Are ads on a site a reflection of its values?

Judging from the number of posts that get shared on Facebook, Glenn Beck seems pretty popular among my politically active friends and relatives. My political leanings aren’t far from his, and he seems sincere when he is speaking. But there are a few things that keep me from tuning in to his messages. The first is his tendency to put drama before information. For example, he might say he has the inside scoop on something that is very important, but for some reason he is unable to reveal it until after the weekend. The listening audience must wait 3 more days to find out what twisted fate awaits them. I know there is a rationale for this. It’s the type of thing that keeps people listening, so it’s good for advertising. But it also comes at a cost. It makes me trust him a lot less when I am reminded that the show’s main purpose is not to inform the public, but to sell advertising.

I also find the visits to his website disturbing. Much of the time I see ads that to me are offensive, either because the advertising images show women in suggestive clothing, or because many of the images are simply bizarre. Yes, there are many sites with similar advertising, but given Glenn Beck’s political and religious views I would not expect to see that type of advertising on his site. It is hard for me to take him seriously when the advertising on his site sends a message contrary to the ideals he is supposed to promote.

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