Tuesday, May 15, 2012

U.S. News & World Report Publishes Hit Piece By Susan Milligan Which Reeks Of Flagrant Lies About The LDS Church

During the past few years, secular media coverage of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has steadily improved in accuracy and balance. Rarely does a media outlet get it wrong.

But when they do, they can blow it badly, as U.S. News & World Report did on May 15th, 2012, when they published a hit piece by Susan Milligan entitled "Why We Care About Mitt Romney's Dog and Bullying". Milligan is a political and foreign affairs writer and contributed to a biography of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, "Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy".

Most of Milligan's piece is about Mitt Romney, and she's not particularly abusive of him. She refers to the "dog incident" and the latest report of Romney's alleged "bullying" when he was a teenager, but she does conclude that Romney doesn't deserve to be judged by an incident occurring during his childhood, any more than President Obama would deserves people speculating about what kind of girlfriends he had before he got married. But Milligan is concerned about Romney's "closed-book demeanor", and wonders about the real Romney, noting that presidential decisions aren't always based on policy or calculation, but can come straight from the gut.

But here's where she blatantly misrepresents the LDS Church:

He is a member of a church that does not welcome outsiders — non-Mormons are not even supposed to enter the church.

I promptly responded with a comment under my real first name to set the record straight (the screenshot also includes a critical comment by someone else):

Perhaps my response was a bit over the top, but this information wasn't put out by some uninformed redneck who thinks broadband is merely another name for the Spice Girls. It was published by someone who writes books -- and should know better. The LDS Church has amply publicized the difference between chapels and temples, and Milligan should be aware of it. A person who writes a biography is intimately familiar with the need for and custom of fact-checking. Thus Susan Milligan deserves to be reproved -- betimes with SHARPNESS. This is one of those "betimes".

However, I'm willing to blow it off as a sin of ignorance rather than malevolence if she publishes a retraction or correction of that statement.

No comments: