Wednesday, June 14, 2006


"When I moved to Washington DC, I hadn't known I was signing up for a movement, a well-financed, tightly run political machine intensely devoted to enacting a rigid ideological orthodoxy in the political realm. I knew nothing of the movement's history: its roots in GOP Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist witch-hunts of the 1950s; its takeover of the Republican Party in Senator Barry Goldwater's losing bid for the presidency in 1964; its exploitation of racial fears and cultural divisions in Richard Nixon's victories; and the installation of one of its own into the presidency, Ronald Reagan, by fusing its secular anti-Communist, anti liberal wing with a burgeoning fundamentalist religious wing. Had I been drawn to liberalism, rather than conservatism, I would have found no self-identified, hardwired "liberal movement" in the 1980s; indeed, the right would prove to be far more rigidly doctrinaire than the PC crowd that had so offended me in Berkeley. Yet having been embraced by the conservative campus underground at Berkeley, I settled in among these clannish political renegades without reservation." —David Brock, Blinded By The Right, pp. 21-21

PS: Photo is by yours truly. It's from a series I took around town called Looking Up In Spokane.


We've got a local columnist here in Spokane who dotes on the Washington Times (his blog links to it) and who is also a fundamentalist Christian. When I point out how badly Moon and his newspaper treat journalistic standards, he just shrugs. So much for religious fundamentalism and journalistic integrity.

David Brock worked for the Times in addition to being deeply inside the conservative and Christian Washington establishment. In the following two paragraphs, read how much conservative fundamentalists like our local boy are willing to shrug off. And our local man claims to be a Christian which in my mind equates to being an hypocrite.

[OPEN QUOTE] In theory, the [Washington] Times was supposed to be no more conservative than other newspapers were liberal: its political point of view would be confined to the editorial pages, while the news columns would be fair, balanced, and objective. In practice, the Times was closer to a European-style newspaper, where one political stance or another openly infuses the entire publication, than it was to the conventions of American journalism. Though the conservative movement operated outside the Republican Party while seeking influence within it, in the Reagan era, the movement's agenda—and therefore that of the Times—was pretty much Reagan's: militant anti-Communism, tax cuts to benefit corporations and the rich, dismantlement of affirmative action and social welfare programs, deregulation, and union-busting. In high school, at the RFK Foundation, and at Berkeley, the crusading style of journalism was one that I had emulated; I had taken no journalism courses in college that would have shown me another way.

Moon unabashedly mixed politics and journalism. While publishing the [Washington] Times, he also directed the American Freedom Coalition, a pro-Reagan, grassroots political lobby. When Congress cut off aid to the Nicaraguan counterrevolutionaries or contras, Arnaud [de Borchgrave, editor in chief at the Washington Times] wrote an editorial announcing a Times fund-raising drive for a Nicaraguan Freedom Fund, endowed with a $100,000 check from Bo Hi Pak. To the horror of many in the newsroom, Arnaud insisted on splashing the editorial across the front page. Arnaud's action came two months after Reagan aide Oliver North had drafted a secret memo calling for the establishment of such a fund. Four editors quit the paper, accusing Arnaud of ordering changes in an editorial on South Korea after he discussed the subject with one of the owners, violating guarantees of editorial independence for the news department. Wire service copy was doctored in stories dealing with the Rev's [Moon's] felony conviction for tax evasion. And there were endless controversies and resignations over what became known as "Prudenizing" news copy—slanting it in a conservative direction. In this culture, I cut my reporter's teeth. [CLOSE QUOTE] by David Brock in Blinded By The Right, pp. 24-25.

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