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CBS Helped Script Anti-Abortion 'Focus on the Family' Tebow Ad

According to a story in the Daily Beast, CBS worked closely with 'Focus on the Family' developing the Tim Tebow ad for months!

2_tebow The major broadcast networks have avoided political advocacy ads for years, so CBS's decision to air the Tebow ad caught abortion rights advocates off guard. But Focus on the Family, the Colorado Springs-based conservative Christian group founded by Dr. James Dobson, says that it has actually been working closely with CBS executives for months on the ad's script.

"There were discussions about the specific wording of the spot," said Gary Schneeberger, spokesperson for Focus on the Family. "And we came to a compromise. To an agreement." Schneeberger declined to comment on exactly how CBS changed the ad's message.

CBS has said that in the last year, in an acknowledgment of "industry norms," it loosened previous restrictions on advocacy advertisements, accepting ads that pushed for health reform and environmental activism.

CBS has been criticized by a coalition of women's groups as well as GLAAD for its alliance with the virulently homophobic group Focus on the Family, an evangelical group that works actively against gay rights and advocates for overturning Roe v. Wade.

Tim Tebow defended his participation in the ad last week, saying he's standing up for what he believes.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Apparently, given its participation, this is what CBS believes too.

BACKGROUND...
GLAAD Calls on CBS to 'Come Clean' on 'Homophobic Double Standard'  [tr]
GLAAD Calls on CBS to Explain Decision to Air Tim Tebow 'FOTF' Super Bowl Ad [tr]
Women's Groups Urge CBS to Scrap Tebow Focus on the Family Ad [tr]
Tim Tebow Defends Participation in Super Bowl Ad [tr]
Tim Tebow Shoots Super Bowl Ad for Anti-Gay Focus on the Family [tr]

(thanks mike)

Continue reading "CBS Helped Script Anti-Abortion 'Focus on the Family' Tebow Ad" »


GLAAD Calls on CBS to Explain Decision to Air Tim Tebow 'Focus on the Family' Super Bowl Ad

Late today, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) finally joined the chorus of those expressing concern about a Focus on the Family ad CBS plans to run during the Super Bowl featuring University of Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow.

2_tebow In 2004, CBS rejected an ad about tolerance from the United Church of Christ in which the UCC's inclusive policies were highlighted by showing a bouncer stationed at a church door with a velvet rope turning away gays and minorities.

Said GLAAD Senior Director of Media Programs Rashad Robinson: "CBS’s decision to run a Focus on the Family ad during this year’s Super Bowl can’t and shouldn’t be considered in a vacuum. CBS spent years denying a platform to an LGBT-inclusive church that wanted to share a message of inclusion with a national audience. Now, when it happens to be financially inconvenient for CBS to hold to the standard it had previously imposed, the network’s expediency benefits a virulently anti-gay organization whose advocacy on these issues is the antithesis of that of the United Church of Christ."

GLAAD asks people to call CBS to express their concern but falls short of asking the network to reject the ad as a coalition of women's groups did this week, instead calling on the network to explain its decision.

CBS spokesman Dana McClintock explained the network's position earlier this week: "We have for some time moderated our approach to advocacy submissions after it became apparent that our stance did not reflect public sentiment or industry norms. In fact, most media outlets have accepted advocacy ads for some time."

According to an AP article published earlier this week, "CBS also told the AP that, under its new policies, the UCC ads would have been accepted for airing."

Rev. J. Bennett Guess, Director of Communications for the United Church of Christ told GLAAD: "CBS’ about-face only underscores the arbitrary way the networks approach these decisions, and the result is a woeful lack of religious diversity in our nation's media. Such flip-flops only lead the public to believe that broadcasters own the airwaves when, in theory at least, they do not. This April, in an attempt to reach newer audiences, the UCC does plan to unveil a new 30-second commercial with purchased spots on internet sites; however, our media-buying plan, at present, does not include national TV. But the larger issue of access remains, not just for the UCC but for all religious groups. When and if the UCC does return again to CBS or another network, will our distinctive religious viewpoint be heard or will there be yet another policy change?"


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

Shirtless_Tebow

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 advertisers."

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.

Previously...
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]


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

Tebow
 
University of Florida football quarterback Tim Tebow was asked about his participation in an upcoming Super Bowl commercial for evangelical anti-gay, pro-life organization Focus on the Family.

