Mixed opinion on Mitt Romney Newsweek cover

Published: Tuesday, June 7 2011 10:00 a.m. MDT

"Look, ma! My body with Mitt's head on the cover of Newsweek!"

Andrew Rannells, who plays one of the two LDS missionaries who are main characters in the Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon," posted that enthusiastic response to Newsweek's cover, "Mormons Rock! How the Outsider Faith Creates Winners", on his Twitter account. And the cover illustration really is just that, Mitt Romney's head photoshopped over Rannells' on an image from a poster for the play.

Not everyone is as pleased as Rannells about Newsweek's cover, which officially hit stands yesterday. In fact, conservative media pundits have universally condemned it.

"I find Newsweek's cover illustration appalling," said Jim Geraghty in a post on the National Review's website, "obviously they had to feature the cover that makes the GOP frontrunner look like a lunatic…they had to take the GOP frontrunner and make him look like a deranged escapee from the set of 'Glee.'"

Noel Sheppard of the conservative media watchdog Newsbusters.org questioned the appropriateness of drawing such dramatic attention to a serious presidential contenders' faith. But, it isn't just conservative groups that are speaking out against the cover art.

"But check out this cover," wrote a blogger at GetReligion.org. "Whoa. It's always so interesting to me how the media can do such a good job of protecting some groups from caricature and advance gross stereotypes of others at the same time."

Huffington Post Media also picked up on the divisive nature of the cover, polling website visitors whether they would "Love it!" or "Leave it." Interestingly, "Love it!" (with the added exclamation point) was placed before "Leave it" in the poll. But as of Tuesday morning, "Leave it" led with 56 percent of the vote.

EMAIL: hboyd@desnews.com

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