As Massimo Introvigne so ably pointed out in the International Journal of Mormon Studies recently, the European Press does a poor job of evaluating Mormonism, often getting their facts wrong and playing our faith as stereotype.
Today, London’s Guardian again framed Latter-day Saints as nut cases. World-renowned Burmese peace activist Aung San Suu Kyi receive a visitor this week – a violation of her house arrest and a visit that appears that it will extend her tragic confinement.
The visitor was John Yettaw, the Guardian reports, who was also arrested. He had home-made flippers and swam about a mile across the lake that isolates her.
Catch these stereotypes for strange people in the article: He is a Vietnam vet. He is from the Ozarks. And, that’s right, he’s evidently a Mormon – supposedly working on a “faith-based” book on heroism. He is even described as a “nutty fellow” in the article.
Credit, however, goes to The Washington Post. Its much-more detailed, factual account of the event never brings up his faith – it isn’t relevant to the story. So, when people say, "Why do reporters always bring up a Mormon’s faith in stories?" They don’t always know the times reporters don’t.
Here is a clear example of a media representative doing the right thing by not engaging in stereotype or bringing up a faith.