Internal spat pulls curtain back on Washington Times' troubles

The Washington Post/July 23, 2010

On July 16, an unsigned letter was posted on the What Is On The Moon blog titled "Regarding the Washington Times" attempted to lay blame for the Times' troubles.

The anonymous letter notes that the Times had been propped up for years by financial support from Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church:

For 28 years, UCI has been a dedicated supporter of the Washington Times with the gracious patronage of its founder, with a view to uphold the values of family, faith and freedom. The founder of the Washington Times has always believed and continues to believe that the Times has and will play a key role in America and the rest of the world as a promoter of God-centered American values centered upon spiritual and moral principles. As the founder continuously stated in every speech about his work in the United States, it has been a worthwhile endeavor whose value is hard to quantify solely in financial terms.

The letter goes on to blame the Times impending collapse or sale on Kook Jin Moon for cutting off financial support from the Church:

It has been over a year since the Unification Church, at the direction of Kook Jin (Justin) Moon, who manages and controls all donations from Japan, has stopped the financial support of the Washington Times and its sister publication, United Press International, in direct defiance to the founder's wishes to fully support them.

However, despite best efforts, on June 17, 2010, UCI had to inform the founder that without receiving financial support, that it would no longer be able to continue funding the Washington Times, which still continues to require monthly subsidies in the millions, and therefore a sale or closure would be imminent.

Of course, the letter did not come without response.

Six days after the initial post went up, the Unification Church's CEO and others signed a letter responding to the anonymous screed:

The letter begins by accusing Kook Jin Nim of cutting funding to the newspaper "in direct defiance to the founder's wishes." In fact enough funds were made available in August 2009 for UCI to support The Times operations for several months. However, contrary to expectations, most of those funds were not used for The Times operations. When objections were raised, UCI said it needed to set aside money for shut-down costs. These actions by UCI caused a loss of trust with investors and supporters, who discontinued further funding.

The entire back-and-fourth is well worth a look if only because it provides readers with a behind the scenes look at a right-wing media institution that has been propped up for decades with big bucks by a man who believes he is the returned son of god.

Media Matters' Eric Boehlert wrote more about the Times' demise in December:

You'd think that somebody with a direct line to the Almighty, and tapped by Jesus to save mankind on Earth, would be able to come up with a better business plan for running a daily newspaper. But, alas, after nearly three decades of unrelenting financial losses, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a federal tax cheat, accused cult leader, and founder of the Unification Church, has decided to pull out. Actually, according to news reports, it's more like Moon's U.S. college-educated sons, as part of an internal family power struggle, have decided to finally cut off the endless stream of Asian church cash that's kept The Washington Times afloat.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.