Has the predicted play of the Mormon Card against Romney begun?
A recent AT article predicted that the Obama campaign would play the Mormon Church card after Labor Day. It's begun early.
On June 25, 2012, an American Thinker article entitled "Obama Campaign's Hole Card: Romney's Church" predicted that, through its loyal supporters in the liberal media, the Obama campaign would play Romney's affiliation with the Mormon Church against him.
In part, the article read:
And, as November nears, does anyone think that the two Davids -- Plouffe and Axelrod -- will hesitate to play it [the Mormon Church card] after Labor Day?
Of course, they won't play it face-up, overtly. It'll flip over on the political game table via a circuitous, but transparent, route -- through their allies in the legacy media.
One of the "C" media outlets (CBS, NBC, CNN, or ABC) will produce a special expose on Religion in American Politics - 2012. The correspondents will review the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's role in the '08 election, emphasizing how Candidate Obama distanced himself from his embarrassing, crazy-uncle pastor.
The meta-message will be how the attempt to tarnish Obama through his long association with Wright failed back in '08, and conclude that there is no sacred ghost around to haunt Obama this time.
Then the exposé's focus will shift to Romney.
With nuanced delicacy, the reporter will, purely from an historical point of view, note past polygamist and racist aspects of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church), adding that, of course, LDS practices have changed considerably over time. The script will lightly touch on several of the more obscure, less-known beliefs present in current LDC doctrine. Then, in a faux spirit of open-mindedness, the narrative will, in a spirit of fairness, acknowledge how beliefs among LDC Church members differ, just as do those among faithful Roman Catholics.
But the intended innuendo will have been etched into the minds of gullible viewers.
So expect the legacy media to do with Romney what it never did with Candidate Obama -- thoroughly examine his religious beliefs, from a variety of angles. It will, of course, all be presented in the spirit of educating the voting public, while maintaining the façade of intellectual impartiality.
The meta-message, though, will be heard: voters should be somewhat concerned about Mitt Romney's religious beliefs, since they're not mainstream, like Obama's.
It will come as no surprise if the legacy media, once again, carries Obama's water as Romney's religious affiliation becomes a soft target in the fall.
The move seems to have begun sooner than predicted.
First, ABC World News, with Diane Sawyer, has begun a two-part series on the Mormon Church. In the first four-minute segment, Sawyer sets up the report by saying -- with a concerned face -- that "the Mormon faith is still a mystery to a lot of people."
Then the reporter, Dan Harris (who occasionally does news reports for CBN's The 700 Club, hosted by Pat Robertson) begins,
With their imposing temples where secret rituals are performed, rituals so sacred that non-Mormons cannot enter, and with their all male leadership believed to have a direct line to God, members of the Mormon are keenly aware that they are sometimes seen as a source of mystery and suspicion.
(The Roman Catholic Church has all male leadership, too, and the papacy lays claim to just about the most direct line to God on the planet -- second only to Obama's Chicago friend and neighbor, Minister Louis Farrakhan Muhammad, Sr. But Romney isn't Catholic; Ryan and Biden are, though.)
All that's missing in Harris' lede is spooky music playing in the background.
Harris describes the Church's "public relations campaign" as designed to deliver the message that "we're your neighbors."
In the transition to the preview of Part 2, Sawyer asks Harris whether or not Mormons can drink coffee. (Good heavens! You mean they don't even drink coffee?) You suppose Sawyer knew the answer before asking the question?
Past 2 will examine past polygamous marriage practices in the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) -- a term CBS never uses in Part 1.
Now we learn that NBC plans to air a one-hour special on the Mormon Church in a Rock Center episode.
It is, of course, merely coincidental that the two networks were working on their specials at the same time.
Will ABC and CNN follow suit?