Conservatives Outraged Over Newsweek Cover Mocking Romney, Mormon Faith
Memo to Newsweek editors: Dancing Mormons may be a hit on Broadway but they’re a flop on the cover of a magazine that purports to do serious journalism.
In a move some describe as bizarre and others as insulting to a major American faith community, Newsweek magazine unveiled a cover this week that shows presidential contender Mitt Romney dressed as as a goofy, white-shirted Bible boy kicking up his heels in excitement.
The tragedy is that it mars an otherwise respectable piece of journalism about the former Massachusetts governor — arguably the first Mormon candidate in history with a sure shot at winning the presidency — and the history of his faith.
Though it will be lost on many outside the incestuous circle of East Coast media elites, the photo is a send up of the poster for the Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon,” put together by the creators of the animated show, “South Park.” The musical’s reviews have been considerably more positive than the magazine’s.
The National Review’s Jim Geraghty writes, “The article itself is not that bad, covering a lot of ground about the history of the faith and the values of the modern community. But obviously they had to feature the cover that makes the GOP frontrunner look like a lunatic.”
NewsBuster’s Noel Sheppard asked whether it is “appropriate to be focusing on a presidential candidate’s religion in 2011,” and noted that Real Clear Politics’ Tom Bevan tweeted, “This leaves me dumbfounded.
There is no word yet from the Romney camp on the cover. However, he is not the first candidate to get a less-than-respectable treatment on a magazine cover and certainly won’t be the last.
Back in 2000, The Nation took heat for its cover drawing that depicted George W. Bush as Mad magazine’s idiot mascot Alfred E. Neuman. A 2008 satirical New Yorker cover that showed Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim and Michelle as a militant armed with a rifle while the American flag burned in the Oval Office fireplace was criticized by both the Obama campaign and that of John McCain. Newsweek also was criticized for a cover photo of Sarah Palin in 2009 that showed her in running shorts.
Separate from the cover, the Newsweek article is a mostly positive look at Mormon’s and their religion, formally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The subhead for the story reads: “They’ve conquered Broadway, talk radio, the U.S. Senate-and they may win the White House. Why Mitt Romney and 6 million Mormons have the secret to success.”
The article takes a look at the church’s 181 years of history and its growth to the fourth-largest religious denomination in America and concludes the religious breeds success in business, politics and the arts.
In an interview with the Deseret News, active Mormon McKay Coppins, who co-authored the Newsweek piece, said, “Don’t judge the story by its cover alone. I think members of the church will find that the package treats Mormonism fairly.”
“Indeed, the article – which offers a secular defense of Mormonism – reads like a sales pitch for the faith,” the Deseret News concluded.
Of course, magazine covers are supposed to sell the magazine and the right cover, with the right celebrity or image, can boost newsstand sales by the thousands and create a buzz, two things Newsweek could use.
The Washington Post, faced with circulation declines in the millions and operating losses at the magazine, sold Newsweek for the reported price of a dollar a year ago. It has since merged with the website The Daily Beast, whose editor, Tina Brown, runs both.
My first question is, Is Newsweek attempting to become the “Daily Onion” as a last breath effort to stay afloat?
Second question, If Mitt Romney were a Muslim, a Catholic or a Jew would Newsweek have done the cover?
Answer to the first question is I think Newsweek will do anything to keep going. They were sold for $1 and they are still in danger of going the way of “Rosie” and “George” Magazines. This week its parody, next week its Cell Phone Photos of breasts from desperate young actresses looking to get their name and photo in print.
Answer to the second question is no because they would either have death threats issued or sued into the 23rd century by these groups. Mormons and Christians are considered lilywhite and meek so nothing will happen when you make fun of these groups whether it is a magazine cover, soaking a crucifix in urine and call it art or making a wax figure of Jesus to look like Samuel L. Jackson.
A candidate’s religion should not matter anymore than the pigment of his or her skin. Their ideology and experience are what should be taken into consideration.
As a rule, leftists exploit race, religion and everything else while crying racism, Islamophobia, sexism, etc whenever conservatives criticize the actions of liberals. They have cornered the market on hypocrisy.
I believe Romney is a good man. From what I’ve seen of Mormons, they are a credit to our nation. I wish more had their ethics, patriotism and morals.
There is a fear with the left and the Evangelicals that the election of Romney will lead to “The United States of the Latter-Day Saints.” This is extremely unlikely since Mitt Romney has never come out and said he was a Mormon. Therefore of Romney I find no evidence that his aim is to indoctrinate the people of the United States into the Mormon faith. This is a very weak and pathetic argument designed to instill fear.
Personally, I do not support Romney because he has never explained the “Romney Care” fiasco while he was Governor of MA. Did he support it? Was he against it? Did they tie him up, beat him and force him to sign the bill? Don’t know – never heard the straight story. He flip-flops on abortion. Is he for it? Is he against it? Does it depend on the crowd he is speaking to?
Finally, I do not support Romney because he is a big-government moderate RINO and we have enough of those. We need a conservative warrior willing to take on the left, political correctness and the insanity of our out-of-control government!
And, if he winds up being the GOP candidate, I will reluctantly vote for him. It would be a change toward somewhat more conservative values in the White House.