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Jan. 26 2010 - 7:38 am | 3,748 views | 2 recommendations | 22 comments

CBS Urged To Scrap Tim Tebow Anti-Abortion Super Bowl Commercial

Heisman Trophy Winner {{w|Tim Tebow}}, before ...

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.

Jemhu Green, president of Women’s Media Center

So there it is: America can’t handle 30 seconds of a little grown-up controversy.

Full disclosure: I disagree with Tim Tebow. I wholeheartedly defend a women’s right to choose. And frankly, I suffer from an acute case of Tebowian Fatigue-itis.

But this is disappointing. It appears we might be dodging an opportunity. Sadly, the U.S. apparently cannot have a civil discussion regarding a touchy subject. Pathetically, the U.S. apparently prefers brain-numbing unthink to demanding conversation. Allegedly, the Super Bowl is an event “designed to bring America together” (must have missed that … I thought it was an indulgent declaration of U.S. extravagance. And PS: it probably won’t bring Indy and New Orleans together).

Sports HAVE broached controversy before. Jesse Owens flipped the bird to Adolf Hitler at the ‘36 Olympics. Jackie Robinson stuck it to racists. Ditto Billy Jean King and the chauvinists, which would make a fantastic name for a rock band.

I realize those are somewhat clumsy analogies. How about Muhammad Ali breaking the law and protesting Vietnam? How about the Black Power demonstration at the ‘68 Olympics? I bet those were a little divisive.

The point is, American athletics haven’t always been afraid of stirring the metaphorical pot.

Ah, but we can’t do that today. Hell, most voters can’t conduct a fruitful debate outside the stadium or man cave. See: the health care (Town Halls devolving into WWE events; “Death Panels” and other popular forms of misinformation), climate change (misreadings and exploitations of “scientific” studies, legitimate or otherwise) and gay marriage (stereotypings and namecallings from both sides) “discussions.”

I realize many folks disagree. And I recognize some may feel offended by the commercial. But there’s a distinction between actual offense and simply airing opinions with which you might disagree. And Tebow’s ad represents the former.

But what have you to say, Tim?

That’s always going to be a part of who I am, and I won’t try to hide it … Pro-life is very important to me. My mother listened to God late in her pregnancy, and if she had listened to others and terminated me, obviously I wouldn’t be here. If others don’t have the same belief, it’s OK. I understand. But I hope they respect that at least I have the courage to stand up for what I believe in.

I guess Green and the other self-righteous soap-boxers cannot. But by all means, CBS, air the sexist beer commercials and the intellectually insulting ads of monkeys, farts, or whatever else the suits can cook up for a delightfully brain-dead American public. And after the game, we can switch to the latest offering of reality degradation and ridicule.

BUT PLEASE, I wouldn’t want to actually have to use my brain. Football, football, football!


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  1. collapse expand

    What would be so terrible if they aired this? Hell, I’d rather watch a 10 minute Tebow infomercial than be tormented with the Who at halftime. For the record, I disagree with him, too.) But I have to respect the fact that Tebow is not afraid to ding his “brand” by taking a stance. You know, I want to hate the kid, but I just can’t. Damn you, Tim Tebow!

    • collapse expand

      What the hell is wrong with the Who? I saw them a year and a half ago and they were great. They weren’t some oldies act. They hit the high notes (the scream in “We Won’t Be Fooled Again” was still there and sounded better than the recording on CSI) and Pete Townshend’s guitar playing was never better. My only problem is that drummer Zak Starkey (yes, son of that Starkey) was kept a bit back from Keith Moon’s major roll in early Who shows. Pino Palladino on bass is great.
      The halftime show and the other commercials are the only reasons for me to watch this game, I don’t gamble and have no expectation of seeing a ‘game of the ages’.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    except there’s a difference between protests and commercials.

  3. collapse expand

    Dude, I couldn’t agree with you more!

    What people and Timmy need to understand, its all about the delivery! If the commercial suggests that “hey, I dont believe in abortions and you shouldnt either!” well, he’ll just be pinned as the type of guy to use mass media to push his own agenda or the christian agenda, without any regard for the people it may oppose or even offend. Sounds crazy, but Fox News, the christian coalition and others do this daily, which needs to be banned from the airwaves. They’re using our first amendment rights to distort and divide.

    I suggest that instead of pushing agendas that divide, why dont we focus on pushing agendas that bring us together, not the damn super bowl, but like Social Equality. I mean, is there any reason in this day and age that we still feel need to argue about womens reproductive rights, which god is the right god, why gays and lesbians can’t be treated like human beings and why there is still an argument about fossil fuel consumption?

    Why do we need to feel the need to argue about stuff that really does not matter?

    • collapse expand

      Some people talk about “things that don’t matter” as you say, because to us saying nothing is like putting a stamp of approval on what the bible says is wrong. Sounds strange to you but not to millions of Americans and others through out the world.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  4. collapse expand

    In the recent past those in charge of super bowl commercials have deemed booble.com – a porn site – and PETA both unworthy of having their views or wares presented to the world. I’m sure there are others. It’s not a question of whether or not the public deserves to see or can handle something other than mindless silliness during super bowl commercials, but rather what non-silliness the elites in control of the networks decide is okay for the proles to see.

  5. collapse expand

    I’m pretty sure they are afraid that airing the commercial would reduce viewership and ridiculous ad revenue. Many people watch the Super Bowl strictly for the commercials…knowing this would be one of them, how many would still do so?
    At the very least, it would be a major buzzkill.

    It’s not about religion or politics, and it’s definitely not about any corporation serving some purpose to “bring people together.” What a crock.

