Women’s Groups Urge CBS to Scrap Tebow Focus on the Family Ad


A coalition of women's groups — the New York-based Women's Media Center, the National
Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups — asked CBS to reject a Super Bowl ad featuring University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother placed by anti-gay, pro-life evangelical group Focus on the Family, the AP reports.

Said the coalition's letter: "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 and

According to the WaPo, "[Focus spokesman Gary] Schneeberger said CBS officials carefully examined Focus on the Family's
track record and found no basis for rejecting the ad."

Schneeberger keeps talking about the content of the ad, which is not why people are objecting. It's the organization, stupid:

Focus on the Family
donated $727,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign
to ban same-sex
marriage in California. Its founder, James Dobson, has been outspoken
against gay issues, most
recently the federal hate crimes bill

And where is our advocacy group on this? Why hasn't GLAAD fired off a letter to CBS? Where's the part in the AP story about that???

Above, Tebow at a weigh-in today for the Senior Bowl (via TMZ). Tebow defended his participation in the ad over the weekend.

Tim Tebow Shoots Super Bowl Ad for Anti-Gay Focus on the Family [tr]
Tim Tebow Defends Participation in Super Bowl Ad for Evangelical Anti-Gay, Pro-Life Group Focus on the Family [tr]


  1. JeffNYC says

    Please. No one comment on his attractiveness or or hunkiness or hotness. He’s a scumbag and and asshole. Okay? TIA.

  2. nic says

    let’s get on the ball people! demand that CBS yank this ad. it runs afoul of their own policy.

  3. Drew says

    Ok, but if Tebow was Jesus incarnate, could I tell him to fill me with His holiness? I really want that holiness!

    I assume that’s ok, right?

  4. Steven W. says

    Why the gratuitous shirtless photo? This guy is clearly a douche but the gay blogs can’t resist glorifying him — I don’t get it. It’s like hey…Tebow is fighting against gay rights and the reproductive rights of women isn’t that just awwwful!? But never mind all that here he is half-naked swoon. Gah!

  5. Drew says

    I just love how some folks get all bitchy (hello Nic) when one doesn’t want to discuss the opinions and musings of Tim Tebow. The joke’s on you, as the guy is ONLY good for that body. Carry on now, see if talking about another brainwashed SuperChristian will get you anywhere.

  6. ZnSD says

    Oh yeah, he’s hot alright…if you like neanderthals. Ugh. I’ll take two Paul Lyndes and a Charles Nelson Reilly over this waste of space any day.

  7. Scott says

    We MUST contact CBS and demand that this ad be dropped.

    And, we have to be INTENSE about it and keep the pressure on, because you know the wingnut, born-agains are going to be have all of their sheep contacting CBS in support of the ad.

    Call your friends and relatives and have them contact CBS.

    The Super Bowl is not tomorrow evening. We have time to get this accomplished.

    I just hope O’Bama doesn’t have Tebow in the gallery with Rick Warren as his special guests during the state of the union address.

  8. Bryan says

    I’m disturbed by the number of LGBT people who seem to believe that free speech should be limited not based on content but by reputation or affiliation. Not only does this post not mention the content of the ad, it blithely dismisses the idea that the actual content should be a consideration.

    “Schneeberger keeps talking about the content of the ad, which is not why people are objecting. It’s the organization, stupid…”

    No, stupid, it isn’t. The content of the ad is everything. The alternative is a society where unpopular groups are denied the opportunity to express their ideas. “Those people are bigots – shut them up!” is ethically indistinguishable from “Get those faggots off my TV!” To judge an argument by its origin rather than its merits or lack thereof inevitably reduces all public discourse to a series of ad hominem attacks.

    Sorry, but if you find media content objectionable, you’re going to have to argue against it point by point, not by categorically dismissing the person or group where it originated.

  9. Scott says

    Yes, of course, I agree. I will be glad to contact CBS.

    Can one of you experienced marketing militant leader types please advise us couch potatoes on the most effective way to make our contact count.

    Should it be e-mail and/or phone call? East coast or west coast? Is there an 800 number? Will we get a recording, switchboard, or voice mail?

    I think people are certainly willing to take action, but they are much more likely to actually do it if they are given the information details.

  10. niles says

    Okay then by one person’s reasoning the Klu Klux Klan should be able to put an ad in the superbowl as long as it is deemed acceptable? Focus on the Family has a long history of inciting hatred and violence against gay people – for CBS to acquiesce to their pressure and run any sort of ad is an outright endorsement of their extreme views. After all, any and all ad requests by gay groups or their friends are routinely denied out of hand. Fair is fair, and this is outrageous.

  11. Garst says

    Wait? The Women’s Media Center thinks CBS has enough viewers to waste their time debating whether an ad should air? Is Racheal Ray still on CBS and that’s why they think they have the viewers? Well, I guess the Super Bowl is some sort of big sporting event, but I’ve given up on it years ago. The fact that the place I lived the last 26 years had bad CBS reception factored in that decision a teeny bit. But Mostly, I find most professional sport boring.

  12. Jon says

    Niles brings up an excellent point, and the implied conceit of his argument (and he is correct) is that sexism — or attacks on the rights of women — are still allowed and/or defended by the free speech rule in ways that we wouldn’t tolerate say blatant racism.

    Andy, you’ve done a great job with this site, but you really are playing into that weakness when you post those serious articles and then include a shirtless picture for the superficial gays to fawn over.

