Exclusive -- ESPN Reverses Course, Will Air Ad Containing Words 'God,' 'Jesus'
**UPDATE** Breitbart News exclusively learned on Thursday afternoon that ESPN will air the original ad on Saturday from Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center with the words "Jesus" and "God."
ESPN issued this statement to Breitbart News on Thursday:
“We have again reviewed the ads submitted for the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and have concluded that we will accept the original requested commercial. It will run in Saturday’s VCU at Northern Iowa basketball game on ESPNU. This decision is consistent with our practice of individual review of all ads under our commercial advocacy standards.”
**UPDATE** The new ad that will run on ESPN on December 14th does not mention "God" or "Jesus" like the commercial that had been rejected. The ad also focuses on the hospital's pediatric heart department instead of asking viewers to send messages of hope to children at the hospital to "help us reveal God's healing presence this Christmas," which was in the rejected ad.
**UPDATE** ESPN reached out to Breitbart News and provided the following statement:
As originally submitted, the spot did not meet our commercial advocacy standards. We have since been supplied with a different commercial which will air on the 14th.
Here is the ad as it will air:
**UPDATE** A source also confirmed to Breitbart Sports on Thursday that the original Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation ad was rejected by ESPN for broadcast over its nationwide network.
The Foundation has a partnership with the Missouri Valley Conference, and had asked ESPN to run its ad in the Virginia Commonwealth vs. Northern Iowa NCAA Basketball game that will be aired this Saturday.
The ad was submitted to an ad executive for the network who rejected it because it did not comply with the ESPN broadcast rules. Breitbart Sports has learned that the Foundation asked the exec to submit their appeal to his rejection to his superiors at ESPN. He did, and the ad was rejected again.
**UPDATE** Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said ESPN's rejection of the ad was "so disappointing" and told Breitbart Sports:
"I used to be obsessed with ESPN. In how many interviews have I admitted that was my goal - my dream job - as I earned my Journalism degree and creds in the 80's? My repeated quote is: 'But I didn't want to move to Bristol, Connecticut (home of ESPN), so I named my first daughter Bristol, instead!'"
ESPN has reportedly rejected a Christmas commercial from a St. Louis area Catholic hospital because the network found the mention of "Jesus" in the ad to be "problematic."
Bill O'Reilly, the host of Fox News' O'Reilly Factor, said on Wednesday that an ad from the Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation was turned down by ESPN even though it is run on other networks in the area.
The commercial mentions that thousands of people in the community send "messages of hope to sick and injured children who may not be able to come home for the holidays."
"At... Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, we celebrate the birth of Jesus and the season of giving, bringing hope to the many children, parents, and families that we serve," an announcer says in the ad before mentioning that the hospital's patients are "filled with hope" because they receive daily messages from the "treasure chest" beneath its "tree of hope."
The ad concludes by asking viewers to "help us reveal God's healing presence this Christmas. Send your message of hope at Glennon.org."
ESPN reportedly found "we celebrate the birth of Jesus" and "help us reveal God's healing presence this Christmas" to be "problematic."
Appearing on O'Reilly's show, Doug Napier of the Alliance Defending Freedom said to say that "there is too much Jesus in this Christmas message of hope is like saying there is too much sports in ESPN."
Napier wondered why ESPN would want to "marginalize" a holiday a majority of Americans celebrate with family--and probably with ESPN on in their homes. O'Reilly said ESPN's decision was "insane," and even more so because the ad was for a Catholic hospital trying to help sick children.
Napier said he has not spoken to ESPN and O'Reilly mentioned that representatives from ESPN and the hospital declined to appear on the program. O'Reilly said he felt the Catholic hospital was intimidated to take on a big outlet like ESPN.
This is yet another example of the "War on Christmas" that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in her book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, said was the "tip of the spear" in a larger battle to fundamentally transform America and erode the country of its exceptionalism.