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Thursday, August 16, 2012

LA Times: Romney should discuss Mormonism

The LA Times and many other media outlets all agree that Romney should start talking about his Mormonism. There are valid points for consideration in that argument, but what media does not do is evaluate why Romney has been leaving religion alone. The overall theme of Romney coverage in the media these days is that he's not doing what he should. He is routinely questioned and belittled by the media to influence voters to do the same.

Romney's faith is only one of many diversionary fronts in the media war against Mitt Romney. Since it is subtler than the frontal assault on Romney's taxes, it is time to lay bare the basic media points against Romney's lack of religous discussion. I'll use the LA Times' Romney should stop hiding his Mormon faith as one of many possible examples.

First point, Romney's membership and service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is nothing for him to be ashamed of. Point granted. I don't grant that he is ashamed of it. Second, that most Americans - especially those on the right - really don't care about Romney's religion and his Mormonism won't influence their vote, as shown in a recent Pew poll, as well as a two month old Gallup poll left unmentioned by the LA Times. This is old news not covered properly at the time. When the Gallup findings first came out the liberal media pretended the opposite, that Romney's religion was a major problem for Americans.

Their next point has a little more weight in my book.
But by not talking about his religion out of concern for latent prejudice, it is much more than religion that Romney is carving out of his campaign. He’s effectively concealing his own heart, the best vehicle he has for revealing himself as a man of compassion.
Valid point on the whole. But then the LA Times throws this statement to the wind by saying his compassion only comes through according to most accounts, following which they give details from an anti-Romney account rather than a more representative one. The next story details a fierce anti-Mormon episode from earlier in the campaign season, even while denouncing that attack on Romney's faith as inappropriate. Their message is still a net negative for Romney by design.

You should read between the lines here that while Romney's character is best viewed from personal accounts of interactions he's had with former colleagues and associates in and out of the LDS Church, the media will not focus on his good points or these good accounts of Romney. That's who they are. If anything, it shows more of their collective character than Romney's. They have been doing a stupendous job at giving Romney a character that is not his own.

Referring back to the quote above, I'll briefly highlight that "by not talking about his religion out of concern for latent prejudice," the LA Times assumes prejudice is the reason Romney doesn't discuss his faith. I seriously doubt this since he discussed religious issues often in his 2008 run. Those transcripts are still on record, from a more prejudiced year than now, according to Gallup. LA Times failed to interview Romney or get any comment from his campaign, so they should not claim to know Romney's reasons.

While I don't know his reasons either, I find it highly likely that Romney doesn't discuss his faith because of two things: 1) he's running for president of the United States and not for Pastor in Chief, and 2) the Democrats and the Obama campaign, along with liberal media, would love to accuse Romney of forcing religion down people's throats. You know, another no-win situation like his taxes. If he gives them what they claim to want, they'll just use it against him further. The goal is to keep him between a rock and a hard place on each possible issue, and religion is one of them.

Lastly, I'll compare a decent opening paragraph -
Mitt Romney continues to keep his Mormon faith off the presidential campaign stage, despite the quiet urgings of ideological allies to talk about his spiritual core. If he did, he might explode the soft bigotry of critics, particularly liberals who could use a little refresher course in their own values.
- to the concluding paragraph:
Americans voted in 2008 for a black man named Barack Obama, something that seemed unthinkable, even in 2008. But Obama embraced his other-ness, even wrote a book about it. Romney holds his essential self at arm’s length, but the longer he does, the longer he starves his candidacy of the soul — the elementary numen — it needs to thrive.
The LA Times leaves readers thinking, "Mitt Romney can't measure up to Barack Obama." That is exactly what all of liberal media wants Americans to think. This bias spells their doom as Americans realize fair and balanced news coverage no longer exists, even in pretense. Thanks in part to conservative new media, a majority of Americans find Obama suffering in comparison to Mitt Romney.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you, it's only ammunition that they want so they can accuse him of being 'too religious' to represent the country; or some other way they'll use it against him. I'm still frustrated by them about the taxes, I'm glad he's not using this as a platform to throw pearls before swine.