So thanks to CJ and his readers' digging, it has been discovered that the reporter responsible for the newsweek article is a "lifelong member of the LDS Church." Here is a link to an interview she did, in which she is very upbeat and speaks of the Church as any good member should: Elise Soukup
After reading this interview, my opinion of the reporter has changed dramatically. Many answers she gave directly contradict some of the conclusions I drew from her report, and at times I found myself judging her character--whether my judgments were correct or not, that doesn't matter; it's wrong either way. So I apologize to her and to all of you for that.
However, the article's shortcomings are still there. The things I pointed out that are wrong with the article have not improved just because she's a member of the LDS Church. What I think led to the irresponsible fact-gathering and unethical reporting, as I called it, was her knowledge of the personalities of her editors. I think that she knew that reporting on the LDS Church as one of its members would be tricky business if her editors were to think that she was doing a "balanced" job. This is probably why it contained so much on polygamy, had many disrespectful statements about the Prophet, etc.: she knew that by including an account of the First Vision (although factual in her mind), her editors would see that as a "pro-LDS Church" statement. Therefore, she included much of the other stuff to "balance" the article out. Like I said in my first critique, I don't fault the reporter for the article--in fact, I am very grateful for it. When the Church gets press, I am generally ecstatic. I just take issue with some things, and that hasn't changed. I am in the process of editing my thoughts and sending them to newsweek. Just thought I'd include an update for those of you still interested!