Sadly, your paper seems bent on inciting and sustaining a controversy where none should exist. Its exaggerated coverage [front page, June 23; news stories, July 21 and 24] of Sen. John Warner's office reserving a Senate room for an awards banquet co-sponsored by the Washington Times Foundation on March 23 deserves clarification.

At the time I wrote Warner asking him to reserve the Senate Dirksen room for the awards banquet, the participation of the Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon had not been decided or confirmed, including the type of recognition they would receive. There was no intention to mislead or "deceive" anyone.

Three weeks later, after the Rev. Moon and his wife confirmed they would attend to receive a "Crown of Peace Award," an invitation letter was sent to all members of Congress stating that the Moons would be among the 100 people honored at the event. Although Charles Babington cited this congressional notification about the Moons being "recognized for their lifelong work" in his June 23 story, regrettably, both he and Spencer Hsu failed to highlight this important fact in their follow-up articles. Why the omission?

None of the banquet's co-sponsors ever suggested that Warner's reserving this room implied his endorsement of the Rev. Moon's views or of any of the other people honored at the banquet. We never deceived the senator or tried to misuse his good name. John Warner is an extraordinarily honorable and decent man who deserves better.

-- Gary L. Jarmin


The writer is government liaison for the Washington Times Foundation.