Denver Post So In Love With Oil And Gas, Wants To Gay-Bigamy-Marry Them
This post made possible by the Patty Dumpling Endowed Chair for Clean Gas and Clean Coal and Clean Oil Spills and Clean Tire Fires and Sarah Palin.
Hiya Denver Post! Whatcha doing to enhance your revenue today? Oh, just a little friendly whoring for the extraction industries, with informative headlines about the exciting world of natural gas, fracking, and natural gas fracking accessories? Sounds pretty infotaining:
Those all sound very interesting! We bet it's completely clear that this stuff is not regular content -- like, a totally different font and layout from regular Denver Post stuff, right? Oh, not so much? Well, at least there's a sizeable announcement that this is sponsored content, right? In... grey text on a grey background?
Now, it's not that the section's status as "sponsored content" is completely hidden -- each story does have a heading saying it's "Sponsored by Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development," along with a link reading "What is Sponsored Content?" which gives you a pop-up box reading
This article is produced by the Advertising Department of Digital First Media in collaboration with the advertiser. Digital First Media's and this publication's editorial staff had no role in its preparation. We strive to ensure that the treatment and design of all advertising and Sponsored Content is clearly differentiated from editorial content.
On the other hand, the authors are identified not as publicists for the gas industry, but as "Freelance Journalists," and there's the matter of the layout and font being identical to regular Denver Post content. The link bar below the "Energy and Environment" heading is exactly the same as on any other section of the paper's website, too, enhancing the illusion that you're just looking at another part of the paper.
There are a couple of other dead giveaways that you're looking at an ad section: Reload the page, and the order of the stories is all jumbled, unlike the paper's regular news pages. The article titles are definitely more insistent than you'd find in a news section -- "Municipal bans create difficulties for oil and gas industry" -- the horror! "Who’s behind local control amendments?" -- The Jews, we bet? Actually, it's incredibly badly written, and only names the generic organizations sponsoring the initiatives -- names as anodyne as "Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development," for that matter.
But our favorite discovery about this special section of the Denver Post: If you have Adblock Plus turned on, everything but "The Denver Post: Energy and Environment" is blocked out:
That there is a whole lot of nothing. Kind of like the stuff written by the gas lobbyists, for that matter.
By the by, if YOU'D like to run sponsored content at Wonkette, we will absolutely take your money. If you are an oil and gas company, though, please go through one of our fine ad network partners instead. Our hands, like coal and gas and tire fires, are clean.
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