Let's see: CBS in the past has rejected ads from the United Church of Christ promoting gay rights, from PETA and from Moveon.org. But it has no problem running a pro-life ad by Florida quarterback Tim Tebow paid for by the anti-gay hate group Focus on the Family. I wonder why?
CBS' decision on the Tebow ad comes as networks and TV stations have struggled for revenue amid a weak advertising market. Until recently, networks were routinely able to command higher rates each year for Super Bowl commercials, but that ended with the recession. CBS has been selling 30-second spots in the Feb. 7 Super Bowl for about $2.7 million each -- slightly less than NBC was able to command for last year's game -- and still has some advertising time left to sell.
CBS says its standards have changed. It seems to me, though, that CBS' bottom line has changed, so all of a sudden any group willing to pony up some dough will get a chance to air its views. My problem here is not Tebow's right to hold any belief. It's instead with CBS, which has one set of standards for some advocacy ads and another set for others.
In the ad, Tebow's mom, Pam, describes the choice she had to make when carrying Tebow during a difficult pregnancy and rejecting an abortion. The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart wonder whether a pro-choice group will run a counter-ad:
Focus on the Family is touting Ms. Tebow's right to choose while trying to deny the same opportunity -- the same right -- to other women. Whether CBS is right to run this advocacy ad after rejecting others in the past, I'll leave to others for the moment. But abortion rights advocates, such as the National Organization for Women, would do well to point out this hypocrisy with an ad of their own.