Clancy disputes idea that he supports Moon 'Frontline' cites script for Moon-funded video

January 22, 1992|By Jon Morgan

Author Tom Clancy wants to make this perfectly clear: He's no Moonie.

Say what you will about the Calvert County resident's politics, his books or even his Catholic school education. But don't say he supports the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

Last night's episode of the PBS public affairs show "Frontline" may have left that impression, leaving him, in his words, "pretty torqued up."

"I have nothing to do with those people at all," he said. He accused "Frontline" of "taking a swipe at me" because of his support for conservative causes.

Clancy said he fears the publicity could hurt his chances to land an NFL expansion team in Baltimore.

A spokesman for "Frontline," Jim Braccaile, said, "We stand by our reporting."

The program, called "The Resurrection of Reverend Moon," details the alleged re-emergence of Moon's clout since Moon served time in prison for conspiracy and tax violations.

The hourlong show details the role of Moon and his Unification Church in right-wing causes. Among their activities: paying for a pro-"star wars" video in 1989 that Clancy helped write.

The 45-minute video, "One Incoming," was aired on independent television stations around the country to raise money for a group supporting "star wars," or the Strategic Defense Initiative. At the request of an old friend, retired Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Clancy sketched out a scenario for the video for free.

In the scenario, turned into a screenplay by another writer, a fictional U.S. president is awakened in the night by news of an incoming Soviet missile. The president is left with the unpalatable choice of retaliating with his nuclear arsenal or allowing 1 million Americans to die and hope it was an accidental firing.

The video, narrated by Charlton Heston, suggests that a working missile-defense system would provide a third option: destroying the incoming weapon in flight. It requests donations for "Project Peace Shield," a pro "star wars" activity Graham was involved with.

Clancy makes a short appearance at the beginning of the video, holding up one of his books and saying, "The film you are about to see deals with the possibilities and alternatives we possess to protect millions of American lives."

The "Frontline" program never says Clancy supports Moon. It shows a clip of Clancy in the video and quotes Graham as saying he suspected Moon's money was behind some of the donations used to pay for the $200,000 video.

Leonard Levin, head of Levin Productions Inc., the Baltimore-based production agent for "One Incoming," said he also knew the Unification Church was supporting the venture and that an affiliate of the church was helping promote it and distribute it to television stations nationwide.

The video was edited at Atlantic Video, a Washington studio owned by the Unification Church, he said.

But he said he doubted Clancy knew of the church's role.

Clancy said he learned yesterday of Moon's involvement.

"If I had known back then, I don't know how I would have reacted" to the request to participate, Clancy said.

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