Tuesday, July 19, 2005

ABC and Focus on the Family

A few months back there was a bit of a dust-up after several networks refused to air an ad by the United Church of Christ that promoted tolerance toward homosexuals. ABC claimed that they had a policy forbidding advertising by any religious group, but then turned around and ran an ad from Focus on the Family, even though that right-wing organization is pretty explicit about being religious. Nonetheless, one might be able to parse out enough of difference between the UCC and FOTF to justify ABC's policy. Furthermore, an ad doesn't necessarily mean that ABC is endorsing FOTF. But the relationship between ABC and FOTF doesn't just end there. According to the FOTF webpage, ABC linked up with FOTF for an episode of its series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition:

Focus on the Family is participating in this week’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition event in Peyton, Colorado. Both the show’s producers and sponsor Keller Homes invited Focus to contribute after learning the unique background of the episode’s beneficiary, a local family of eight.

Focus will provide a complete family library of video, audio, and print classics for this homeschooling family. The library includes literary classics, the Adventures in Odyssey radio series, audio dramas from the award-winning Radio Theatre series, marriage and parenting resources, subscriptions to the top Focus magazines, and a variety of other resources specifically tailored to the ages and interests of the family members.

Focus will also organize an educational broadcasting field trip day at its Colorado Springs campus for the family’s teens. They will learn about the world of radio broadcasting, including writing, editing, sound effects and voice work. The trip will also include a visit to Focus’ TV drop-cam studio and a meet-and-greet time with Focus writers, producers and hosts.

Finally, 55 of Focus on the Family’s employees and volunteers will assist in directing traffic and parking cars on Sunday, July 17 during the final day of taping for the show. Crowds are estimated to be around 5,000-10,000 people for the big home renovation reveal.

I'm sure that ABC did this at the request of the family in the episode, but do you think that that the network would rely on the Human Rights Campaign to provide educational materials for a family with same-sex parents or a gay child? Sure, and James Dobson will let the Fab Four make him over on Queer Eye.

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