Focus on the Fuckery: CBS Aborts Good Judgment


CBS Aborts The SuperbowlWhile overwhelmed by last week’s response to my views on Proposition 8, I didn’t go wallow in the warm bath of blog traffic nor did I get shitfaced and hole-up in Vegas with a truckload of hookers and blow. Instead?

I began listening to another story: during this year’s Super Bowl, CBS will air an anti-abortion commercial sponsored by Focus on the Family. Dubbed as “family-friendly,” the gem will star Tim Tebow, Heisman Trophy winner and evangelical Christian, along with his mom. The angle? Had she followed doctor advice and had an abortion, her precious Tim wouldn’t grace the football fields of today. (Note: if you don’t know the story, Tebow’s mother contracted amoebic dysentery living in the Philippines and the medication threatened the well being of the fetus. Hence, the advice to terminate the pregnancy.)

Family-friendly…

Rip the needle off the record and insert a hearty WHAT THE DEUCE?!

Question number one: is there any man reading this blog who will be watching the Super Bowl for its “family-friendly” content AND wants to talk about abortion on the holiest day of the year in sports?

Answer: Well, it sure as shit isn’t Gregg Doyel of CBSsports.com. “If you’re a sports fan, and I am, that’s the holiest day of the year. It’s not a day to discuss abortion. For it, or against it, I don’t care what you are. On Super Bowl Sunday, I don’t care what I am. Feb. 7 is simply not the day to have that discussion.”

Question number 2: if we’re going to see an anti-abortion ad, where’s the pro-choice ad?

Answer: We’ll never see it. Especially since CBS squelched a Super Bowl ad by the United Church of Christ in 2004 that extended a welcome to gays and others shunned by popular Christian faith.

The entire #tcot thread and conservative media realm is using word-spin and alchemy to say that those who advocate choice and are against this ad are “offended that Tim Tebow is alive.”

Seriously?

That’s like saying that lessons taught to kids over the decades by a big yellow bird and talking frog are invalid regardless of content because the characters are puppets (ok, Muppets).

But hey – Focus on the Family is an extremist and conservative collective dedicated to a strict interpretation of the Bible. Do I expect rational, free-thinking thought? No. So your expectation that I’ll go off on Focus on the Family this week won’t be met, as I feel they’ve got a right to believe what they will and promote such.

I am not anti-Christian. I am not anti-conservative thought. I am not anti-penguins in purple tutus dancing around with AK-47s singing In a Godda Da Vida…until they point one of those guns at me or those I love.

I am firmly against, however, the telling of only one side of a story. That’s a penguin aiming an AK-47 at me.

On a complete side note, I don’t post without having done my research. It’s no secret that I’m of the spiritual-not-religious bent and find faith and support in my friends, family and a great daily feeling that I’m in sync with the universe. But I did pop over to the Focus on the Family website to do some reading. Nice site design, easy to navigate (what do you expect from me? I’m a web geek!)…and I located their resources on Marriage and Sex. I’ll go ahead and concede the fact I’m (apparently) going to hell:

We May Never Use Another Person as an Object, Sexual or Otherwise

The members of the Trinity never relate to each other as objects, to be used for their own good. They relate to each other in love, seeking to serve the goodness and glory of the other. Love is a self-donation. It never uses others as things or an end.

When we use others, we diminish their dignity as well as our own. Animals do this. People shouldn’t, because it’s not what we were created for. It’s not what sex was created for. This is why pornography, masturbation, and rape fall outside of God’s intentions for us.

The only intention I have to answer to is the one I have built for my own life and the one that serves my friends, family and loved ones. I masturbate (regularly). I look at porn with complete fascination and personally adore the little porn flick that runs through my head every now and again. But I do agree – rape is The Suck. And it prompts me to ask: If rape is outside of God’s intention, is it God’s intention for women who become pregnant through rape to have no recourse? Another question for another time.

(By the way: I also fail to grasp Tebow’s whole “saving himself for marriage” angle. If you look at marriage as a nice meal, I’m not going to save myself for a nice meal at a restaurant where the most the head chef has ever cooked is Kraft Mac & Cheese. He practices for football. For the love of all that’s holy, man – practice for your future wife!)

