After strong reactions and an outcry on social media about their controversial obituary on President Thomas S. Monson, The New York Times is responding.
William McDonald, the obituary editor at the publication, answered questions in a new piece compiled by Lara Takenaga. The article begins by highlighting some of the complaints posed by members of the Church, including the accusation that the obituary focused on controversial politics rather than the legacy of service and humanitarian work President Monson left behind. In responding to the criticism, McDonald stated:
“But I also acknowledge that many of those who found the obituary wanting feel we did not provide a more rounded view of Mr. Monson — perhaps his more human side. I’ll concede that what we portrayed was the public man, not the private one, or the one known to his most ardent admirers.
In 20/20 hindsight, we might have paid more attention to the high regard with which he was held within the church. I think by his very position in the church, all that was implied. But perhaps we should have stated it more plainly.
Still, on balance, I think the obituary makes clear that he was a man of strong faith and convictions, who stood by them even in the face of detractors, while finding ways to move the church forward.”