Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Moon Supporters Picket the Post

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Moon Supporters Picket the Post

Article excerpt

ABOUT 200 PEOPLE demonstrated outside the Washington Post building Nov. 18

because of an item in the paper about an upcoming Unification Church festival

which referred to supporters as "Moonies."

The Nov. 12 "Reliable Source" column by Annie Groer and Ann Gerhart reported

that singer-actress Whitney Houston "will get a two-comma fee, as in millions

of dollars" for her appearance Nov. 29 at True Love Day at RFK. The event is

the centerpiece of the week-long World Culture and Sports Festival at Robert E

Kennedy Stadium. About 30,000 couples are expected to reaffirm their wedding

vows at an event called Blessing '97, and an unspecified number of couples

matched by the church are to be married in a mass wedding. The festival events

are sponsored by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification,

popularly known as the Unification Church.

Led by South Korean-born Sun Myung Moon, adherents of the Unification Church

are often referred to as Moonies. Church supporters founded and continue to

finance the Post's money-losing cross-town competitor, the Washington Times.

The "Reliable Source" item also said, "At malls and shopping centers in the

Washington area, Moonies recruiting couples to attend the wedding stand under

hand-painted signs that shout 'Whitney Houston!' "It went on to say that when

Houston agreed to appear, she was unaware that the Unification Church was

involved.

"We are disappointed that the Post chose to characterize this as a narrow

affair for the followers of Rev. Sun Myung Moon," said Rev. Phillip Schanker of

the Unification Church. The protesters stressed the interdenominational nature

of the events, parading a number of local and national religious leaders. They

also declared that the Unification Church's ties to the event were not

concealed from Houston, a fact the Reliable Source reported in a follow-up item

Nov. …

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