Equal opportunity advertising

Just a moment ago, I happened to notice an ad at the top of my blog. It may or may not still be there, but I saved the link. It grabbed my attention because it seemed to be attacking the Lieberman Warner Bill. And you know how I like to stick up for Joe. He and I may not agree on everything, but we agree on enough things that when I see somebody attacking him, I tend to go, "Now hold on a minute…"

Add to that the fact that when anybody starts demagoging on energy — whether they’re proposing a gas tax holiday, or tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or saying Lieberman-Warner "would hurt consumers by driving up energy bills" — I get suspicious.

Turns out the folks buying space above my blog happen to be "AmericasPower.org," which "is sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), which is a partnership of the industries involved in producing electricity from coal."

Not that I automatically disagree with the idea of Clean Coal. We’ve got to have some way to produce electricity until we get those new nuclear plants built. (For this reason, I still haven’t decided what I think about that proposed Pee Dee plant that is causing such controversy.) In fact, I didn’t start this post to agree OR disagree with these people. It’s too late in the day to sort all that out.

What this post is about is that at the same time THAT ad was appearing ABOVE my blog, there was another one to the RIGHT from an outfit called "Fight Global Warming," which is affiliated with the Environmental Defense Fund.

The ads that appear on this blog have nothing to do with me. I see them when you see them, and I am not consulted about them. I neither agree nor disagree with the messages they push — that is to say, I’m as likely to disagree with them as agree; they’re appearing here are irrelevant to my own positions.

But I thought it was pretty cool that two seemingly disparate groups were contending for your attention around my blog at the same time. It’s almost as thought the ad folks are contending for the kind of balance we shoot for in our letters and on the op-ed page. I doubt that’s happening — ad folks are pretty much market-driven; they don’t manipulate the world the way we journalists do in our quest to be "fair." But I thought it was kind of cool the way it worked out there for a minute…

28 thoughts on “Equal opportunity advertising

  1. Randy E

    Yes, you “stick up for Joe” by joining him to support a “war” costing us $12B a month while our national infrastructure decays (BTW, Randy’s writing). The Pentagon admitted they can not account for 2 BILLION spent in Iraq and your buddy Joe Lie. is ramping up support to Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran costing us billions more.
    The competing sponsors reminds me of the contradiction of championing an Energy Party while supporting “U.S. involvement” in the Middle East that McCain admitted was related to oil.

  2. David

    So. You get suspicious whenever you hear someone start demagoging on energy huh?
    Welcome to the club. Now you know how I feel about YOU (and people like you) who make a living out of demagoging that very thing.

  3. Mike S.

    Will you be joining Joe at Hagee’s neo-fascist rally? You’ll find some energetic demagoging there. Oh, wait, you’re talking about energy demagoging.

  4. bill

    With all the Netflix pop up ads,I’d assumed you had a free lifetime subscription.
    “Free unblockable pop up creator instantly makes popups to use for free on your website! No login required to use!”

  5. bud

    The Phil Graham story is quite remarkable for 2 reasons. First, it underscores, emphatically, the gross hypocricy of the McCain campaign. Here we have a man, Graham, who was clearly working for the special interests of the big mortgage companies while at the same time working for a presidential candidate who is attempting to sell himself as a man working for the people. He could not have picked a man with a more complete resume of working for a special interest, the mortgage bankers, yet Graham was hired to help bolster McCain’s economic credentials. This simply takes your breath away when you think about it. Simply put, McCain hired the single worst example of a special interest insider imaginable, a man deeply associated with the big economic crisis of the day – the home mortgage industry collapse.
    The second point is even more stunning. That is, the MSM’s extreme indifference to this stunning development. This should be the number 1 issue in the campaign at this juncture. Yet there has been barely any mention of it. Brad, and The State have completely ignored it. I saw nothing on Fox or CNN about it last night. Only MSNBC has mentioned it at all. That is simply beyond the pale and underscores the lapdog coverage by the MSM of the McCain campaign. No wonder he’s running neck and neck with Obama. The press has carefully crafted this maverick image of a man who in actuality is a complete fraud. Shame on the MSM. This story cries out for coverage. The American people need to know the truth about Mr. Double-Talk.
    And one more thing. The Keating 5 incident was all about the S & L industry, a close cousin to the mortgage industry. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that McCain continues to engage in reprehensible special interest behavior years after he was first caught doing so. Does anyone see a pattern here? Certainly looks that way to me.

