|October 22, 2009|
|Will the Christian Right Boycott Fox? Don't Bet on It|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|The American Family Association is boycotting 7-Eleven because the convenience store chain is selling the November issue of Playboy that has Marge Simpson of "The Simpsons" on its cover. |
That's right. Evangelical Christians are steamed that the animated mother of Bart on Fox TV, broadcaster of America’s longest running comedy TV show, graces the front of Playboy. Her body is strategically “covered up” by rabbit ears of a Playboy Bunny.
The AFA’s affiliate, OneMillionMoms.com, is the actual rabble-rouser. It believes the use of the cartoon character is going to attract kids throughout the land to Playboy, which MillionMoms considers a pornographic magazine. That attraction is apparently but the first step to the road of depravity. The Moms are steamed at 7-Eleven because its corporate-owned stores don’t usually stock Playboy. It is doing so because the Marge issue is expected to be a “collector’s item,” especially among young guys in their 20s.
Playboy, of course, is ecstatic about the PR tempest surrounding Marge. It could use a jolt as circulation at Hugh Hefner’s magazine has dropped by more than 500,000 copies to 2.6M since 2006. Many Playboy fans have had their attention diverted by more enticing offerings on the Internet.
7-Eleven says the Million Moms are off base. “We love Marge," said 7-Eleven spokesman Margaret Chabris. The company says even if it didn’t love Marge, there is little it could do about the “offensive” cover. 7-Eleven doesn’t control what franchise owners of its more than 6,800 outlets in the U.S. and nearly 29,000 stores worldwide sells. The company does note that Marge will be wrapped in a no see-through plastic wrap so any curious kid couldn’t get a gander.
When it comes to First Amendment protection and free expression, this blogger is a hawk. The AFA has every right to boycott, but why not lodge the protest against the power behind the throne, Fox TV.
The Simpsons are a Fox property so News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch’s people had to agree to Marge’s cover and centerfold appearance.
Can you imagine if The Simpsons ran on the more liberal CNN or MSNBC networks? The MillionMoms would be lining up in protest outside the headquarters of Time Warner or NBC Universal.
The Moms are giving right-wing Fox a pass on Marge, who now enters her 20th year as one of that network’s biggest money makers.
The politics of Fox is right up the MillionMom's alley.
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