Howie Kurtz has a blurb about Mormons in the media. Mormons are not happy about their portrayal in the media. I’d like to muster up an ounce of concern, but I’ve seen the same ignorance in their portrayal of Muslims, even going so far as to assume that all Arabs/Middle Easterners are Muslims which is so not the case. So, it was with slight amusement I read stuff like this:
In reading coverage of Mormon matters, says Stromberg, a former Washington Post editorial writer, journalists “get details wrong all the time, to make the church look totally nuts. It seems like the writer might be trying to hint, ‘My gosh, look at these crazy people.’ “
You can easily put Islam in there and nothing would change. Especially if the writer is a conservative or an elected official (Virgil Goode anyone?). Think of all the stuff you learned about Islam via a news outlet. I can tell you, that 90% of it is probably flat out wrong, and the other 10% is shaky at best. I mean, there are still people actually believe that Muslims don’t believe in God. Isn’t that just stupid? I can probably see understand if it was 1674, but after that, there really is no excuse for the continued ignorance.
“What bothers me about the coverage is that journalists usually go to experts in other faiths,” he says.
Uh-huh…get used to that. If I see another article in the LA Times, slamming Islam written by a some fundamentalist Jew or Christian I’m going to scream. Oh sure, the LA Times is good about getting Dr. Hathout on record for minor issues or LA related issues, but look at national or international issues…where are the Muslims? You’ll have a professor of Theology quoted, an Indian woman who may or may not be Muslim, and conservative pundits, but very few Muslims. Meanwhile, a cursory glance at press releases from mosques and Islamic organizations worldwide, will give exact quotes and there’s nothing in the media.
“Some Mormons feel picked on in the press and are sensitive about what they read about the church,” Soukup says.
Still, she doesn’t feel hindered by her religion. “I felt it almost opened more doors for me because people were curious,” she says.
Good for her. I don’t think a Muslim woman in the country will ever have similar opportunities in the world of journalism.