Rapture, Genocide and the Washington Times: Genocidal Moonie

By Michelangelo Signorile

New York Press

Volume 17, Issue 24 - June 16-22, 2004

The Washington (End Of) Times
Drudge and Sullivan give genocidal Moonie a pass.

Can you imagine the owners of the New York Times–or the Los Angeles Times or Cleveland’s Plain-Dealer–pining out loud for the mass extinction of an entire group of people? Let’s say they envisioned the incineration of all gays, claiming it was God’s plan and had their words posted on the web.

At the very least, sensation-stalker Matt Drudge would link to the comments immediately, rightly whipping it into a major story. His zeal for fomenting scandals involving liberals would certainly overpower his obsessive fear that people might think he’s gay just for defending gays. (As if the rest of the world still doesn’t know he’s gay, even after David Brock’s .... revelations and Jeanette Walls’ interviews with his former boyfriends.) Drudge’s openly gay compatriot, Andrew Sullivan, would no doubt take up the cause as well, attacking those nasty homophobe publishers on the left, railing on his web site about what hypocrites liberals are.

But if the paper in question is an influential conservative daily–one that pumps up both of these right-wing gasbags regularly, and one that publishes Sullivan’s work–then the rantings and ravings of its demagogic owner don’t seem to matter.

"There will be a purge on God’s orders, and evil will be eliminated like shadows," the Unification Church leader Rev. Sun Myong Moon, the owner and primary funder of money-losing right-wing Washington Times, said last week. (The comments were posted online by Rev. Moon’s webmaster and picked up by blogger John Gorenfeld.)

"Gays will be eliminated, the 3 Israels will unite. If not then they will be burned. We do not know what kind of world God will bring but this is what happens. It will be greater than the communist purge but at God’s orders."

This isn’t the first time this madman–who owns UPI as well–has thundered against gays and others. You may remember these ditties from the Moonie in chief, which I reported last year:

"America is the kingdom of extreme individualism, the kingdom of free sex… The country that represents Satan’s harvest is America."

"[Homosexuals and] those who go after free sex [are] less than animals."

"If you misuse your love organ, you destroy your life, your nation, your world."

"If you stay away from having children, you cannot enter the kingdom of God. You are bound to go to somewhere else—you can call it Hell."

These diatribes haven’t stopped Washington’s conservatives from getting in bed with Moon–whose goal is to create a global theocracy, a la Muslim fundamentalists–and elevating his and his paper’s stature in return for cold, hard cash for themselves and for their movement. George H.W. Bush took $100,000 from him in 1996 for a speaking engagement, praising the Washington Times as "a paper that in my view brings sanity to Washington, D.C." After Bush called Moon "the man with the vision," the reverend gave him $1 million for his presidential library.

Contrary to the claims of the paper’s defenders on the right, a former editor reported recently that Moon has much more involvement in the paper than he and his apologists lead people to believe. Last June, Moon, who believes he’s the "Messiah," launched a "special media training" for church leaders with the Times’ staff. The paper’s editorial page editor, former Newt Gingrich aide Tony Blankley–a man who tries to come off as a sane and reasoned, if staunchly conservative, individual, even though he works for a crackpot cultist–is all over the talk show circuit, an example of how much influence the Washington Times has beyond its relatively small circulation. On C-Span last week, Blankley referred to the Wall Street Journal as having the nation’s "other" influential conservative newspaper editorial page, clearly noting how seriously his paper is taken in the corridors of power.

It’s sleazy enough that a conservative would work for Moon and ignore his dark and dangerous agenda. But how on earth could a gay writer take a check from a man who can’t wait to see him thrown into an oven? Andrew Sullivan has reveled in his own idiotic claim that after 9/11 certain liberals, because they didn’t agree with George W. Bush’s policies, represented a "fifth column" supporting Osama bin Laden. Meanwhile, here he is, on the payroll of a guy who would like to see the mass extinction of his own people. Sullivan likes to think of himself as a gay rights activist–that’s actually how New York magazine described him recently–but he only seems to activate when the targets are liberals. Bill Clinton gets the Sullivan hatchet treatment for signing the Defense of Marriage Act, while the grossly homophobic Unification Church’s leader gets a weekly column from him in return for a few bucks to keep Sullivan’s increasingly lackluster and predictable web page afloat.

Equally duplicitous is the sexually circumspect Drudge, who draws credibility from the Washington Times’ numerous references and vice versa. He spent the better part of last week trying to frame liberals as belittling the Nazis and the Holocaust. For days he stoked a bogus story pushed by the Republican National Committee and the Wall Street Journal that claimed that the group MoveOn.org had created tv ads comparing Bush to Hitler. When the ads were gone from the group’s web site, the right-wingers claimed they had scored another victory, as when they got cowardly CBS to ban The Reagans.

In fact, the ads were not sponsored by MoveOn.org, but were entries in a contest the group sponsored, "Bush in 30 Seconds," in which participants created ads illustrating the Bush administration’s dismal failures. More than 1500 entries came in, including two ads comparing Bush to Hitler, and all were available on the site for viewing. Neither of the overwrought, tasteless Hitler ads did well with the members who voted, and neither creators progressed as finalists in the contest. (Celebrity judges will choose a winner from the finalists.) And that’s why they and the hundreds of others that didn’t make the cut were no longer available on the site–not because of any sort of pressure campaign.

Drudge and company were nonetheless successful in spinning their lies into the mainstream press, with the lazy Judy Woodruff and others at CNN only too willing to report the RNC’s talking points as objective news. Funny how Drudge blew up a fake story and expressed outrage about Bush being compared to a genocidal dictator, but then didn’t find it newsworthy to link to the comments of a powerful newspaper owner, cult leader and Bush family pal who is actually calling for genocide–of Drudge’s own kind, no less.

Maybe Moon had told Drudge and Sullivan that they’ll be spared on Judgment Day...

Michelangelo Signorile hosts a daily radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio, stream 149.
He can be reached at signorile.com.