Left Divided Over CBS's Rejection of Gay Super Bowl Ad

Liberals cry double standard after CBS approved a pro-life spot, but some on the left say the ad deserved scrapping

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Since CBS gave the thumbs-up to a Focus on the Family pro-life ad in the Super Bowl, liberal groups have been angling for an advocacy ad of their own. A 30-second spot from ManCrunch, a gay dating site, seemed to fit the bill. The ad shows two men aggressively making out (see clip below). The network ultimately rejected the ad on the grounds that it violated CBS' broadcast standards for Super Bowl Sunday.

CBS' decision to reject the ad has predictably sparked a left-wing furor, as liberals across the board have demonized the network for a "double standard". But some left-leaning blogs applaud CBS for killing an ad they call counterproductive and sophomoric.

  • 'Blatant Discrimination'  After supporting CBS' decision to air Focus on the Family's pro-life ad, the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan rips the network for denying ManCrunch the same forum. "There is one reason this ad was denied," he contends. "Its gay content was deemed offensive to football fans, while an anti-abortion issues ad wasn't. That's called blatant discrimination and if it doesn't lead to aggressive protests I'll be very surprised."
  • 'I Am Disgusted' rants Mediaite's Rachel Sklar during a lengthy, hyperbolic tirade against CBS. "This is flat-out, straight-up homophobia," she fumes. "Not to mention a flat-out, straight-up double standard." Mere words aren't enough--Sklar repeatedly pulls out the bazooka that is the caps-lock key.
My God, the lingerie-clad ladies in that PETA commercial had to near-hump a broccoli to be banned. GoDaddy.com girl Candice Michelle may have upset the committee with her tank-top strap-snapping commercial in 2005, but it still ran. And fine! Why not? Oh my God stop the presses, sexy ladies have big boobies. But hey, stop the presses again: THERE ARE GAY PEOPLE IN AMERICA. PROBABLY A BUNCH OF THEM RUNNING THINGS AT CBS.
  • CBS' Green Line in the Sand  "In reality, the problem is not with the quality (or not) of the ManCrunch ad," argues the Huffington Post's Michael Rowe, who take a more reasoned approach to the issue and finds that financial considerations are the prime mover. "The network's rejection of it merely highlights the obvious: that CBS had already decided where its ethical priorities lay when they accepted the commercial from Focus on the Family last week. Those priorities clearly don't lie with women, or with progressives, or with any group that happens to find itself on Focus on the Family's no-fly list." Rowe concludes, "In the end, money always talks, no matter how ugly what it says might be."
  • Hate the Ad, Not the Network  Not all liberals are convinced CBS made the wrong choice, saving their scorn for ManCrunch and its sophomoric ad. "This is the ad we are supposed to fight for?" asks an incredulous Adam Amel Rogers at Change.org. "This is the ad that we want 100 million people to see?" Later in the post, Rogers brings up a salient point overlooked by most on the left.
No one seems to actually know anything about this site. It doesn’t appear to be targeting openly gay men, its website says it is for men on the “down low.” Great. Not only does it make people less inclined to vote for LGBT equality, it also encourages people to not live openly and honestly about being gay.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.