Whitewashing Romney’s Evangelical Problem 

While Romney’s own campaign worries his Mormonism could turn off Republican primary voters, Fox News has routinely portrayed the base’s hostility to Romney’s faith as an invention of the liberal media. Over at Media Matters I demonstrate how in spite of mountains of evidence, Fox News has sought to undermine the notion that evangelicals — the base of the Republican base — are the source of this anti-Mormon hostility.

Case in point: on the February 8 edition of Fox News’ Special Report, Fred Barnes claimed, “[Romney’s] problem is liberal intolerance which has a great deal in this country. It’s not bigotry on the part of conservatives.” Maybe Barnes couldn’t find the Southern Baptist Convention’s massive downloadable file on Mormonism. Funny — all he needed to do was visit the SBC’s webpage containing “free resources on cults and sects.” (Fred, scroll down past the Nation of Islam and the Church of Scientology and you’ll find it).

In case Barnes needs any more evidence of Romney’s evangelical problem, on the website of Janet Parshall, one of America’s most popular evangelical radio personalities, an (unscientific) poll contains troubling numbers for Romney: 48% of respondents — a plurality — say Romney’s religion will “affect his candidacy very much.” That’s code for evangelicals are uneasy about a candidate they consider to be a cult member.

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