My Missing Newsweek Mingled with Speculation

I have been a subscriber to Newsweek for over three years and haven’t had the need to call customer service asking why I haven’t received a particular issue… until this week!

I live in Provo, Utah, though my Newsweek subscription is delivered to my PO Box in Orem. I can’t recall a time it was delivered on a day other than Wednesday or Thursday. So, after checking my box on Thursday and then again Friday, I decided to question one of the postal workers. He informed me that the Newsweeks were late this week, and he himself placed them in the boxes earlier that morning (Friday). Not only was it odd that I hadn’t received my own copy, but also it seemed very strange that the magazine was late in general.

My next course of action was my phone call to Newsweek. After making it through the phone system, I explained the situation to the representative on the line. She was quick to offer a solution. I could receive another copy free of charge, but it would take three weeks to arrive. As my options were slim (and remembering back when Mormons were on the cover of Time causing it to be unavailable everywhere I turned), I decided to accept the offer.

But I couldn’t help myself; I had to ask: "Don’t you think it a strange coincidence that the one time I don’t receive my Newsweek in three years here in Utah is also the time Mormons happen to be on the cover?"

She replied quickly without hesitation and explained that this wasn’t the first call of this type. Apparently many others in Utah are missing their copies. She assured me that "Newsweek is trying to see if there is a pattern" and that the whole thing is "under investigation." She also explained that the new copy being sent to me would be sealed in a brown envelope.

Funny stuff.


  1. I think it must reflect on the wickedness of Utah. Think about all things “slippery” in the Book of Mormon…

  2. Aaron Brown says:

    Isn’t the Newsweek article pretty Mormon-friendly? Seems unlikely that the Danites are behind this, as it wouldn’t be worth their time to confiscate something so innocuous. I suspect there is a perfectly reasonable, supernatural explanation that involves a Gadianton-like conspiracy between Church leaders and Indians, as well as Three Nephites raiding LDS mailboxes with super-human stealth and speed.

    I also blame John D. Lee.

    Aaron B

    Aaron B

  3. Hmm… I wasn’t going to say anything, but my original theory was that all the cheapskate Mormons in Utah thought it wouldn’t be a big deal if they “borrowed” other people’s copies (I’m expecting mine returned with cookies any day now). Little did they know they were in the cheapskate capital of the world. But then, once they came to this realization, it promoted even more borrowing, as it couldn’t be wrong. Because if temple-worthy brother x and sister y are doing it, it must be ok.

  4. Who else has a key to your PO Box, Bob? Maybe your wife got to it first because she didn’t want you looking at any pictures of other Mormon women with sweet spirits.

  5. Bob Caswell says:

    Logan, you may have solved it! No, my wife doesn’t have a key… at least, I don’t think. But when I originally got that PO Box over three years ago, I was issued two keys, one of which I quickly lost. I think the culprit has been lurking around these past years just waiting for something of value. With some luck and personal revelation, I’m sure he/she had to have known back then the bounteous treasure that would await in the Fall of 2005…

  6. I think you’re just trying to cover for receiving magazines wrapped in brown paper. Next you’ll tell us you just read Newsweek for the articles…

  7. Bob, trust me – you’re not missing much. I’m not sure which was more disappointing – the rather thoughtless, lackluster, cookie-cutter article, or the predictable response from Church members, once again thrilled to be validated. Hey, I enjoy positive attention for the Church too, but let’s at least have it be over something interesting an well-done. I’d much rather Bushman’s book garner attention, for example, than this lame Newsweek article. And the Q&A section with President Hinckley doesn’t even deserve to be called Q&A. It ought to be Q&OL – Question and One-liners.

  8. My copy showed up a day late, and i have to agree with John H. The article is Mormon 101 for non-Mormons. Not much substance for those of us that attend church.

  9. At least the cover is cool. As opposed to the Newsweek Mormon cover a couple of years ago, which I thought was kind of scary.

  10. I know from personal experience that Newsweek doesn’t focus on accuracy. And they are reluctant to print retractions when they are proven wrong.

    So count your blessings, if you’ve been depending on Newsweek, you haven’t been getting the whole story about anything.

  11. Bob Caswell says:

    Well, I’m glad I didn’t miss much, if that be the case. But I have to respond to annegb’s comment in Newsweek’s defense. I can’t begin to imagine what kind of negative experience you had that would lead you to your wild conclusion. I mean, it may not be my favorite magazine, but not “getting the whole story about anything”? That’s a little harsh, don’t you think? Unless, of course, you’ve been reading every single story the magazine has ever printed and then cross referencing each of those stories with the “whole” versions elsewhere… My guess is that you had a couple bad experiences and have assumed the rest away. I, for one, think it’s a decent magazine even if I’ve been disappointed a few times.

  12. I enjoy it, but she may be refering to it sometimes taking the left-wing side. Problem is, if you subscribe to something else like U.S. New and World Reprot, you get the exact opposite, sometimes taking the right-wing. I don’t know any publication that is completely bias-free, but I feel Newsweek has a good mix.

  13. Tom Caswell says:

    That’s the problem with this overly customizeable, have-it-your-way society! We are so used to surrounding ourselves with content that agrees with our own point of view (left or right) that we begin to think ours is the only possible normal opinion. Everyone else is just a “fetchin freaker” (forgive me if I didn’t use those correctly — I just moved to Utah). So you’re probably wondering what my point is, right? Well, mainly I just wanted to write a reply to my brother’s post. Hi Bob!

  14. Bob Caswell says:

    Hey Tom! Good to see you participating in the dark side of Mormonism… blogging! :-)