Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Joseph Farah, owner of the WorldNetDaily, has a commentary today about the Reverend Moon that is filled with hypocritical statements. He begins by telling of his experience over a decade ago, being invited to a Moon event in South Korea and sitting on the stage behind Moon as he declared himself the Messiah. Farah writes:

Imagine my shock, as I read along in the translation to learn that Moon was saying that night that indeed he was the messiah. I was embarrassed to find myself sitting behind this man, perhaps, even, in some small way, lending credibility to his preposterous claims.

It was a lesson to me at the time on just how easy it is to be compromised.

And just how well did he learn that lesson? Not very well, it turns out. His actions since that event of a decade ago certainly don’t support the claim that he was in any way concerned about lending credibility to Moon’s activities “even in some small way”. Farah’s column appears in the Washington Times Weekly Edition, owned by Moon, every week, and the WND sells subscriptions to it (they may have just stopped doing so, the link is down but says nothing about it). The link on “shopnetdaily” that sold subscriptions included this glowing plug from Farah:

“If you want the perfect weekly print complement to WorldNetDaily, I strongly recommend the Washington Times Weekly, edited by my friend Robert Morton.”

Boy Joe, it sure sounds like you were looking out for anything that might “lend credibility to Moon’s activities” in some small way. What better way to show such concern than to pimp his publications on your website and give them a feverish plug as something your readers should subscribe to, insuring that he makes more money?

But it doesn’t stop there. Last year, WorldNetDaily began sharing content with Insight, another Moon-owned publication, and they also began selling subscriptions to that magazine through Shopnetdaily (and again, the link has suddenly disappeared for it). Farah himself even wrote an e-mail to all WND subscribers urging them to subscribe to Insight, calling Moon’s Insight editor “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.” And in a striking instance of “you scratch my back, I scratch yours”, Moon returned the favor by featuring an interview with Farah in Insight to promote his new book. That interview also calls attention to the fact that Farah was awarded “The Washington Times Foundation National Service Award” in 1996 – also well after the event that Farah alleges made him “embarrassed” to be part of anything that might be “even, in some small way, lending credibility to his preposterous claims.”

So basically, we’re left with a case of actions vs words. Which is more plausible, that Farah was genuinely embarrassed and mindful of doing anything that might lend credibility to Moon’s actions over a decade ago, yet continued to do all the things I listed above, or….that he has spent the last decade profiting from his business dealings with these businesses he knew were owned by Moon (he refers to the Washington Times as “Moon’s heavily subsidized daily newspaper”) and is trying to strike an implausible pose as the noble opposer of Moon’s madness now that the shit has hit the fan? The answer seems obvious to me.

And yes, Farah is posing as the man who finally broke the story about Moon’s coronation. He says:

I was reminded of this experience recently when my daily, nationally syndicated talk-radio show broke the news of Moon’s “crowning” achievement at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in March. Stories followed in Salon, the Washington Post and elsewhere.

Uh, no. You did not “break the news”. John Gorenfeld broke the news and dozens and dozens of bloggers followed suit to bring the issue to the attention of the media. Farah wasn’t even the first radio host to break the story, which appeared on Garafalo and Seder’s show on Air America radio on May 21st, over 3 weeks before Gorenfeld appeared on Farah’s show.

The bottom line is this: Farah is portraying himself as the noble savior, bravely battling the evil Reverend Moon since he found out over a decade ago that Moon falsely claimed to be the messiah and decided that it was important not to do anything that might lend credibility to Moon’s insanity. The truth is that Farah is not the one who broke the story, and that in the decade since he claims he was “embarrassed” and “learned his lesson” about dealing with Moon, he has been profiting from association with Moon’s publications and even accepted an award from one of them that he knew was owned by Moon. If that isn’t rank hypocrisy, I don’t know what would be.

Comments

  1. #1 Jon Rowe, Esq.
    July 13, 2004

    When I read this piece this morning, I immediately thought of you!

