Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tebow's Super Bowl ad 'story' pretty unlikely

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 4:50 PM

In 2004, PETA wanted to run a commercial during the Super Bowl that would have urged people not to buy furs. wanted to run a Super Bowl commercial pointing out that Bush had increased the deficit. And the United Church of Christ wanted to air an ad showing a bouncer refusing to let a gay couple enter a Church. The tagline was, “Jesus Didn't Turn People away. Neither do we.” The Super Bowl rejected those ads because, they said, they will not run commercials that “touch on and/or take a position on one side of a current controversial issue of public importance."

This year, a gay dating site wanted to run an ad during the Super Bowl. It was rejected. And then the far-right group Focus On The Family told the Super Bowl they’d like to run a 30-second anti-abortion ad featuring University of Florida’s star quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother. Oh, sure, said the Super Bowl, as long as you pay the $3 million price tag. To which many progressives in the U.S. are replying, “WTF?”

The ad proposes to tell the story of Tebow’s mom who, in 1987, was pregnant with Tim while she worked as a missionary in the Philippines. She contracted amoebic dysentery and, according to her, doctors told her she should have an abortion. Instead, she went ahead with her pregnancy and gave birth to the future Heisman Trophy winner who is now so grateful to Jesus, he wears Bible verses on his face during football games. He apparently also believes his mom’s experience gives him the right to tell women what they should do with their bodies — their wombs, to be precise.

Now, questions have arisen questioning whether Tebow and Mom’s story is even true. As was pointed out by numerous lawyers during the past couple of weeks, the Tebows’ Tale of Tim’s Miracle Birth leaves out an important detail that makes the story doubtful. You see, abortion has been illegal under any circumstances in the Philippines since the 1930s. Doctors who perform abortions there face six years in prison, and their patients are looking at two to six years. It’s therefore highly doubtful that a doctor would have suggested an abortion to begin with, and even if one had, who’s to know whether Mrs. Tebow took the jail sentence into consideration when making her, ahem, choice.

Needless to say, the Tebows’ ad has angered lots of people, especially women’s rights groups. The Washington Post ran an op-ed opposing the ad, and Dave Zirin, who writes for Sports Illustrated about sports and politics, said of the Super Bowl’s decision, “The hypocrisy boggles the mind." The Women’s Media Center began a campaign to get CBS to dump the ad, at which point CBS announced that it had changed its old policy about “controversial” ads and would now allow them (tell that to the gay dating site). Meanwhile, as long as the Super Bowl is welcoming ads from far-right groups, they should consider this spoof commercial:

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