Said Tebow: "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, and I'm never shy about that. I don't feel like I'm very preachy about it, but I do stand up for what I believe. Unfortunately in today's society not many athletes tend to do that. So I'm just standing for something. I've always been every convicted of it (being anti-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."

Tintebow Tebow has made his role as a "servant of God" clear before. In a GQ profile, complete with shirtless pin-up photo, Tebow said: "When you die, there's gonna be a tombstone, and on that tombstone there's gonna be a name, and there's gonna be a date. And for me, it's going to be 1987, and then it's gonna have a dash.… I want that dash to mean something. I want that dash to be special. I want that dash to represent that Tim Tebow finished strong. And most importantly, when I get to heaven, I want Jesus to say, well done, my good and faithful servant."

Networks have policies rejecting issue advertising in national spots, the NYT reports: "That is one reason why the decision by CBS to sell time to Focus on the Family is raising eyebrows. Another reason is that in the past CBS has rejected requests to buy issue ads during Super Bowl games. A third reason is that the founder of Focus on the Family, James Dobson, has been a polarizing figure in recent years in discussions of social and political issues."

CBS Sports Columnist Gregg Doyel slammed the CBS decision in a column last week: "Apparently the commercial has a beautiful, undeniable message. Tebow's mother suffered a life-threatening infection during that pregnancy, and doctors advised her to abort the baby. She didn't. She named him Tim. Just typing this paragraph gives me goose bumps. The commercial might just make me cry. Still, I don't want to see. Not during the damn Super Bowl. And I'm not complaining about the ad because it's anti-abortion and I'm not. I'm complaining about the ad because it's pro-politics. And I'm not. Not on Super Sunday. If you're a sports fan, and I am, that's the holiest day of the year. That's a day for five hours of football pregame shows and four hours of football game and three hours of postgame football analysis. That's a day for football addicts to gorge themselves to the gills on football. 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."

Bounce CBS has reportedly approved the Focus ad: " CBS executives approved a script for a Super Bowl spot from evangelical group Focus on the Family, which suggests the ad will not carry a pro-life message — at least an overt one. The network has a policy of prohibiting advocacy ads, even ones that carry an 'implicit' endorsement for a side in a public debate. A CBS spokesman did say the network will review the video version of the spot before giving it the final green light, but does not anticipate any hurdles."

The rules are fuzzy enough, however, Think Progress reports, that networks can skirt them.

In 2004, CBS rejected an ad about tolerance from the United Church of Christ in which the UCC's inclusive policies were highlighted by showing a bouncer stationed at a church door with a velvet rope turning away gays and minorities. The Guardian has posted a bunch of Super Bowl ads rejected by networks.

Watch the UCC ad which was rejected, AFTER THE JUMP...

A Facebook group has been formed to demand that CBS either reject the Tebow - Focus on the Family ad or give the United Church of Christ the opportunity it was denied in 2004 to air an ad about tolerance.

Previously...
Tony Joiner's Touchdown Kiss for Tim Tebow Causes Stir [tr]

Continue reading "Tim Tebow Defends Participation in Super Bowl Ad for Evangelical Anti-Gay, Pro-Life Group Focus on the Family" »


Tim Tebow Shoots Super Bowl Ad for Anti-Gay Focus on the Family

Tebow

Tim Tebow, the University of Florida quarterback known to inscribe Bible verses into his eye black, has shot a commercial for anti-gay Christian group Focus on the Family set to air during the Super Bowl. The likely message of the ad, which he shot with his mother, is anti-abortion:

"Pam Tebow contacted amoebic dysentery while on a Philippines mission, and the bacterial infection sent her into a coma. Upon recovery, doctors urged Pam to have an abortion because of the damage to her body. Tebow was born healthy on Aug. 14, 1987... Jim Daly, Focus on the Family president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that the Tebows’ message about family comes at the right moment in the culture because 'families need to be inspired.' The commercial was shot in Orlando. 'Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive,' Daly said. 'Focus on the Family is about … strengthening families by empowering them with the tools they need to live lives rooted in morals and values.' Super Bowl ads are expected to run around $2.8 million dollars for the 100 million viewers. But the Tebows produce financial draw."

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.

The ad is the first Super Bowl ad in FoF's history.


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