So, uh, this happened. Newsweek has a story on Mormons headlined “Mormons Rock! 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.” And as the headline might indicate, it’s a favorable article about Mormonism. We may look at the article in the days to come. I do have to point out this second paragraph about former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s candidacy and announcement for the presidential nomination:
But there was one challenge–a challenge that could alienate the kind of Republicans who vote in early primary states such as Iowa and South Carolina–that Romney didn’t address: his Mormon faith.
Um, when was this written? 2006? Remember that really big speech Romney gave about … his Mormon faith? I remember it. I remember covering it in December of 2007.
But check out this cover. Whoa. It’s always so interesting to me how the media can do such a good job of protecting some groups from caricature and advance gross stereotypes of others at the same time. This is, near as I can tell, a parody of the poster for the Broadway musical hit “The Book of Mormon.” I haven’t seen that musical yet, although it has been remarkably well received by arts critics. One of our readers did his own critique of some of these reviews.
Back to the cover and the paragraph excerpted above. The irony of the whole package is killing me. The “Book of Mormon,” which, again is apparently a very good musical from the creators of South Park, is an entirely New York phenomenon. It mocks general religious belief using Mormon characters. It’s made by media elites (media elites whom I generally like, admittedly) and enjoyed by a class of people who go to Broadway musical. So somehow that’s not Romney’s problem — even when it means his head gets photoshopped on a poster from the musical. No, his problem is those backward Iowans and South Carolinians, you dig? I mean, I don’t think most Americans even have any idea what the musical is — not a good sign for magazine sales based on a cover parody of the musical.
What would be the equivalent of other candidates being so caricatured? It kind of reminds me of that New Yorker cover. It featured the Obamas as Osama-loving, flag burning Muslims. The point was to make fun of President Obama’s opponents and paint them in a bad light, but it was criticized by both the Obama campaign and opponents.
But what do you think about this cover? And would it make you more likely to purchase the magazine or continue to ignore it?