Tony Snow's previous media credential
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon after being crowned King and Queen of Peace at a reception in a U.S. Senate office building in Washington DC in 2004.
Oh yeah, Tony Snow, the new White House Press Secretary, has great media credentials -- he's a TV commentator for Fox News Channel. The New York Times expresseth it this way:
Mr. Snow is the host of "The Tony Snow Show" on radio and "Weekend Live with Tony Snow" on the Fox News Channel; he also had been the host of "Fox News Sunday," one of the five major Sunday morning public affairs programs. Before that, he was a columnist at USA Today and the editorial page editor of The Washington Times.
Okay, well, the entire mainstreamedia and blogosphere are fixated on the Fox News "credential." The astonishing thing is that most mainstreamedia accounts accept this as a credential -- The NY Times quotes Bush campaign media cheese Mark McKinnon:
"Yeah, he's a conservative commentator journalist; that makes sense if he's reflecting a conservative president," said Mark McKinnon, the president's campaign media consultant.
But, citing Mr. Snow's critical columns, Mr. McKinnon said: "Tony has huge street cred. It gives him credibility, and that's the most important thing for a press secretary."
Tony Snow has huge street cred.
What street can he possibly be referring to?
Snow began his meteoric rise to the top of the conservative media clusterfuck as a paid political text distorter for the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, savior (literally -- from time to time the Unification Church suggests Moon is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ), ex-con (US federal tax rap), and founder and leader of The Moonies.
Here's Wikipedia, the do-it-yourself encyclopedia where anyone can take a whack at improving the accuracy of any potentially controversial article.
This is where Tony Snow flowered as a journalist.
We'll start with News World Communications, owner of The Washington Times and the wheezing, last-gasping remnant of the once-proud United Press International wire service.
Vleeptron is running these things as stet as we can, but forgive us if we go a little funny with the colors and boldfacing and occasional lapses into Second-Coming font.
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
News World Communications, Inc. is a media corporation owned by the Unification Church, which is run by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. News World owns The Washington Times, a newspaper Moon began publishing in 1982. Reportedly the paper has lost
though it is widely believed that Moon has funded it at a loss to provide a political voice for the conservative right and the Church. Moon declared:
"The Washington Times will become the instrument
in spreading the truth about God to the world." .
in spreading the truth about God to the world." .
News World also owns Insight Magazine, The World and I magazine, Middle East Times, Tiempos del Mundo, Segye Ilbo, Sekai Nippo, Zambezi Times, and United Press International.
* Chairman and President, News World Communications
and United: Chung Hwan Kwak
* VP and CFO: Keith Cooperrider
* Director Marketing, The Washington Times: Tom McDevitt
* Who Owns What: News World Communications, Inc. -- Columbia Journalism Review
* This page was last modified 18:03, 23 April 2006.
* All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
Chung Hwan Kwak (born 1936) is the leader of several key organizations of the Unification Movement and has been described as "Rev. Moon's right hand man."
Educated in his native South Korea, he holds a B.A. in law from Sangji University and an M.A. in western philosophy from Kun Kook University Graduate School. He received an honorary Ph.D. in humanities in 1986 from the University of Baguio, the Philippines.
* Professors World Peace Academy - chairman of the board
* International Cultural Foundation - chairman of the board
* HSA-UWC World Missions - executive director
* World Cultural and Sports Festival - organizing chairman
* Unification Foundation of Korea
* International Religious Foundation
* Paragon House Publishers
* HSA-UWC of Korea
* International Religious Federation for World Peace
* International Relief and Friendship Foundation
* News World Communications
* whole purpose
* Divine Principle
The Washington Times  is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. On Sundays its masthead reads The Sunday Times, a nod to The Sunday Times of London. The paper also calls itself America's Newspaper.
As of March 31, 2005, the Times had an average daily circulation of 103,017, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. This is dwarfed by the 751,871 held by the Washington Post, although its readership grew nearly 3% in 2004, while the Post's dropped 2.7%.
The Times was founded in 1982 by Reverend Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (Unification Church), to be a conservative alternative to the larger and mainstream Washington Post. To this day, it is widely perceived as maintaining a right-leaning editorial stance. By 2002, the Unification Church had spent about $1.7 billion in subsidies for the Times. .
Throughout its existence the Times has portrayed itself as being in a challenging rivalry with the Post. In truth, most established journalists  (apart from conservative columnists) do not view the Times positively and would not wish to work there in light of its ownership, underlying religious posture (see below), and potentially negative impact on a journalist's career. Nonetheless, committed American conservatives have greatly welcomed the publication as an alternative to main stream news that many conservatives find distasteful.