  6. Lee Muller

    bud, you don’t know anything but false history in sound bites. The S&Ls were not “close cousins to the mortgage industry” – mortgages were what S&Ls were created to provide.
    The S&L crash was created overnight by the Democrats passing legislation changing the reserve requirements and equity requirements for mortgages held and serviced by savings and loand… because these Democrats had received huge “contributions” from the commercial banks, all of whom had ceased servicing loans and were only selling and packaging loans.
    The S&Ls which were solvent on Friday, were technically under the water on Monday with the same porfolios. With new deregulation of interstate banking, NationsBank and other large commercial banks bought he S&Ls for 10 cents on the dollar, with the stockholders losing their life savings, and the taxpayers picking up the tab for FDIC insurance.
    John McCain couldn’t be touched on the Keating 5 scandal because so many Democrats, like John Glenn, were in even deeper.

  7. bud

    Lee’s revisionist history ignores the very significant roll the deregulation fiaso of the Reagan adminsistration that essentially caused the S & L disaster. Congress was complicit but the real villian was the zeal and incompetence of Ronald Reagan and his false worship of the free-market god. And McCain was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Too bad the press can’t connect the dots and see how that incident is connected with the uncovered Phil Graham mess.

  8. Brad Warthen

    Golly, how you people do go on. Maybe, when I get to a stopping point in my actual job of keeping up with the June 10 primaries and the last week of the Legislature (it ends next Thursday) and publishing opinion pages, I’ll take a moment to Google and find out who this Phil Graham person is (Lindsey’s long-lost cousin, perhaps). Then again, maybe I won’t. Lee and bud make the subject sound pretty unappealing…
    You would think that people would feel like they’re going to get enough of this partisan, left-vs.-right crap between Labor Day and November. Personally, I reached my fill of it many years ago. I’m certainly not going to waste time on it when I have lots of unrelated decisions that have to be made NOW, instead of months from now.

  9. bud

    Brad, we all appreciate that you have to cover local issues but the presidential campaign is sooooo important this year. But since this is your blog I’ll play along.
    I too was appalled at the Governor’s veto of the cigarette tax. However, it isn’t that important. Bad decision – absolutely. Important – probably about a 4 on a 1-10 scale.
    Restructuring, as I’ve stated many times in the past, is just an exercise in futility. The last time major restructuring passed it just made matters much, much worse. Frankly, it’s probably best if the General Assembly just left it alone.
    And how about raises for state workers? What’s the status of that? Now there’s an issue that’s important to me. I haven’t seen much coverage of that issue.

  10. Randy E

    Brad, I am stunned that you don’t know Phil Graham of Texas – no relation to Lindsey (despite LG’s fall from grace).
    Regarding local versus national issues, GMb (Grandmaster bud) is dead on. P.Graham represents Big Bank that is the eye of our current economic storm. While lobbying for UBS – big Swiss bank, he counseled McCain in how to deal with the crisis – a MASSIVE conflict of interest. The economic crisis obviously becomes a major LOCAL issue.

  11. Brad Warthen

    Do you mean Phil GRAMM? Him I know, although it’s been awhile. I thought this was somebody else I hadn’t heard of, somebody named “Graham.”
    And bud, thanks for playing along, but to help you feel better about it, let me explain the difference for me…
    No matter which you find more interesting, the fact is that local and national present me with decisions that must me made, and actions that must be taken, RIGHT NOW. After next Thursday, it’s over for the Legislature. After June 10 (and any runoffs two weeks later), it’s over for the primaries. After those, we will turn to other issues on the local and state fronts that we’ve been neglecting, but which need to be addressed far more immediately than the November election.
    We had two decisions to make regarding the presidential election, way back in January. We made them. Everything I’ve seen on the presidential front since then (through my peripheral vision much of the time) has confirmed for me that we made the right choices then. While this is a bit of an oversimplification, the next time we HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION regarding the presidential race is in the fall. Between now and then, I’ll keep one eye on it (and occasionally comment), while staying busy with more immediate tasks.
    As Uncle Walter used to say, that’s the way it is…

  12. Lee Muller

    bud, you just make it up as you go.
    I get so tired of the “liberal” just lying for all their “arguments”. You folks are not just non-intellectual; you are anti-intellectual. We see it full force when your campus goons try to shout down any speaker who challenges the official socialist drivel.
    The sorry candidates served up by party manipulation will cause a lot of voters to DECIDE to stay home and not vote.

  13. bud

    Brad, the problem with focusing on local issues while giving only slight attention to the national/international picture is that it ignores the way the various issues are connected. Take energy for example. The State’s DOT continues to plan for the construction of more and more roads. That’s based on the assumption, largely accepted as fact at the national level, that there will be plentiful fuel to power the vehicles who will populate these roads. I would suggest that until we get some sort of handle on energy, something that can only be addressed on a broad, national scale, attempts to plan for highways is futile.
    Same thing with health care. The governor just vetoed a bill that would have helped with the disasterous health care situation of working folks here in South Carolina. Yet this is an issue that clearly must be addressed nationally. State’s simply are not in the position of doing justice to this issue.
    So as someone famous once said all issues are local. That could just as easily be turned around: All issues are international.

