington Times’ financial plight was the bitter succession fight among children of the aging Unification Church founder who was no longer capable of maintaining personal control over his global religious-political-business empire.
That empire had split into competing factions, with one of Moon’s children, Justin Moon, who was in charge of the Asian operations, deciding to slash the church’s massive subsidy to the Washington Times headed by another son, Preston Moon. Staffers who have survived a series of draconian layoffs reported that snakes and mice had slipped into the newspaper’s building because the owners couldn’t afford exterminators to combat the infestations. It has long been amazing that Official Washington has been so blasé about the curious case of the Washington Times, where a Korean theocrat – known for brainwashing his followers and for maintaining close ties with international drug cartels and foreign intelligence agencies – has been allowed to spend billions of unregulated dollars to influence U.S. political decision-making.
The fact that Moon wrapped himself in “conservative” political garb – and was quick to denounce any investigations of his organization as “religious bigotry” – helped fend off inquiries into exactly where his money was coming from.
But what proved most important was how Moon made himself useful to Ronald Reagan, the Bush Family and other Republican heavy-hitters – often by putting into play propaganda smearing their political enemies.