But I digress…

Understanding that Focus on the Family runs a conservative, non-progressive Christian agenda means you have to accept their platform for exactly that. No more, no less. Do I like it? Heavens to Betsy, I do not. Brian Sabean, General Manager of the New York Giants, had his own quip about Tebow’s antics. But the bigger issue this upcoming Super Bowl Sunday is this:

Should CBS be airing a politically charged, divisive ad on the holiest of sports days?

And to continue, I’ll ask the following.

Would CBS run:

  • A pro-choice ad (because having the right to choose is immoral)

  • A pro-gay marriage ad (because homosexuals are immoral)

  • An anti-persons with disabilities ad? (because those goddamn ramps and automatic doors really piss people off and raise development expenses)

It’s difficult to say in the current economy. If an advocacy group for one of the above ponied-up the $2.5 million going rate for a Super Bowl ad spot this year, who’s to say that CBS wouldn’t take the dough? ABC News offers a particularly interesting take:

“CBS is doing this for the money,” said Alex Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein School of Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University. “It will indicate that a policy has changed. The networks have traditionally not put these kinds of ads on during the Super Bowl. This has been an area that has been kept relatively squeaky-clean of highly polarizing politics. There is no way to be putting in an anti-abortion ad without prompting the pro-abortion side of the debate to get their message across. This may be a new profit center.”

Money talks, discretion walks – that’s nothing new when it comes to advertising dollars in high-profile arenas like the Super Bowl. Erin Kotecki Vest (@QueenofSpain), former broadcast journalist, Huffington Post contributor and Director of Special Project for BlogHer weighs in:

“Screw Focus on the Family. Despite what CBS should or shouldn’t do, money talks. I say we talk with OUR money when that ad airs during the Super Bowl. Donate to Planned Parenthood when you see Tebow’s crybaby face on your TV come February 7th.”

We’ll circle back to Erin’s damn-skippy idea in a moment. But for now, the issue of broadcast integrity:

During Presidential races, networks air ads representing all walks of political thought. News broadcasts report the goings-on in particular campaigns. Commentary programs delve deeper into the issues, hosting guests who can speak intelligently and offer their viewpoints and investigate beyond the facts. What I find to be so curious is how CBS has voluntarily put their network’s ass in a sling by opting to take $2.5 million in hush money to let this anti-abortion ad run during what is possibly the highest annual viewership instance with a projected 100 million viewers. Focus on the Family is simply befuddled about all the hubbub surrounding their ad:

“There is nothing political or controversial about the spot. It’s a personal story about the love between a mother and son.” ~ Gary Schneeberger, spokesperson for FOF

Hey Gary and CBS advertising execs – here are some thoughts to chew on:

  1. On Super Bowl Sunday, I want to watch funny commercials and a fucking football game.

  2. Correction: my boyfriend wants to watch funny commercials and a fucking football game while I cook up something delightful in the kitchen and run in when a funny commercial airs.

  3. Some dudes spend the entire year planning their Super Bowl party – do you really think they want to hear about abortion between downs and dips in the chili con queso?

  4. There is NO ONE who tunes into the Super Bowl to hear “a story about love between a mother and a son.” They tune in to watch football, for the ritual, hang with friends, drink a shitload of beer and fart in a room so full of people that no one notices.

I’m disappointed simply in the poor marketing decision made by FOTF and the equally polarizing decision made by CBS. At $2.5 million a pop for Super Bowl ad time, wouldn’t their ad met with less resistance, more acceptance and reach a more tractable audience had they chosen a prime time network show with an agreeable viewing demographic? If you’re looking to drive brand or message affinity, why do it in a way that you’re going to piss off the most people possible during an event meant to unite, not divide? And CBS – you’ve finally come out of your discretionary shell, pimping one side of the God ride on this one. If I were another advertiser on this year’s Super Bowl Sunday, I’d be pissed. No one’s even going to watch my ad. They’re going to be waiting for the God Bomb. If I were Anheuser Busch, I’d be digging through my advertising agreement and telling CBS to get fucked in a very out-of-wedlock way.

