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NBC's Dateline commits slander, say pro-polygamists

Date: Oct 04, 2003
Word Count: 235 words
Cross-Reference: Tom Green, Rodney Holm, polygamists, Dateline

NBC's Dateline associates individual Mormon polygamist criminals as representing all in "the polygamous lifestyle."

Old Orchard Beach, Maine--- Pro-polygamy supporters say that the October 3, 2003, episode of NBC's Dateline slandered all polygamists. The show reported on two publicized Utah polygamy cases, Tom Green and Rodney Holm. 
Green has been in jail for the last two years, serving a five year sentence for criminal non-support, plus four counts of bigamy being served concurrently. Holm is a former policeman who was convicted in August for having sex with a 16 year old and for bigamy. Both cases involve Fundamentalist Mormons in Utah. 
All polygamists, however, are neither Fundamentalist Mormons nor residents of Utah. 
In Maine, Mark Henkel, founder of the Christian Polygamy organization,, said that Dateline's chosen way to present what the show termed, "the polygamous lifestyle," is slander against all normal polygamists. 
"Never once did Dateline clarify that these two Utah Fundamentalist Mormons do NOT represent other polygamists," said Henkel. "Christian Polygamists oppose both of these men's actions, especially with young girls. Even some Mormon Polygamists do not support them too." 
Showing the criminal examples in the unclarified context of representing "the polygamous lifestyle" is, according to Henkel, "as irresponsible and reprehensible as the media associating two individual black criminals with all good and normal African Americans." 
Said Henkel, "Forget about so-called 'journalistic balance' or 'media ethics.' Dateline, without making a single clarification, clearly associated all normal polygamists with these two individual convicts. That's slander, pure and simple." 


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