WND cuts business deals with the folks who run the Washington Times, conveniently forgetting where the Times' money comes from.
By Terry Krepel
It might be alarming to some, but it's really not that surprising: WorldNetDaily and News World Communications are forging closer ties.
News World Communications is the owner of the conservative Washington Times, the conservative Insight newsmagazine and the wire service United Press International (whose highest-profile client is NewsMax; former Washington Times and UPI editor Arnaud de Borchgrave sits on NewsMax's board of directors). News World is controlled by the Unification Church, headed by Sun Myung Moon, who used to be widely criticized as a cult leader before he started spreading his millions around conservative causes.
Late last year, WND announced a content-sharing agreement with Insight magazine, which has brought to WND stories like a slanted one on Jan. 26 that describes the so-called "dirty dozen terror caucus" in Congress, in which writer J. Michael Waller equates supporting the causes to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier with providing "active support to terrorist organizations."
With such a content-sharing link comes commerce, and that means you go through the WorldNetDaily store to subscribe to Insight. WND editor Joseph Farah himself penned an e-mail sent to WND's mailing list shilling the magazine. In it, he calls Insight editor Paul Rodriguez "one of my best friends in the business" and claims "Paul is like me -- an independent thinker who digs deep and hard for the facts and draws conclusions based on what he finds rather than on some ideological assumption." Despite the Moonie money behind the magazine, Farah also wants us to believe Insight "operates on a shoestring."
Insight, meanwhile, returned the logrolling favor with an "in-depth interview" (as it was described in another e-mail WND sent out) of Farah. Far from being "in-depth," the interview is quite softball and has no real purpose beyond promoting Farah's new book. How softball? Farah says things like, "Writing a book of this kind is what God put me here to do. This is what my whole life up to this point has prepared me to do." The interview also parrots the "independent news site" claim without question and fails to mention the business arrangement between WND and Insight (though it did note that Farah received something called the Washington Times Foundation National Service Award in 1996).
The WND store also sells subscriptions to the weekly edition of the Washington Times -- which coincidentally features a column by Farah, who contributes another blurb: "If you want the perfect weekly print complement to WorldNetDaily, I strongly recommend the Washington Times Weekly, edited by my friend Robert Morton."
The company that Farah and WND are doing business has spent years building its conservative credentials -- to the occasional detriment of journalism. Washington Times staffers have complained about their stories being rewritten to a conservative slant -- called "prudenizing" in honor of Wesley Pruden, the paper's editor. An April 2002 Insight story goes to great lengths to try to paint the urban-legend busters at Snopes.com as biased against conservatives; the site had dismissed as false an earlier Insight claim that Hillary Clinton "played a significant role in defending Black Panthers accused of torturing and murdering Alex Rackley," but nothing writer John Berlau offers as evidence to contradict Snopes here specifically supports the magazine's claim to the contrary.
Moon himself claims no journalistic intent. At a celebration of the Times' 20th anniversary last year, Moon said he established the newspaper "in response to heaven's direction" and that "The Washington Times is responsible to let the American people know about God." Moon and his associated other businesses have reportedly poured around $1.7 billion into the Times to keep it afloat since its founding; neither it nor Insight have never made a profit.
Such massive subsidizing of a conservative mouthpiece has allowed conservatives -- not to mention the millions doled out to Jerry Falwell and other prominent conservatives to aid or bail out their various causes -- to overlook where that money is coming from. Moon considers himself a divine being of a similar stature to God and Jesus. He also considers the life of Jesus a "failure" because he did not establish a church like Moon's before he died. (Contrast to the conservative outrage over Ramsey Clark's statement calling Jesus a terrorist.) Moon reportedly get his start in the divine-being business by performing sexual "purification" rites, i.e., having sex with lots of women. The accounts of mind-control techniques used by the Unification Church to recruit new members are numerous. The behavior of at least one of Moon's children is worthy of the Clara Harris solution Farah speaks so highly of. (Consortium News and MoonieWorld have even more on the Moon way of doing things.)
Why bring all this up? Because conservatives like Farah used to be bothered by this kind of behavior. And because WorldNetDaily, along with other conservatives, has made a point of detailing the socialist roots of International ANSWER, chief organizer of anti-war protests in the United States. As David Limbaugh wrote in a Feb. 18 WND column, "The insightful proverb, 'we shall be known by the company we keep' applies as fittingly to useful idiots as anyone else." The same should also apply to WorldNetDaily's business arrangements.