Skip to comments.Mormon Media Observer: Top 10 LDS newsmakers of 2009
Posted on 12/30/2009 1:32:39 PM PST by Colofornian
The Mormon Media Observer looks back at the year filled with LDS newsmakers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tops the list, based on a newsmaker's frequency in the news as well as the significance of their stories.
1. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada
The Senate Majority Leader led the battle to push through health reform in the Senate. News coverage of Reid made a household name and the divisive debate made him out to be both villain and saint. He may still face a tough battle in his home state of Nevada to save his seat.
On Christmas The New York Times wrote:
"WASHINGTON -- It was the pinnacle moment of his political career. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, on the verge of making history by shepherding through far-reaching health care legislation, was called upon by the clerk to cast his vote. And Mr. Reid, who had fought tirelessly for months to get the health care bill adopted, looked up from his desk and said, "No." ...Mr. Reid's oh-no vote capped one of the more remarkable stretches in what is shaping up to be one of the more remarkable careers in American politics, characterized in no small part by the sheer inscrutability of much of what he says and does. In the end, of course, Congressional leaders are judged on one thing alone: whether they come up with the votes. And Mr. Reid -- the miner's son from Searchlight, Nev., the amateur boxer who worked his way through law school as a Capitol Hill police officer, who has a knack for mumbling and off-the-cuff gaffes -- had the votes."
2. Stephenie Meyer
The release of "New Moon" attracted media attention around the world. Here's a sampling of the some of the worldwide headlines: "New Moon takes biggest bite," "Vatican denounces the 'deviant' Twilight Movie," "Mormon who put new life into vampires."
The Sunday Mail of London wrote: "Her teenage vampire books outsell Harry Potter -- but she's a devout Mormon who lives modestly in Cave Creek, Ariz., and eats at the local burger joint. For a woman who has sold more than 85 million books and has been hailed as the new J. K. Rowling, it is a remarkably modest home. Set down a dusty dirt trail, the four-bedroom property blends seamlessly into the desert landscape -- low and sand-colored with just a few cacti for decoration. Only a high-tech camera and newly installed metal gates give some hint of the occupant's desire for privacy."
3. Elizabeth Smart
The young woman endured brutality and came to court this year to face her abuser, Brian David Mitchell. After attending Brigham Young University, she is preparing to serve a mission in France. She was named Utahn of the Year by the Salt Lake Tribune. The excellent tribute by Trib columnist Peg McEntee reads:
"She had wanted to confront Mitchell with her eyes and words, but, predictably, he sang his hymns and was removed from the courtroom. When it was over, Elizabeth Smart strode, tall and straight, into the rest of her life. For so many of us, her astonishing homecoming restored hope when there seemed to be none, and the knowledge that even terrible times can end, and end well. And she taught us this: Faith, whatever its source, can make amazing things happen."
4. Jon Huntsman Jr.
President Barack Obama named Utah's former governor U.S. Ambassador to China. He took his post in August. Huntsman played host to Obama during a visit to China in November. Chinese media lauded Obama for the choice for Huntsman's understanding of Chinese language and culture. Huntsman previously served a U.S. ambassador to Singapore.
5. Orrin Hatch
Sen. Orrin Hatch was a key opponent to health care reform and taken on foes like the Bowl Championship Series. He also played a role in honoring the Sen. Edward Kennedy at his death. Over the years, the pair made an interesting senatorial odd couple. Along with speaking at Kennedy's memorial service, Hatch penned this piece in Newsweek. He also penned a Hanukkah song which was both complimented and parodied on "The Tonight Show."
6. Glenn Beck
The firebrand talk show host continued to attract attention on his national radio and TV shows, through his books and in the news media. The picture of Beck sticking his tongue out made it on the cover of Time magazine and parodied on several comedy shows. Here was Time's assessment:
"Glenn Beck: the pudgy, buzz-cut, weeping phenomenon of radio, TV and books. Our hot summer of political combat is turning toward an autumn of showdowns over some of the biggest public-policy initiatives in decades. The creamy notions of postpartisan cooperation -- poured abundantly over Obama's presidential campaign a year ago -- have curdled into suspicion and feelings of helplessness. Trust is a toxic asset, sitting valueless on the national books. Good faith is trading at pennies on the dollar. "
7. Mitt Romney
Emboldened by conservative supporters, Romney is keeping his eyes on 2012 presidential prize. Romney has been delivering a lot of keynoters and political endorsements around the nation and is getting ready to launch a book-promotion tour. A National Public Radio blog recent said this about who is a GOP frontrunner for 2012:
"Answer: No one so far. Mitt Romney, the venture capitalist and former governor of Massachusetts who ran a pretty good campaign in 2008, remains the class of the field but kept a low profile in 2009. Mike Huckabee led in some polls of Republicans that also found Sarah Palin popular. But Huckabee ended the year uncertain about running (and damaged by a clemency scandal from his days as Arkansas governor). Romney remains too much a general election candidate, a problem for the Democrats to be sure but far from the average Republican activist's cup of tea. His past positions on social issues were too styled to Massachusetts, and his Mormonism still leaves the party's religious base lukewarm at best."