  2. #2 Ed Brayton
    July 13, 2004

    LOL. You just knew I wasn’t gonna let it pass without comment, didn’t you? When I read it, I thought, “Wow, that takes some serious chutzpah.”

  3. #3 K. Gordon Neufeld
    July 14, 2004

    You may not know that Insight magazine was recently shut down by the Moon organization, along with two other unprofitable publications. Of course the Washington Times itself is losing money, but presumably Moon will keep propping it up anyway. Farah certainly did not break the story of Moon’s coronation and I suppose we should just be pleased that he has bothered to cover it at all, considering that other media were even slower to discuss it. Farah is in a typical embarassing position shared by all arch-conservatives, which is that he has benefited directly or indirectly from Moon’s largesse and support of conservative publications, but he does not agree with Moon’s religious claims. Until the crowning made it too embarassing to ignore, the conservatives basically tried to look the other way whenever Moon went off the deep end. You may be interested to know that I am a former follower of Sun Myung Moon and am very familiar with his deceptive tactics. To find out more about what it’s like to be a “Moonie” for more than a decade, please read my book, Heartbreak and Rage: Ten Years Under Sun Myung Moon, a sample of which can be read by visiting my website, http://www.moonbook.com.

  4. #4 Ed Brayton
    July 15, 2004

    You may not know that Insight magazine was recently shut down by the Moon organization, along with two other unprofitable publications. Of course the Washington Times itself is losing money, but presumably Moon will keep propping it up anyway.

    No, I did not know that, but it explains why the subscription sales link on Worldnetdaily is now dead and it’s apparently not because Farah decided to get rid of it. Moon will certainly continue to prop up the Washington Times, as it is his major means of influencing policy in Washington.

    Farah certainly did not break the story of Moon’s coronation and I suppose we should just be pleased that he has bothered to cover it at all, considering that other media were even slower to discuss it. Farah is in a typical embarassing position shared by all arch-conservatives, which is that he has benefited directly or indirectly from Moon’s largesse and support of conservative publications, but he does not agree with Moon’s religious claims. Until the crowning made it too embarassing to ignore, the conservatives basically tried to look the other way whenever Moon went off the deep end.

    I agree with you. If Farah had come out and said, “Conservatives, including me, have for too long been looking the other way while accepting partnership with Moon-owned organizations and publications because of a shared viewpoint on political issues, but after the coronation it’s time to stop doing so”, I’d have no complaint about that. It’s honest, it admits to a mistake and indicates he has learned from it. But that’s not what he did. He chose to cast himself as the man on the white horse, bravely fighting against Moon after realizing, over a decade ago, how dangerous and deluded he was; that pose just does not agree with the facts and one wonders how he manages to write such drivel with a straight face. By claiming that he learned that lesson over a decade ago rather than learning it now, his profitable associations with Moon-owned businesses in the decade since that lesson allegedly took place become proof that he is a hypocrite at best and an outright liar at worst.

    You may be interested to know that I am a former follower of Sun Myung Moon and am very familiar with his deceptive tactics. To find out more about what it’s like to be a “Moonie” for more than a decade, please read my book, Heartbreak and Rage: Ten Years Under Sun Myung Moon, a sample of which can be read by visiting my website, “>http://www.moonbook.com.

    Yes, I already knew that. In fact, I’ve plugged your site before and linked to it. I hope some of my readers have taken the time to visit.

  5. #5 mark gibbs
    July 17, 2004

    Even after all these years, I still can’t see how Rev Moon still excites this sort of pitiful and trivial response from Americans. Personally I think the Washington is an excellent newspaper and has done more to help the nation than the Post or the New York Times…As far as I know no Christian groups or millionaire business subsidize it. So it all is down to Rev Moon. He’s not even American but he’s doing and paying for what we should be doing. I’ve never read in the Washington Times that we should kneel down before the Rev Moon. We ought to thank him for that, surely?

