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NCAA Pulls 'Focus on the Family' Web Ad Following Pressure

Yesterday I posted about reports that the NCAA had approved airtime for ads from anti-gay, anti-choice evangelical group Focus on the Family during the upcoming NCAA tournament. The NCAA was also running an ad for the group on its website. 

Fotf  Under pressure, the NCAA pulled the ad yesterday:

"The decision by the NCAA came in response to vocal protests from a small number of advocates for gay and lesbian athletes, who complained that the group's views that homosexuality and abortion are immoral are inconsistent with the NCAA's stated nondiscrimination policy. 'Focus on the Family did have a banner ad on NCAA.com. Today, it was decided to remove the ad from the website as a result of concerns expressed by our membership,' Bob Williams, an NCAA spokesman, said via e-mail late Tuesday."

It's still unclear whether CBS will run Focus ads during the NCAA tournament.

Writes Pat Griffin: "Yippee! Our voices were heard. I just got word that the NCAA is pulling the Focus on the Family ads that have been running on the NCAA.com web site. No decisions have been made about future ads, so maybe we need to make sure the NCAA gets it that ANY ads from FOTF associated with the NCAA in any way are unacceptable."


Report: NCAA Supporting Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Evangelical Group Focus on the Family

Sports blogger, author, and UMass professor emerita Pat Griffin reports that the NCAA's website is running ads (current ad pictured here) for anti-gay, anti-choice evangelical organization Focus on the Family, and has approved airtime for them on CBS during the upcoming tournament.

Writes GriffinFotf "Ok, we endured the Focus on the Family...Tebow anti-abortion ad during the Super Bowl (along with a lot of other ads demeaning women). But now, NCAA.com, is also carrying a banner ad for Focus on the Family. I hear that CBS, the network that brought us the Focus on the Family Super Bowl ad, is also covering the Men’s NCAA Tournament, and plan to air these ads throughout the tournament with the complete complicity, consent and support of the NCAA."

The ad deal is not confirmed, but the report is troubling, considering, as Griffin also notes, "The NCAA is the most prominent national governing body for intercollegiate athletics for women and men. The NCAA constitutional principles include an explicit prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation."

Call NCAA Public Relations - 317 917 6762
Call NCAA Main Number - 317 917 6222
Email NCAA Public Relations - pmr@ncaa.org

A Facebook group has been started by Sean Chapin urging the NCAA to drop its relationship with FoF. Join it here.

(via outsports)


Watch: Planned Parenthood's Response to Tebow Super Bowl Ad

Plannedparenthood

Planned Parenthood has released a web spot featuring former college and professional football player Sean James and Olympic gold medalist Al Joyner in response to the 'Focus on the Family' Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad.

The spot has received about 100,000 views on YouTube, a tiny fraction of what the Tebow ad will receive.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Planned Parenthood's Response to Tebow Super Bowl Ad" »


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]


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