Simon Owens is a respected blogger about new media, with a slight bias toward the liberal side. He’s not a political blogger per se, but politics comes up fairly often. See his anatomy of a Michelle Malkin post, the ambiguity of a Youtube video and a collection of his best links from the years.
Yesterday he made a post about why conservative bloggers like to smear their subject with guilt by association, yet seemingly have a blind eye to when it affects their own candidates. He mentions how two of McCain’s top advisors were implicated in the Burmese military (which is a pretty damning charge).
At the same time, he supports his site by running Google Adsense, (which now are apparently doing graphically-based ads). On the post about McCain, I see a color ad for Ann Coulter while on the side is an ad for the John McCain campaign. Perhaps the John McCain ad was placed on oppositional sites on purpose, but the Ann Coulter ad is purely a mistake. That’s why I say, click on it! Let McCain and Ann Coulter pay to the nose for misplaced Google ads!
Update #1: Now I see there are pro-creationism ads on the site, probably in response to a critical piece about creation science.
Update #2: Now, I see that the ads have changed to the more middle-of-the-road University of Phoenix-Motley Fool sponsors.
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, a blogger should have every right to make money, and it is a funny practical joke to have the butt of your jokes also to be earning you money as well. On the other hand, I doubt Simon would intentionally pick these sorts of ads; they are just what Google Ads deemed relevant to the page. (It requires a lot of mental energy for a lone blogger to run a blog as a business. He or she can’t be expected to make all these kinds of microdecisions. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be enough time in the day to write).
On the other hand, Bloggasm is a provocative weblog, and in a way it deals with advocacy. Isn’t it right for a commercial service to pay for counter-advocacy? After all, it’s not interfering with Bloggasm’s message, and in fact, most Bloggasm readers are too sophisticated to find a Google ad persuasive. But think. Is that the sort of sponsor Bloggasm wants to be affiliated with? Why is it so hard for ad networks to arrange for nonpolitical ads (after all, I doubt the Republican Party has a bigger ad budget than Archer Daniel Midland or Walmart). Nowadays, are partisan ads profitable enough to sustain bloggers of all political persuasions?
By the way, I am eventually going to include ads on this blog. Since essentially nobody reads this blog (let’s not kid ourselves), the only thing I have to offer is my precious google juice from my 2000+ blogposts.