'Women's Groups' Pressuring CBS to Scrap Tebow Super Bowl Ad

January 26th, 2010 9:11 AM

The story behind Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow's arrival into this world is remarkable.

So-called "women's groups" would seem to prefer that as many Americans as possible not know the story about the courageous and faith-based decision Tebow's mother made to carry her pregnancy to term. That's the only plausible reason why they are opposing a 30-second Focus on the Family (FOTF) ad scheduled to air during the Super Bowl. So far, it seems that CBS, which will air the Super Bowl on February 7, seems disinclined to buckle.

David Crary's coverage of the story at the Associated Press (from which the photo at the top right was obtained) labels FOTF "conservative," but does not apply any descriptive label to the "women's groups" objecting to the ad.

As you'll see in the final excerpted paragraph, Crary's coverage included an over-the-top statement from the objectors:

CBS urged to scrap Super Bowl ad with Tebow, mom

A national coalition of women's groups called on CBS on Monday to scrap its plan to broadcast an ad during the Super Bowl featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, which critics say is likely to convey an anti-abortion message.

"An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year - an event designed to bring Americans together," said Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women's Media Center.

The center was coordinating the protest with backing from the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups.

CBS said it has approved the script for the 30-second ad and has given no indication that the protest would have an impact. A network spokesman, Dana McClintock, said CBS would ensure that any issue-oriented ad was "appropriate for air."

The ad - paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family - is expected to recount the story of Pam Tebow's pregnancy in 1987 with a theme of "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life." After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child and gave birth to Tim, who went on to win the 2007 Heisman Trophy while helping his Florida team to two BCS championships.

The controversy over the ad was raised Sunday when Tebow met with reporters in Mobile, Ala., before beginning preparations for next weekend's Senior Bowl.

"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," Tebow said. "I've always been very convicted of it (his views on 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."

... "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," the letter said.

Since when is telling the story of a key part of someone's life -- namely its beginning -- a "political stance"? NBC turned away a celebration-of-life ad during last year's Super Bowl. I hope that CBS holds firm.

Also missing from Crary's coverage: any indication of how many members and supporters FOTF has compared to the membership rosters of the so-called "women's groups." 

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.