NOW President's Comment Goofier Than Tebow's Superbowl Ad
Love him or hate him, controversial talk show host Rush Limbaugh has it right when it comes to the expanding definition of domestic violence.
During the Superbowl, University of Florida quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother ran an issue ad opposing abortion. In the ad, Tebow's mother talks about how difficult her pregnancy was and how she had to be tough when Tebow suddenly tackles her. Only then do you realize the difficult pregnancy was that of her son, Tim Tebow.
The ad attempts to be goofy and funny, in sharp contrast to the expectations of those who knew the ad was coming. The reaction of NOW president Terry O'Neill, however, was even more startling: "I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it. That's what comes across to me even more strongly than the anti-abortion message. I myself am a survivor of domestic violence, and I don't find it charming. I think CBS should be ashamed of itself."
The Monday following the Superbowl, Limbaugh riffed:
"Did you see the ad, Snerdley? What happened, if you didn't see the sound effect there, Tim Tebow tackled his own mom, looked like bam, she got tackled and then she pops back up. The ad then directed everybody to the Focus on the Family website where the story would be explained. So what do you think the reaction to this ad is today by the NAGs? (interruption) No. No. They are so livid because it glorified violence against women. NAG President Terry O'Neill said it glorified violence against women when Tim Tebow ostensibly tackled his own mother."
"...I can't believe the NAGs. I just can't believe the NAGs. ... ladies and gentlemen, it was I, El Rushbo, decades ago who told you what these people really were about, who they really are, and the fact that they have never, ever represented anywhere near a majority of female thinking in the country. But they were always propped up by the left-wing media as the spokeswomen, spokesmen, for all women. And now they've just become a caricature – violence against women!"
Rush said something similar last year:
"Remember when the NOW gang and all these other social interest groups started asking women if they'd ever been a victim of domestic violence? They didn't like the numbers they got initially. The numbers weren't high enough for the NOW gang. So they expanded the definition to include a man shouting at them. A man shouting at them equaled domestic violence. It didn't matter if the women shouted first."
Rush's view is in agreement with RADAR's special report, "Expanding Definitions of Domestic Violence, Vanishing Rule of Law," http://mediaradar.org/docs/RADARreport-Vanishing-Rule-of-Law.pdf which analyzes the civil domestic violence laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and concludes that statutory definitions have been widened over the past decade to the point that in most states, almost any action can be viewed as "violent." It's also in agreement with attorney Lisa Scott's observation:
"Domestic violence has become whatever the man does that the woman doesn't like. Finding out she is having an affair and demanding she stop is seen as 'abuse.' This often triggers the woman to file for a restraining order, where no real evidence is required. In my 18 years of family law practice, I have seen this pattern occur over and over."
Please e-mail Rush Limbaugh at . Congratulate him for bringing up the fact that a claim of domestic violence is often used to turn the tables when someone is losing an argument, whether it be for advantage in family court or, as in the case of the Tebow ad, public policy debate. Use your own examples of the damage false DV claims do and ask Rush to bring up the issue again on his show. You may also wish to send him a link to the "Expanding Definitions of Domestic Violence" report.
Thanks for your help in getting RADAR issues a public hearing.
Date of RADAR Release: Febuary 22, 2010
R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://mediaradar.org