Sunday, July 17, 2005

Counterpunch Needs Those Clicks!

Moonbat organ Counterpunch today pays Stephen Plaut the ultimate honor -- a full-bore attack! Unfortunately, the force of the assault was blunted by the fact that it was little more than personal payback, as was not disclosed in the piece. The author is a drone at Georgetown University named Andrew Rubin, retaliating for a cogent essay by Plaut in FrontPage Magazine a few days ago, describing how Rubin has built his entire dubious career on shilling for Edward Said. Not a word on that in Rubin's rant.

I have a theory as to why Counterpunch would run such a silly piece of drivel that is so intellectually dishonest that it doesn't come clean on the author's personal motivation. I think it's little more than an attention-getting revenue-boosting scheme, aimed specifically at increasing hits on Counterpunch's Google Ads.

This is a big thing at Counterpunch, by the way. In its June 18-19 edition, just preceding an article on the jury system, the Moonbat rag ran the following appeal for clicks:

But first, Four Clicks A Day Is All We Ask

These google ads on our web pages: you don't click on them, do you? So here's an editorial plea. We want every CounterPuncher-that means you--to click on one of the ads three or four times a day. That's all you have to do. The hidden agenda? It's simple. Every time you click, CounterPunch gets about 25 cents. Right now, because you DON'T click, our ad revenue each day is in the low two figures, and that's not right. We need the money so we need you to click.

The above language was duly recorded by my faithful Google Desktop on June 18. But if you go back today, poof! It's not there! Instead we have a slightly rewritten (Google got mad, maybe?) appeal for clicks.

These Google Ads

Those ads at the bottom of the page? A few of of our readers have written in, saying they introduce a sordid spirit of commercialism into OUR site. That's the whole idea! We need the money. You look at an ad, we make a little bit. It all adds up. Right now, only a few diehard fans of sordid commercialism are doing so. We need more. Close your eyes and think of CounterPunch.

Isn't that helpful of this rag -- to suggest that readers put advertising revenues in its coffers by inflating the "click count" with "eyeballs" of people not actually interested in the link, but doing it just to help out Counterpunch? Why, at the bottom of a Cockburn rant just this weekend, an appreciative reader writes in to say "I have no money to support you directly. I am pleased to be able to do my bit in this easy, and often quite funny. Just four clicks a day keeps imperialism at bay." Just doing it for the cause. Not interested in the ad, just mechanically clicking away, inflating ad costs for the Google advertisers.

Hey, I'm not a lawyer or anything, but is this ad-revenue-boosting scheme -- forgive my use of the term for this Jew-baiting rag -- kosher? I do know that GoogleAdSense's "Standard Online Standard Terms and Conditions" say, under Prohibited Uses," that "You shall not, and shall not authorize or encourage any third party to directly or indirectly generate queries, impressions of or clicks on any search results, links and/or Ad(s) through any automated, deceptive, fraudulent or other invalid means...." But then again, not being a lawyer or anything, I don't know if what Counterpunch is doing falls afoul of that. It ought to, though.

I mean, I know Cockburn is grievously (and justifiably) poorly paid for his drivel. Still, what he is doing here just doesn't seem fair to people who pay for those ads. How would you feel if you bought a GoogleAd and found yourself paying extra bucks because Cockburn was encouraging his Moonbat followers to keep their mouse buttons clicking? Doesn't smell right, does it? But then again, it's pretty hard to read Counterpunch without throwing up as it is.
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