Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
NBC has refused to air CatholicVote.org’s new pro-life ad during its broadcast of this Sunday’s Super Bowl game.
According to a Jan. 29 press release from CatholicVote.org, “After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told CatholicVote.org late yesterday that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving ‘political candidates or issues.’”
Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, said in the press release, “There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC’s parent company GE has done for years. We congratulate Barack Obama on becoming the first African-American President. And we simply ask people to imagine the potential of each human life.”
The 30-second ad has no graphic content nor even any direct references to abortion.
It features an ultrasound image of a baby in the womb and images of Barack Obama, along with a narration describing how the president’s mother chose to give birth to him and nurtured him as a single mother after his Kenyan-born father left the family, allowing Obama to grow up to become the nation’s first African-American president.
The pro-life ad can be viewed here at CatholicVote.org’s website, as well as here and here at the Daily Blog’s earlier posts regarding the ad. It was released Jan. 19 by CatholicVote.org, timed to coincide with Obama’s inauguration the next day. It immediately became one of YouTube’s most watched videos after it was posted on the Internet.
The ad was broadcast on the Black Entertainment Television in Chicago during its Jan. 21 coverage of the presidential inauguration.
In a Jan. 27 interview, Burch told the Daily Blog that NBC officials had just told him that their legal department had decided the pro-life ad was suitable for airing during Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast after watching the CatholicVote.org video.
Burch, who is also president of the Fidelis Center for Law and Policy, told the Daily Blog that a NBC official said to him about the ad, “I’m neither pro-life nor pro-choice, but this is the best pro-life ad I’ve ever seen.”
The Daily Blog has contacted NBC for comment about the corporation’s subsequent decision to refuse to air CatholicVote.org’s pro-life ad and is awaiting a reply.
Burch said in the Jan. 29 CatholicVote.org press release that a double standard appears to have been applied against the pro-life ad. Burch noted that an animal-rights ad submitted by PETA for airing on this year’s Super Bowl broadcast was rejected for excessive sexual content, not for its advocacy of a political issue.
Said Burch, “NBC claims it doesn’t allow advocacy ads, but that’s not true. They were willing to air an ad by PETA if they would simply tone down the sexual suggestiveness. Our ad is far less provocative and hardly controversial by comparison.”
Added Burch, “The purpose of our new ad is to spread a message of hope about the potential of every human life, including the life of Barack Obama.”