[Note: This blog post is reprinted from the July 20, 2005 edition of Scoobie Davis Online]
I liked Michael Crowley's Slate article on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard with the exception of this line: "Comparable crackpots-in-chief like Lyndon LaRouche and Sun Myung Moon have had almost no detectable national influence."
John Gorenfeld has a succinct rejoinder to this sentence. Living in LA, I am somewhat irritated with all the attention here that Scientology has gotten compared to the Unification Church. While assuredly I have no brief for the Church of Scientology, it has little effect on the lives of Angelinos (or Americans in general, for that matter) who are not members.
On the other hand, Moon has enormous influence over the lives of every American. Pseudo-journalists who work for Moon's Washington Times such as Bill Sammon (scroll down to yesterday's post) are just one example. Some might scoff and point out that the Moonie Times is largely viewed as a joke by real journalists and it only has a circulation of about 100,000 (about one-eighth of its cross-town rival the Washington Post). However, as I and others such as David Brock have pointed out, The Washington Times is an integral component of the "Republican Noise Machine." Other right-wing media outlets give the Times' pseudo-journalism massive influence. A textbook example can be found here (scroll down to "Case Study Number Two: The Right-Wing Media Nexus").
The problem is not just Crowley, a senior editor at The New Republic, who should know better. It's a problem with the entire Washington press corps which is out of touch with the American people and does not give Moon the attention he deserves.