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Ed Driscoll

NYT Columnist Tells Romney, ‘Stick That in Your Magic Underwear’

February 24th, 2012 - 11:04 am

You stay classy, New York Times:

Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters has the backstory on this, along with the follow-up — or the lack there of, from the Times’ ombudsman:

Earlier this morning, Blow apologized for his anti-Mormon tweet:

Btw, the comment I made about Mormonism during Wed.’s debate was inappropriate, and I regret it. I’m willing to admit that with no caveats.

It is also worth adding that the Times’s “public editor” Art Brisbane, whose job it is to write about incidents like this one, told NR’s Gergahty that he will not be penning something about this.

Blow’s apology and Brisbane’s announcement of nothing likely signals that the Times will take no further action on the columnist’s insult of Mormons, almost certainly a different outcome from what would’ve happened had he insulted Muslims.  At least he had the good grace to apologize, though.

Update 11:27. Romney was asked about Blow’s offensive tweet by conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt. Here’s an excerpt of the conversation:

HUGH HEWITT: Now I know you’re not surprised by hostility from the New York Times, and I know you’re not surprised by anti-Mormon bigotry. But are you surprised by anti-Mormon bigotry in a New York Times columnist’s tweets?

MITT ROMNEY: That is a little surprising, I must admit. I guess we’re finding out for the first time that the media is somewhat biased.

HEWITT: (laughing) But do you expect, a lot of people worry that if you’re the nominee, and increasingly, it looks like you will be, that the Obama campaign, operating with the mainstream media, will unleash a lot of anti-LDS stuff on you? How are you preparing for that, Governor?

ROMNEY: You know, I don’t think that will be particularly helpful for their cause. The truth of the matter is they’ve got a lot of ways to attack our nominee. They’re going to make their attacks on a personal basis. They really have a hard time defending President Obama on the basis of his economic record, on the basis of his foreign policy record, particularly given the developments in Iran, as well as just mismanagement of Iraq and Afghanistan. So they’re going to make personal attacks. I think it’s going to wear very, very badly, and the American people are not going to line up for that kind of, if you will, divisiveness and demonization of fellow Americans.

Jim Geraghty writes, “Dear management of the New York Times, I hope you’re proud:”

One of your columnists responds to a comment he does not like, from a Mormon presidential candidate, and responds, “Stick that in your magic underwear.”

(Lest you are unfamiliar with this particular practice of the Mormon faith, see here.)

We just witnessed ESPN firing an employee for using the phrase “chink in the armor” in a headline about the New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin. While no one could prove a desire to mock Lin’s ethnic heritage, and the employee expressed great regret for what he insisted was an unthinking lapse, it was deemed unacceptable even as an honest mistake. Regardless of what one thinks of ESPN’s reaction, one is left to marvel at the contrast before us. Would the New York Times find it acceptable if one of their columnists chose to mock Muslim religious practices? Jewish faith practices?

But mocking some religions is okay? Doesn’t run afoul of any standards of the paper?

Hmm.

It’s only February of the election year, and the pot-shots at Romney religion have begun from the left’s official newspaper. Contrast that with the Times of four years ago. As Byron York wrote on September 24th, 2008:

Today is a red-letter day for the New York Times. For the first time, the paper has reported in its news section that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright once uttered the phrase “God damn America.” Wright’s comments were widely reported and widely discussed beginning with an ABC News report six months ago. Barack Obama even had to give a much-publicized speech because of those words, and others. But the newspaper of record has never seen fit to publish Wright’s quote in its news pages. Until today.

If my search of the Nexis database is correct, Wright’s quote first appeared in the Times in a column by Bill Kristol on March 17.  It was mentioned again in a column by Maureen Dowd on March 23.  It appeared in an editorial on April 26.  It appeared in a column by the public editor on May 4, and also in an article in the Week in Review section on that same day.

But never in the front section of the paper. Until now. As with the April 26 editorial, today’s mention of “God damn America” is in the context of reporting on attack ads targeting Obama. But still, it’s there, on page one, for the first time.

Yesterday was another red-letter day for the New York Times. Though Dana Loesch writes at Big Journalism, if this is the path the Gray Lady wants to pursue, she’s ready for that fight. “Please, let’s have Democrats make an issue of candidate faiths. I’d love to revisit how President Obama sat for 20 years in a pew listening to “G*DDAMN AMERICA!” Jeremiah Wright, the man he trusted enough to perform his marriage.”

Note that CNN’s John King took a similar pot shot at Romney this month — and how it contrasts with their own tossing of Obama’s religious issues down the memory hole in 2008.

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