Television networks live and die based on advertiser revenue. Whether executives personally endorse the products sold is largely irrelevant to their bottom line.
Apparently, though, there is a limit to the tolerance some networks can show toward a potential advertiser. For sports network ESPN, that threshold is apparently any reference to Christian faith.
As detailed in a recent report by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, the ratings giant refused to accept money from a Catholic children’s hospital because the submitted commercial contained a reference to God and Jesus. For some reason, O’Reilly confirmed that the network found such invocations “problematic.”
With Christmas less than two weeks away, it is outrageous that an ad be denied merely for mentioning the name of whose birth we will be collectively celebrating. O’Reilly played the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center spot on his program, providing some context regarding its message.
The ad is far from a proselytization; though even if it did try to extol the virtues of Christianity, ESPN would not be advocating its contents just by allowing the commercial to air. Instead, the children’s hospital reached out to parents of “sick and injured children who may not be able to come home for the holidays.”
A narrator confirmed that the the facility celebrates “the season of giving” as well as Christ’s birth, describing its mission as providing “hope to the many children, parents and families we serve.”
The purpose of the ad, which aired on various other networks without objection, was to prompt caring viewers to send these sick kids a holiday message.
“Help us reveal God’s healing presence this Christmas,” the commercial concluded. “Send your message of hope at Glennon.org.”
For the sake of comparison, ESPN rejected a touching plea for compassion while airing a propagandistic plug for the dreadful debacle known as ObamaCare. Of course, we still enjoy an ostensibly free market, which allows ESPN to act against its own self-interest by refusing to accept the hospital’s money.
As this absurd decision gains media traction, however, individuals across the U.S. will undoubtedly identify the network’s blatant anti-Christian attitude. Hopefully, the message conveyed in the ad will reach a wider audience because of this controversy than it would have had it aired as scheduled.
Click below to view the rejected advertisement:
–B. Christopher Agee
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