January 27, 2010
Quarterback Tebow & CBS vs. NOW
By Mike McManus
Quarterback Tim Tebow, winner of the Heisman Trophy for best college
player, will appear in a Super Bowl ad with his mother, Pam, explaining
why she rejected the advice of doctors to abort him.
Though no one has seen the ad yet, which is being paid for by Focus on
the Family, the National Organization for Women and other pro-abortion
groups are demanding that CBS not air it.
"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 American people together," said Jehmuy Greene, president of the
Women's Media Center in New York.
"By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an
anti-equality, anti-choice homophobic organization, CBS is aligning
itself with a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate
viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows."
What nonsense! CBS sells its 30-second Super Bowl ads for $2.5 million,
a huge sum. If NOW or the Women's Media Center wanted to air an ad on
the other side of the issue, CBS would welcome it. "Our standards and
practices process continues to adhere to a policy that ensures all ads,
on all sides of an issue, are appropriate for air," said CBS.
When Pam Tebow was pregnant with Tim, she contracted amoebic dysentery
during a mission trip to the Philippines, and had to take harsh
antibiotics to rescue her from a coma. Her doctors told her that her
child would be stillborn or unable to survive after birth and encouraged
her to get an abortion.
Instead, she chose life, giving birth to a boy so healthy he became a
star athlete at the University of Florida. Tim is also a deeply
committed Christian who wears "John 3:16" on his eyeblack.
He told reporters, "I know some people won't agree with it, but I
think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe.
I've always been convicted of it (his views on abortion) because that's
the reason I'm here, because my mom was a very courageous woman. So any
way that I could help, I would do it."
Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, said
funds for the Tebow ad were donated by a "few generous friends," and did
not come from the group's general fund. He and his colleagues are "a
little surprised" at the furor over the ad whose theme is "Celebrate
Family, Celebrate Life." He adds, "There's nothing political and
controversial about it."
The idea for the ad came from a Focus employee, and the Tebows
"were thrilled" when it was proposed to them, Schneeberger added. Both
mother and son have been outspoken in discussing their faith.
What is new is the acceptance of the major networks of certain
types of contentious advocacy ads. In 2004, CBS cited such a policy in
rejecting a proposed ad by the liberal United Church of Christ in its
welcoming stance toward gays who might feel shunned by conservative
However, CBS has aired advocacy ads on both sides of the health
care debate. That is of no consolation to Terry O'Neill, president of
NOW, who said she respected the private choices made by such women as
Pam Tebow, but condemned the planned ad as "extraordinarily offensive
"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
Her alarm sparked tart retorts by pro-life advocates such as
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, a network of
280,000 pro-life women: "NOW and company are losing their grip as their
pro-abortion position sinks in public opinion. I had no idea NOW
leaders were such experts on sports," she said. "Missed that part of
"What is real here is their desperation to keep full information
from women. Shouldn't the `pro-choice' position respect Pam Tebow's
decision to choose life? What is the worst case scenario in allowing the
ad to air? Women are exposed to an example of sacrifice for the sake of
an unborn child. NOW needs to explain where the harm and threat to women
and children is here," Dannenfelser asserted.
For the first time ever, Gallup reports that 51 percent of
Americans call themselves "pro-life" while 42 percent are "pro-choice."
This switch even prompted NOW's O'Neill to confess to the
National Journal this year that "It seems to me that we are stalled
It's great to see the good guys gaining an upper hand!
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