Deseret News, David Cross, Hipster Comedians, and the Untold Story of Joseph Smith

Humor

Deseret News recently mentioned David Cross’ latest release and called it “a probable R.” After listening to this track, I’d probably agree (technical note: the clip ends at 3:40 with Dave’s “sowwy” … nothing but dead air after that):

Memo to hipster comedians: If you’re gonna rail, make some effort to get your facts straight about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. Otherwise, you come off sounding as out-to-lunch as the overfed, undereducated masses that your edgy comedy is meant to mock.

After listening to Dave’s historically (and textually) inaccurate rant, I was glad to find this earlier Deseret News review of a docudrama whose director had been:

… mulling a balanced film portrayal of Smith for a long time, because “I don’t think it has been told in a really balanced way that I’m aware of. … In my experience, it’s [either] a puff piece or like something like Fawn Brodie’s book (‘No Man Knows My History’), an all-out attack.”

And I’d have to agree. A Mormon President is obviously no No Man Knows My History. Not even close.

13 thoughts on “Deseret News, David Cross, Hipster Comedians, and the Untold Story of Joseph Smith

  1. This is a bit of a tangent, but it annoys me the way the faithful taken it as an article of faith that No Man Knows My History is “an all-out attack.” It isn’t. In many ways it’s sympathetic to JS, and, indeed, more historically accurate and balanced than the earlier (hagiographic) biographies of JS. But if they keep repeating that accusation among themselves, it becomes a sort of common wisdom: eg. “everybody knows that Brodie’s book is just a hateful attack [so there’s no reason to bother reading it].”

    I think it would be really interesting to read No Man Knows My History alongside Rough Stone Rolling. I’ll bet Rough Stone Rolling covers the same (unflattering) facts about JS. The difference is that those points were shocking back when Brodie wrote about them, and aren’t as shocking today (largely as a result of Brodie’s research).

  2. Did you watch the “A Mormon President” clip? The reference in Deseret News by the filmmakers to No Man Knows My History was a smokescreen. The folks behind that (as-yet-to-be-released-film) are the real anti-Mormons. Ask John Dehlin. He knows. He interviewed one of the jokers (Shawn McCraney) who paraded his BS (and chest hair) for the cameras for that yet-to-see-the-daylight project.

    I’m just A) laughing that Deseret News gave these clowns the time of day back in ’07, and B) busily emailing the producers to find out whatever happened to their “fair-and-balanced” Joseph Smith/Mitt Romney docudrama, while C) taking the piss out of David Cross for being a wannabe.

  3. Here I go, complaining about “the faithful”, and then I look through my RSS reader and what do I find? They proved me wrong four days ago!

    Have a look at this. Thanks, DKL, for getting it!

    I watched the clip above, but I haven’t seen the “A Mormon President” clip. But I doubt it can compare to this rendition of the life of Darwin. 😉

  4. Yes, good on DKL for his defense of an author we all hold particularly dear in these parts.

    Between DKL at MM and Julie M. Smith at T&S, I think we’re fast approaching Kurzweil’s singularity, i.e., that moment when the Bloggernacle and the DAMU become indistinguishable and we all agree that the new mormon.org concept (at least as explained by Kathryn Lynard Soper) sounds like a really, really, really bad idea.

    That said, I understand why you refuse to watch the clip I provided. Not enough swordplay, apparently; no nod to the triumph that was September Dawn.

    I should’ve known. Straight up docudrama is not for everyone.

  5. I don’t mean to refuse to watch it — where’s the link again? I sometimes lose track of videos if I first load the post/comment when I’m not in a situation where I can watch them right away.

  6. OMG Chino, that is too funny!

    I think that JS clip and the Darwin clip should be watched back-to-back, because that’s exactly the sort of sensationalism the Darwin clip was mocking.

    The most hilarious part is that the JS one is (apparently) totally serious and earnest…

  7. i thought cross was pretty accurate for the most part and was impressed by how much he knew and fit into 4 minutes. pretty funny bit if you ask me. i think its cool he knows that much about mormonism.

  8. He got the basic facts right:

    1) Mormons are theocrats who try to push their beliefs onto others via the government. They dominate Utah, and their organization against gays makes a PAC look uninterested in politics.

    2) Mormons are antigay bigots, just as they are antiwomen and were antiblack until 1979.

    3) JS is a fraud, who tried many get-rich-quick schemes before writing the BofM.

    4) Hyrum was a Mason, and the temple ceremony is a ripoff of the Masonic rituals.

    You can dispute a few minor details, but it’s a comedy routine, and the crowd laughed uproariously, because they know that Mormonism is a fraud and that Mormons are theocratic bigots.

  9. Hmm, maybe we need more details on what, precisely, is wrong with the David Cross bit.

    Or is this just a gambit to get people to come here and explain how JS was every bit as bad as Cross described him. Worse even! 😉

  10. At this point, it’s a toss-up as to what I find more offensive: the suggestion here that I’d perhaps feigned outrage, or the case of mistaken identity over at RfM …

    Really, the guy nailed Mormonism and yet the TBMs are still bitching over minor crap like this. Stupid stupid stupid.

    Indeed. 😉

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