Josh Marshall and his people over at TPM are all over this story, like the Bush twins on a six-pack. I'm surprised it hasn't shown up here yet. Or has it? If so, I'll delete.
Follow me below to the TPM headlines, for a taste:
In chronological order, here are the juicier parts:
Washington Times Executive Editor John Solomon Considering Options -- Including Resignation -- After Newsroom Shakeup
By Ben Frumin - November 9, 2009, 9:18AM
The Washington Times had a major shakeup in top management last night, with three executives leaving the company. TPM has also learned that Executive Editor John Solomon, hired in January... Read More »
Revolving Door: Wash Times White House Correspondent Is Latest To Leave
By Ben Frumin - November 9, 2009, 2:42PM
And the shakeup continues: Washington Times White House correspondent Jon Ward, who started at the paper in 2002, announced this afternoon he is leaving the newspaper. Ward, who started as... Read More »
Newsroom Sources: We Don't Expect Solomon To Return To Wash Times
By Ben Frumin - November 10, 2009, 11:44AM
It looks like the drama at the Washington Times isn't quite over yet. Newsroom sources tell TPM they aren't expecting executive editor John Solomon -- who hasn't been seen since... Read More »
Newsroom Sources: Beefed-Up Security At Wash Times
By Ben Frumin - November 10, 2009, 12:22PM
Things are looking bad at the Washington Times: TPM hears from current staffers in the newsroom there has been an increased security presence at the newspaper in recent days. On... Read More »
Is The Washington Times' Continued Operation In Jeopardy?
By Ben Frumin - November 11, 2009, 12:31PM
Things seem to be going from bad to worse at the Washington Times. And the continued operation of the newspaper, which is owned by Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church,... Read More »
Source: Rev. Moon Son Went Rogue In Ordering Wash Times Shakeup
By Justin Elliott - November 11, 2009, 3:21PM
Hyun-jin Preston Moon, the son of Unification Church leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon who controls the Washington Times, acted without his father's blessing in firing the top leadership of the... Read More »
Uncertainty Prevails In Wash Times Newsroom -- And Employees Told To Stop Talking To Press
By Ben Frumin - November 12, 2009, 11:56AM
With payday looming tomorrow morning, employees remain on edge at The Washington Times. There's even uncertainty over whether the troubled newspaper has enough short-term cash flow to keep its operation... Read More »
Wash Times Announces Resignation Of Executive Editor John Solomon
By Ben Frumin - November 12, 2009, 5:45PM
It's official: The Washington Times has announced the resignation of Executive Editor John Solomon -- effective six days ago. Here's the one-line statement that Don Meyer, a spokesman for the... Read More »
Mysterious 'Important Decisions' Cited In Rev. Moon Sermon Weeks Before Wash Times Shakeup
By Justin Elliott - November 12, 2009, 6:42PM
Less than two months before the firings of three Washington Times executives and the departure of its top editor, a sermon by Unification Church leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon referred... Read More »
Washington Times Suspends 401(K) Payments
By Rachel Slajda - November 13, 2009, 2:50PM
The Washington Times has suspended matching contributions to its employees' 401(k) accounts. In a memo sent to employees and obtained by TPM, vice president for human resources Sonya Jenkins announced... Read More »
Rev. Moon's Daughter Sermonized About Feud Between Brothers On Day Of Wash Times Shakeup
By Justin Elliott - November 13, 2009, 7:13PM
On the same day the Washington Times announced the firings of three top executives -- all Unification Church members -- the daughter of Rev. Sun Myung Moon delivered an allegorical... Read More »
Internal Moon Church Memo: Fired Wash Times Publisher Was Escorted Out By Security, Cell Phone Seized
By Justin Elliott - November 14, 2009, 9:41PM
When Washington Times Publisher Thomas McDevitt was fired last Sunday, his successor Jonathan Slevin and two security guards escorted him from the Times headquarters to his car and confiscated his...Read More »
Wash Times Editor: I Was Forced To Attend A Moon Church Mass Wedding
By Justin Elliott - November 17, 2009, 1:04PM
Washington Times editorial page editor Richard Miniter is filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the paper today, alleging discrimination based on age, disability, and religion -- being forced to attend a Unification Church mass wedding -- and he will ask the government to enjoin the Times' assets, his lawyer tells TPM. Read More »
Interesting background from the Santa Ana Examiner:
The drama continued yesterday at the oft-quoted Washington Times, when the Sun Myung Moon-controlled newspaper announced that executive editor John Solomon had resigned effective November 6th. That resignation would have been tendered two days before the Times fired its three senior executives, ostensibly for financial reasons.
Speculation has been raised that the turmoil is actually related to a feud within the Moon family. Moon son Hyun Jin Preston Moon is in control of the Times. Another of Moon's sons was chosen to head the Unification Church itself as the aging Reverend Moon prepares for the future. The blog Talking Points Memo reports that the firing of top executives may have been related to envy by Preston Moon over control of the wealthy church/business empire.
This kind of squabbling might seem surprising, given that the Moons believe they are the children of the Messiah. Reverend Moon claims not only that he is the Messiah, but that Jesus Christ is trying to follow him. Moon has also stated that Hitler, Stalin, Marx, Lenin, kings, emperors, and presidents now deceased have sent a resolution from heaven to earth proclaiming "to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."
Conflicting opinions abound as to how much the present turmoil has to do with unreported financial troubles. But with the wealthy "True Parents" funneling them cash........problem is, who controls the cash now?
The youngest of the three sons, Hyung-jin, was selected last year to be the church's religious leader, presumably a responsibility that will when his father, who is nearly 90, dies. Hyung-jin may have won Rev. Moon's favor with feats such as his reportedly performing 21,000 "full body" bows in honor of his parents over the summer.
Follow the money???
Critics contrast Moon's "opulent" personal lifestyle with that of church members who are asked to sacrifice both in their careers and in donating most of what little they have. The Moon family situation is described as one of "luxury and privilege" and as "lavish".
Home for the True Family was a guarded 18-acre (73,000 m2) mini-castle in Irvington, New York, a tiny suburb located along a sweep of the Hudson River. Named East Garden, after Eden, the estate included two smaller houses and a three-story brick mansion with 12 bedrooms, seven baths, a bowling alley, and a dining room equipped with a waterfall and pond. There were other castles and mansions too — in South Korea, Germany, Scotland, England — and few expenses were spared. The children had tutors from Japan, purebred horses, motorbikes, sports cars, and first-class vacations with blank-check spending. "The kids got whatever they wanted," says Donna Collins, who grew up in the church. "At one point, the Moon kids were each getting $40,000 or $50,000 a month for allowance. They had wads of cash. I remember once in London where [one of Justin’s sisters] spent like $2,000 a day; I saw a drawer filled with Rolexes and diamonds."