…and there hasn’t even been a commercial yet. Ok, I admit this might seem petty on the surface, but I’m pretty goddamn pissed off. Over the years, I’ve experienced Super Bowl advertisements degenerate from clever, creative entertainment to raunchy, sensationalist garbage, and I’ve accepted it. I’ve seen right-wing nut jobs fork over millions to air their political garbage–anyone recall Focus on the Family’s anti-abortion ad a few years ago?–and I’ve kept my mouth shut. But what I saw in the pre-game show today took tasteless to a new level. For those of you who missed it, Fox got the rights to the game this year, and they exploited their control of the content to interrupt pre-game coverage for a half hour of Fox News and Bill O’Reilly lambasting the president.
Think about that, and forget your opinion of Barrack Obama while you do it. We’re talking about the most televised event in the world, and its exclusive broadcaster this year has set aside tens of millions of dollars worth of content time to advertise for the extreme right wing of the Republican party. “Oh, Bill O’Reilly is relatively moderate, and they just plastered a Fox News logo over it; they didn’t bring up many sensitive issues.” Fuck that. If the KKK sponsored a Super Bowl ad for white hoodies you’d all be shitting bricks. And this isn’t a conventional ad–a business transaction–a hunk of advertisement paid for in full. This is coming directly from the network that ought to be responsible for monitoring advertisement content throughout the game. This isn’t a matter of turning a blind eye for a pay check; Fox shamelessly wants you to know that this program has been brought to you by good, god-fearing straight white people (and their wives).
I suppose they’re not going to lose any viewers over it. I’m still watching–albeit on mute now until the ball’s on the ground–and the money’s already on the books anyway. It was just more dope for the already brainwashed really, and a little salt in the wound for anyone who believes in social justice. But if the NFL accepts without further comment that an endorsement of Fox Sports means an endorsement of Fox News and everything that subsidiary stands for, it’s time we all called it a fun half-century and took up soccer or cricket or something.