For years, the worst commercials during the Super Bowl have been the ridiculously boring car ads and the (more than) slightly disturbing erectile dysfunction spots.
But this year will feature something much more offensive.
Tim Tebow — Mr. Super Christian Homeschooled Heisman winner and soon to be NFL flop — will appear in a 30-second ad with his mother, during which time they are expected to deliver an antiabortion message. The $2.5 million spot is being paid for by the ultra right wing group Focus on the Family, and represents a marked departure from the long held CBS policy that did not allow advocacy ads of any kind. Tebow’s mother is expected to talk about how doctors told her to have an abortion due to a medical condition that could have killed her and the baby prior to birth, and how she ignored their advice and ended up giving birth to a quarterback.
Look, let’s get a few things straight right off the bat.
I am pro choice. Very much so. I don’t agree with Tim Tebow’s views on pretty much anything. However, this is America and everyone has a right to voice their own opinions. I’m glad things worked out for Mrs. Tebow and I admire the courage it took to go forward with the pregnancy, even at the risk of dying. So I have no issues with Tebow expressing a different viewpoint.
My problem is with CBS and their disgusting hypocrisy.
For as long as anyone can remember, commercials aired during the Super Bowl have been rhetoric-free. Sure they included over the top fictitious linebackers, annoying frogs, “Mean” soda pitchmen and — worst of all — the “Wassssup” douchebags, but the great thing about it was the absence of political ads and commercials that advocated for ANY particular cause.
Now, largely because of the floundering economy, CBS has suddenly and completely sold out reversed course and changed it’s policy on advocacy ads. But if only it were that simple.
You see, their policy revision is hardly all-encompassing. Because while they’re allowing Focus on the Family — a religious organization that is unabashedly pro life and against gays — they’ve rejected an ad from a business that runs a gay dating site called ManCrunch. Apparently the ad was of two male football fans watching a game together. Their hands touch in the potato chip bowl and they then proceed to comically make out. But despite the decision by CBS to allow the antiabortion Tebow ad, they refused to air the commercial for a gay dating site.
And by doing that, CBS has sent a clear message to the world. By aligning themselves with a fundamentalist conservative religious group they’ve made it clear they have one set of rules for the religious right, and a much different set for the various left-leaning organizations who they have repeatedly shut out of the biggest advertising opportunity of the year.
How about in 2004 when the United Church of Christ came to the network with an ad that showed a gay couple being turned away from a church, only to come to the UCC and be accepted? The tagline was “Jesus didn’t turn people away. Neither do we.” This message of inclusion, acceptance and love for all was turned down. A commercial that promoted respect for all people, regardless of things like sexual orientation, was disallowed because it didn’t fit the standards of CBS.
Meanwhile Tim Tebow’s mother is guilting women everywhere in an attempt to convince them that a perfectly legal medical procedure that could save a mother’s life under certain circumstances, is really a shameful endeavor. Also some people are now questioning the veracity of Mrs. Tebow’s story.
The Tebows were in the Philippines at the time of Tim Tebow’s birth. And abortion is illegal there under ALL circumstances. Even when the mother’s life is at stake. Doctors who advocate or perform abortions, as well as the offending mother, are subject to criminal prosecution and a hefty six years in prison. Would a doctor advise an abortion at the risk of spending the next six years in jail? Notorious attorney Gloria Allred doesn’t think so, and is threatening to file complaints with the FTC and FCC is the ad airs without mentioning that abortions in the Philippines were illegal at the time.
But getting back to the main point, Focus on the Family’s slogan is “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.” Yet, as Michael Rowe of the Huffington Post points out, the group contributed $727,000 to help pass Proposition 8 in California, which effectively robs gay people of their legal right to become a family. Sorry, but that’s not celebrating family. It’s discrimination and an attempt to destroy them.
CBS made a bad decision by allowing Tebow and his homophobic moneymen a spot on the air during the Super Bowl, while simultaneously turning down a perfectly acceptable ad from a gay dating site. Besides, the Super Bowl should remain a place where we drink beer, watch scantily clad people parade around and enjoy the last NFL action for seven months.
And to think I now long for the days of erectile dysfunction and talking frogs.
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