  14. Brad Warthen

    bud, on this point we’re in agreement — national and international ISSUES are important all the time, particularly such issues as energy, the environment, health care and such.
    The stuff that I push to the back burner is the day-to-day garbage about Obama-this, McCain-that. I try to stay engaged enough to keep you interested and reading, so that maybe you’ll be around for the stuff that I want to talk about — so I’ll occasionally post something on Hillary and RFK, or something like that. But it sort of has to hit Oh My God level even to register on me. The RFK thing did that.
    A friend and source who is a staunch Democrat sent me an e-mail yesterday linking to a video of McCain “flip-flopping” on something or other. I wrote back to say, Geez, can’t we wait on this stuff until at least after Labor Day? This morning, the WSJ had a similar piece about Obama’s supposed inconsistencies, written by none other than Karl Rove (for those of you who don’t know who Karl Rove is, he’s the James Carville of Republicans; both of them make me want to hurl). I didn’t read past the start of it.
    People keep trying to pull my attention to things on that level, such as “Look at this awful person that so-and-so is somehow associated with.” (Initially, I put the Obama-Wright thing in that category, until I read what the guy had actually said, which elevated it to OMG status.) This stuff will be the Topic of the Day on 24/7 TV “news” and elsewhere in the blogosphere, but to me most of it is a waste of time and energy. It’s attacking and counterattacking just for the purpose of keeping the thing spinning. That’s the stuff I’m ignoring to the best of my ability, AT LEAST until the fall.

  15. Randy E

    Brad, the problem I see with your approach is you ignore the connection between the current circumstances and activities and future consequences and the resulting environment. The Phil Graham example is profound. In the midst of an economic crisis, McCain responded by enlisting one of the premier Big Bank lobbyists to help him craft policy to address this massive problem. That’s real news and it affects us on a local level.
    In the Fall, when you finally come around, we’ll be blogging on the next round of swift boat ads and you’ll post a thread with a Youtube clip showing the latest DNC attack ad (standing up for your buddy McCain). McCain will have dodged meaningful criticism from the MSM.
    This is exactly what happened with the ’06 superintendent race. The Floyd-Rex debate, with you as enabler, amounted to a vote on vouchers. There is a huge disparity in academic achievement between white and minority students but you blogged on SCouRGe, Sanford, and Rex as a shield against vouchers.
    Yes, there is typical attack and counter attack, but there is important ground work being laid for the fall as well.

  16. Lee Muller

    Less than 5% of tobacco taxes go to healthcare or anti-smoking propaganda.
    This latest cigarette tax was for pork.
    Even Brad Warten admitted that, and said he didn’t care, as long as it punished smokers.
    Good teachers and administrators aren’t afraid of vouchers.

  17. bud

    Brad, Randy is correct on the Phil Graham incident. It is really a huge deal, or should be. This goes to the very heart and soul of the McCain candidacy. And it has an eerie familiarity with the S & L debacle. McCain is running as a maverick, reach-across-the-aisle, no-special interests guy. This incident completely destroys, in one fell swoop that persona. There can absolutely no longer be any doubt that McCain’s claim of independence is credible. This is the smoking gun. It’s a huge deal, with profound implications. Much, Much bigger than the preacher scandals for either candidate.

  18. Richard L. Wolfe

    Bud, Lee is right again. You and Brad try to change the rules to fit the situation. That is not the way Constitutional government works. Where in the constitution, federal or state, does it give the government the right to tax a group just to change their behaviour? If tobacco is bad then outlaw tobacco. Where does this idea come from? You want us to buy the cigarettes to pay for your social programs but instead of being grateful you want to treat us like second hand citizens when we try to consume the product. What gives?

  19. Brad Warthen

    Oww, whiplash! In a single sentence, Richard hits us with two assertions that don’t compute, and the second one hits us before we’ve absorbed the first.
    He starts with “Lee is right,” which makes everybody go, “Huh? How can that…”
    Then he hits us with “again.” To which we go, “Wha…? But to be right AGAIN, he’d have to have been right at least once before, and …”
    Owww! My neck!
    Oh, and I don’t want to tax anybody to support anybody’s social programs, at least not in this instance. As I’ve explained before, you can burn the money if you’d like. I wouldn’t recommend it, but even if you burned it, the reason for raising the cigarette tax — pricing tobacco out of reach of kids — would be intact.
    If you can find something good to do with the revenue, fine. That’s extra.

