CBS is no stranger to controversy regarding its content choices. In fact, television in general and the Super Bowl specifically have been enmeshed in public outrage long before Miss Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approximately 1.6 million unadjudicated content complaints, many from angry women, to prove it.
In our time at the FCC, public policy organizations from both the left and the right routinely “visited” with us on the need for better enforcement of the indecency statute and new rules on violent content. The nightly fare of women being beaten, raped and murdered as the main plot to just about any crime drama did and does not go unnoticed. The sexual exploitation of very young women is a hot topic for many conservative and even some left-leaning organizations who have sounded the alarm about the coarsening of our culture.
Concern over the content of a 2010 Super Bowl ad is not the least bit surprising. What is jaw-droppingly absurd is that the National Organization of Women (NOW) and friends are fired up over a 30-second ad in which Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow and his mom Pam Tebow discuss their own life affirming story. Pam’s decision to choose life for her son Tim despite doctors’ recommendations to abort him has caused great angst among the “choice” crowd.
Clearly all advocacy organizations should feel free to express concern over content that they feel is damaging; especially when it is aired on the publicly owned airwaves. The odd thing is that in our time at the FCC these groups never contacted us once over the nightly deadly bludgeoning and demeaning of women.
In 2009 the Parents Television Council released one of many studies showing the gravity of the situation. Over the past five years TV portrayals of young girls as victims has increased 400%. Yet what does NOW say on the subject? (Cue crickets chirping.) Another liberal organization pressuring CBS to drop the ad is the liberal Women’s Media Center (WMC). The WMC’s board features a prominent Code Pink activist — the folks whose most important involvement at the FCC was to disrupt a Commission meeting on media ownership dressed as prostitutes… classy.
This brings us to one conclusion. NOW, et. al., don’t really care about protecting women. They care only about the unrelenting promotion of abortion. Not “choice,” abortion. If left-leaning women’s groups were really pro-choice then a discussion of one family’s “choice” wouldn’t be threatening.
Liberal women’s groups have lost their way on so many levels. And, not only in the area of abortion in which 51% of Americans are pro-life. They have lost sight of the real concerns of American women. A Pew Research Center study showed that 75% of Americans want tighter enforcement of the rules on indecent programming. This concern cuts across gender and political lines. Yet these groups are conspicuously absent from the debate.
When Super Bowl XLIV is done and the last sexually demeaning beer commercial is finished, the Tim Tebow message will have run its 30 second course. Hopefully young women contemplating abortion will be inspired by Pam’s noble decision to respect life and NOW will wake up to the disrespect of women every night on television.