That's a fine way to treat a former business partner!
After days of being silent about the goings-on at the Washington Times -- depsite immediately reporting on the demise of a publisher of "homosexual newspapers" -- a Nov. 20 WND article cites "reputable sources within the paper" to claim that the Times "is set to lay off much of its editorial and production staff."
But then, shockingly, WND starts hammering the Times:
- It points out that it "reportedly has lost billions of dollars in its 27-year history."
- It reported that paper founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon in 2002 "told an assembly he was the messiah and the Second Coming of Christ, charged with fulfilling Jesus' unfinished mission," adding that he said at the occasion of the Times' 20th anniversary, "The Washington Times will become the instrument in spreading the truth about God to the world."
- It noted that now-ousted editor John Solomon last year "announced it would stop using terms such as 'illegal aliens' and 'homosexual,' complying with the same standards of political correctness found at most other daily news organizations."
- It references editorial page editor Richard Miniter's discrimination lawsuit against the paper, noting that "Miniter says he was 'coerced' into attending a Unification Church religious ceremony in which a mass wedding was conducted by Moon."
WND has had a previous business relationship with the Times and related publications, as we've detailed, including a content-sharing agreement with now-defunct newsmagazine Insight and the appearance of Joseph Farah's column in the Times' weekly national edition. WND columnist Les Kinsolving even defended the paper by asserting "the fact that the Washington Times was founded by ex-convict and cult leader Sun Myung Moon should not detract from the fact that this daily newspaper has become one of this nation's most influential, and on Capitol Hill, most widely read daily newspapers." Farah did at one point work up the courage to bite the hand that feeds him by criticizing Moon's "coronation ceremony" in a Senate office building. But that was an anomaly until now.
WND's tone here is much different from a May 2007 article fawning over the Times on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, calling it "the major alternative to the mainstream Washington Post, and under the leadership of Wedley [sic: Wesley] Pruden, editor-in-chief, and Managing Editor Francis Coombs, pursues the news of the day with high journalistic standards." No mention of its money pit status or Moon's wackiness.
Despite the broadsides apparently aimed at Solomon's leadership -- after all, "illegal alien" and "homosexual" are still crucial parts of the WND stylebook, though Farah has yet to explain why -- WND is still protective in the Nov. 20 article. At no point does WND describe the Times' political leanings as conservative (it didn't mention it in 2007, either), nor does it mention the Confederacy-revering, white-supremacist-leaning ties of Pruden and Coombs (not to mention Robert Stacy McCain).