  20. Brad Warthen

    And again, Randy, which is it? Are we talking Phil Gramm, or some guy named Graham?
    Anyway, if it IS profound and meaningful, I’m sure I’ll hear more about it…

  21. Lee Muller

    Brad seems to have dropped his posing as a tax reformer. He just wanted to tax behavior of others, even if the money is burned or thrown away. Don’t worry, Brad, the legislature throws most tax money away.
    It’s hard to do good with ill-gotten money, anyway.
    As many people as despise The State paper, he’d better watch out. There might be a move to slap a 50-cent tax on it, to prevent children from being exposed to second-hand opinion.

  22. USAReader/Consumer/ConspiracyTheorist

    Brad says:
    “…ad folks are pretty much market-driven; they don’t manipulate the world the way we journalists do in our quest to be “fair.” ”
    Wrong! Conspirers have infiltrated the ad people. It’s happening everywhere. If there wasn’t an ulterior motive for Rachel Ray being swathed in that ugly rag — why in the world would she wear it? Ugh.

  23. Brad Warthen

    Normally, I ignore Lee, but in light of Richard’s fit of craziness above, I worry that someone else might make the mistake of thinking he’s stating fact.
    Nothing has changed about our position on the cigarette tax. This is what we’ve been saying for several years now — this is, and has been, our one exception to our insistence that there be no tax increases or decreases on the state level without comprehensive tax reform. And our reason for this exception — which, to state it once more, is an exception we’ve been clear about since the beginning — is that the cigarette tax isn’t about the revenue. It’s about pricing kids out of the cigarette market. Always has been.
    I welcome you to try finding an instance where we said otherwise. But I’ll give you a hint right now: You won’t.

  24. bud

    Anyway, if it IS profound and meaningful, I’m sure I’ll hear more about it…
    You are kidding aren’t you? The point Randy and I are trying to make is that this very important story is being ignored, it is not being covered the way it should. Probably because it doesn’t fit it with the media’s carefully crafted image of John McCain.
    We wasted weeks on the whole Jeremiah Wright incident, something that was really a complete non-issue. Yet when it comes to something really important the MSM takes a hike. It’s baffling to me why that is.
    But the danger is clear enough. History shows us that. The MSM clearly ignored everything that contradicted the Bush spin in the leadup to the Iraq invasion. There was ample evidence to suggest they were lying about the dangers. Yet, as we now know, the MSM through laziness or corporate greed simply ignored the lies. So to suggest, as Brad so condescendingly does here, that because the MSM is not covering a story 24/7 it is somehow unimportant is simply to ignore history. It happens all the time.
    Let’s face it Brad the media has failed us before and sadly it will fail us again. If we elect John McCain to the presidency we should do so with the full knowledge of what he really is, a fraud. He’s certainly not the non-partisan, non-special interest maverick that the MSM constantly portrays him as. No my friends, John McCain is the worst kind of political hack there is, a man who is flush with ambition to become president. His real agenda is to empower John McCain, not to work for the American people.

  25. bud

    Proof that Joe Lieberman is insane:
    Lieberman Says He’ll Speak at Dinner
    Published: May 28, 2008
    Filed at 8:17 p.m. ET
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Joe Lieberman said Wednesday he will address a conference hosted by the Rev. John Hagee, who was spurned by Republican John McCain for his claim that God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land.
    ”I believe that Pastor Hagee has made comments that are deeply unacceptable and hurtful,” Lieberman, I-Conn., said in a statement. ”I also believe that a person should be judged on the entire span of his or her life’s works. Pastor Hagee has devoted much of his life to fighting anti-Semitism and building bridges between Christians and Jews.”
    -NY Times

  26. Randy E

    PHIL Graham was chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for years. He was a lobbyist for Big Bank, UBS while he was helping craft McCain’s economic policy and his lack of policy to address the mortgage crisis – a MASSIVE conflict of interest . Clearly this is “profound and meaningful” even though Brad denounces and rejects this story.

  27. Doug Ross

    > It’s about pricing kids out of the cigarette
    So you don’t care about what is done with the tax revenues then, right? Like using it for vouchers? Or giving a tax break in some other area? Just want to be sure.
    An easier (non-taxing) solution would be to create penalties for selling cigarettes or using cigarettes if underage. Get caught smoking under age 18, no drivers license til you are 18. Sell minors cigarettes? No sales of lottery tickets for one year (see, that would make you doubly happy, right)?
    The answer doesn’t always have to be “raise taxes”.

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