ABC and PC, Target’s Decline, Sam Brownback Considered for Ambassadorship, and Support for Gay Marriage


Last Man No Longer Standing. Comedian Tim Allen’s latest TV series, “Last Man Standing,” portrayed a conservative Christian father who was a faithful husband and successful entrepreneur. If that combination isn’t rare enough on network television, consider this: The show also got good ratings. Not great ratings, but decent ratings. So why did ABC cancel it? Some are saying the reason for the show’s cancellation is the same political correctness that the Tim Allen character regularly rails against on the show itself. Even Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker tweeted at Allen, “Looks like ABC is playing politics with your show despite decent ratings. Sad.” So what were ABC’s motives? It’s hard to say, but even the liberal commentator Ken Tucker says that’s a possibility: “I think there might be something to the notion that the show’s traditional-values theme got it canceled,” he wrote on Yahoo News. On the other hand, the cancellation was part of a trend in which networks got rid of shows made by outside studios, to save some money and guarantee themselves more profit. Add Allen’s high salary to the equation, and some observers are saying the show’s ratings were no longer justifying its cost. In any event, the good news is that the show has done well in syndication and re-runs will likely be on your TV for years to come.

Off Target. Target Stores’ pro-gay activism earned it a boycott from Christian groups last year. Whatever your opinion about boycotts as a tool for moving the cultural needle, it’s hard to argue that this one hasn’t had an impact. Beginning a little more than a year ago, about 1.5 million consumers people have pledged to boycott Target because of its transgender bathroom and changing room policy. During that time, Target’s stock has gone down 30 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed more than 15 percent. The parent company has repeatedly missed sales targets for the past few quarters. But Target is apparently not getting the message. It has ramped up promotion of its pro-gay merchandise. Called #TakePride, it includes rainbow bags, t-shirts, and other items. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said, “If the Target corporation is imploding, then it’s going down in a rainbow blaze of glory.”

Ambassador Brownback? Kansas Governor Sam Brownback appears to be the leading candidate for a key religious liberty post in the Trump Administration. According to WORLD, “speculation grows that he will become the next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. Russell Moore, of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told WORLD, “As a U.S. senator, Gov. Brownback was second-to-none in advocacy for persecuted religious minorities in places such as Sudan. A Brownback ambassadorship would make clear that the United States government takes seriously religious persecution around the world.” Brownback has been governor of Kansas since 2011. Before that he served 14 years in the U.S. Senate.

Gay Marriage Support. A Gallup poll released Monday says a record number of American adults say same-sex marriage should be legal. The most recent survey said 64 percent of Americans say it should be legal, with 34 percent saying it should not. Gallup started asking the question on an annual basis in 1996, and that year 68 percent said same-sex marriage should not be legal. However, there are some signs that support for SSM has reached a “high water mark.” Support actually fell among Democrats (from 79 percent last year to 74 percent this year). Among Republicans, a clear majority still think it should be illegal. The real growth was among independents, who now make up a greater share of the adult population.

Image copyright ABC.

Warren Cole Smith is an investigative journalist and author as well as the Colson Center vice president for mission advancement.

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