Neil

Touchdown for life

By: Neil Middleton
By: Neil Middleton

Football is always the main event on Super Bowl Sunday, but the commercials have turned into a show of its own. This year one ad is generating a heated debate over abortion and free speech. The 30-second spot, produced by Focus on the Family, focuses on the birth of college football star Tim Tebow. His mother ignored a doctor’s recommendation to abort her fifth child, Tim Tebow.

Football is always the main event on Super Bowl Sunday, but the commercials have turned into a show of its own. 

This year one ad is generating a heated debate over abortion and free speech.  The 30-second spot, produced by Focus on the Family, focuses on the birth of college football star Tim Tebow.  His mother ignored a doctor’s recommendation to abort her fifth child.  Tim Tebow won the 2007 Heisman Trophy and is considered one of the greatest college football players of all time.

Focus on the Family President Jim Daly talks about the commercial in the video below.

 

 

Here are a couple of articles I thought you might find interesting.

New York Times Editorial

Super Bowl Censorship

The commercials during the Super Bowl, a showcase for the best (or worst) in TV advertising, often generate buzz and sometimes outrage. This year, viewers will see one ad that has already triggered a heated debate about abortion and censorship.

The 30-second spot, financed by the conservative religious group Focus on the Family, is said to recount the pregnancy of Pam Tebow, mother of the college football star Tim Tebow. After falling ill during a mission to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child, who became the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner.

The National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America and other voices for protecting women’s reproductive freedom have called on CBS to yank it. Their protest is puzzling and dismaying.

A letter sent to CBS by the Women’s Media Center and other groups argues that the commercial “uses one family’s story to dictate morality to the American public, and encourages young women to disregard medical advice, putting their lives at risk” — a lame attempt to portray the ad as life-threatening. Others argue that even a mild discussion of such a divisive issue has no place in the marketing extravaganza known as the Super Bowl.

The would-be censors are on the wrong track. Instead of trying to silence an opponent, advocates for allowing women to make their own decisions about whether to have a child should be using the Super Bowl spotlight to convey what their movement is all about: protecting the right of women like Pam Tebow to make their private reproductive choices.

CBS was right to change its policy of rejecting paid advocacy commercials from groups other than political candidates. After the network screens ads for accuracy and taste, viewers can watch and judge for themselves. Or they can get up from the couch and get a sandwich.

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Jim Daly – Finding Home

 

Touchdown for Life

 

 

Our Super Bowl XLIV commercial with Pam and Tim Tebow has kicked off quite the media firestorm. Okay, that’s an understatement. Last week the

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described it as “perhaps the most controversial commercial in the big game’s 43-year history.”

 

From National Public Radio and The New York Times, to Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, there’s been no shortage of national coverage over an ad which has yet to air. Even Saturday Night Live got into the act by poking fun at the brewing controversy over the weekend.

 

Frankly, I’m a little surprised that there would be anything controversial about the message “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.” Millions of Americans believe that nurturing a culture of life and fortifying strong families makes for a better nation. In a nutshell, that goes to the heart of the Tebow’s story.

 

However, not everyone thinks CBS should air this inspiring story during the Super Bowl. Here’s a sample of what some who disagree with our message are saying:

 

  • “This ad is hate masquerading as love.” —Erin Mattson, vice president of the National Organization for Women (NOW)
  • “[Focus on the Family] is extremely intolerant and divisive and pushing an un-American agenda.” —Jehmu Greene, Director of the Women’s Media Center
  • “[The Focus ad is] extraordinarily offensive and demeaning.” —Terry O’Neill, President of NOW
  • “They are known to spew hate and be very divisive. And I have no doubt that that will come through [in the ad] . . . this un-American hate doesn’t have a place in this all-American past time." —Kierra Johnson, Choice USA

 

As I pointed out in a recent Washington Post piece, when the estimated 100 million football fans tune into the big game and see for themselves what we’re really saying—rather than what others are saying about us—I have every confidence they will be inspired by love rather than mired in the current controversy.

 

If that happens, pardon the pun, it will be a touchdown for life.

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Should the commercial run in the Super Bowl?  Let me know your thoughts.  Remember, you can watch the Super Bowl on WYMT-TV Sunday night.

Thanks for making WYMT-TV your source for news and information.  We appreciate your trust.

God Bless America!
 
Neil Middleton
WYMT Mountain News
Appreciate Freedom – Thank a Vet!

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