Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For Shame

I don't usually get riled up as far as "the media" is concerned. Maybe it's the four years I spent at BYU being educated to become a part of "the media"--but I'm usually the first to defend the way something is reported, managed, or handled.

A few minutes ago, I read an article that has infuriated me to no end. Literally, no end. I don't typically write political commentaries because I know nothing about politics. (Unless you consider this piece I wrote last year a commentary.) But I'm pretty livid.

On the MSN.com website, which is my homepage, is an easy link to an Opinion piece on Mitt Romney's faith and involvement in the Mormon faith. Typically, opinion pieces are an attempt to prove their point, or pursuade their readers of the validity of their opinion and therby cause a shift in the reader's views or value system. The most successful opinion pieces, my Op-Professor said, didn't read like opinion pieces--in some cases the reader can't discern the difference.

The article linked behind the MSN jump is a terribly-one-sided and oftentimes offensive piece of journalism. It is unresearched and judgemental. The article bleeds with agenda.

This isn't an injustice to politics, it's an injustice to freedom of religion as a whole.

Like most web-writing, I like to read the comments and reactions. The tone on the discussion boards reads much the same as I'm posting here. Mormon or not, writer or not, the vast majority of people believe this article was a shameful display of media agenda. I agree. My favorite comment, and one I couldn't have put into better words is this:
If Romney were a Jew, the anti-defamation league would be all over this. It would simply be unacceptable and immoral for Slate to claim freedom of speech when an article such as this is so obviously hateful. If it was ANY religion but Mormon, which in itself is a misused nickname for the 13 million members of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Slate would have passed.

Whether or not you're a Mormon voting for Romney, a Mormon voting for Obama, or a Scientologist voting for Guiliani--I'm hoping you feel the slightest bit of injustice when reading this article. It seems there are still acceptable kinds of bigotry left in this world--and being a Mormon is clearly one of them.

The author is allowed to believe whatever he wants, and since it's an Op-Ed piece, I guess he can. My battle is more with the sensationalism this article sells.

Shame on MSN for posting it on their liberal magazine site at all. Double shame on MSN for linking directly to it from its front page. Shame on the media for selling sensationalism.


**Less than an hour after it was posted, the link from MSN.com has been removed. In less than an hour 760+ comments have been added (most of which are well written and discussed). Though some are written by practicing Mormons, there's no way all of them can be. There's something to be said here.


Rachel said...

Wow. That is pretty shameful. I'm happily a member of the mormon cult and a firm believer in the convicted fraud Joseph Smith.

j said...

This was also Slate.com's Daily Podcast today, so apparently they thought it was pretty good stuff.

Hitchens has written a few anti-mormon articles in the last year, but I try not to take them too personally, because he pretty much hates anyone who believes in God. I guess in this case, he just felt like the whole push-poll thing was a decent excuse to bring out his religion-bashing stick again.

Shauna said...

how ludicrous! what an idiot, seriously. I am all for people having opinions, even if they are different than my own----but wow! He thinks he knows so much about the mormon church. What an idiot.

JK said...

As his other writings show, his axe to grind is for all religion, not just Mormonism specifically.

Hitchens is a well known alcoholic who is covering up some serious unresolved issues. I could take a stab at why he harbors such hate for religion, but it would probably be inappropriate.

Kaos Baggins said...

media opinion could be very dangerous, people read this and could change their own opinion

is very important try to understand every religion (at least much of their are similar) and known people independently of their religion or culture, everybody can learn something of others (except a donkey like this article writer)

MSN will have to review his next article

In our basket team we have several mormon players and their life philosophies are very good

Rachel said...

How upsetting.

It makes me happy that MSN took it off their website AND that so many people wrote comments saying how ridiculous that article was.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!