Jan 20, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT
Sure Super Bowl commercials are fun, but don’t you wish they came with a little more controversy? You’re in luck, because one of the country’s most polarizing religious figures is teaming with our most rock-jawed amateur quarterback to bring you a TV ad sure to spark debate at your Super Bowl get-together. Dr. James Dobson, the founder of the Group Focus on the Family who once denounced SpongeBob SquarePants for being gay, is joining forces with Florida All-American good-guy quarterback Tim Tebow to produce a 30-second spot to air during the Super Bowl. Exactly what the ad is about is not clear, but CBS has “approved the script,” and assured people that it “will not carry a pro-life message — at least an overt one.” Um, OK.
Tebow and his mother are to be featured in the ad. We all know that Tebow is extremely religious, but to throw in with Dobson — one of the most radically conservative, controversial and polarizing figures in politics — is a bit jarring. As SportsbyBrooks points out in a post today, Dobson is well-known for his on the record opposition to abortion, gay marriage and homosexuality.
But the bigger controversy here may be CBS’ inconsistency in approving Super Bowl advertising.
Part of the concern for the approval of an ad from a group fronted by Dobson is that in 2004, CBS rejected a Super Bowl ad produced by the United Churches of Christ. CBS Executive Vice President Martin Franks said at the time, “The network simply does not accept any advocacy advertising of any kind.”
CBS also refused to air two other Super Bowl ads that year; anti-George W. Bush ad by the group MoveOn.org, and an ad from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
A larger issue though is Tebow generating awareness for a group with a well-chronicled, aggressive anti-gay agenda. An agenda that is often interwined with political interests.
You may remember Dobson from such hits as: “(Homosexuality) will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth.”, and, “Reach out to homosexuals; bring them to Jesus.” More on Dobson here.
And here: Also in 2004, Dobson talked before members of Congress at a black tie dinner in Washington, denouncing SpongeBob. Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC column:
(Dobson) advised the group that SpongeBob had been included in a pro-homosexual video which was to be mailed to thousands of elementary schools to push a tolerance pledge by kids, including tolerance of differences of what Dr. Dobson called “sexual identity.” Dr. Dobson said most of the favorite cartoons of America’s kids were in on the plot, Barney and Jimmy Neutron included.
And now Tebow has hitched his wagon to Dobson’s star. The concussion problem in college sports is real, people.
CBS Gives OK To Focus Super Bowl Spot [Media Post]
Will SpongeBob make you gay? [Countdown with Keith Olbermann]
Tebow Fronts Group Known For Anti-Gay Agenda [SportsbyBrooks]
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