Some of you may have noticed an ad on HA for the “Pickens Plan” for energy independence, an initiative by oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens to wean our nation from foreign oil. And so I thought this might be a good time to reiterate HA’s advertising policy.
See, despite the fact that Pickens’ investments in wind energy are probably good thing (I think), that doesn’t erase his long history as a financier of right-wing ideologues, and his role as one of the major backers of the Swift Boat smear campaign that likely sunk John Kerry’s presidential prospects. It also doesn’t detract from his cynical investment of millions of dollars in California’s Prop 10, which would tap CA’s already stressed state coffers to boost his natural gas business.
Pickens is no progressive, and just shouldn’t be trusted. But I’m happy to take his money nonetheless.
See, here at HA we have a very simple advertising policy: we’ll take paid ads from pretty much all comers, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals alike. We won’t accept ads that amount to blatantly deceptive astroturfing, though I’ve only rejected one thus far. And we won’t accept ads I find pornographic or patently offensively… but as my regular readers know, that’s a pretty low bar. Basically, if you have the money, I’ll take your ad. But if I really don’t like it, don’t be surprised if I go out of my way to trash it. You know, like this post about the highly questionable ad for the Pickens Plan.
See, not only did Pickens finance the Swift Boat ads, Mentzer Media Services, Inc, the company that placed this web ad, also placed most of the Swift Boat ads as well… a service for which they made millions of dollars.
And so, considering HA’s wall between advertising and editorial, the only responsible course of action was to take Pickens money, and then give a free ad to The General to mercilessly mock it. So that’s exactly what I did.
Yup, that’s my advertising policy, and I’m sticking to it.