Abortion Advocates Forced to Admit Focus on the Family Tebow Ad Brilliant
by Steven Ertelt
February 8, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — In the aftermath of the debate surrounding the Focus on the Family Tim Tebow Super Bowl commercial and the airing of the commercial itself, even abortion advocates are forced to admit the thinking behind the ad was brilliant. That comes as some pro-life advocates say they were unimpressed.
In the lead-up to the ad, abortion advocates appeared crazed and reactionary — showing themselves to be more pro-abortion than "pro-choice."
That and the free press the ad earned are leading most observers to say Focus on the Family scored a touchdown by changing hearts and minds and making pro-abortion groups look like polemic extremists.
Even the pro-abortion Huffington Post admitted today that was the case, calling the commercial a "stroke of marketing genius."
"Completely defusing and disarming all the pre-game hand wringing with a perfect lesson in how to let the media and angry groups of protesters turn a $3M investment into a message delivery system worth 100 times the amount," the web site noted.
And Frances Kissling, the former president of "Catholics for Choice" admitted to the Los Angeles Times, "These people came across as affectionate, loving, funny and happy."
LifeNews.com has heard from some pro-life advocates who are disappointed the ad didn’t go further or even mention the word abortion.
Apart from such an ad showing or talking more directly about abortion not having any realistic chance of airing on the CBS network, observers say the focus on the ad itself misses the larger debate in the weeks leading up to the showing of the commercial.
"The job done by Focus on the Family and the Tebows with their much-publicized Super Bowl advertisement was nothing short of masterful. In fact, I’m not sure that word describes the level of mastery Focus on the Family showed with their domination of the pro-abortion left through last nights ad and the public relations battles leading up to it," Jeff Emanuel of Red State writes.
"NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and others went much farther in response to what they expected to be an affront to their pet issue promoting abortion and demanded that CBS refuse to accept [the ad]," he explained. "This, of course, was an untenable situation for these groups."
"When CBS refused to pull the ad, pro-abortion activists ratcheted up their alert level to DEFCON 1, and went into full character-assassination mode," he added — going as far as accusing Pam Tebow of lying. "Needless to say, these tactics in the face of silence from anybody at Focus or in the Tebow family rubbed a good portion of the American population the wrong way."
As evidence, Emanuel points out how even abortion advocates like the New York Times and a Washington Post writer defended the ad.
"In one fell swoop, Focus on the Family and the Tebows exposed the real pro-abortion left to a larger audience than, perhaps, had ever seen them in their natural state: as abortion-loving autocrats who despised Choice almost as much as (infant) life itself all without really having to do anything," he concludes. "Brilliant."
In fact, Emanuel says the fact that the ad was not overtly "anti-abortion" makes it more ingenuous "and likely brought far more people over to the Life side of the issue (or, at least, divorced them from the pro-abortion side) than an overtly anti-abortion spot would have."
David Gibson of Politics daily agrees with Emanuel’s analysis.
The says the pro-life message "won big" because Focus on the Family "realized that having everyone talk about you is every bit as important as actually doing or saying something controversial."
"For weeks before the big game, the controversy over CBS’ decision to reverse its previous policy barring advocacy ads to air the ad against abortion had sent Pam Tebow’s story ricocheting around the Internet," he noticed.
"The pushback only generated more support for Tebow and Focus and their message, and had anti-abortion types crowing about how Pam Tebow would be discussing her difficult choice for life and urging Americans to fight abortion," he said of the reaction to pro-abortion groups attacking the ad.
Even though the ad never mentioned abortion, "everyone knew what the ad was about and the ad didn’t have to say anything directly — which is the definition of the perfect advocacy ad."
Tim Drake of the National Catholic Register suggests the brilliance of the ad was in the soft message of supporting women in a crisis pregnancy.
"The beauty of the ad, though, is what it does show," he writes. "Too often, in crisis pregnancies, the young mother is thinking only about the most immediate concerns her parents, school, work, her future plans. Caught up in the emotion of the moment, and not knowing what to do, too many choose, or are forced, to end their own babys life, without thinking 15, 20 or even 30 years into the future. When a woman takes out her own child, through the violence of abortion, she ends the story."
"Every child has a story. That child will eventually grow up, develop relationships, enter the work world, and have an impact on the world and others. The ad not only shows a grown-up Timmy, but also the love and relationship between Tim and his mother, a relationship that would have ended had Tim been aborted," he says.
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