Insight Magazine

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Insight on the News was a national biweekly newsmagazine published in Washington D.C., by News World Communications, operated by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. Publication of the magazine ceased in April 2004, and Insight now operates as a web-only operation, originally, now[1]

The Insight website describes itself as "an online intelligence report focusing on power politics in Washington, D.C. As such, it offers exclusive content and stands out as a new kind of Internet publication at a time when U.S. media institutions are struggling to adapt to the ongoing digital revolution."[2]


Insight was a freely distributed magazine owned by the Unification Church and was meant to propagate far right-wing views on university campuses in the United States. The magazine promoted Reagan's war in El Salvador, and attempted to smear the Salvadoran guerrillas or their political arm. It similarly promoted the Contras fighting against the Nicaraguan government. It also promoted several speaking tours of the leading Contra leaders and their Puebla Institute apologists.

Although originally developed as a US university campus publication, it seems that this wasn't successful. The magazine was pushed upscale into a biweekly magazine competing with U.S. News & World Report. The first issues of the magazine were glossy and millions of issues were dispensed for free around the US to carve out a niche. Massive resources were spent on this operation.

In recent years it has covered issues and topics that many other conservative magazines have covered, including rejection of the United Nations, pro-corporate policy, and anti-immigration rhetoric.

In its heyday, the print version of Insight was a training ground for many of today's top conservative journalists. Among the magazine's notable alumni are Richard Starr, John Podhoretz and David Brock. At the time the print version ceased publication, Insight had a circulation of 30,000.[3]

Obama madrassa controversy

On January 17, 2007, the Insight website published an article[4] claiming that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama "was educated in a Madrassa as a young boy," a claim it attributed to "researchers connected to" fellow candidate Hillary Clinton. The claim was repeated by conservative-leaning media personalities such as Rush Limbaugh, Melanie Morgan and John Gibson.[5]

CNN then visited the school in Indonesia that Insight claimed was a madrassa. Reporter John Vause stated: "I came here to Barack Obama's elementary school in Jakarta looking for what some have been calling an Islamic madrassa like those that teach violence and hate in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Well, Wolf [Blitzer, CNN anchor], I've been to madrassas in Pakistan, and this school is nothing like that."[6] Insight responded to the CNN report by claiming it ""does not satisfy our standards for aggressive investigative reporting" and that it "needs verification by other news outlets -- such as FOX News -- who will look the facts straight on, without a vested ideological interest in downplaying Obama's Muslim heritage." Insight added: "For the record, Insight never -- not once -- in its article claims that Obama went to a Madrassa. We didn't claim it; Hillary's people did."[7] In a later article claming to be the "[l]ast word" on the issue, however, Insight appeared to accept the veracity of the CNN report.[8]


  • Robert Morton - Publisher
  • Jeffrey T. Kuhner - Editor

Contact Info

Phone: (202) 636-3154
Fax: (202) 529-6326
E-Mail: editor AT


  1. 'Right-wing media figures claim Clinton behind Obama/Muslim smears", Media Matters for America, January 19, 2007.
  2. "About Insight", Insight, accessed March 3, 2008.
  3. Annys Shin, "News World Layoffs To Idle 86 Workers,", Washington Post, May 3, 2004.
  4. "Hillary's team has questions about Obama's Muslim background", Insight, January 17, 2007 (as republished on
  5. 'Right-wing media figures claim Clinton behind Obama/Muslim smears", Media Matters for America, January 19, 2007.
  6. [ "CNN disproves Obama smear, but exempts Beck from criticism "], Media Matters for America, January 23, 2007.
  7. " CNN report 'does not satisfy our standards for aggressive investigative reporting'", Media Matters for America, January 24, 2007.
  8. "Insight claimed 'last word' on madrassa smear", Media Matters for America, February 1, 2007.

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