Mormons May Rock, But ‘Newsweek's’ Dancing Romney Cover Kicks Up Controversy

Three months after its Tina Brown led overhaul, the weekly publication is finally making waves

Tina Brown promised to reinvent  Newsweek with the magazine's makeover last March. It took three months, but she's finally making waves.

The moldering weekly has kicked up a controversy with a new examination of Mormonism, the controversial religion's starring role in the Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon," and status as the faith of choice for presidential aspirants Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, Jr.

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Along with a provocative title "Mormon Rocks," the piece is drawing scorn from media talking heads and the far right for its eye-catching cover. 

In it, a dancing Romney is shown in mid-jete on the eye-catching cover. A small text on the cover reads: “Mitt Romney for President.”

The National Review labelled the cover “appalling.” Meanwhile, Newsbusters questioned if it was an "appropriate" way to present a leading presidential candidate. 

But the author, reporter McKay Coppins, who is himself a Latter-Day Saint, maintains that despite the provocative cover art, the piece is a balanced look at the religion. 

"Don't judge the story by its cover alone," said Newsweek reporter McKay Coppins, an active Mormon who worked closely on the project. "I think members of the church will find that the package treats Mormonism fairly."

Indeed, the article is less irreverent than the image of hoofing Mitt would lead one to believe. It contends that Romney, Huntsman and the success of "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer show that Mormons are having their "coming out" party.

Yet, some of the examples, such as "Big Love" (currently in re-run heaven) and recently deposed Fox News host Glenn Beck seem a tad musty.