I sought-out the thoughts of a marketing and public relations pro to see if I happened to be behind the door they handed out the “good glue” in marketing school. Shelly Kramer of V3 Integrated Marketing out of Kansas City offered both personal and professional thoughts on the matter:

“The Superbowl is an All-American pastime. As such, can’t we manage to leave things like politics, religion AND things like abortion out of it altogether? I am confident when I say that if it were a pro-abortion ad, it wouldn’t even be considered. But it shouldn’t be about what you believe or about what I believe, any more than it should be about whether I believe in gay-rights and you don’t. What it should be about is the appropriateness of the forum. And for a major network to align themselves with this kind of message and air it in this kind of forum, is, to me, a dangerous strategic move. The backlash could be significant. If I were on their marketing or PR teams, I would be advising strongly against it. In fact, if I were a member of their legal team, I would be equally vehement about its inappropriateness.

It’s the Superbowl, for pete’s sake. Let’s leave it about sports – as it should be – and let the other issues remain out of it. Where they belong.”

As a marketing professional, writer and free-thinking woman, I want to hump Shelly’s leg. But let’s get to the bottom line already, shall we?

Do I care if Tim Tebow’s mom had an abortion or not? NO.

Do I care if he’s a kickass football player? NO.

Am I “offended” by the ad (seen or unseen)? A preemptive NO.

Does Tim Tebow’s presence in this world make my life better? NO.

Am I disappointed by the choice of a network to interrupt my upcoming Sunday filled with more junk food and camaraderie than you can shake a stick at by dropping the abortion elephant in the middle of my fucking living room? YES.

The elephant is going to eat all of my cocktail peanuts and that pisses me off.

It’s a Focus on Fuckery. I’m not surprised that money talks or that CBS has conveniently broadened their horizons with regards to “inoffensive” advertising content. Who knows how long the talks have been in the works on this particular ad – as the others they’ve recently aired on health care may have simply been laying the groundwork for the current high-profile debacle. I’m downright pissed that this huge, uninvited elephant is going to sit amongst MY family and friends on February 7th. Focus on the Family? How about focus on your own damned family, CBS: your viewers, advertisers and those who are tuning in to celebrate the holy trinity of football, beer and funny commercials.

End Note: As a tie-in with last week’s discussion on “family,” Cara Ellison Halbirt (mother of 2, blogger, jewelry designer) has this to say about the stink: “Focus on the “Family?” I hate that we can only focus on one model of family as ‘right’. Families don’t fit so neatly into boxes. Why can’t we view love/families/people through a kaleidoscope? Lots of colors, angles and choices. Not one single model can be forced to accommodate everyone. ‘Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life’ is a wonderful concept practiced by all kinds of families in all kinds of ways. It’s a shame to saddle it with a single, rigid view of family.”

Erika Napoletano About Erika Napoletano

Erika Napoletano is the Head Redhead at RedheadWriting LLC, a Denver-based online strategies consultancy. Her blog, RedheadWriting, is a bastion for "unpopular thoughts and blunt advice - delivered" and consistently strives to say what others won't and don't (but should) about marketing, social media, business integrity and life in general. She's a guest blogger on such popular outlets as Copyblogger, one of the most widely read RSS feeds on the web and was named in Social Mouth's 7 Examples of Kick Ass Personal Branding. You can follow her on Twitter (if you dare), check out the hoopla on her Facebook Fan Page or discover what it's like to be Bitch Slapped (a recurring weekly feature on her blog) at www.redheadwriting.com.

Comments

  1. Dear Redhead says:

    Jason – WOW. Go anti-choice movement. Would love to see your reaction to a pro-choice ad having aired in that hot air-filled Tebow ad (which was nothing more than a bait-and-switch on the part of both CBS and FOTF). You’re entitled to your opinion about abortion when you grow a vagina and stop using the “I have a friend who…” argument. But in any case, thanks for stopping by and giving my little column a read.

    And for the record, Bill didn’t say anything about anything being “hateful.” He indicated that FOTF is pulling a fast one on Biblical interpretation with their “Internet Guide to ‘Christian’ Living for Dummies – click here” approach. I’ve always found it staggering that professed “Christians” turn to hateful tactics by targeted groups with whom they do not agree and try to force their beliefs on them and judge them based on a set of beliefs to which the others don’t subscribe. That’s like me – blissfully spiritual but not religious – hating a Muslim for crossing in front of me on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Sure, he got in my way, but I don’t hate him for making the journey, for where he’s going or why.

