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**Update** ESPN reversed course and has decided to run the original ad with “God” and “Jesus” mentions.
**Update** Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told Breitbart Sports on Thursday:
“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!'”
On Thursday, former Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said it was “so disappointing” that ESPN would reject an ad from a Catholic hospital that mentioned “God” and “Jesus” because the network found those words to be problematic.
“ESPN, you’ve come a long way, baby… from your known wholesome, bold Americana ‘persona’ to now being afraid to support freedom and not being bold enough to allow acknowledgement of the ‘Reason for the Season,'” Palin wrote on her Facebook page on Thursday. “So disappointing. Well, I hope you guys catch and enjoy the Christmas spirit anyway!”
ESPN reportedly rejected a Christmas commercial from a Catholic hospital in St. Louis (Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center) because the sports network found the words “God” and “Jesus” to be “problematic” in the ad.
Palin referenced the Breitbart Sports report that noted the rejected 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.”
Bill O’Reilly, the host of Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, first reported that ESPN had rejected the ad on his program on Wednesday.
Palin, a former sportscaster who had aspirations of being a pioneer in that field when ESPN over three decades ago, named her daughter “Bristol” in part because “Bristol” is where ESPN’s headquarters are located in Connecticut. Like Palin, a majority of Americans, often celebrates the Christmas holiday with her family with ESPN on in the background. Doug Napier of the Alliance Defending Freedom wondered on Wednesday on Fox News why ESPN would want to “marginalize” Americans, especially sports fans like Palin who has always successfully used sports to cut through the culture, who watch ESPN.
ESPN’s rejection of Catholic hospital ad is yet another example of the “War on Christmas” that Palin, in her blockbuster best-seller, 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.