Yesterday during the GOP presidential debate, Mitt Romney stated that children in single-parent homes are less likely to be successful in life. Apparently outraged by such a scathing (and statistically-supported) remark, New York Times columnist Charles Blow tweeted the following response:
“I’m a single parent and my kids are *amazing*! Stick that in your magic underwear.”
Crazy, right? And not just the irony that a man with the surname “Blow” has the audacity to mock other people.
“Magic underwear” is a common term used to ridicule Latter-day Saint temple garments, which Mormons wear under their clothes as a reminder of covenants they have made with God, sometimes compared to a Jew’s yarmulke. Mormons consider temple garments to be especially sacred.
Buzzfeed reported that neither Blow nor the New York Times would give a statement regarding the tweet. As of today the tweet was still visible on Blow’s twitter. Romney was asked about the tweet on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show today, but he only responded generally saying he found it “surprising” that this would come from a New York Times reporter but that personal attacks would not be “particularly helpful for their cause.”
It’s hard to imagine a reporter getting away with this kind of religious bigotry had it been targeted at, say, a Jewish politician. But I guess not all religions are created equal in the public eye, especially since as far as I can tell no other news organization is really mentioning this.
Update: On Friday (2/24/12), Blow tweeted, “Btw, the comment I made about Mormonism during Wed.’s debate was inappropriate, and I regret it. I’m willing to admit that with no caveats.” A spokesman for the New York Times stated that this tweeted off-hand apology was sufficient and that people should move on.