  2. Bill, what’s hateful about wanting to protect human beings from the moment of conception?

    Piper, I don’t know how many women are dead because they choose to have a child. I know that nearly 50 million abortions have been performed since 1973 in the USA. However the rate is declining.

    Red, I have a friend who had a child from rape, she loves her son, doesn’t care much for the father. She’s married now and quite happy.

    Choice is a misnomer. We have many choices in life but the law acts to prevent us from making choices that negatively affect other people. Saying that abortion is a valid choice for an unwanted pregnancy is not that dissimilar to saying that poison is the solution to an unwanted marriage.

    Abortion should exist as a medical procedure where the life of the mother is endangered. That’s not a large percent of actual abortions though, I’ve heard figures as low as 2% of the total are for that reason.

    For the placement of the advertisement? That’s the company’s choice. A choice it must be said that doesn’t involve anyone dying, just a few minutes of discomfort.

  3. Awesome and well said. One comment I do completely disagree with though:
    “Focus on the Family is an extremist and conservative collective dedicated to a strict interpretation of the Bible.”

    Uh, not so much. I’m with you on extremist, but they are not pushing a strict interpretation of the Bible, they are pushing THEIR interpretation of the Bible. Big difference. The Bible is about laws and ethics. Quoting the bumper sticker, hate is not a family value, and an organization whose sole purpose is to promote hate should not be thumping the Bible. However, actually reading it might do some of them some good.

  4. I totally agree ~ I watch the Super Bowl for the FUNNY commercals. OK & to laugh at the Hubby & Bro-in-law act like they really care who wins the Big Game when neither one of their teams are even in it this year!!

    How about CBS being hypocrits……did you know they refused a Gay on-line Dating Site’s add b/c it was “too contoversal”, but apparently Anti-Abortion adds have been moved over to the “Heck Yeah, that would be a GREAT add for the Super Bowl” list. Seems to me, being forced to hear about someone else’s view on abortion being shoved down my throat isn’t as much fun as watching an add where two guys are fighting over football, reach into the chip bowl at the same time & end up swapping spit. I’m interested to see if they run the Kayak add where the two co-workers are swapping spit more heavily than the two guys are will be shown during the Super Bowl…..

  5. I have to say, if I were a contributing member of FOTF I’d be mightily pissed they spent so much money on a commercial, instead of on helping to “equip married couples to live out God’s design and intention for biblical marriage and to help parents raise children who know, love and serve God.” But then again maybe I wouldn’t be – doesn’t that kind of membership require you to check your brains at the door?

  6. Glad I stopped by to read this from Shelly’s post. Aside from the obvious lunacy on behalf of CBS to air the commercial I enjoyed reading your post and a lot of areas totally had me cracking up.

  7. Dear Redhead says:

    @Christina – I’m not offended by anything. I’m disappointed in the marketing decisions. I do wish the “choice” side of the issue discussed in more broad detail ALL of the choices. Unfortunately, the extreme choices on either side of the spectrum receive the most racket, no? And I don’t think I eve said anything derogatory about Mrs. Tebow’s CHOICE. I’m dissing a network and a major for-profit organization for what I consider a faulty path in marketing expenditures. And I still don’t want it in my living room. ‘Nuf said.
    @MariKurisato – thanks for stopping by – I always enjoy you in my neck of the woods!

  8. Mari Kurisato says:

    “Choice is only good when I can use it to tell you how to behave! Stop being offended!”

    _________
    Dear RedHead: thought, relevant post.

  9. Christina Rodriguez says:

    I think it’s sad that people only want to hear about the abortion side of choice. Isn’t giving birth to a child a choice? What an ugly person Tebow’s mother is for CHOOSING life! Abortion is legal. It isn’t the only choice. Just choose to use the mute button on your remote. It’s just a commercial! Quit choosing to be offended!

  10. Dear Redhead says:

    @Jenny, Bloggess – thanks for stopping by doll. Glad to have your eyes on my rants as mine are on yours all the time! I’ve gotta back-up ToyWithMe, though: awesome ass shots in football. #nicepants
    @T – thanks for joining in on Erin’s idea to donate to Planned Parenthood.
    @MamasRockin – I have a lovely condo in hell. Please – be my neighbor!
    @Carrie – thanks for clicking through on Twitter! And yes, I think CBS is more financially motivated than anything when it comes to taking FOTF’s advertising dollars. Oh well. Fuck ‘em. Fly to Denver and I’ll make you some dip ;-) We can giggle our collective way to hell for ignoring the ad.

