AP Error: Writer Suggests Tebow Ad Had Abortion Talk

The sharp eyes at Powerline caught AP writer Emily Fredrix really messing up on the Tebow ads for Focus on the Family that aired on the Super Bowl last night, which did not discuss abortion:

And a commercial by conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, perhaps the most anticipated ad of the night, hinted at a serious subject although it took a humorous tone too. Heisman winner Tim Tebow and his mother talk about her difficult pregnancy with him and how she was advised to end the pregnancy—implying an antiabortion message—but ended with Tebow tackling his mom and saying the family must be "tough."

John at Powerline wondered: "How can anyone misreport on a 30-second commercial? How many people saw it, 150 million? Is there any explanation for the AP's hallucination other than pro-abortion paranoia on the part of the reporter?"

It's additionally mysterious since Fredrix filed a whole story on the Tebow ad and its aftermath, which more accurately described the commercial.

The subtle and humorous ad made some wonder what all the fuss was about.

The commercial, which shows just Tebow and his mother, Pam, against a white backdrop, does not contain an overt antiabortion message. Instead it sends people to Focus on the Family's Web site, which tells more of the Tebows' story and offers a more straightforward message.

Fredrix offered two experts -- one thought the ad was so subtle it was confusing, and another thought it was very effective. But the feminists were still sour and angry. Tebow joke-tackling his mother was an endorsement of violence:

The Women's Media Center, which had objected to Focus on the Family advertising in the Super Bowl, said it was expecting a "benign" ad but not the humor. But the group's president, Jehmu Greene, said the tackle showed an undercurrent of violence against women.

"I think they're attempting to use humor as another tactic of hiding their message and fooling the American people," she said.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis