A reader writes:
I have a few problems with the idea of the Tebow ad (I can't say I have a problem with the ad itself, as it has not aired yet).
1. It seems interesting/questionable that CBS has reconsidered their policy on "issue" ads to air a conservative "pro-life" ad after rejecting so many liberal issue ads (PETA, Move On, the United Church of Christ). Maybe this is a result of economic pressures, maybe not. CBS can say any other group is welcome to submit a "responsibly produced" ad, but at this late date few organizations can probably put together the funds. No one saw this coming because of CBS's prior consistent stance against issue ads. If CBS had made it clear that their policy had changed and gave organizations equal crack at it, I would have less of a problem.
2. Super Bowl ads are traditionally fun and ridiculous.
Some people watch just for the ads. I can only imagine that this ad will not be in the spirit of most Super Bowl ads. Yes, Tebow is a football player, but the ad just doesn't seem to fit with the programming.
3. It's a little disingenuous for the makers of this ad to say that it isn't a political ad, as they did on NPR this week. It's also disingenuous to pretend that this is just a feel good story. This ad is funded and produced by Focus on the Family. They have a political agenda.
4. It frustrates me how this ad will likely overly simplify a very complex matter. If a woman is told that she may or will die if she continues with the pregnancy, it must be an anguishing decision. Also, I would hate to see women misinformed by an ad like this. Not every woman in Mrs. Tebow's situation will have the same results. Her choice was risky – she could have died and/or her baby could have died. And I am sorry, but I believe that a mother has as much of a right to live as her unborn baby – there are two lives hanging in the balance in this situation. I am truly glad it worked out for them.
But I can't help but think that a Super Bowl ad will not address the complexities of a decision like this. It's almost insulting to me that such a deeply personal and potentially tragic situation is the subject of a Super Bowl ad. And i can't help but be annoyed by the idea of a college kid indirectly telling me that he knows more about my health and my life than me or my doctor because his story had a happy ending. There are many forums to have honest and meaningful dialogue about this issue. Your series on late term abortions last year was amazing – it actually allowed people to discuss the wide range of issues. This ad is not a discussion – it's a lecture – it's one way communication. All an ad like this does is make people like me mad and people like Sarah Palin happy – it doesn't make any progress for either side.