I imagine right now, in the LDS Church office building, that LDS authorities are snickering at the article that came out. It starts off describing Becky McKinnon as hungover. It then moves onto her boyfriend, Timmy, who talks about his efforts in proselytizing history and support sites for non-believing Mormons. It fits into the narrative that the church sells about people leave the church because of "cares and pleasures of the world, temptation, persecution, tribulation" (Former LDS Apostle, Neal Maxwell).
The importance of the article though, is in the next section, "Doubt is Just a Click Away". Just consider this advice on "Anti-Mormon Literature" from the church, that "it is a waste". It goes so far to claim that, "Most of its [anti-mormon] questions and claims have been brought up—and answered—time
and time again for over 100 years. But because anti-Mormon authors want
to discredit the Church, they keep writing the same stuff over and over
in the hope that they can reach a new audience." It also claims that we "often all too willing to rely on deception and dishonesty to achieve their goals."
"The Lady doth protest too much"
The LDS church is projecting. We're not the ones relying on deception and dishonesty -- it's the LDS church that's doing so. Simply consider that in the past few months that it has quietly slipped in different First Vision accounts to its website. Most members didn't know that these even occurred, as we've only been taught a single, official version. The problem with the accounts is that Joseph constantly embellishes the story, despite having no reason to hide it in the first accounts, in his own personal journals. \
The church also is using pseudoscience to justify the lack of DNA evidence in the American Indians, claiming that others use speculation but then speculates itself. The Church used to teach that Nephites were the principal ancestors of the Native Americans. It's in the Book of Mormon itself, teaches that America is a "choice land" and "the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof" (Ether 2:8, 13:2), which presumes that practically only the Jaredites and Nephites were its inhabitants. The Book of Mormon teaches that the Nephites and Lamanites consisted of many tens of thousands of people, which would certainly leave plenty of genetic evidence! The church article on LDS.org even goes so far as to suggest that "Nothing is known about the DNA of Book of Mormon peoples", which seems to deny that Lehi and Sarah had Israeli blood!
What the Newsweek article does
The primary thing that the Newsweek article does is show us how restrictive church culture is. The focus on alcohol could just as well be applied to a focus on coffee, relationships, standard non-LDS approved history, and many other things. The focus on alcohol was there simply as an entertaining example for people outside Utah, where alcohol isn't as large of a deal. Many exmormons still choose to never drink alcohol or coffee, and that's okay. In the article, it even mentions a girl who drank too much, and that people were there to help. Many feel lost in a world that they've never experienced, which is one of the reasons why we do what we try to do.
Additionally, the Newsweek article lets others know how to find us and other groups. It lets both Mormons, exMormons, and neverMormons know that groups like this even exist. Even though parts may feed into Mormon stereotypes of exMormons, those Mormons are not threatened by an article that does that. And now they know more, about their own historical flaws and that there are support groups.
So, I imagine that there are those who are sitting in the Church Office Building, reading this article, amusing themselves with how we just helped the church out.. To them, I think, this article serves to further isolate the church from the outside world. And, at the end of the day, it's just one part of a much larger problem -- the LDS Church simply isn't true, and is still using half-truths despite hemorrhaging members.