Attack on Ann Romney Begins at BuzzFeed

Attack on Ann Romney Begins at BuzzFeed

***UPDATE: Wanted to highlight a comment left on this piece; an eloquent and insightful analysis of the BuzzFeed article from someone who describes herself as a Mormon and SAHM:

I read it and rolled my eyes. I’m a Mormon SAHM. Liberals really want to paint the LDS Church as oppressive but the Church doesn’t tell people what to do and expect blind obedience. We are encouraged to pray and seek inspiration for our own lives. Prophets teach the importance of the family over and over because it really is the top priority in our religion. Mormons are all about families and family values. I know plenty of LDS women who work by choice and many who work by necessity and others who choose to stay home in affluence and still more who choose to stay home in relative poverty. What really gets me about his article is that people want to judge each other and think they’re different or better than other people or even lump a group of diverse women united in faith, just because of the choices they make in their individual lives. As always, I invite you to find out information about Mormons from the source.,, and are great resources for fact-checking or for your own enlightenment.
Thanks for listening.…

That is beautifully expressed and the kind of context media-approved Mormons tend to leave out.

Just as I predicted in my piece the very day the President Obama-inspired attack on Ann Romney blew up in his face, it is Ben Smith’s BuzzFeed Politics that has fired the first shot at Ann Romney.

Smith’s obvious cover is to have a self-identified Mormon do the dirty work, but we all know how that works.

Buzzfeed also attacks Romney’s Mormon faith, so it’s a nice, sweet two-fer for Their Precious One. 

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin expresses exactly what Ben Smith and company are up to better than I could:

The BuzzFeed piece is misleadingly titled,”Why Ann stayed home.” In fact the reporter, McKay Coppins (who has identified himself as a Mormon), reveals nothing about her motivations. That, rather, appears to be the “hook” for a discourse asserting the Mormon faith is discriminatory and oppressive toward women. Ann wasn’t interviewed. The Romney campaign didn’t comment for his report. And the reporter doesn’t indicate he tried to reach either. The piece foreshadows, I fear, of what is to come — effort to portray Mormons as weirdly out of step and unmodern, and by implication, Romney as being unfit for the presidency.

The premise of the piece, that Mormonism was the motivation for Ann Romney’s decision to stay home, is defeated in the first graph: “Ann Romney was already fully immersed in stay-at-home motherhood — raising five sons, ages six to 16, in her Belmont home — when Mormon prophet Ezra Taft Benson took to a pulpit on February 22, 1987 and delivered a definitive sermon on gender roles in the church titled, “To the Mothers of Zion.” (Emphasis added.) The reporter also cites a Mormon speech lauding motherhood from the late 1970s, after the birth of several of the Romney boys.

So what is the point then of the piece, which goes on to paint Mormons as condescending and backward thinking when it comes to gender?

Rubin takes the position that Buzzfeed’s primary attack is geared more towards the Mormon faith than Ann Romney, but what the author, a self-identified Mormon named McKay Coppins, is also doing here is portraying the “wife of a candidate” (remember when Obama said they were off-limits? Good times, good times.) as some sort of Stepford Wife held sway by a religion that he portrays — as Rubin put it — “as condescending and backward thinking when it comes to gender”.

The hit-piece is even aimed directly at the candidate’s wife with the title: “Why Ann Stayed Home”

Then Coppins completely contradicts his own headline, portraying the Romney’s lifestyle as “Leave It To Beaver,” and even reading Ann Romney’s mind:

Ann Romney was already fully immersed in stay-at-home motherhood — raising five sons, ages six to 16, in her Belmont home — when Mormon prophet Ezra Taft Benson took to a pulpit on February 22, 1987 and delivered a definitive sermon on gender roles in the church titled, “To the Mothers of Zion.”

His message to working moms: “Come home.”

The religious dynamic of the Romneys’ Leave It To Beaver lifestyle has been largely lost on the partisans making hay out of the latest flare-up in the mommy wars, which was sparked by a Democratic strategist charging that Ann “has never actually worked a day in her life.” But while much of the debate has centered on class — with liberals casting full-time motherhood as a luxury for the rich, and conservatives hoping working-class women will identify with her — the fact is that even if Mitt were a middle-class schoolteacher, there’s a good chance Ann still would have foregone a career.

Through a rhetorical sleight of hand, even though Ann Romney chose to stay home and raise the kids a full 16 years before 1987, Coppins seems disappointed to have found that out and just forges ahead with his hit under the bizarre hypothetical that she “still would have foregone a career.”

You’ll want to read all of Rubin’s piece, which not only dismantles BuzzFeed’s motives, but offers up some background on its author. If past is prologue, it’s pretty obvious Coppins wasn’t hired to illuminate or defend what he claims is his own faith. And as someone who has watched Ben Smith for going on four years now, my guess is that that fact was a major plus on Mr. Coppins’ resume. 

Politically, hiring a Mormon was a brilliant move on Smith’s part. With the David Frum/Kathleen Parker of Mormonism on his team and the corrupt media desperate to find a fig leaf to attack Romney’s faith, I’d bet money Coppins will be leading this charge for all of the MSM before it’s over.  

After all, this is what Ben —tanning bed— Smith does. And this is the kind of thing he’ll be doing on steroids with a full staff at his command. 

Bottom line: Right now, Obama is pushing the so-called gender gap to victory, and here’s Ben and company right there pushing behind him. The subtext of today’s shot at the candidate’s wife is that she’s a freak, and not at all like you.

She’s an “other.”

Nasty stuff, and Ben Smith is just getting started.


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