Women’s Media Center unclear on the concept of free speech

by the Night Writer

While you might argue how “free” the speech is if it costs $2.5 million, we have another example today of the so-called progressive left’s unique views on the freedom of expression: if they hate what you have to say then it must be “hate” speech and banned. The latest case in point is the call by the Women’s Media Center and the National Organization for (Some) Women for CBS to ban a pro-life ad featuring Tim Tebow and his mother from this year’s Super Bowl.

CBS Corp. said Tuesday it had received numerous e-mails — both critical and supportive — since a coalition of women’s groups began a protest campaign Monday against the ad, which the critics say will use Tebow and his mother to convey an anti-abortion message.


Funded by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, the 30-second ad is expected to recount the story of Pam Tebow’s pregnancy in 1987. After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child. She later gave birth to Tim, who won the 2007 Heisman Trophy and helped his Florida team win two BCS championships.

Well, I mean, the nerve of the Tebows to use their personal true story. And I thought the left was supposed to be the “reality-based” community. Or not.

On Monday, a coalition led by the New York-based Women’s Media Center, with backing from the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation and other groups, urged CBS to scrap the Tebow ad.


“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 media center.

This is an event designed to bring Americans together? Well, at least they didn’t say “it’s for the children.” I wonder, however, how an inspirational message of hope and potential is considered “divisive” while a strident attempt to shut someone up isn’t? Perhaps it’s just another example where they’re unclear on the concept. It’s worth noting here that last year NBC did ban a similar themed commercial about how a baby was born into a broken home, abandoned by his father, raised by his mother … and went on to become the first African-American president. You might have remembered this commercial…if you’d been allowed to see it:

Anyway, kudos to another network, CBS, for reconsidering its position on not allowing advocacy advertising. Perhaps they recognize their responsibility, or perhaps they merely listened to their shareholders who were advocating that they not turn down a couple of million dollars. (The network did note that if some group wanted to respond to the ad there were still some advertising slots available.)

As today’s news story indicates, there have been more than a few people who are hailing, not damning, the network’s decision. It’s possible that the women’s groups will recognize they may have over-stepped with the public. If so, I expect they’ll rephrase their protest in terms of how much good Focus on the Family’s $2.5 million could have done for the poor — especially poor children — if it hadn’t been wasted on some frivolous game. If that complaint sounds familiar it may be because you have heard it before (John 12:5) . At which point it will be my turn to say, “It’s for the children.”

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