Mormons and Mormonism on TV Last Night

 

 

The Manti Utah Temple

 

This didn’t get nearly the attention that Brian Williams and NBC’s Rock Center received, but it’s interesting nonetheless.   Raymond Arroyo interviewed Mitt Romney about his faith for EWTN (the “Eternal Word Television Network”), the very Catholic broadcasting operation, now with a global twenty-four hour reach, founded by Mother Mary Angelica back in 1980.

 

Now, as for the NBC special:

 

On the whole, since I was expecting the usual major-media ambush, ornamented as it typically is with a fair amount of elitist sneering (of the “Mormons are nice people, but they’re also dumb provincial rubes” variety), I was very positively surprised at the tenor of this piece.  Sure, we can lament the fact that disaffected Mormons got disproportionate air time, and that some really good things weren’t said or shown.  But, really, it was pretty good.  I was especially surprised at the segment at the very end, with the gay ex-Mormon in the Broadway cast of the “Book of Mormon musical.”  I had dreaded it, but I found it unexpectedly affirmative and even somewhat moving.  I wish him well.

 

I checked in on one or two ex-Mormon discussion boards, and they were, by and large, extremely displeased with NBC’s treatment of the Church (a “puff piece,” “probably scripted by LDS Inc,” etc.).  That confirmed my sense that the program was quite good.  Some Mormons have complained, but we need to remember that we have no right to expect, and certainly no realistic basis for expecting, that non-Mormon journalists will act as if they were employees of Church Public Affairs.

 

 

 

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  • Don Ormsby

    I can’t help but remember this one from Brother Brigham: “Every time you kick “Mormonism” you kick it upstairs; you never kick it downstairs. The Lord Almighty so orders it.” (Discourses of Brigham Young [DBY], 351)

  • meekmildmagnificent

    But honestly, a photographic mock-up of garments? Was that meant to mock or just make light of something really uncalled for? I was offended. I was hoping all of the reporters were going to drop their trousers or lift their skirts to show us their underwear.

    • danpeterson

      I like a comment that I saw the other day, from . . . well, SOMEBODY:

      “How are American voters possibly going to be able to make an informed decision in November without seeing the OBAMAS’ underwear????”

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    I agree. When Harry Smith was being driven around inside the food warehouse, it reminded me of the chase scene through the huge Area 51 warehouse at the start of the last Indiana Jones movie. I was expecting the brother driving Harry around to point out the crate containing the Ark of the Covenant, next to the box containing the Liahone and Sword of Laban.
    Even the people who were no longer active in the Church affirmed an attraction to the Church.
    Brian Williams sounded confused about the difference between a Mormon temple and a meetinghouse, but the other story that showed a testimony meeting with the “mixed race” Mormon family made it clear that Sunday meetings are open.
    Williams and Smith talked about how Mitt Romney was involved in the same kind of service to members in need as the bishop who was featured in the welfare square story. Mitt should be very happy about a very positive thing being shown to Americans about his compassionate service to people who are not millionaires.

  • wreddyornot

    “…we can lament the fact that disaffected Mormons got disproportionate air time…”

    Possibly those you term “disaffected” outnumber, equal, or comprise a very significant percentage of Mormons. Hence it can be argued that the air time wasn’t at all disproportionate, but realistic. The LDS religion and culture have tremendous sway in many lives, not just those who attend meetings each week.

    • danpeterson

      Possibly so. That would be an interesting topic for discussion.

      But I confess that it did seem slightly odd, for example, to choose someone who hasn’t been to the temple and doesn’t wear temple garments to serve as the national spokesperson about the temple and temple garments.

    • Kim Walker

      “Possibly those you term “disaffected” outnumber, equal, or comprise a very significant percentage of Mormons. Hence it can be argued that the air time wasn’t at all disproportionate, but realistic. The LDS religion and culture have tremendous sway in many lives, not just those who attend meetings each week.”

      Was it realistic to interview the only dssaffected Huntsman grand child and portray her as an authority on LDS matters? NBC picked her out of 60 possible grandchildren to speak. What about a balance and letting another member of the family respond to her comments.

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