  6. #6 Ed Brayton
    July 17, 2004

    Even after all these years, I still can’t see how Rev Moon still excites this sort of pitiful and trivial response from Americans.

    Well let’s look at the toteboard – takes advantage of the weak and the fragile, runs a cult that has been responsible for ruining perhaps millions of lives, claims that every famous dead guy in history other than Milton Berle has endorsed him as the Messiah, has a fascist political ideology and has been furiously using the money he scams off the stupid to buy enormous political influence in the United States. You’re right, I can’t imagine why anyone would be at all bothered by him (/sarcasm)

    Personally I think the Washington is an excellent newspaper and has done more to help the nation than the Post or the New York Times

    Well since you don’t name any standard by which one could judge which newspaper had “done more to help the nation”, I will assume that you only means “their editorial stance is closer to my political views”. But I’ll name at least one rather obvious criteria that elevates the New York Times above the Washington Times on the subject of helping the nation – they were the newspaper that both published the Pentagon Papers and fought the case that established the most important press freedom legal decision in American history, NYT v Sullivan. What exactly has the Washington Times done to help the nation, other than that they agree with your views more often?

    As far as I know no Christian groups or millionaire business subsidize it. So it all is down to Rev Moon.

    Rev. Moon, by his own public admission, supports the Washington Times to the tune of about $200 million a year because it is a huge business loser. Isn’t that nice of him? He takes all that money he makes scamming the elderly and desperate in Japan and puts it into a newspaper to influence policymakers in America – what a guy!

    He’s not even American but he’s doing and paying for what we should be doing.

    Hmmmm. We should be establishing mind control cults and ripping people away from their families, making insane claims like having converted Hitler in the “spirit world” and declaring ourselves the Messiah? Sorry, I’ll pass.

    I’ve never read in the Washington Times that we should kneel down before the Rev Moon. We ought to thank him for that, surely?

    We should thank him for not telling us in his newspaper to kneel down before him? I’m afraid your standards for praise are a tad bit lower than mine.

  7. #7 K. Gordon Neufeld
    July 19, 2004

    Just from the phrasing and tone of Mark Gibbs’ remarks, he sounds like he either is or was a member of Moon’s Unification Church. His comment, “Personally I think the Washington [sic] is an excellent newspaper and has done more to help the nation than the Post or the New York Times,” is a typical example of Unificationist loaded language. Specifically, the phrase, “Help the nation,” to a Unificationist means “Get more people to think Reverend Moon’s way and to respect Moon.” This is, in fact, how Moon himself, in his speeches, always defines the reforms he believes the United States needs. When you boil it all down, Moon believes that the United States is in bad shape and can only be saved if all Americans do as Moon commands. Similarly, the sentences, “So it all is down to Rev Moon. He’s not even American but he’s doing and paying for what we should be doing,” are virtually lifted out of Moon’s speeches. This is always the claim Moon makes for himself when he addresses his own members: “You Americans should be doing this, but you’re too corrupt, so I have to do it.” And then Moon goes on and on about what great personal sacrifices he is making, and how he is staying up to all hours of the night [gambling in Las Vegas] to save America from itself. It sounds like Mr. Gibbs has attended these speeches personally in the past, and perhaps still does.

  8. #8 Lynn
    July 19, 2004

    I agree Mr Neufeld, I think Ed struck a nerve with Mr Gibbs. I hope Ed continues his articles exposing Moon.

  9. #9 Ed Brayton
    July 20, 2004

    I agree as well. My first thought when I read his comment was that he was likely a Moon follower. And I am definitely not going to stop writing on Moon.

  10. #10 webdems
    August 14, 2004

    Can someone point me to a link quoting Moon’s comments regarding his subsidy of Wash Times? I’m in an argument with an editor of a mid-sized newspaper who just doesn’t believe it’s true that the paper still needs subsidy. I need Moon’s own words or something authoritative.

    Thanks.

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