Topic: Media Research Center
A July 30 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute article by Paul Wilson tries to draw a parallel between anti-Catholicism against John Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election and anti-Mormonism against Mitt Romney. While "major media outlets defended Kennedy against demagogues who attacked his religion," the opposite is supposedly true regarding Romney: "Fifty years later, the major news media have aided and abetted religious attacks on the faith of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, and have even joined in making those attacks."
As his MRC colleagues have before, Wilson plays up alleged anti-Mormonism in the so-called "liberal media" while ignoring it on his own side.
Wilson engages in a bit of selective quoting as well, noting at one point that "On April 9, Salon’s Alex Pareene fretted: “everyone who has ever made a 'magic underwear' joke will be declared an intolerant liberal bigot.” In fact, Pareene was predicting the very thing Wilson is doing: that right-wingers like him will denounce any and every criticism of Mormonism as religious bigotry:
Mitt Romney, as you may have heard, is a Mormon. Because Romney will be the first Mormon major presidential nominee in American history, and because Mormonism is still exotic and strange to many Americans, his religion will be an issue. So the people who would like Mitt Romney to be the next president have to work to make certain arguments about Mormonism seem illegitimate. This process has already begun, basically, but by the end of it, everyone who has ever made a “magic underwear” joke will be declared an intolerant liberal bigot.
There is obviously plenty of actual anti-Mormon prejudice in the nation, from intolerant liberals and conservative Christians (the conservative Christians, in my experience, tend to have much wackier and more bizarre beliefs about what Mormons do and believe). There are things some people feel comfortable saying about Mormons that they would not feel comfortable saying about Jews. But that rule goes the other way, too: If it’d be kosher to say it about Muslims or Hindus or whatever, it’s not stepping out of bounds to say it about Mormons.
But admitting right-wing anti-Mormonism is inconvenient for Wilson and the MRC's agenda.