A Fool and His Money — are the New Owners of Newsweek Financing a South Korean Cult? — Thoughts on Journalism —
Mother Jones just ran a detailed report on the connections between David Jang, a former acolyte of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, his Bible school, Olivet University, and publications International Business Times and Newsweek.
The print Newsweek returned from a long hiatus with a cover story that supposedly revealed the true identity of the anonymous creator of the Bitcoin currency protocol. The accuracy of the account is still in doubt, however.
Former IBT reporter Benjamin Reeves has also looked into the connections between his former employer and the other parts of the Jang organization. His hypothesis is IBT and Newsweek are serving as revenue generators for cash-strapped Olivet University, which is trying to expand despite being unable to pay its bills.
Why did Uzac and Johnathan Davis buy Newsweek? While we can’t peer into the minds of Johnathan Davis, Uzac and their compatriots, we can make some educated guesses. IBT has failed to make a positive impression on the media landscape — it’s reporting has been widely lampooned for some time. While the website drives a vast quantity of web traffic, it seems to be generally low value readers who are attracted to sensationalism and celebrity gossip. Most likely Uzac and Davis purchased Newsweek in a bid to use its history to bolster the reputation of their company. By buying Newsweek, they perhaps hoped to purchase a bit of cache. [sic]
But as the recent Newsweek Bitcoin cover story debacle shows: dogmatic fools and their money are soon parted.
Reeves reports that he received a “cease and desist” letter from Olivet’s attorneys after he emailed the school a list of as-yet unanswered questions. It seems like Olivet has taken its lead from the Church of Scientology.