October 4, 2004


Moonies knee-deep in faith-based funds: Pushing celibacy, marriage counseling under Bush plan (Don Lattin, October 3, 2004, SF Chronicle)

President Bush has some new troops in his crusade to promote "healthy marriage" and teen celibacy with federal funds -- followers of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the controversial Korean evangelist and self-proclaimed new world messiah.

At least four longtime operatives of Moon's Unification Church are on the federal payroll or getting government grants in the administration's Healthy Marriage Initiative and other "faith-based" programs.

It's not as if the GOP could ever repay the Reverend Moon for the Washington Times, which was the Fox News of the 80s.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 4, 2004 11:14 AM

Funny you mention the Wash Times. I was doing a mental riff on them this morning. Being a local, I was walking to work and passed the WaTimes and the WaPost side by side kiosks, as I do every day.

The Times headline today is “US, Iraqi Troops Stand Tall in Samarra”. The Post has a number of smaller headlines, all campaign except “As Afghan Vote Nears, Taliban Isn’t the Only Worry.”

Both these front pages tell the truth. Neither one lies. But look at how they look at the world. In a conflict that could determine the fate of civilization itself as we know it, look at these two, both truthful, front pages. And which one represents the overwhelming outlook of 90% of the press in Europe and North America.

I am wondering if, 50 years from now, if we will look back upon some events of today that go catastrophic beyond imagining, a distinct possibility. And I wonder if the press will not hold “a share” of the blame…. They will in large part be the direct reason for it.

And they will all go to bed smug in their righteousness, yesterday, tonight, and tomorrow, no matter what happens, as Dan Rather will this evening.

God, it makes me want to deck some people.

Posted by: Andrew X at October 4, 2004 12:11 PM

I'm very touched by Andrew X's comments. This is something I think about often, seeing the reality of the power of the media accelerating in proportion to the downward spiral of the last 30 years in our education system as well as in our moral considerations. If the great majority of us are not taught how to think analytically, and at the same time are accustomed to simply absorbing this kind of pompous moral neutrality with which so much of the media views events, what will become of plain old discernment?

Oh yea, I'd like to deck a few myself. I do believe the press will be directly responsible for some terrible things that may happen (including the election of JK). Who knows what history will show. The worst part is feeling completely helpless in changing the direction of things. Smugness wins out. It's a hard reality to swallow.

Posted by: D. L. Meadows at October 4, 2004 5:22 PM

Hey, cheer up.

The reality of modern America isn't an express train to Hades.

Sure, the average kid today isn't as well educated as she was in the 50s, but until the 20th century, the average American wasn't a high school graduate, many only had a primary education, and a huge percentage couldn't read.
Yet, they built the US into a world power and an economic powerhouse.

The media as a whole might be biased towards certain positions, but that's been true during 3/4ths of American history. The Revolutionary pamphleteers certainly weren't objective, or even truthful, in many cases.
"Yellow journalism", right ?

There are, and always have been, conservative newspapers, there's talk radio, now FOXNews, and of course, the blogs.

Yesterday there was a post about how a couple of British authors believe that America will have a political climate favorable to conservatism for decades to come, and Orrin certainly believes that to be true, 'The Coming Democratic Dominance' notwithstanding.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 4, 2004 7:26 PM

We were a powerhouse long before we started wasting our time trying to teach the ineducable.

Posted by: oj at October 4, 2004 7:40 PM

Thanks, Michael Herdegen. Good points, although I still believe it's a unique time in which we live, due mainly to the changing of the age from 'Industrial' to 'Information'. Forces such as the media now have an influence unmatched in history. But we will see, and we have to hope for the best. It could happen that way.

Posted by: D. L. Meadows at October 5, 2004 12:33 PM

Orrin disbelieves in analysis, D.L.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 5, 2004 4:18 PM