Editorial of The New York Sun | October 18, 2012
“WHOOPI PLAYS THE MORMON CARD . . .” is the headline that went up on the Drudge Report this afternoon. It turns out to link to a story on Realclearpolitics.com about how the actress Whoopi Goldberg was attempting a “gotcha” on Governor Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, in respect of Mormons and military service. Ms. Goldberg angled into the subject by saying she believed that “your religion doesn’t allow military service.” Mrs. Romney corrected her with grace and poise and noted that “many members of our faith are serving in armed services.”
This is when Ms. Goldberg claimed that she had read that the reason her husband hadn’t served in Vietnam “was because it was against the religion.” Mrs. Romney, again with remarkable poise, explained that it was incorrect and that her husband was serving his Mormon mission and that her five sons had served their missions and none had served in the military. A smarmier attempted “gotcha” on a possible First Lady we don’t recall seeing, and it took us back a way to one of the most memorable moments in our year of covering combat in Vietnam.
It was one of our first expeditions into the field for Pacific Stars and Stripes, where the job of the reporters was to try to find combat and be there when it happened. We’d gone into northern III Corps, 50 or 60 miles north of Saigon, and, it being quiet that day on the plains, had caught a Chinook helicopter up to the top of a volcanic cone named Black Virgin Mountain. The situation in that part of Tay Ninh province that season was that our side was in control of the plains and also a base atop Black Virgin Mountain, but the sides of the vast volcanic pile were infested with communist soldiers, and a battle was in progress on one of the flanks of the mountain.