Controversy Over Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad Featuring Tim Tebow

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," January 26, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: the first big Super Bowl controversy. This year CBS is charging more than $2 million for a 30 second commercial during the game, if you can believe it.

Conservative Focus on the Family organization pony up the money to run an ad about abortion. The commercial stars Tim Tebow and his mother. Apparently Mrs. Tebow was told to have an abortion for health reasons, but obviously did not.


TIM TEBOW, UNIV. OF FLORIDA QUARTERBACK: I don't feel like I'm very preachy about it but I do stand up for what I believe. And at least you can respect that. Because I do stand up. And unfortunately in today's society, not many athletes tend to do that that. And that's the reason I'm here is because my mom is a very courageous woman. And you know, once they know in a lot of circumstances. So you know, that's the reason I'm here. I'm very thankful for that.


O'REILLY: All right. With us now, Jehmu Greene, president of the Women's Media Center, who wants CBS is abort the ad, so to speak.

Just to give you a little more perspective, nobody's seen the ad yet. And Focus on the Family wouldn't even send us the script. CBS has seen the script. You haven't seen the ad or the script, right?

JEHMU GREENE, PRESIDENT, WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER: As you said, no one has seen the ad. CBS has approved this ad.

O'REILLY: Right, but you haven't seen anything.

GREENE: I've not seen anything.

O'REILLY: Because we asked them and they wouldn't send it to us.

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GREENE: It's clear CBS has approved this ad.

O'REILLY: Yeah, it's going to run.

GREENE: And it's like contradicting their long-standing policy.

O'REILLY: Wait. Don't outkick your coverage, to use a football metaphor. Let me just explain what we believe is in the ad. Mrs. Tebow is in the Philippines. She got sick while she was pregnant with Tim. Some doctors said you should abort the baby because the baby may not come out healthy, all right? Mrs. Tebow said no, gave birth to Tim, her fifth child. They're going to celebrate that fact in the ad. It is, obviously, a pro-life ad. And your beef is?

GREENE: Well, I can't imagine the decision that the Tebows had to face when given the news about the pregnancy. And I think it's that very choice that Pam Tebow was allowed to make about her reproductive health decisions that this ad is trying to take away for all American women.

O'REILLY: Why would it do that though? If it's a positive ad that I made my choice and it was the right choice and I'm happy we made the choice and Tim obviously is happy, why is that trying to take anything away from anybody? It's a positive statement.

GREENE: This is clearly a thinly veiled attempt to undermine a woman's right to…


GREENE: ...make decisions about her reproductive decisions.

O'REILLY: How? How is it though? I don't understand how it undermines anything. It just tells their story.

GREENE: I think it tells a story of a woman who had that right…

O'REILLY: Right.


O'REILLY: Exercised it and it came out well for them.

GREENE: Yes, it did turn out well for them. But taking that choice away from American women who have…

O'REILLY: But they're not trying to take it away.

GREENE: Clearly, clearly Focus on the Family has an anti-choice agenda. They also have…

O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, whoa. That's true, Focus on the Family's…

GREENE: ...a homophobic agenda.

O'REILLY: Wait, wait, wait.

GREENE: They're…

O'REILLY: Now you're attacking the group and not the ad. I don't know if that's fair. Let's stay on the ad. Focus on the Family, as you rightly point out, is a pro-life group.


O'REILLY: They don't like abortion, OK. But that doesn't mean everything they do is bad. And that doesn't mean everything they advertise should be banned, does it?

GREENE: Well, I think it's clear that CBS has a long-standing policy not to air advocacy ads that are controversial.

O'REILLY: Well, so here's a CBS quote.

GREENE: We both know that abortion is the most controversial issue that there is. And it is time to have a meaningful conversation about women's health when it comes to reproductive rights and 30-second ads war.

O'REILLY: I think you're trying to muzzle these guys, Jehmu. I think you're trying to muzzle them. That's not the American way. Here's what CBS says. Dana McClintock says CBS has approved the script and would ensure — CBS will ensure that any issue-oriented ad, which this is no doubt, was appropriate for air. If it's a positive message, Jehmu, if it's my story and I'm here to tell, even though it has a pro-life message, you can't muzzle that in the United States of America. Now if it were attacking you or your belief system or your organization, I'd be with you. But it isn't.

GREENE: I think, Bill…

O'REILLY: It's just telling a positive story.

GREENE: I think you know better than most people that television executives make decisions every single day about what they are going to air…

O'REILLY: But I don't see why you would not put this on.

GREENE: consideration of their viewers. And…

O'REILLY: Who's it going to offend?

GREENE: And there's no more controversial issue than abortion.

O'REILLY: Are you offended — wait, wait, hold it. Are you offended that Tim Tebow's alive?

GREENE: I am offended that CBS has a very specific advocacy policy that they have decided, whether out of bias…

O'REILLY: Well, that's a beef with CBS.

GREENE: ...that they would…

O'REILLY: That's a beef with CBS. But, wait, you're not offended — you can't be offended that Mrs. Tebow made the decision to give birth to Tim?

GREENE: I applaud the fact that she had Tim.

O'REILLY: Yeah, so let's celebrate it.

GREENE: And every American woman deserves that same choice.

O'REILLY: And they have it.

GREENE: And this ad, this organization is trying to undermine that, is trying to take that right away.

O'REILLY: That's your interpretation of the organization.

GREENE: And that is not appropriate.

O'REILLY: But the ad should not be banned. I don't agree. But we respect your opinion, and thank you for coming in a spirited debate, Jehmu. Nice to see you again.

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