Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Family Feud: How Much Is Moon Church Conflict Driving Wash Times Turmoil?


The Sunday firings of executives at the Washington Times and the possible exit of its top editor are apparently being driven more than previously known by last month's transfer of power of the Unification Church and associated business empire from Rev. Sun Myung Moon to his children.

A newsroom source familiar with church politics tells TPM that the root of the shakeup at the Washington Times is a feud between Hyung-jin Moon, 30, and Hyun-jin Moon, 40, also known as Preston, both U.S.-educated sons of church Father Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The church announced in early October -- in an exclusive given, notably, to the Associated Press not the Washington Times -- that day-to-day operations were being handed over to Preston, Hyung-jin, and a third son.

Preston is chairman of News World Communications, the church-owned parent company of the Washington Times.

The youngest of the three sons, Hyung-jin, was selected last year to be the church's religious leader, presumably a responsibility that will fully vest 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" blows bows in honor of his parents over the summer.

But the selection of Preston's young brother for the high-profile role -- along with Rev. Sun Myung Moon's doling out of powerful posts to other siblings -- rankled Preston, a Harvard MBA who has competed in two Olympics on the Korean equestrian team, the source tells us.................................

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