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Arment Dietrich

Headlines Are Worth a Thousand Words

By: Arment Dietrich | December 21, 2007 | 
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If there’s anything that I hate, it’s headlines that don’t actually reflect the content of a story. Take the Associated Press’ recent article on Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.  Despite the fact that the headline reads, “Huckabee Questions Mormons’ Belief,” the content of the article reflects something different.

In an interview for an upcoming article that will appear in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, Huckabee says, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”  The important part of this conversation, and the aspect that isn’t represented in the headline, is that Huckabee offered this as a response to a question after saying he believes Mormonism is a religion but doesn’t know much about it.

He’s admitted that he really doesn’t have knowledge of the religion, and then he poses a question about the beliefs — that he has clearly made obvious he’s unsure about. Does that really mean he’s questioning Mormons’ belief? Or does it mean that he’s asking a question about a religion that he admittedly doesn’t know anything about?

Earlier this month, Huckabee responded to a question about Mormonism (rival Mitt Romney’s religion) by stating, “I’m just not going to go off into evaluating other people’s doctrines and faiths. I think that is absolutely not a role for a president.”

So, let’s cut the guy some slack, and accurately depict the story with a headline. Too many Americans only read headlines, rather than a full article. Let’s not mislead them. – Angela Loiacono

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