The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church and King of Peace, owns the Washington Times, along with the UPI wire service, the New Yorker Hotel, a gun manufacturer, a large segment of the American sushi industry, and a couple members of congress.
Moon has always treasured the attention of American politicians, and he spent a lot of the '80s sucking up to Republicans. The Times was kinda like his New York Post, only if Rupert Murdoch literally thought he was Jesus.
But now, Moon is very old. And so he is handing over various bits of his church and his businesses to his many children. Apparently, a war between Moon's Harvard-educated sons Hyung-jin Moon (whom Moon appointed to run the church) and Hyun-jin "Preston" Moon (who controls the Times) led to Preston firing a bunch of Times executives (including the publisher) last Sunday, because they refused to back him in his fight with his brother.
The paper loses millions of dollars a year, but Moon never minded, as long as it fought communism and homosexuality in American society. But now Moon seems to think that maybe it is not serving its purpose:
That vision is of, among other things, an assertively right-wing newspaper that would stand up for family values — and remarks made in September by Rev. Moon, known simply as "Father" to church members, shows he thought the paper wasn't living up to its brief.
"The Washington Times has to take responsibility for people going to hell in America," he declared, referring to, among other sins, "homosexuality and lesbianism." And yet, at the same event at the church's East Garden estate in Westchester County, NY, Rev. Moon appeared to come back to his belief that the newspaper was a worthwhile endeavor.
The sermon, titled "Western People Are Different From Eastern People," is not entirely coherent. At one point Rev. Moon boasted that he is the "original ancestor" of the Times, asking "Did the CIA help with making the Washington Times? Did George Bush help with making the Washington Times?"
Times employees have no idea what is going on. There were armed guards at the offices the day the firings happened. The editor is expected to be fired any minute now. And soon there might not be a money-losing ultra-conservative crazy-person second daily newspaper in America's Capital, which would be a real shame.