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Nate Jackson / Feb. 3, 2020

The Super Bowl's Cultural Fumbles

From false ads to a raunch Halftime Show, a great NFL game was marred on the margins.

Last night’s Super Bowl was quite a game for fans who love good football. But the game is never only about the football, meaning the Kansas City Chiefs’ incredible comeback win over the San Francisco 49ers — scoring 21 points in the last half of the fourth quarter to win 31-20 — wasn’t the only storyline. Here are the ones that caught our attention:

Bloomberg’s deceitful gun ad

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who already has spent over $250 million of his own money on his presidential campaign, ran a $10 million 60-second ad claiming that “2,900 children die from gun violence every year.”

In 2013, the billionaire Democrat started Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun-grabbing group that routinely peddles false statistics to conjure up fear and emotional distress, particularly among women, about firearms in America. The group came to the 2,887 number by including all deaths by firearms among any American age 0-19. But if you exclude legal adults ages 18 and 19, the number is 1,499 — barely more than half his claim. (By the way, the son of the woman featured in the ad was 20 at the time of his gang-related murder — which is not to minimize it but to put it in context.) Moreover, if you exclude gang-banger violence between older teens on Democrat urban poverty plantations, the number is drastically lower still, though hard to quantify.

Another inconvenient truth: Nearly two-fifths of the deaths Bloomberg cites are suicides. When all is said and done, Reason’s Jacob Sullum notes, “The number of minors killed each year by ‘gun violence,’ as that term is usually understood, is about 73 percent smaller than the figure cited in Bloomberg’s ad.”

Bloomberg wants $100 million annually for programs dealing with local violence, and that’s all well and good, but he and his ilk should quit infringing the Second Amendment and besmirching its defenders in the NRA and other upstanding, law-abiding organizations — all while exploiting a grieving mother without explaining how his policies would have saved her son or others like him.

Trump’s upbeat ads

By contrast, President Donald Trump painted a favorable picture of America in two key ads. One highlighted the positive impact his push for criminal-justice reform has had on the black community, including an emotional and thankful black mother profusely thanking him.

The other ad celebrated America’s strong economy thanks to his administration’s policies on taxes and deregulation.

What’s Bloomberg’s plan for the economy? A $5 trillion tax hike.

The Halftime Cesspool

For those who don’t use the break to refill the cheese dip and grab another plate of wings, the Super Bowl Halftime Show has been a key feature of the game for a long time. But last night’s version may have reached a new low for depravity and family un-friendliness. Jennifer Lopez (wearing what PJ Media’s Megan Fox called “a two-sided thong and buttless chaps”) and Shakira played a show full of raunchy displays like pole dancing, crotch grabbing, and shaking rear ends in front of the camera.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the hypocrisy is worse. Human sex trafficking remains a big problem at the Super Bowl, and the country has spent recent years in the midst of the #MeToo movement to empower women against sexual assault. Doing so is right and good, even if the movement itself was uber-politicized by feminists. But J-Lo’s vulgar performance in particular was anything but “empowering.”

As for the ad the NFL refused to run? A pro-life ad. Quite a statement of the league’s “values.”

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