    As a follow-up, one of the gals who contributed a quote to the above column, Shelly Kramer, posted HER thoughts on the snafu today: Can’t We All Just Have Some Nachos? Have a read – killer perspective from a marketing pro’s standpoint.

  11. MamasRockin says:

    “But hey – Focus on the Family is an extremist and conservative collective dedicated to a strict interpretation of the Bible. Do I expect rational, free-thinking thought?” Completely and whole heartedly agreed!!! The STRICT INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE should be screaming loudly. These people use the Bible, with their own interpretations, to incite fear and guilt into people, telling them it is the only way to be sure to have a comfy seat somewhere when you die….

    Furthermore the: “This is why pornography, masturbation, and rape fall outside of God’s intentions for us.” Well good God I’m going to hell in a hand basket!!! RAPE is absolutely out of ANY scope of acceptability but come on people….lighten up a little. I thought the days of “you keep doing that you’re gonna go blind” were long gone…oh, shit..my visions getting a bit blurry…um, I might be going blind…not sure I can type anymore…fading…darkness…FUCK! *fumbling around in the dark for my vibrator*

  12. A–freakin-men to that.

    I’ll be watching to see my Saints win!! Who dat!

    And I *will* be making a donation to Planned Parenthood.

    Thankyouverymuch.

  13. followed a link over from Twitter. Great post. I’d seen mention of the FOF ad coming out on Superbowl Sunday and I was wondering what it was all about.

    Kinda funny that the Superbowl became the talk of the town after the famous “wardrobe malfunction” incident and now it’s gone to the whole other end of the spectrum. First smut, now ultra conservative Puritanism. Way to go CBS. Scaping the bottom of the bucket there.

    Sadly, I won’t be able to see the commercial except maybe on YouTube. Damn Canadian broadcasters and their lame commercials.

  14. Britni TheVadgeWig – Happy to see we can agree on some things.

    Jenny, Bloggess – Dude football has some of the sexiest ass shots ever.

  15. Excellent points. Glad I don’t watch football.

  16. Dear Redhead says:

    Ainse – thanks for visiting and welcome! And you make an excellent point. Maybe the $2.5 million spent on the ad had a different intent…but I’d like to see their final cost-per-impression! ;-)

  17. Fantastic post. Really and truly. I can do nothing but applaud you, for articulating your points well, and expressing the outrage that I, too, feel over this commercial.

  18. Dear Redhead says:

    Hmmm – Cecily…you make a great point. I’ll have to dig into that.

    And Miss Behavin – thanks for stopping by once again!

  19. I will always air on the side of free speech but I think Mika Brzezinski put it simply “run another ad” http://tinyurl.com/yaz3wxy. I think you are right though redhead, it’s not about if the ad is played it’s about the forum. Who wants to hear about amoebic dysentery while gorging on food?

  20. Hey, my first visit here, most impressed. Great article and I’m thinking perhaps it’s not about the actual ad, but about the buzz it’s generating now. Maybe that was the point too, getting people talking about for the next two weeks; driving people to the site, which is basically generating a lot of free press for this Focus on the Family organization. Doubtful I’ll see the ad in Canada; as someone mentioned above, we’ll probably get Tim’s or Scotiabank or something equally UNFUNNY. However, I’ll take that over anti-abortion, for crap’s sake.

  21. Dear Redhead says:

    Loving the comments and keep the dialogue coming…

    One thought: how would you feel if it were a Presidential election year and campaign ads for only one party ran during the game?

    While it would never happen due to the MONEY behind politics, I’m thinkin’ you’d cry foul.

    I’m an advocate for letting the ad run but I’m no fan of the United Way. They have a horrible reputation for fund use efficiency. My money will stay in my community and help my local Planned Parenthood clinic. It was the first gyn exam I ever had, the first birth control pills I ever received and I’ve never been subject to judgement walking through those doors.

    That’s more than the doors at Focus on the Family do…as well as the “pro-life” people who blow-up those doors.

    Just sayin’.

