- The Washington Times - Friday, May 17, 2002

Every newspaper is unique. At the beginning of every day, it exists only in the minds and imaginations of the men and women who produce it.
The brick and mortar of the buildings, the hardware of the newsroom, the computers and desks and fax machines, the rolls of newsprint and the barrels of ink that become the tangible newspaper lie inert and useless until the skill of dedicated men and women produce the words that assign events their place in the archives of memory and recollection.
The vision of a second newspaper in the nation's capital, speaking to the world in a robust voice, first sprang to life in the imagination of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
The birth of The Washington Times was not celebrated by a press establishment grown smug and complacent. The Times was to be a different kind of newspaper, one that would go for inspiration "back to the future," to a time of national consensus on issues of ethics and morality, with an emphasis on the message and not the messenger. We would not only cover the news without slant or bias, but give voice to those who had been shut out of the national debate.
Though the founding vision was that of a religious figure, a man of another country and another culture, The Times was to be wholly secular, to hold to no sectarian cause, to champion no denomination above any other, but never to mock faith and belief, to proselytize only for the principles that liberate men from the tyranny of closed minds.
It was an unlikely enterprise. There was first a wide cultural divide to bridge, not only between East and West, but between devout and religious men and a rowdy and eccentric collection of rogues, scamps and vagabonds, all skeptical of nearly everything, living by the famous newsroom maxim that "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." Most of us are only vaguely religious, if religious at all, and those of us with faith and belief hold to a faith very different from that of the founder.
Nothing could have come of the founding vision without unqualified independence for the men and women who produce the newspaper. We've never been told to put anything in the paper; more important, perhaps, we've never been asked to leave anything out. All that ever was asked was that we put out the newspaper born of the vision, faithful to the task of reporting the news without fear or favor, to get it first and get it right. A decade of dedication, followed by a second decade of distinction in the task, made believers of hundreds of thousands of readers in every state of the union and throughout the world, loyal to a newspaper that seeks to be faithful to what is good and important.
Tradition, custom, belief and practice are held important at The Times in an age when much of what our forefathers brought forth on this providential continent is unappreciated; when even the struggles of our grandfathers are unknown or unappreciated, or both; when Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, Marshall and Madison are often as unfamiliar as Solon, Leonidas and Pericles.
"Traditions are mighty influences in restraining peoples," Richard Taylor, the soldier-philosopher, wrote more than a century ago. "The light that reaches us from above takes countless time to traverse the awful chasm separating us from that parent star; yet it comes straight and true to our eyes, because each tender wavelet is linked to the other, receiving and transmitting the luminous ray. Once break the continuity of the stream, and men will deny its heavenly origin, and seek its source in the feeble glimmer of earthly corruption."
We look to the continuity of that stream, guided by that luminous ray.

Wesley Pruden
Editor in Chief

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