Thursday, April 24, 2008

Poisoning Young Minds: Miami University of Ohio Honors Discredited Former Moon Operative

bill sammon washington times examiner sun myung moon (Updated below)
In 2007, the student leadership program for my alma mater, Miami University hosted a lecture given by Bill Sammon, who had worked for Sun Myung Moon as an operative for The Washington Times (currently Sammon is employed by The Washington Examiner).

When Sammon was at the Moon's Times, he covered the 2000 presidential contest. It was during this campaign that Bob Somerby of media blog The Daily Howler uncovered two egregious cases of journalistic misconduct. First, Somerby uncovered Sammon's attempt to manufacture an Al Gore scandal that he dubbed "floodgate" (Eric Boehlert gave a succinct explanation of the phony scandal in Rolling Stone). After the election, Sammon wrote a book chronicling the Florida ballot controversy titled At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election. Somerby caught Sammon red-handed systematically distorting a Washington Post article in order to libel Gore (I summarized Sammon's libel and discussed its larger implications for the American Politics Journal).

I addressed the Washington Times in a broader context in my YouTube video "The World's Most Powerful Cult." Sammon and the Washington Times represents a mutant strain of pseudo-journalism that constitutes an assault on genuine journalism. Why was Sammon invited? My American Politics article and two of Somerby's articles detailing Sammon's misconduct (click here and here) turn up in the top ten sites for a A Google search of "Bill Sammon." Miami University students were ill-served by having someone of Sammon's ilk lecture them about leadership.

UPDATE: Miami University's has a friendly rivalry with another state university in Ohio: Ohio University (I also viewed it as the snobs (Miami) versus the slobs (Ohio University). As luck would have it, i just found out that Ohio University is rededicating the student radio and TV newsroom in honor of Fox News' chief operative Roger Ailes. As a poster on Democratic Underground noted, "What is next: the Leni Riefenstahl school of film?"

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