Networks Ignore Condom Ad That Offends Christians

It's not a cartoon of a turban-shaped bomb, and probably nobody will threaten violence over it, but members of a religion are outraged over a depiction, and the networks aren't interested. Only Fox News covered the story about a blasphemous condom advertisement.

Catholics and Protestants alike are furious over a flier that appeared on the University of Georgia campus displaying the famous Michelangelo painting of God reaching out to touch Adam's hand. The fliers included a condom between God and Adam's fingers, accompanied by the text, “Condom Tip #5: Carefully open condom wrappers with your fingers- don't use a sharp object.” The fliers were posted around campus as a promotion for the university's Sexual Responsibility Week.

On February 20th, the combined eight hours of morning news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC never mentioned the ad or the outrage that ensued. Fox News Channel's “Fox and Friends” morning show hosts Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade alerted viewers to the controversy:

CARLSON: “Something else that might make you irate is this latest ad that was apparently publicized in great detail in the University of Georgia.”

KILMEADE: “And that, uh highly insulting especially to the, uh the, Catholic League and they've taken action.”

CARLSON: “Well not just to Catholics, I think this is insulting to anyone in the Christian religion. How many times do we have to go down this path where it's ok to make fun of the Christian religion? Can you imagine if this was a Muslim depiction with a condom?”

Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League was appalled at the ad, and was credited with getting it removed from the campus. The Fox News morning show put this statement by Donahue up on the screen for viewers: “The famous painting on the Sistine Chapel ceiling that features the hand of God giving life to Adam has been hijacked to promote condoms. If condom distribution is to be part of (sexual responsibility week) surely it can be done without needlessly offending the religious sensibilities of Catholics and Protestants.”

They also displayed the text of the UGA Vice President of Student Affairs Rodney Bennett's quote: “We've since talked to our staff about what's appropriate and how to ensure we are creating an inclusive environment for the campus community.” Bennett apparently wrote an apology letter to Donahue as well.

If 87 percent of Americans claim to believe in God, and an assault on God and Christians got national attention, why didn't the networks cover the story? Fair and balanced must not be on the agenda for the network morning shows.

Erin Brown is an intern with the Culture & Media Institute.