The Times was founded the year after the Washington Star, the previous second paper of D.C. went out of business. Without the Times there would be no "second paper" in Washington, so the daily is able to position itself as an underdog competing for attention and respect with a more prestigious and established rival. In many ways that has been a one-sided affair, with the Post seeing itself as competing with the New York Times, and preferring to ignore the cross-town broadsheet. Each day on page 2 the Washington Times prints a list of all its front page headlines side by side with those of the Post, to let readers compare what stories each paper is emphasizing and how. Some see the Times' coverage of local politics in particular as stronger than the Post's; even Post veteran Ben Bradlee has said "I see them get some local stories that I think the Post doesn’t have and should have had."
When the Times began, it was unusual among American broadsheets in publishing a full color front page, along with full color front pages in all its sections, and color elements throughout. USA Today pioneered this approach to an even greater degree. It took several years for the Washington Post, New York Times, and others to follow suit. The Times originally published its editorials and opinion columns in a physically separate Commentary section, rather than at the end of its front news section as is common practice in U.S. newspapers. It ran television commercials highlighting this fact. Later, this practice was abandoned, (except on Sundays, when many other newspapers, including the Post, also do it). The Washington Times also used ink that it advertised as being less likely to come off on the reader's hands than the Post's.
Editorially, The Times is politically conservative. For example, it almost always supports Republican candidates when making political endorsements. Some have cited it along with the Fox News Channel and talk radio as epitomizing the "conservative media".    
Many conservatives, particularly inside the Beltway, are very grateful to the Times. Paul Weyrich has praised the Washington Times as an "antidote" to its "liberal competitor": "The Washington Post became very arrogant and they just decided that they would determine what was news and what wasn't news and they wouldn't cover a lot of things that went on. And the Washington Times has forced the Post to cover a lot of things that they wouldn't cover if the Times wasn't in existence."  The Times was also President Ronald Reagan's preferred newspaper.
Others tend to be much less enthusiastic. Salon.com (, ) and The Daily Howler (examples: , , , ) have published scathing analyses of what they say are serious factual errors and examples of bias in the paper's news coverage. Conservative turned liberal writer David Brock, who worked for the Times' sister publication Insight, said [in] his book Blinded by the Right that the news writers at the Times were encouraged and rewarded for giving news stories a conservative slant. In Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy Brock wrote "the [Washington Times] was governed by a calculatedly unfair political bias and that its journalistic ethics were close to nil." 
The paper has attracted occasional controversy over its coverage of racially sensitive matters. Editor Robert Stacy McCain has drawn fire from gay activist Michelangelo Signorile and the Southern Poverty Law Center for his criticism of Abraham Lincoln and apparent sympathies toward the Confederacy in the Civil War. Award-winning Times columnist Samuel Francis was fired by editor-in-chief Wesley Pruden after speaking at a conference hosted by American Renaissance, a "pro-white" group, essentially ending his mainstream journalistic career.
Relationship to the Unification Church
The Times is the flagship publication of News World Communications, Inc. (NWC). NWC was founded by the Rev. Moon, and some of its officials are members of the Unification Church he leads, a fact that has drawn some criticism and controversy. NWC published Insight Magazine and The World & I until they were closed in 2004, and continues to publish the The Washington Times National Weekly Edition (a tabloid compilation, designed for subscribers outside the metropolitan area, of the previous week's published Washington Times stories). NWC also owns UPI.
NWC is described by the Columbia Journalism Review as "the media arm of Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church" . The Unification Church calls Moon the "founder" of the Times. In 1997, on the 15th anniversary of the founding of the paper, Rev. Moon gave an address to staff members that began:
Fifteen years ago, when the world was adrift on the stormy waves of the Cold War, I established The Washington Times to fulfill God's desperate desire to save this world. Since that time, I have devoted myself to raising up The Washington Times, hoping that this blessed land of America would fulfill its world-wide mission to build a Heavenly nation. Meanwhile, I waged a lonely struggle, facing enormous obstacles and scorn as I dedicated my whole heart and energy to enable The Washington Times to grow as a righteous and responsible journalistic institution.
The Unification Church has been willing to run the paper at a loss to provide a political voice for the conservative right. In 2003, The New Yorker reported that a billion dollars had been spent since the paper's inception, as Rev Moon himself had noted in a 1991 speech ("Literally nine hundred million to one billion dollars has been spent to activate and run the Washington Times"). In 2002, Columbia Journalism Review suggested Moon had sunk nearly $2 billion into the Times. Ads fill an average of 35% of the Times' pages, compared to an industry average of 50-60%.
Critics of the Unification Church claim that operation of the Times is part of an attempt by the Unification Church to gain political influence in Washington, D.C.; to back up this claim, they also refer to the purchase of the UPI newswire service by the Church in 2001 -- a move that gives the Unification Church a press seat on Air Force One.
[VLEEPTRON EXTRA: Helen Thomas, the longest-serving reporter in The White House Press Corps, resigned from UPI the day it was sold to News World. She now works for Hearst Newspapers. She asks the toughest questions and doth not suffer fooles gladly.]
