That's Tim Tebow's mom and that's the Focus on the
Family ad that came out during the second half of yesterday's Super Bowl. If you don't have strong feelings about gay rights or abortion or any of the hot button issues on which evangelicals stake their reputations and build their platforms, then it's hard to see what the big deal was about.
It tried to fit in with the typically humorous commercials (all the way down to Tebow's mom being the victim of a CGI'd takedown a la Betty White) and, depending on your degree of social polarization, it succeeded. So, what's the big deal? It didn't feature James Dobson thundering from his bully pulpit promising fire and brimstone on those who have abortions. In fact, the word "abortion" was never mentioned.
So what was the big deal?
Well, for starters, CBS's hypocrisy in refusing to air ads by Godaddy.com featuring Danica Patrick
and an effeminate football player and a self-deprecating ad
for a gay dating site, Mancrunch.com.
I'll leave it up to you to decide why CBS considered them "too controversial" to air.
But gently reminding people about the evils of abortion, hey, no problem.
But the problem we have is the highly selective and ideologically partisan process of people at CBS and other networks who also don't seem to have a problem with airing ads that don't actually sell anything by entities that largely spearheaded a hate-driven movement in California on Election day 2008 to overturn the state law legalizing gay marriage.
So, while CBS doesn't have a problem with pretending that gay men don't exist
, they also don't have a problem with airing commercials by entities that don't merely want to stop at ignoring gay people. Focus on the Family wants to impose its exclusionary notions of holy matrimony on the rest of us and CBS has no problem whatsoever helping them get their 12th century moral pretensions out to as wide an audience as is humanly possible.
Sure, we have the first amendment, freedom of speech and all that but the first amendment really doesn't apply anywhere, especially in corporate America and the internet. Any blog administrator or domain owner can delete content without fear of violating the first amendment. Editors can delete content from an authors book at will. You can't sue CBS or any other network for impinging on your first amendment rights by refusing to air your commercial.
But there's also such as thing as parity, equal time and the next time someone wants to preach about the evils of resurrecting the Fairness Doctrine, think of Super Bowl 44 and the precedent it provided for self-destructive, homophobic evangelical groups to spread their message of intolerance over those representing a community that it is all-inclusive and the evil that precedent presents. The LGBT community doesn't seek to deny anyone the right to do anything but just to be included with the rest of mainstream human society.
And it's a shame that FOTF's Super Bowl ad got so much more publicity than Saints linebacker Scott Fujita, a straight man, speaking out in support of gay rights.