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unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Some Curious Examples of Image Advertising

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20 April 2010, 10:03 AM
Coal, oil, and gas companies try to lure support from natural enemies

I am not a great student of TV news, but I watch a little almost every night, and I've noticed something that makes me wonder about how stuff works in this day and age. I rather enjoy MSNBC--Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews. It's refreshing to have someone abandon fake objectivity and cut loose. Not that they're always right--that is, always agreeing with me--but they're always intelligent and passionate.

What has caught my attention is some of the ads. One assumes (one is forced to infer, as my old friend Dave Brower would say) that MSNBC viewers are generally of the liberal persuasion and therefore tending toward the pro-environmental angle on things. But the natural gas industry, the coal industry, and Chevron, are advertising heavily on these programs, and it makes me wonder what's up.

I can only guess that they think they can chip off some opposition to energy policies that promote more natural-gas burning (better than coal but still a producer of CO2), clean coal (no such thing), offshore oil drilling and whatever else Chevron wants ("we need to develop all sources of energy," says the annnouncer, trying to sound like Bill Clinton). One would think Fox would be a happier home for these ads (I don't know if they appear there. I can't watch Fox at all; I've tried.)

I don't hold it against MSNBC for airing these ads--that's the nature of the business. I just hope the sponsors are wasting their money. Anyone have a theory?

Very informative and trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading

Or perhaps, is just that "money is money" and if they're paying the bills... oh well... I've come to the conclusion that the human race problems can be summed up in one horrible word: GREED... If it was not because all humans, more or less have some level of greed, we all would just be a happy family all together sharing and caring for each other. But we have that wrong idea of "more is better" and that turns everything inside out. Some groups of people can be genuinely very consious and compasionate, but unfortunately there is a lot of pressure out there, these companies still have bills and employees to pay, and the temptation of expensive adds to the oil companies (of course, during the time frame they choose, of course with very well known intentions), is probably high, specially in times of economic recesion. Im not justifying the tv network, just thinking of a realistic posibility of why...

You make a good point. Fearing their influence in the content, I feel their endorsement via sponsorship discredits the program at the outset so perhaps that is another intended consequence.

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