8. Max Hall
BYU football quarterback Hall got his 15 minutes of national fame after the BYU-Utah football game when he said: "I don't like Utah. In fact, I hate them," Hall said. "I hate everything about them. I hate their program. I hate their fans, I hate everything. ... I think the whole university, their fans and their organization, is classless." He later issued an apology and was sanctioned by the Mountain West Conference.
9. John Yettaw
The Missouri man widely noted in international media for his Mormon faith was held for a time in a Burmese prison charged with crime related to a swim across a lake to one of the world's best-known democracy figures, Aung San Suu Kyi. He left Myanmar with a U.S. senator. Despite his good intentions, Yettaw gave an unfortunate impression of Mormons to the world.
10. Michael Otterson
He was the spokesman behind the LDS Church statement at the Salt Lake City council meeting in early November that appears to be changing the politics in Utah for gays.
"The Church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage. They are also entirely consistent with the Church's prior position on these matters. The Church remains unequivocally committed to defending the bedrock foundation of marriage between a man and a woman. I represent a church that believes in human dignity, in treating others with respect even when we disagree -- in fact, especially when we disagree."
Maybe I should use you as a prime example of a person who is only a hearer of the word only and not a doer.
All I have seen from you and your type is hate and anger. I guess if that is what “true” Christianity teaches and is all about, then you and yours are “true” examples of Christ-like love.
It’s also you type of “true” Christianity that drove my agnostic friend away from Christianity.
Many people think that Christ was talking about the Jews and Israel in Matthew 12:43-45, but I feel that he was really talking about those who claim to be “true” Christians and use hate to spread their beliefs.
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
In the mean time continue to live up to you nick name, erroner, for I am both a hearer and a doer. One thing I do is defend Christ from the deformation your fantasy religion has created, as he and the apostles asked us to do.
You mock me, you mock my beliefs, and you rejoice in being mean and nasty. Not only do you mock me, but you mock all those who believe differently from you. Like I said, you are a prime example of what Christ has asked us not to be.
You are intolerant when it comes to others beliefs if they disagree with yours and if anybody attempts to show you that you are wrong or that they are right, your hate and venom is very obvious, even to the most casual observer.
Please, ejonesie22, continue to behave like a raving maniac for Christ because you are doing more good for what I believe and you are causing more damage to your side.
I guess you have never read that article, by two Evangelical scholars, about the poor and almost inexcusable way many Evangelicals are responding to the Mormon’s beliefs. They state very plainly that Evangelicals are losing the battle and they don’t even know it.
So, to sum up what I think about what you are doing and how you are doing, please, please, please, please keep on keeping on.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
Sorry, I’ll try not to do that in the future.
Sorry ej about making it personal.
Still no kitty.
You mean the "scholars" whose work, especially that of Owen, have been found tainted and have been disavowed by actual Christian scholars, while being trumpeted by mormons?
"His (Owen) attacks upon the apologetic community dating back a number of years now are understandable and can no longer be seen as coming from one "inside" the same camp: he is clearly far outside, and happy to be there. Hopefully, no one will any longer be confused by his conservative "credentials." His views are now open and clear, and for that I'm thankful. Their unbiblical nature, thankfully, is just as clear."
Too bad that the article written in 1997, more than ten years ago, is all that mormons have to hang their anti-Evangelical hats on!
But they will keep hanging themselves anyways...
About the same age when Joe Smith started conning people with his "divining rod - hey I'll find your buried gold" tricks.
Shortly afterwards, the fake profit Joe really went off the deep end. So did anyone that followed his folly.
Harry Reid is a MINO (Mormon in name only).