    It’s about everything else in this country: money.

  6. collapse expand

    I agree with Tim. I was born in 1973 the same year the roe v wade decision was made. My mother could have murdered me but she didn’t. Sadly many millions of people will never get to thank their mothers for giving them a fighting chance at life. Thanks Mom!

  7. collapse expand

    FOTF was smart to bring in Tebow, because rejecting an ad with an actual football player in it would have caused the NFL much more grief. Maybe if a football player had appeared in the United Church of Christ ads the NFL rejected six years ago (the ads were based on the idea that you were accepted even if you had caught teh ghey), they would have been shown.

    However, even the NFL would have to reject any ad that features, say, Tebow telling the Florida legislature that Asians can turn a television into a watch.
    http://www.skeptictank.org/white.htm

  8. collapse expand

    To me, it’s more of the matter that it’s a ONE SIDED “Commercial” on possibly the MOST controversial subject in America today. There’s no (paid for) counter argument that would be presented. In an odd way it reminds me that the Supreme Court has rescinded all the laws against Corporate “sponsorship” (advertised backing) of candidates. That is, imho, wrong and so is having at least 1/2 of the huge audience watching the Super Bowl being presented with a viewpoint that is very, very much against their beliefs of pro-choice. They didn’t sign up for Tebow’s brand of propaganda and shouldn’t be ‘ambushed’ by it during the game. This is all just IMHO, of course… which apparently isn’t as ‘valuable’ as Tebow’s “humble opinion”.

  9. collapse expand

    http://hnn.us/articles/571.html- Unfamiliar with Jesse Owens giving the bird.

    I do not think the superbowl is the right place for ANY political or special interest soap-box. Give me funny, witty TV not something that will cause roomwide silence. Give us all a break for one day will ya?!?

  10. collapse expand

    Being Pro Choice means you are tolerant of whatever choice an individual makes. I have no problem with CBS airing Tebow’s ad, especially if it includes options available to women who may be too scared to have their baby because they are unsure of where to turn.

    I would also like to see Pro Life supporters standing up tall and condemning the bombing of abortion clinics and the targeting of clinic doctors for murder.

  11. collapse expand

    Mr. Mackaroni–I concur that athletes have been been teetering the line of socio-political inaction for far too long. If nothing else they inject an entertaining and headline-grabbing slant into topics typically reserved for intellectuals and Chicago elitists. With a number of athletes garnering the majority of their wages from endorsements rather than their actual respective sports (see Tiger Woods) there is arguably too much at stake for them. And Tebow, being a questionable professional prospect at best (see today’s workouts) will more than likely fall into that category he has, unbeknownst to himself, disqualified himself from a number of prospective opportunities because of his soon to be worldwide-known stance on one of the larger hot button issues of our time. For the record I support a woman’s right to choose, 1000% (yes you can give more than 100%–that is for pussies). I also think this topic has allowed politicians to further beguile an ill-informed and mis-directed electorate for far too long. Go Steelers.

  12. collapse expand

    *fall into that category. He has… (typo)

  13. collapse expand

    One thing that your post doesn’t note is that CBS has a history of rejecting ads in the past with the excuse that it doesn’t do this sort of thing– e.g. this quote below from an ABCnews story– took 10 seconds of googling to find. I have no problem with the discussion of controversial social issues, but why should they show Tebow but not the below? It’s hypocrisy.

    –”The major television networks have previously declined to air polarizing advocacy ads. In 2004, CBS and its competitors rejected an ad by the United Church of Christ, welcoming gays and others who may have felt felt snubbed by more conservative churches”

  14. collapse expand

    Just out of curiosity, what is it about the ad that causes us to “use our brain’? It is clearly an anecdotal reaction to the legality of abortion. Anecdotes like this are a form of propaganda, like ads always have been. And the agenda of the ad makers is to influence us to NOT use our brains.

    • collapse expand

      I view Tebow’s advertisement as a conversation starter. Of course, others will thoroughly reject the message (it’s an ad); and granted, I doubt Tebow will exhaustively expound the pros and cons of his position.

      However, I do believe viewing the add will at least compel people to reflect about the issue, one way or another. And ultimately, I view that as a social positive … at least more beneficial than the “WAZZUP” guys were a few years back.

      But your point is well taken, along with Scott Ackerman’s contention that “there‚Äôs a difference between protests and commercials.” Nonetheless, my central point is that our country would be better place if more athletes seemed remotely socially interested.

      I’d even applaud C.C. Sabathia if he were to adopt 17 Cambodian kids a la Brangelina.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  15. collapse expand

    I have no problem with the Tebow commercial being aired but, if you do, CBS and NFL, are you going to let others with different opinions run theirs? Or is it only ones of which fits your politics?

    Remember, five years ago CBS refused to run an ad from the United Churches of Christ, merely saying that they accepted all into their flock, citing their “anti-controversial policy”?And this isn’t just an anti-abortion ad. It is a fund raising ad for Dobson’s “Focus on the Family”, a very controversial group.

    There have been others rejected for the same reason, PETA and MoveOn come to mind.
    So, what is the policy? Is it anything goes?

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    A native of Tinseltown, I migrated to the Windy City in 2006 with an eye on an undergraduate education and a yearnin' for the American Dream. My first impression was the city's suffocating pathos, its sense that no matter what happened Chicagoland would inevitably lose again. And Grossman was our goat to scape. One part tragic hero, two parts Aeschylian protagonist: A genuine 21st century Oedipus (Rex). I miss my mancrush.

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