Memphis TV Reporter Mocks Mitt Romney’s Religion In News Report

If you’re wondering if Mitt Romney (and Jon Huntsman) still has a Mormonism problem, this report is pretty good evidence that the answer is yes (the interesting part starts at about the 3:30 mark but the whole segment is worth watching):

Is there any other mainstream religion that a reporter in Memphis would mock in that manner?

H/T: Kevin Drum

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, Religion, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. PJ says:

    I can’t stop looking at Ben Ferguson’s hair. Great use of CGI and video post-processing.

  2. PJ says:

    Is there any other mainstream religion that a reporter in Memphis would mock in that manner?

    How about the lack of a religion? According to a 2008 poll 12% are either atheists or agnostics. Good luck trying to run for the Presidency if you’re one of them and not willing to lie.

  3. PJ says:

    I’m looking forward to the “educational” ads that will teach about the strange beliefs of Mormons.

  4. Franklin says:

    Huh, Mormonism *is* weird! I thought if I was a good person I would just get a harp and wings.

  5. Kylopod says:

    Romney has a Mormon problem, of course. But I have my doubts that it’s a problem which lies ahead. That is, I don’t think his high poll numbers right now depend on voters’ ignorance of his religion. Republicans who are unwilling to vote for a Mormon have already made up their mind against him, and they’re not the ones who will decide the race.

    What interests me is whether any of his rivals for the nomination will engage in Mormon-baiting. There was a little of that from Huck in ’08. I could see someone like Bachmann going in that direction, like running ads about the need to elect a “true Christian.”

  6. LaurenceB says:

    Hmmm… Yes, that was pretty offensive.

    As a non-believer and former Mormon, my general position is that those who believe in some religion should generally refrain from ridiculing aspects of other religions. Let’s face it – it’s pretty easy to make the beliefs of most major religions sound pretty silly.

    As someone once said:

    “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

  7. Rick DeMent says:

    Is there any other mainstream religion that a reporter in Memphis would mock in that manner?

    Islam, Hindu, just about anything that isn’t christian?

  8. PJ says:

    @Kylopod:

    What interests me is whether any of his rivals for the nomination will engage in Mormon-baiting.

    No need for any of them to get dirty doing that. Citizen United propelled groups will do that for them.
    I’d say that the candidates will more likely attack over RomneyCare. I doubt all of them will chicken out like T-Paw.

  9. Moosebreath says:

    Mormonism is no higher than reason #3 why Romney cannot win a GOP primary, behind his multiple backfilps on abortion and Romneycare. When the gloves come off and the other candidates start running anti-Romney in the fall, this may be entirely left out, for fear that the candidate who plays to anti-Mormon prejudices not being able to win Mormon voters (and thus throwing several states which should be in the bag for a Republican in the general election up for grabs).

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Mormonism is Christianity with an extra helping of crazy. But Christianity is already so crazy with it’s creepy blood drinking cannibalistic rituals that it’s just a matter of degree.

  11. Neil Hudelson says:

    Typical Liberal Media, right?

  12. jukeboxgrad says:

    like running ads about the need to elect a “true Christian.”

    Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn’t Christian (even though he was). This was done by “circulating the word that she would be ‘Wasilla’s first Christian mayor.’ ”

    See also here and here.

  13. Burt Likko says:

    Ferguson has not, however, turned his same acid eye towards some of the rather more bizarre teachings of “mainstream” Christianity, nor would he (especialy in Memphis, Tennessee!).

    “Can you name the candidate who believes the Earth is only 6,000 years old?” (See generally Genesis chapter 5 and Bishop Ussher’s analysis thereof).

    “Which of the major candidates for President believes that a man lived inside the belly of a giant fish for three days before being regurgitated out on a beach?” (Jonah 1:17).

    “Who among the Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for President has shouted nonsense words out loud in church and later claimed to have been possessed by a non-corporeal spirit?” (Acts 2:1-15).

    “Could you feel good about having a leader who believe that if you don’t circumcize all your boy-babies, God will personally beat you up in a bar fight?” (Exodus 4:24–26).

    Or, most tellingly…

    “Do you want to give control of our nation’s arsenal of nuclear weapons to someone who believes that in our lifetimes, the world will end in a worldwide, cleansing fire, and who also thinks that that this will be a good thing because it will result in the entire world being under the rule of a single unelected king, a man who literally has a sword for a tongue?” (See Revelations 1:13-16, 20:9, 22:1-4).

    To some extent, these are cheap shots because obviously not all Christians believe in the literal truth of these Bible passages, and fewer still would actually act upon such beliefs. But the point is, “mainstream” Christian teachings are not all that less bizarre than claiming that your reward for good moral behavior is that you get your own planet when you die or that the Garden of Eden is in Jackson County, Missouri. And I’m sure that Kansas City and its suburbs are, in fact, very nice and maybe when you die your planet will be a lot like Kansas City.

  14. Kylopod says:

    >Palin apparently became mayor by (in part) suggesting that her opponent (Stein) wasn’t Christian (even though he was).

    Excellent! So she can appeal to voters who fear a candidate with a Jewish-sounding name, while having the plausible deniability that she simply meant he isn’t born-again or a regular churchgoer. (By that standard, Saint Ronnie wasn’t Christian either.) And some people think Palin is stupid….

  15. Kylopod says:

    >Ferguson has not, however, turned his same acid eye towards some of the rather more bizarre teachings of “mainstream” Christianity

    He got out of that by using the weasel word “nontraditional.”

  16. Jay Tea says:

    I’d love to see a breakdown on commentary on Romney’s religion:

    Conservatives saying they won’t vote for Romney over his Momon faith vs. liberals saying conservatives won’t vote for Romney over his Mormon faith.

    I’d put it about 5:1 or greater in favor of liberals projecting.

    J.

  17. jukeboxgrad says:

    I’d love to see a breakdown on commentary on Romney’s religion

    24% of Americans would not vote for a Mormon for president, even if the person was from their own party, and “generally well-qualified” (link). In that survey, being a Mormon was worse than being Jewish, female or black. Although not as bad as being gay or atheist.

    The survey also showed that conservatives are more likely than liberals to be biased against Mormons. Which is not surprising, since evangelical Christians tend to be against Mormonism, and evangelical Christians tend to be conservatives.