OLYMPICS: Trashing religion

Mormons apparently are exempt from the media's politically correct concern about sensitivity toward religious minorities.

Reporters from across the globe are in Utah to cover the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and some make no attempt to disguise their utter contempt for Mormons, who make up 70 percent of the state's population.

Utah has been described as "the strangest state in America," a theocracy and "holier-than-thou Hicksville."

One particularly immature reporter, according to The Washington Times, "asked two young ... missionaries to tell her about the church, then poked cruel fun at one who was breathing with the help of an oxygen mask."

The Times speculates that some of the ill will springs from what it calls the dissatisfaction of the "hard-drinking press" with a state law banning the sale of drinks with an alcohol content exceeding 3.2 percent. Utah also is conservative and Republican, and the Mormon church denounces homosexual marriages. None of that is likely to endear Utah to the liberal segment of the media, either.

If Utah were a predominantly Islamic state, would the media be as adversarial? Probably not, judging from their news reports from elsewhere in the world. The double standard is as obvious as it is offensive to those who support the goal of objective journalism.