  13. Mike says

    I can understand how Tebow is happy he wasn’t aborted – and in this particular situation the story had a happy ending – but it just as easily gone the other way. Details aren’t forthcoming about the exact ad content, but I’m sure the underlying message will be abortion bad, Jesus and anti-choice is good. To be completely fair the pro-choice forces could show a similar situation where the woman made the same choice and died – or a coat hanger in an alley. Of course who wants to see such a depressing (albeit realistic) message. This is a typical right wing diversion tactic. I mentioned the UCC ad to a co-worker and their response was it was mean spirited and negative. They said this message was ok since it was positive and “uplifting”. See what we’re up against? People obviously love to be brainwashed.

  14. TCW says

    @ JEFFNYC. you obviously recognize that at least half of us wouldn’t mind getting plowed by him while he tells us what he thinks of us. why do you think andy chose this particular shot of him?

  15. Griff says

    Hey, if you think he’s hot, by all means shout it from the rooftops boys- because I’m sure knowing gay men objectify him makes his homophobic skin crawl.

    The way I see it, if someone’s going to be a homophobic douche, we might as well make it as uncomfortable as possible.

  16. dizzy spins says

    If the Klu Klu Klan made an ad telling kids to clean their room, then yes, they should be allowed to run it.

    I think a lof of people are under the misconception that our values are in the majority. Most CBS viewers would side with Tim Tebow and Focus on the Family politically. What leverage do we–and NOW and “Women in the Media”–have against the network? We’re a very small segment of their viewership, and not their target demo.

    Thats doesn mean we cant fight or do what we feel is right. If anyone feels strongly about it, then write a letter, make calls and boycott sponsors. Signing an e-petition or joining a “CBS sucks” FaceBook group is about as useful as screaming into a pillow.

  17. Jon says

    Oh yes DizzySpins, because cleaning your room is the same as a systematic approach to controlling women’s bodies and perpetuating patriarchal power. Way to miss the point entirely while proving my earlier conceit (that overt sexism and patriarchy are condoned in ways that overt racism and homophobia wouldn’t be).

  18. gleeindc says

    Here is the content I got when I contacted GLAAD:
    Hi Gary,
    Thank you for writing about your concern regarding the Focus on the Family ad. Please know we are working with several other organizations in reaching out to CBS to highlight their double standards for accepting Super Bowl ads. If you would like to become involved, you can call your local CBS affiliate to lodge an official complaint.
    Now I wonder what the approved ad says and what it implies.

  19. Javier says

    While I would have preferred that Tim Tebow not speak through Focus on the Family, I applaud his anti-abortion message. They are a flawed vehicle to sponsor this important ad, but I wholeheartedly support Tim Tebow’s anti-abortion message. I think Tim and his mom have a powerful, personal testimony that must be told, even if it is paid for by Focus on the Family.

  20. JT says

    I think instead of working to get the ad pulled we should be focusing on the policy in place which has prevented other messages in the past. If I am to believe what I have read, in order to pass their criteria the ad could not make a particularly strong political message. Being pro-choice, I’m not thrilled about having an anti-choice message no matter how subtle, but it does beat the alternative. If CBS changes their mind Focus on the Family will more than likely get whatever ridiculous amount of money they paid for this spot put back in their coffers. That is that much more money that they could be using to do a LOT of harm.

    I think there are few people whose support of reproduction rights will be seriously swayed by 30 seconds of T’s mom alluding to not having an abortion. Not thrilled with people perhaps associating a softer message with FotF, but there is a chance that they will burn a large sum of money on a completely ineffective tool (other than Tebow), and that makes me smile.

    Let’s see to it that out of principle an equally subtle message for the opposing view can also meet their criteria so as to allow both sides fair access.

    On an unrelated note: I think the fundies have found a new way to instill self-loathing in the gay community. I know that I would do Tebow and that, to a certain degree, sickens me. Damn you fundies and your eye candy!

  21. Matt says

    This boils down to one thing. Money!!!

    CBS has a mostly older age demographic which would side with Tim Tebow’s stance on abortion. I personally side with it except in cases of rape, incest, and putting the mother’s life at risk.

    CBS viewers will side with this and love the network even more.

    I’m all for freedom of speech. It makes me nauseous when it’s limited, But I think CBS should allow a counter commercial if the money could be raised to air it.

  22. ZnSD says

    Really, Javier? Since you’ll never have the opportunity to get pregnant and are prob gay as well, what you think about abortion is oh so relevant. please get some education and take your ignorant head out your ass.

  23. Jon says

    What I’d like to know is, would CBS allow a pro-choice message or a Family Planning group to post a similar ad? I bet you anything they wouldn’t and that’s a double standard that should be addressed. Instead of demanding that CBS pull the ad — which I don’t really advocate — womens’ rights groups should protest (as is their own free speech) the content of the ad, and they should try to post their own ad during the same time-slot. That way, when CBS inevitably rejects them, they can promulgate CBS’ hypocrisy.

  24. Joe says

    “And where is our advocacy group on this? Why hasn’t GLAAD fired off a letter to CBS? Where’s the part in the AP story about that???”

    According to GLAAD’s website, they are planning their next awards (kudos me!) banquet.

  25. jaragon says

    He has a nice beefy body but obviously lacks brains. But he has a right to express his views the last thing ANYONE on this site would want is censorship.

  26. Jeff says

    He’s probably gay. It seems the guys that want to fight the hardest against it usually have soemthing to hide and think that is the best way to do it.

  27. Texas W.A.S.P says

    Good for CBS. The talk of a double standards is off base. For example: Is it a double standard to let a police officer have a discount, but not a child molester? People have morals. Some things are evil. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. Get Saved.

  28. T says

    As a female it’s my body – I can do with it as I want.

    If you don’t like that then keep your penis out of my body and we won’t have a problem!