  22. Dear Redhead says:

    @Kevin – Mmmmm…queso. Indeed! I did so much love the Giants GM’s quip about Tebow’s draft pick ;-)
    @PrincessJenn What we’re missing here is a dialogue. Preaching is one-way. Dialogues…well, that whole “di” thing.

  23. Another important detail to note here? At that time (and still today) abortion is 100% illegal in the Phillipines, INCLUDING in cases that involve the mother’s life or health. So it’s unlikely that the doctors actually recommended termination, or they would have been arrested.

  24. I really don’t have anything else to add here – you said it all so eloquently!

  25. Chase Sterling says:

    Extremely well written and thoughtful post. I was going to attend a Super Bowl party for people who only watch the commercials, and now I am thinking I am going to skip it because I know this commercial is going to cause a disturbance. Lauren said it best – its going to cause some awkward and tense moments. :/

  26. Dear Redhead says:

    @Piper – perhaps you’re on to something here :)

  27. Dear Redhead says:

    @Lauren – you said “piehole” :) Glad you enjoyed and as always, thanks for stopping by for a read…

  28. Dear Redhead says:

    @Megan – thanks for being a regular reader…it’s the context of the ad, not the content. Indeed!
    @Calgaryrants – welcome to the blog! There are days where I, too, wonder about the “forward-thinking” nature of the country I call home. I love living here and simply feel that a national sporting event isn’t a suitable venue for moral-bent advertising expenditures — especially without balanced advertising being given to the contrarian view.

  29. nic @mybottlesup says:

    well done. very VERY well done.

  30. I actually do resent Tim Tebow for being alive, but I’m a Buckeye fan so I have a good reason. Screw you pretty boy!

    I think this whole thing was for the pre-super bowl run up controversy. Who cares about the commercial, everyone in the world is talking about it now. That is just one of the ways that Libs like us have fallen right into these fundamentalist’s trap.

    It also may signal that CBS is desperate to sell these multi-million dollar ad spots. After all, who is CBS to say ‘no thanks’ to a 30 Million dollar check when their ad revenues have been falling for years. CBS is a business and Focus on the Family is exploiting an obvious weakness.

  31. MaryMac – There’s a ride I don’t want to miss.

    Piper – That’s a big task! Although it’s surprising what can be accomplished with a FB group.

    AvionicsMan – Great. Now I’m craving a French Cruller.

    Kevin – Very well said. Thanks for the comment.

    Rob Woods – I know I’ll be turning the channel.

    Rob J – You make me laugh “Insulting our intelligence isn’t even something they try to do. It just kind of happens naturally.”

    MissSpoken – A gateway indeed. Please keep your arms & legs in at all times, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    DadUnmasked – Perhaps football fans will unite & turn the channel during the commercial

  32. Dear Redhead says:

    @Marcie – Exactly. I’m unimpressed by the shock factor and even less impressed with the poor marketing decisions. If the ad is innocuous, fine. If it’s offensive, fine. Do I think it should be pulled? No – let it ride. I’m more interested to see the fallout, if any, from the viewership who chooses to watch it instead of fill-up the chip bowl at the commercial break.

  33. Dear Redhead says:

    Oh @Bill – you naughty boy ;-)
    @Lisa – you’re correct. I’m not about sharing opposing viewpoints. There’s a viewpoint missing here, however!
    @Mike – thanks for stopping by. I’ll bring a bottle of something to hell. Place your order. FOTF – hilarious :)

  34. Very well written and well thought out.

    Count me in the group that’s very glad I no longer throw my annual Super Bowl party. I have, among my friends, people who protest at abortion clinics and people who perform abortions. Talk about an awkward situation if that commercial were to air in my living room.

    Oh, and @Cindy, for all the times I’ve watched football (too numerous to count), I NEVER remember a single mention of the United Way’s support of Planned Parenthood in an ad. So your point is somewhat disingenuous.

  35. Really appreciate your post. Love your angle and your writing.

    Personally, I could care less what adds are on during the superbowl as I am usually running to the keg or the kitchen to stuff my mug. The only time I watch commercials is after the fact and usually on the internet.

