As I write this, there is an ad running here -- and on many other blogs in what is possibly the largest Blogads buy ever -- for an MSNBC show that has raised some hackles.
All the ads do if you click on them (you'll have to find them on an advertisement-running blog like Kos or Political Animal to do this) is take you to the MSNBC homepage. If you click on Rita Crosby's "Live & Direct" link captioned "A unique look inside the valley of porn" you get taken to this completely stupid article. I have no idea what Rita has in store for her audience on Wednesday, but judging by the blog ads I'm guessing scantily clad women will be involved.
And from the comments:
Overall, it seems we're slowly sliding down the hill back to the bad ol days, in more ways that I care to count. Way too many (mostly younger) men and women see nothing at all wrong with this kind of image of women being projected all over the place.
I know these women online and very much respect their opinions. So in the interest of transparency, I thought I'd try to offer up my thinking for accepting this ad buy and see what you all thought about it.
When the ad buy was made, a representative of the ad buy sent a message out to publishers to warn of the ad content. The email said, in part:
The blogad creative will be changed daily. Because one of the shows on Wednesday night is about porn (hosted by Rita Cosby), a couple of the ads this week might be considered edgy, though obviously nothing a major TV network wouldn't show its own viewers. I'm attaching the curviest ad -- if you are not comfortable with your readers seeing this, please reject the ad today.
Okay, I admit I went back and forth on this, unsure what to do. And then I thought that the show isn't porn, it's about porn -- a topic that falls well within the realm of feminist debate and discussion.
And so the show itself -- or what I can glean from the scant descriptions available -- does not itself necessarily offend me so much as to prohibit their ad. But then there's the matter of the ad itself.
If you saw the ad yesterday, or are looking at this today (Monday), you'll see what the big deal is: a neon silhouette of a naked woman, not at all unlike what you might see on the outside of a strip club or the mud flaps of an erection-minded trucker's rig.
Too much? I don't know. I do feel that perhaps worse than the popularity of pornography in this country is the shaming of nakedness and sexuality throughout our culture. Uptight sexual attitudes, sexual insecurity and denial of true sexual natures of people I feel results in a vast percentage of violence -- and probably most of the violence perpetrated against women. On television, a bare breast is enough to get a show fined by the FCC, while movies with people getting machine-gunned in gory detail get glowing passes. A naked body is deemed "offensive," while a thousand dead bodies is considered "some violence." Fucking someone up is A-OK, but fucking is labeled pornographic.
How fucked up is that?
Ostensibly, the show addresses this. I don't know how well, or in what detail, or with what tone -- and odds are I won't have time to tune in and watch it. But since the ad is for the show, and since the ad is representational -- albeit with sexist overtones (which seem to be a deliberate provocation) -- rather than explicit, I accepted the ad.
So there it is. I'm sorry if it offends your sensibilities. It will be replaced tomorrow with another topic, they tell me. (You can see the images in question at the Our Word link above.)
But if you have something to say about it, I welcome your comments here. (Open exchange of thoughts is encouraged. But please refrain from sexist, misogynist expression. Pie-inspired epithets and remarks of disparagement against women or stereotyped subgroups are discouraged.)
Update: Atrios has some thoughts about the quality of MSNBC's implementation of this strategy.
More updates: A little sarcasm (I think) from Lindsay at Majikthise and a dismissive yawn from Amanda at Pandagon