Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where are the moonies? Read the Washington Times

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Rev. Moon Exemplifies Right Wing GOP Subsidy of Big Media to Frame Message

Created 03/29/2009 - 9:59am


By Mark Karlin

Rev. Moon has adopted a relatively low-profile in recent years (if you don't count his bizarre "coronation" by elected officials in a Capitol Hill House of Representatives meeting room a couple years back), but that hasn't prevented the weird religious leader (and close ally of the Bush family) from pouring an estimated 1 - 2.5 billion dollars into subsidizing the Washington Times since 1982.

In 2002, Rev. Moon pronounced "The Washington Times will become the instrument in spreading the truth about God to the world." But the reality is that the Washington Times -- like the New York Post and Weekly Standard for Rupert Murdoch -- are investments in obtaining financial regulatory and other favors from Republican administrations in return for helping frame and market the GOP talking points of tax cuts, cultural wars, and Wall Street gambling.

The Washington Times has only about 100,000 subscribers, but its newsboxes are next to the Washington Post throughout D.C., allowing it to appear as an equal -- and to have its banner headlines seen by tens of thousands of D.C. "influencers" every day. Then, it also gives a byline and title for its writers to appear as D.C. pundits on television (just as Bill Kristol is identified as editor of the chronically money losing "Weekly Standard" during his ubiquitous "pundit" appearances on the tube) -- as well as all television reporters need to quote it to provide "balance."

In short, Moon, in essence, shells out hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to use the Washington Times as a public relations vehicle for "framing" the GOP perspective. The Washington Times doesn't have the incendiary flamboyant impact of Rush Limbaugh, but it has played a vital role in moving the "frame" of what is considered "centrist" in the U.S. among D.C. insiders way to the right.

Just last week (March 23), it was announced that the Washington Times is going to launch a radio program: [1]

The Washington Times is headed for radio. In a partnership announced Monday (March 23) with Talk Radio Network, the paper plans to launch later this spring a nationally syndicated, three-hour, morning-drive radio show (6 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET) aimed at showcasing the paper's investigative reporting and accountability journalism.

The move is part of the paper's strategy to transform itself into a multimedia, multiplatform news company. According to Nielsen Online, unique users of The Washington Times Web grew 39 percent in February, compared to a year ago.

"We believe this unique journalistic team, combined with radio’s ability to give the time and context needed to flesh out breaking stories, will make for a powerful winning combination in talk radio," said Mark Masters, CEO of Talk Radio Network. “Rather than commenting on yesterday’s news, this news show will have the capacity to make, break and drive the news cycle. Like 60 Minutes once did for TV, this show can do for radio. We are very excited and honored to embark in this partnership with The Washington Times investigative team

If you want a little insight into how the pieces of the right wing media echo chamber puzzle fit together, it is worth looking at some of the people under contract to Talk Radio Network: [2] Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Rusty Humphries, Monica Crowley, and Tammy Bruce. Bruce most recently made an infamous remark calling the Obamas trash, and Tammy Bruce managed to insult the entire nation of Canada a couple of weeks ago, resulting in an unprecedented Ottawa call for an apology from FOX "News."

Talk Radio Network, on its website, describes the new radio venture with the Washington Times this way:


Talk Radio Network and The Washington Times are partnering to create a nationally syndicated, morning-drive radio show with an innovative new format aimed at showcasing investigative reporting, accountability journalism and live reporting directly from the Times' newsroom inside the nation's capital. The Washington Times Morning Show is set to launch later this spring.

When you read the term "investigative reporting" applied to the Washington Times, think about the Clinton impeachment. To say the least, there was no investigating of the Bush Administration multiple illegalities going on by Rev. Moon's media empire, just cover-ups.

By the way, for a couple of billion dollars -- as the Washington Times tries to claim it doesn't let bias or partisanship get in the way of its "news" coverage -- Rev. Moon can indulge himself in launching a Washington Times blog [3] that is called, " Reinventing the Right."

Meanwhile, wealthy liberal Democrats don't buy up or create large media outlets; they just support efforts to criticize the corporate press and the likes of Rev. Moon. And the only other daily in D.C. is the pro-war Washington Post, which is the voice of the status quo self-appointed punditocracy. It's like a right leaning Democratic Leadership Council.

You can win elections, but you can't make dramatic change unless you own part of the major media.

Rev. Moon understands that. Why can't wealthy Democrats?

Or is it because many of the wealthiest Democrats really don't want a change in the distribution of wealth in this nation?

Good question.



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