    CBS has no responsibility to balance its coverage. Just as we have no responsiblity to watch CBS or patronize its advertisers. I agree that its decision to air this ad during this event is akin to every guys penchant for blurting out illadvised comments about his girls bee-hind even when solicited, whether or not it exposes any bias (which I seriously doubt).

    thanks again! I always seem to leave with a smile

  36. My boyfriend and I are planning a Superbowl party since our team is going (Colts, woo-hoo)! What a buzz kill this is going to be. I absolutely do not think that this commercial should be aired during the Superbowl. Tradition has always been light, humorous commercials, because during the Superbowl, we are having FUN.

    I think this is a really bad move on CBS’s part.

  37. The message implicit in the spot is a guilt tactic to get you to buy into an agenda. I suppose is fair game in the advertising world. In this, this spot is as much a commercial for right-wing conservative Christianity, as any commercial about any product; if you’re not drinking it, buying it, wearing the t-shirt, you must be a pussy. In this case, you must be an immoral louse who is operating outside of God’s plan.

    I should find the staggering disingenuity of the statement that ‘there is nothing political about that spot. It’s just a personal story about the love of a mother for her son’ to be completely bewildering. But, I don’t. This message is crafted by a group of people who are coming from the point of view that all humanity is base and corrupt, not to be trusted, and indeed have to be saved from ourselves. Insulting our intelligence isn’t even something they try to do. It just kind of happens naturally. I know, because I used to think like they do, with no thought to the complexities of the issues they purportedly champion, and with an“if you’re not for us you’re against us” mentality thrown in for good measure.

    I think it’s important to understand that this message isn’t to be taken seriously. It’s not a serious examination of a serious issue. It’s just a commercial, a spin, ultimately empty of any real analysis, like most of the content coming from this sector of society.

    Thanks for the post!

  38. The NFL tells the “other” side of the story every week with their-Support the United Way commercials. The United way supports Planned Parenthood which pays for abortions. It is about time the REST of the story is told.

  39. Me no likey da football. I’ve often thought that super-love of da sports and super-love of da Jesus too often go hand in hand… but seriously, I don’t think there’s any reason for airing such commercials during “fun” pastime stuff like this… on Christian programming, maybe. If not, then YES there should be the pro-choice commercials as well. But I maintain that neither belong in the Superbowl line-up AT ALL! That’s a TV fail, right there…

    Great post! Made me giggle a lot too!!

  40. Preach it, sister. I love this post.

  41. Great post. To run this during the Superbowl is a colossal waste of money on the advertiser’s part and a definite lowering of standards on CBS’s part. As far as is being a downer, I completely agree…perhaps we should all mute our TVs, go for a pee, or change the channel for 30 seconds. That way FOF and CBS both lose…and maybe we won’t have to put up with similar nonsense next year.

  42. Fantastic post and I agree on all accounts. Sharing with friends and family.

  43. Wow. This is just all sorts of special.
    I don’t mind being advertised to. What I can’t stand, though, is being preached to. Especially if I can’t preach back.

  44. Nice post, Red. Way to grab the issue by the cajones and squeeze.

    I have no love for Focus on the Family. The whole “Family is a great thing, as long as your family is identical to mine” is a bullshit stance.

    Tebow’s existence has, as is true with you, absolutely zero relevance to my life.

    But none of that matters, because these are positions that people have on a particular issue, and whether based in fact, emotion, religious fervor, or something else, it is an opinion. But it is an opinion that supports a political point of view (why a woman’s right to choose has been politicized by a predominantly male legislature is a different question). And as such, a balanced argument SHOULD be presented. But that’s not what we do in the good old U.S. of A. anymore. I’ll listen to a well-reasoned argument about anything, but the American people do not demand well-reasoned arguments; they instead take a sip of information, call it knowledge, and then shout down anyone who disagrees with them. Sure, they have the right – but only democracy suffers in the end.

    I don’t give a shit about CBS – a network in decline; Focus on the Family – a neo-conservative religious lobbying organization in decline; or Tebow – an idiot kid being used by interests he doesn’t and can’t understand.

    And that, my dear Red, is the final comment I have – I was certain you had seen it yourself:

    Focus on the Family asserts “The members of the Trinity never relate to each other as objects, to be used for their own good . . . When we use others, we diminish their dignity as well as our own.”

    I’m pretty sure Tebow isn’t the star of this little debacle because he is a loving human being walking in the light of God. If he weren’t a potential first round draft pick, this is a non-story.

