Thursday, May 05, 2005

ABC plays the hypocrite in kowtowing to religious right

Here's the press release from the United Church of Christ. If this isn't blatant bigotry, what is?

After twice rejecting UCC’s ad, ABC airs ‘Focus on the Family’ commercial

By J. Bennett Guess
News Director

May 3, 2005

The communication director of the 1.3-million-member United Church of Christ is questioning a decision by ABC television to allow James Dobson’s Focus on the Family to air two commercials during the network’s season finale of “Supernanny” on May 2.

In an Associated Press story (May 2), Focus on the Family’s president and CEO, Jim Daly, said the spots were an attempt by his organization to offer “faith-based” advice on parenting, despite the fact that ABC executives have twice denied recent similar requests by the UCC to purchase network time as part of its national advertising campaign.

“Focus on the Family is clearly a religious organization,” the Rev. Robert Chase, director of the UCC’s communication ministry, told United Church News. “Here’s yet another illustration of how a particular narrow agenda makes up the rules as they go along, while another religious viewpoint cannot even purchase time on the people’s airwaves to proclaim an all-inclusive message.”

In December and March, the three major networks denied a purchasing request by the Cleveland-based UCC. NBC and CBS rejected the UCC’s 30-second ads as “too controversial.” ABC, however, sidestepped the fray by maintaining that it has a blanket policy against all religious advertising.

“Why are the network executives so willing to bow to this narrow agenda of the religious right?” Chase said. “Why is one religious viewpoint continually accommodated by the network elites?”

“Focus on the Family may be using a non-sectarian come-on, but what kind of assurances can ABC provide that Focus on the Family’s follow-up literature is respectful of all faiths, respectful of non-traditional families, respectful of the one million kids that have same-sex couples as parents?”

The apparent hole in ABC’s advertising policy has not been lost on internet blogs. Below are a few recent posts:

Media Matters: Is ABC providing airtime to Focus on the Family after denying it to United Church of Christ?

Talking Points Memo: You may recall

AmericaBlog: ABC accepts ad from Focus on Family after rejecting gay-friendly Christian Church


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