Vodka, sexy time and Mormonism 101

Jennifer-Aniston-Vogue-Magazine-1I don’t exactly know how I ended up on the Arizona Republic‘s celebrity page but check out this important update on Jennifer Aniston:

Jennifer Aniston once dated a Mormon.

The ‘Love Happens’ actress finds the religion — an offshoot of Christianity which encourages men to have more than one wife — very interesting and was keen to get to know her religious former boyfriend better.

Jennifer — who was married to Brad Pitt and has since dated Vince Vaughn and John Mayer — said: “Mormons are fascinating. … I dated a Mormon once.”

However, when she was told there would be “no sexy time” or “no vodka”, Jennifer changed her mind, saying: “Leave it at that.”

OK. Um, it’s not even really excusable in states with a small Mormon population but six percent of the adult population of Arizona is affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And while there was a period of time when polygamy was practiced and encouraged by mainstream Mormonism, that time has passed. And by passed, we’re talking about a century ago. From the web site Mormon-Polygamy.org:

Polygamy, also known as plural marriage or plurality of wives, is not practiced by any, active contemporary member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1890, the Church (commonly known as the Mormon Church) officially disavowed polygamy as a practice and currently excommunicates any Latter-day Saint who embraces it.

So get with the program Arizona Republic. I might also wonder about the news value of the story where we never even learn, for instance, what is so fascinating about Mormons.

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  • T Stanton

    “I don’t exactly know how I ended up on the Arizona Republic’s celebrity page but check out this important update on Jennifer Aniston”

    This is way too easy. What’s next Mollie, Laineygossip.com? :)

  • Jerry

    If you’re not careful, you’ll soon start analyzing stories from the National Enquirer and its ilk.

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Wait. Is the Arizona Republic not a mainstream paper? I mean, I know I was on it’s Style page, but still . . .

  • MichaelV

    “Offshoot of Christianity” too. I mean, that’s what I believe Mormonism is, and I think the evidence is clear and would be happy to argue that (but not here, of course). But Mormons believe they are Christians. Is it really the Style page’s job to take a position on that?

    Not that there should *be* a Style page.

  • Jerry

    Wait. Is the Arizona Republic not a mainstream paper? I mean, I know I was on it’s Style page, but still …

    It was not so much the paper but way that piece was written that caused my reaction. But any
    paper that allows such stories, even in the style section, may be on a steep downhill slope.

  • chris g

    I didn’t mind the “offshoot of Christianity” phrase. They totally bombed everything else though. However, I don’t think they were probably happy to be on the catch the interest side of the teeter-totter as compared to the accurate side.

    It probably would have been more interesting to find out what Aniston actually found interesting about the religion – I doubt it was polygam – but you never know. Well, unless you have a good reporter :)

  • Geddes

    Complained about this to their Online Entertainment Producer, and this was the response I got:

    Like much of our celebrity news content, this story came from a third-party vendor. I relayed your concerns to the producers of the Celebrities page, and we have elected to remove the story form the site.

    Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.

    Tim Agne
    online entertainment producer
    Metromix Phoenix | azcentral.com | The Arizona Republic

    So this article was written by some syndicator and was probably picked up by a lot of papers. The byline says “Bang Showbiz.” A quick google finds this UK based service: http://www.bangshowbiz.com/ <- they are probably at fault.

    Raises an interesting issue about syndication. Do we blame AZ Republic for trusting a foreign syndicator that doesn't understand US religion at all, or do we blame the syndicator for not researching their facts…

  • Francis X. Maier

    Mollie, you’re missing the point: Aniston looks great. :)

  • CarlH

    Not sure that this is entirely the fault of the Arizona Republic. Looks like they might have pulled the story wholesale from the MSN Entertainment site under the following headline and subhead:

    Jennifer Aniston’s Mormon man: Jennifer Aniston has revealed she once dated a man who was a Mormon – a religion which allows men to have more than one wife

    Doesn’t entirely excuse the gaffe on the part of the AZ Republic, but coming from an MSN writer who might well believe that HBO’s “Big Love” is a Mormon documentary isn’t nearly as surprising.

  • Jerry

    I was driving around tonight and realized that my comment had been affected by the Vogue image you chose to use. It created the impression in my mind that the Arizona Republic was in a way similar to Vogue.

  • Chris Bolinger

    Several words in the MSN piece, including “rumoured” and “programme”, indicate that it came out of the UK or Canada.

  • CarlH

    Chris Bollinger’s suspicions are borne out in tracking down the by-lines on the Arizona Republic and MSN Entertainment. “Bang Showbiz” is a UK entertainment “news” source (subscription only apparently). Their website touts the fact that their “[c]lients include all the major British tabloid newspapers, European magazines, commercial British radio stations and a galaxy of top entertainment outlets.”

    I suppose their market has expanded, but their attention to detail has not. And both the Arizona Republic and MSN Entertainment still deserve brickbats for not picking up what a UK tabloid source certainly wouldn’t–and perhaps for using a tabloid source at all (but we are talking about celebrity “news” here).

  • Ned Coates

    Is Arizona a republic?


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