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Leonard Shapiro
Columnist

Leonard Shapiro

Washington Post sports reporter, editor and columnist who has served on the NFL HOF Selection Committee.

Choice = Priority

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Not having actually seen the Tim Tebow ad, I'm a tad reluctant to say much about it. Still, based on what I've read, I'm a little amused about the reaction from the pro-choice crowd protesting what appears to be more propaganda from the anti-abortion crowd.

To me, this is nothing less than a free speech issue. Whether you agree or disagree with either side, the Tebows have as much right as anyone to voice their view on the subject, and CBS would be guilty of the worst form of censorship by refusing to air their ad during the Super Bowl.

Ironically, Mrs. Tebow's decision not to abort her son, against the advice of her doctors, is basically the very essence of a pro-choice philosophy. She got the medical information, obviously weighed her options and ultimately made the choice to have her baby boy. No problem there. But heaven forbid, if things hadn't worked out so nicely, if her child had not grown up to be a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, but an infant born with severe physical problems that might have resulted in a very painful and premature death, would she have gone on national television to say she made the right choice?

Here's a better option for all of them. CBS is charging around $6 million a minute for Super Bowl air time. Wouldn't that money be far better spent going to a Haitian relief fund to feed, clothe and care for all those millions of suffering victims? To me, that would be the easiest choice of all.

By Leonard Shapiro  |  February 2, 2010; 12:22 AM ET  | Category:  Super Bowl Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Your thought on how the money would be better spent on a Haitian relief fund is noble, however, a lot of money is being spent to help those in Haiti.

Perhaps the money could be better spent on the largest group of poor people in the United States. This large group are routinley ignored and the money could form the base fund for a scholarship program.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | February 2, 2010 8:14 AM

Consider the cost of the Tebow ad against the social services cost of promiscuity in young people. Its NOT a truism that "everybody does it" - its a CHOICE.

Tim Tebow's mother made a choice. Tim Tebow himself makes a choice in the way he lives his life. Other athletes, much more publicized that Tim Tebow, make many, much worse choices in the way they lead their lives.

Isn't a $3M spend investing in raising up a positive role model worth it against the crazy, me first and always attitude of many professional athletes?

Hmmm..., Tim Tebow vs. Gilbert Arenas or Albert Haynesworth as a role model? No doubt here on THAT answer.

Posted by: CopperSkiPro | February 2, 2010 9:13 AM

You could ask the same question about any advertisement, right? Wouldn't the millions that Bud Light will pay for their ads be better of spent in Haiti? And Bud Light isn't even promoting a worthy cause; it's just selling beer. Yet I don't hear anyone asking them to give up their ads and send the money to Haiti.

Or perhaps we could just cancel the Super Bowl and use all the money spent on it and send it to Haiti. Or how about everyone cancel their cable TV subscription and send it to Haiti.

My point is that there are lots of things that each and every American can do to cut back on what we consume and give a little more to people in need. One Super Bowl ad isn't the problem here.

Posted by: Eric12345 | February 2, 2010 9:39 AM

What about all the other SB commercials that will send absolutely no message except "drink beer". Shouldn't those be the ones donating money to Haiti? I'm okay with spending a little money here if it finally gets a positive message on a mainstage that kids never see anymore.

Posted by: svxcountry1 | February 2, 2010 9:58 AM

Changing one person mind about kill their kid (i.e. abortion) is worth every penny! Good Job Mr. and Mrs. Tebow at choosing life over death!!!

Posted by: dirtyoleman | February 2, 2010 10:41 AM

While we're suggesting who could give up which monies to alleviate the suffering in Haiti, what about the pro football players IN the Super Bowl donating some of their exorbitant salaries??

And, as for Tim Tebow giving his opinion on pro-life, I'd say that as his mom was encouraged to abort but didn't, that makes Tim uniquely qualified to appreciate his life AND express said opinion! Way to go!

Posted by: leishaunc | February 2, 2010 2:52 PM

I'm a bit confused by Shapiro's "CBS would be guilty of the worst form of censorship by refusing to air their ad during the Super Bowl." But isn't that exactly what they did to the United Churches of Christ?

Now, I would, indeed, call it a free speech issue if CBS, before booking any issue ads, or at least before signing Tebow, had made a public announcement that it was changing its policies, and welcomed ads that dealt with controversial subjects. CBS still seems to be questioning the propriety of a gay dating service, yet I haven't noticed gay characters being banned from television comedy and drama.

Dirtyoleman, how will you, or Tebow, change my mind that abortion is not killing a human being, any more than we mourn the reabsorption of a blastocyst? Having watched the surgery for both, there was little difference between a C-section and a removal of an ectopic pregnancy, other than the gestational age. Things get clearer in the neonatal ICU -- although there are the challenges there of what indeed can be called a baby -- who is dying from birth defects. I have absolutely no problem with an obstetrician who delivered an anencephalic baby and didn't try to start its brief and futile attempt to breathe.

Posted by: HCBerkowitz | February 2, 2010 4:54 PM

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