Several critics have claimed that the Times is little better than a mouthpiece for the Unification Church, its owner, noting that the paper's op-ed pages are often sympathetic to Unification movement concerns. Times critics such as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting assert significant influence by the Church on the paper and give the Church significant credit (or blame) for the Times' actions. 
In 2002, during the 20th anniversary party for the Times, Rev. Moon declared:
"The Washington Times will become the instrument in spreading the truth about God to the world.".
Moon has also claimed to have direct influence on the Republican Party through his funding of the newspaper. The paper's first editor-in-chief, James Whelan, said that he resigned rather than accepting what he saw as church interference with his operation of the paper. "I have blood on my hands," he declared. The paper's current editor says Whelan was fired because he was difficult to work with and other staffers were threatening to quit because of this.
Washington Times editors firmly deny any Church influence on their news coverage and editorial policy, or that they have any interest in proselytizing directly for the Unification Church. (Compare the Christian Science Monitor.) According to Wesley Pruden, the current editor-in-chief, the paper's editorial independence is guaranteed by a contract between him and the owners, and no editor in chief has been a member of the Unification Church. He estimated that no more than ten of the editorial staff of 230 are members of the Unification Church.
Many of the positions taken by the Times are those that other Christian conservative organizations support, including religious freedom for Christians worldwide, discouraging the formation of gay families, and the prosecution of pornography and other violations of conservative values. Sometimes, however, the paper has been at odds with the church's position. For example, on March 3, 2003, the lead editorial declared:
"The time has come for the president to publicly declare that it is the decision of the United States government to lead an invasion of Iraq with the intent to change the regime."
Members and observers of the Unification Church note that this is counter to the official church position, which opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The Washington Times
30 June 2004
by Jon Ward, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Religious leaders affiliated with the Unification Church yesterday defended the Rev. Sun Myung Moon against media criticism of a ceremony honoring him in a Senate office building meeting room three months ago.
More than a dozen Christian, Jewish and Muslim figures -- including Rev. Moon's North American representative, Chang Shik Yang -- held a press conference at the National Press Club to dispute assertions of several legislators who attended the dinner and ceremony that they did not know Rev. Moon would be the main honoree.
Several of the religious figures further defended Rev. Moon's use of the term "Messiah" to describe himself. They said he should be judged based on his efforts to promote peace.
"The term 'Messiah' is relative," said the Rev. George A. Stallings, the archbishop of the Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation in the District. "It depends on your particular religious persuasion. Ultimately, we must judge Reverend Moon not by what he says but by what he does."
The Rev. Michael Jenkins, co-chairman of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace, a Unification Church affiliate, was one of several speakers who compared Rev. Moon to Martin Luther King, Mohandas K. Gandhi and Jesus Christ. He said Rev. Moon has not claimed to be God.
The Washington Post and the New York Times, among other newspapers, reported last week that several legislators who attended the March 23 ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building had attempted to distance themselves from the event, saying they were not told that Rev. Moon would be there or that he would be the main honoree. (The Washington Times identified the congressmen in an account of the dinner on March 24.)
About 300 people attended the dinner and ceremony, which recognized men and women from 50 states for their efforts to promote peace.
At that ceremony, Rep. Danny K. Davis, Illinois Democrat, carried a crown for Rev. Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han Moon, as "King and Queen of Peace" to commemorate their efforts to promote interfaith cooperation and reconciliation. In his speech, Rev. Moon proclaimed himself to be "humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."
Archbishop Stallings offered his explanation of those remarks yesterday.
"He does not mean 'Messiah' in the context that a traditional Christian means Messiah," he said. "He is not God. He is the Messiah, namely, the one who has been given the mission by Jesus to bring the world to restoration, to return it to God's original ideals for men and women."
Other legislators at the ceremony were Sens. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, and Mark Dayton, Minnesota Democrat; Reps. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, Christopher B. Cannon of Utah and Roscoe G. Bartlett of Maryland, all Republicans, and Sanford D. Bishop Jr. of Georgia and Harold E. Ford Jr. of Tennessee, both Democrats.
Mr. Dayton's spokeswoman told The Washington Post last week that the senator attended to honor one of his constituents who was receiving an award and that Mr. Dayton was "duped" into attending. The New York Times quoted Mr. Bartlett as saying: "I remember the king and queen thing. But we have a king and queen of the prom, the king and queen of 4-H, the Mardi Gras and all sorts of other things. I had no idea what he was king of."
Archbishop Stallings said yesterday he did not know who sponsored the dinner. Any group seeking to hold an event in the Dirksen building must have a Senate sponsor; the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which approves such requests, has not disclosed which senator sponsored the event.
"That is not our responsibility to respond to that question," the archbishop said. "Read my lips: We do not know."
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