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The Washington Times

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The Washington Times is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.. It was founded in 1982 as a conservative alternative to the Washington Post by members of the Unification Church.

Reporter Bill Gertz[?] is famed for producing a number of scoops based on sources in the American intelligence community.

The Washington Times Corporation also publishes the New York Noticias Del Mundo[?], the weekly Insight newsmagazine[?], and the monthly World&I[?]. Insight provided additional funding to Paula Jones[?]' sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton, allowing the suit to continue after her own funding ran out.

The Times has a circulation of approximately 100,000 a day, versus about 700,000 for the Washington Post.

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Relationship to the Unification Church

The Unification Church calls Rev. Sun Myung Moon the "founder" of the Times:

"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." [1] (http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/sunmyungmoon97/sm970617.htm)

However, the Unification Church has been willing to run the paper at a loss to provide a political voice. 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.

Despite being owned by the Unification Church, it claims to be independent of the Church, and claims not to propagate the Church's teachings directly. (Compare Christian Science Monitor.) The Times is in favor of many topics other Christian conservative organizations support, including religious freedom for Christians worldwide and a dislike of government interference in private life. The Times states that it does not proselytize directly for the Unification Church.

Editorial independence

Several critics have claimed that the Times is little better than a mouthpiece for the Unification Church, noting that the paper's op-ed pages are often sympathetic to Unification movement concerns. The paper's first publisher, James Whelan, resigned rather than do what he termed knuckling under to church interference with his operation of the paper.

Sometimes, also, 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 opposes the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

External Links

General links

Third-party accounts of Washington Times reportage

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