Another indication of a slow news day, I guess. The Washington Post is reporting on the outrage that an ad, set to air during the Super Bowl, is creating. The ad is sponsored by the conservative Christan group Focus on the Family and presents the story of Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam. Apparently Pam went on a mission trip to the Philippines and became very ill while pregnant with Tim. Wikipedia outlines what happened on Tim Tebow’s page. Here is the relevant portion:
While pregnant Pam suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Because of the drugs used to rouse her from a coma and to treat her dysentery, the fetus experienced a severe placental abruption. Doctors expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion to protect her life. She carried Timothy to term, and both survived.
This seems like a fairly tame effort on the part of pro-life/anti-abortion advocates compared to some of their other attempts to get their message out (note: I specifically didn’t go find the most horrendous or gruesome ad out there).
What I find news worthy about the event are the arguments against airing the ad. In my mind, people can air what they want to air and if people want to pay $3 Million to say something to viewers, well that’s America. I don’t see how this could in any way be worse than ads that are routinely aired during political campaigns (see swift boat, 2004). At least this is telling a factual account of an event.
Here are some of the arguments against the airing of said commercial:
- “An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year – an event designed to bring Americans together” – Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center
- “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, against it, I don’t care what you are. On Super Sunday, I don’t care what I am. Feb. 7 is simply not the day to have that discussion.” – Greg Doyle, CBSSports Columnist
- Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women, condemned the planned ad as “extraordinarily offensive and demeaning.”
- “That’s not being respectful of other people’s lives. It is offensive to hold one way out as being a superior way over everybody else’s” – Terry O’Neill
Really? For the first two, I really have to say that the Super Bowl does not “bring America together” unless you mean many of them are watching the same show and wishing death on supporters of the other team. And to think that the Super Bowl is somehow a sacrosanct event that other, less important, issues shouldn’t infringe on is just ridiculous. So I can say “Buy beer and be hot” but not “My mom didn’t abort me, and I am happy about it”? Silly.
I also fail to see how the ad is “offensive and demeaning” to women (I’ve been told that, being a guy, I could never understand). I guess that is point of her second quote, but isn’t it fairly common to hold the way you do something as superior to the way everyone else does? Isn’t that why we can have recycled debates here about any hot button issue? And doesn’t NOW think that their way is superior to all those anti-abortionists’ way? Perhaps in context these quotes make more sense.
There is a valid discussion about the costs and benefits of abortion out there, but I really think these arguments are utterly ridiculous. Let CBS run their business and go grab a bite to eat during the ad.
Please, no free speech posts. CBS is not the government so they have no obligation to protect free speech
Similarly tagged OmniNerd content: