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Elder Oaks debate, by the numbers

It was to be expected. Elder Dallin H. Oaks reignited a debate about freedom of religion. Unfortunately, much of the landmark speech's message got derailed by journalist-created sideshows.

Here's coverage of the speech by the numbers:

4,325 words. The approximate number of words in the original speech delivered at BYU-Idaho.

778 words. The number of words the Deseret News either quoted directly of paraphrased from Elder Oaks in its coverage. It was thorough, but did avoid the civil rights analogy that was singled out by other media. Regrettably, the News missed the best chance any media had to put the quote into context. Even KSL mentioned it.

757 words. The number of words the Associated Press either quoted directly or paraphrased from Elder Oaks. Most Americans read about Elder Oaks' talk through the Associated Press version of the story.

The AP seemed focused on supporting its lead paragraph: "The anti-Mormon backlash after California voters overturned gay marriage last fall is similar to the intimidation of Southern blacks during the civil rights movement, a high-ranking Mormon said Tuesday."

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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