In January of 2008, I wrote a quick note expressing disbelief that the website DailyKos would feature advertisements from Chevron. I wanted to know why Markos Moulitsas, head of the profitable corporation running Kos Media, would choose to give its advertising space to greenwashing ads that are incompatible with the political viewpoint of the website. That concern rebounded into my attention today, when a visit to DailyKos brought up one advertisement for high-interest payday loads and another ad against health care reform:
I continue to wonder why the Kos Media corporation would choose, among its many advertisers, to feature those pushing an agenda contrary to the website’s agenda.
“As far as DailyKos and Chevron–when Kos says ‘The advertising purity trolls seem to think that site readers are moron automatons easily manipulated by advertising,’ he is completely missing the point. The readers think editors are easily manipulated by advertisers and the income they represent.”
This is a different contention, that in accepting advertising from the likes of Chevron the editors at Daily Kos become less likely to criticize the likes of Chevron. It’s a contention that can be tested.
In the past year, 17 stories on dailykos.com have remarked upon Chevron in some way (I focus only upon stories because they are written by editors connected to the Kos Media corporation; diaries are written by volunteers who are unconnected to the corporation). In my reading of them, I conclude that 8 of those stories have remarked negatively upon Chevron. 8 of those stories have been neutral toward Chevron. Only 1 of those stories has remarked positively upon Chevron.
Chevron and other corporate-oriented advertisers continue to steer readers to websites advocating anti-progressive activity. But if Chevron has been placing advertisements on Daily Kos with the intent of influencing the website’s written editorial content, then it seems to have failed.