Well, thats an interesting angle, Saundra. Please tell us, does BYU usually invite MINOs to speak at all-student body, all-faculty rallies? (Cause guess what? Thats exactly what BYU did in October 2007 ensuring Reid spoke to over 4,000 on campus. Heres the FReeper story on that Reid Gets Warm Reception at BYU )
From the above linked article, written by the Lds church owned Deseret News: At the end of his speech, Reid earned a standing ovation from a small percentage of the crowd and applause from the rest.
Tell us, Saundra, do BYU students & faculty usually applaud ALL MINOs like that?
Not only that, but the Salt Lake Tribune ran an October 2009 article here. Harry Reid: A Mormon in the Middle
Here were two interesting comments by fellow Mormons about Reid, including one from Sen. Orrin Hatch: Bennett's Utah Senate colleague, Orrin Hatch, says it's not fair for fellow Mormons to disparage Reid as anything but a devout Mormon..."I can personally tell you that Harry is a good member of the LDS faith and he was expressing a personal opinion that his side feels very deeply about," Hatch says.
Well, there ya go, Saundra. Are you being contentious against Sen. Hatch by calling him a liar or mistaken re: his eval of Reid?
I mean, come on Saundra, the Salt Lake Trib article also mentioned how Today, Reid, with his security escort in tow, likely will be making his home teaching rounds after his ward's three-hour service. Anyone who questions his Mormon credentials should see that, says Jim Vlock, his home-teaching companion.
There ya go, Saundra another Mormon testimonial about Reid that claims he is a bonifide Mormon. (Of course, we all know how mistaken those Mormon testimonials are all the time about another Mormon leader a Mr. Joseph Smith so I guess Mr. Vlock can be wrong just like all the other Mormon testimonials, eh?)
Oh, and one more thing, Saundra, that same Salt Lake Trib article makes this claim: "I think some of the most unChristian-like letters, phone calls, contacts I've had were from members of the [LDS] church, saying some of the most mean things that are not in the realm of our church doctrine or certainly Christianity," Reid said last week during an interview in his office.
Wow! Saundra. (You havent been sending those MINO comments in the form of letters, phone calls or other contacts to Mr. Reid, now have you?) But its all ironic, Saundra: Here you start off the second wave of 50 comments claiming Harry Reid is a MINO and here Harry Reid was claiming in an interview three months ago that based upon the letters, phone calls, contacts Ive had from members of the [LDS] church, he apparently thinks many Mormons are CINOs! (Christians in Name Only)
So, whos right Saundra? Sen. Hatch? Harry Reid? BYUs speaker invite committee? You?
Harry Reid is a HINO (Human in name only). He is a despicable little gremlin. Sadness has fallen deeply upon him. The fact that he is a mo-is just icing on the cake. Freakin' weirdo, he is.
Reid BETTER be VOTED OUT in extreme numbers. He is a gas bag who needs to be launched into his next job as a restroom attendant.
It wouldn’t have anything to do with your inability to handle a little criticism would it?
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Ummmm....unlike the LDS who use caucus/devotional threads to avoid criticism, Colofornian posts open threads when discussing the LDS.
RF has much greater freedoms for discussion than most the other areas of FR.
Hmm, you think it is a fantasy that the BYU quarterback hates the U?
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No, not really, and Ejonesie did say that it was.
However, anything coming out of the BYU on the topics of archaeology, Ancient Scripture or Religion (esp the apologetic IS almost always related to fantasy.
I know MANY MANY professionals and academics in the fields of Archeology, History and Biblical Studies, NONE of them take BYU seriously.
“You went to BYU? I wouldn’t put that on my CV” - My graduate adviser in History.
You mean the “scholars” whose work, especially that of Owen, have been found tainted and have been disavowed by actual Christian scholars, while being trumpeted by mormons?
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That would be the one. I have been in Academic circles for almost 15 years now and no one I have asked has either never heard of the guy or they do not consider him a “scholar”.
His book with Stephen J. Robinson “How wide the divide” was not impressive to say the least and also lost him quite a bit of credibility.
BTW, he no longer considers himself “Evangelical” having converted to Anglicanism in 2006.
Hey, ther article is only 13 Years old!
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Depending upon the subject/area 13 years is either no time at all (Archeology) or far to removed to be useful (Apologetics). Gender studies and “sexual history” usually runs about 5 years. History tends to fall closer to a “20 year rule” and Biblical Studies closer to a “8-10 year rule”, in my experience.
If Reid is a “MINO”, then how come he still holds a temple recommend? That means being an “active”, tithe paying member.