It’s a gift that keeps on giving. In terms of news value, the decision by leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to deny baptism to under-age children of gay parents is impossible to leave alone. I wrote about the initial coverage a week ago but a lot has happened since then.
If you've been hiding under a rock recently, here's how the Salt Lake Tribune describes the current situation:
No part of the new LDS policy on same-sex couples has generated more controversy -- and criticism -- than its prohibition against Mormon rituals for their children.
Stories flooding social media tell of canceled baby blessings, postponed baptisms, aborted priesthood ordinations and withdrawn missionary applications. Even many devout Mormons -- including congregational and regional leaders — report distress, despondence and despair over the upheaval.
Opponents of the church’s decision -- and there are many -- have helped things along by having a photogenic mass resignation of their church membership last Saturday. Being that a similar rally has already been scheduled for next Saturday, methinks the organizers are going to continue this media campaign for as long as they can. Most people in the news business can sniff out a manufactured event, so I'll be interested to see who covers Rally #2. Keep you eye on The New York Times, where editors appear ready to go to the mattresses.
What’s also helped the protesters' cause is there’s been no official comment from LDS leaders except for a 10-minute video placed on the church’s web site on Nov. 6 and a statement a few days later clarifying the new policy.
Not a smart move by the church, because their opponents are winning the media battle hands down.