    Amen – can I have some queso now? Mmmm – queso.

    K

  45. You have to remember that the Evengelical Christian Right is so powerful that it controls American politics.

    That is not accurate. It has elements of truth in it, but so does my saying that one day I can be president. I think that this ad is ridiculous and that Tim Tebow is going to be a bust as an NFL quarterback.

    I think that the message that the ad sends is wrong and that it is irresponsible. Hell, I respond very aggressively to being witnessed to. But this is a case of money talking.

    And as someone who believes in the marketplace of ideas I am willing to let it run. It is my choice as to how I respond to it.

    P.S. Canada makes a nice little brother to the US, what with the peppers in Quebec, the issues with its own Native Americans and funny coins called Looneys and Tooneys. Not to mention paper money that looks like it belongs in some kind of board game. ;)

  46. AvionicsMan says:

    Great Article!! Glad I live in Canada and the ad will be pre-empted with a Tim Hortons donut ad instead!! Stupid CBS!!

  47. Great post. I think it’s a stupid idea to air the ad on Super Bowl Sunday. As a guy, I want to watch FOOTBALL and all the funny ads that come on during the game. If the ad comes on while I’m watching, I’ll either change the channel or get up and walk away. Not that the message of the ad is important or not, I just don’t think it’s a SUPER BOWL type ad. Also, football would have been just fine without Mr. Tebow CBS.

  48. My instincts (why are always nearly completely sometimes correct) tell me that this is a gateway commercial. Next thing you know you’re snorting right wing propaganda and mainlining anti-euthanasia rhetoric.

  49. Excellent piece. Though I am thinking:
    “I didn’t go wallow in the warm bath of blog traffic nor did I get shitfaced and hole-up in Vegas with a truckload of hookers and blow.” sounds like it would be a lot of fun, that you should reconsider, and that you should totally invite me. ;)
    Your work is amazing- rock on, sister.

  50. Grrrrr. For every Tim Tebow, there are probably multitudes of dead women who made the same choice his mother did. Well-written and thoughtful post, and I couldn’t agree more. I will definitely make a donation to PP when the commercial runs. And I’ll be tweeting about it, too. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could raise for PP the equivalent of what FOTF spent for the Super Bowl spot? You can pull it off, Red.

  51. This was an excellent post! I get why they’re airing it during the Super Bowl. No other program on TV has a bigger audience. Gazillions of people will see the ad. Will it change anyone’s views on abortion? Doubtful. It will probably just cause some awkward moments while people shovel little smokies into their pieholes.

  52. Good Post. You have to remember that the Evengelical Christian Right is so powerful that it controls American politics. And I am sorry, but for all the American’s banter about free speech and all, Canada is a much more liberal, free thinking and progressive country.

    Abortion is not an issue anymore. Let it go people.

    And I am a Conservative Party Member, FYI.

    Shane

  53. Articles like this are the reason why I happily read all of your columns. I agree that it’s not so much the content of the ad, but that it is occurring during a football game in which it really has no place. Save this for Sunday morning between all of the church programming, when people are looking to be saved. This is just going to annoy people who are looking to have a good time. Shame on you CBS, for supporting a very bad play. And congrats to Erika, for being a great announcer!

  54. Hey Red. Fantastic post. Many people will frown at CBS when this spot airs. And most will have the deer in the headlights look of WTF. Any advocacy group that has $2.5 million to blow for this needs new leadership. In my opinion people will talk about the ad, but it will not be positive talk. And after the commercial break, they’ll have forgotten all about it. Bad targeting cause the SuperBowl is not the right target audience, therefore, really bad investment.

  55. On February 7, yeah, FOTF should = Focus on the Football, especially if you’re the Colts.

    Oh, and as an alum of the University of Notre Dame and as a fan of its football team — aka, God’s Team — I wish Tebow would’ve abstained from playing college football and “saved himself” for the NFL.

    Regarding going to hell, well, nice to know I’ll have someone to chat with.

  56. Great post Erika….how this commercial would find a place on Superbowl Sunday is beyond me. I’m sure it will play on the hearts strings of many and get people all teary…all quite appropriate for the Superbowl.

  57. Why do you hate Tim Tebow? What did he ever do to you? ;-)