Tuesday, November 4, 2008
imelda marcos via pierce mattie
Back in July – pre revelations about Sarah Palin’s 150K wardrobe allowance – John McCain copped flack in the US press over his penchant for luxury Italian footwear. After rocking up to almost every campaign stop in July in a pair of US$520 Ferragamo Pregiato loafers, some suggested he was out of touch with the average American, with one blog calling McCain a shoe slut. Well, as both Joe The Plumber and JLo prepare to cast their votes to determine the 44th American presidency, comes further potential evidence of McCain’s footwear fetish: McCain acolytes have been sneaking advertising onto the blog of our own shoe queen, Imelda.
mccain, his ferragamo loafers and george bush snr/AP via usmagazine.com
At 11am this morning Imelda’s alter ego, Sydney-based Matt Jordan, started receiving frantic emails from US readers of his year-old, footwear-focussed Imelda blog – who make up 30percent of his 2000 page impression-a-day audience, Jordan tells frockwriter.
Jordan’s US readers were horrified to spot a series of Google Adsense advertisements for Support Marriage on Imelda - and notably, the ads were adjacent to one of three recent pro-Barack Obama blog posts penned by Jordan.
Here are two American screen grabs of the blog taken November 4 AEST:
Support Marriage is a conservative Californian lobby group at the epicentre of one of the 2008 election's hot-button issues: the proposal to amend the Californian constitution to overturn recently-granted same-sex marriage rights.
Support Marriage sponsored the initiative which made the issue a Californian ballot proposition.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain supports Proposition 8, as it has been called – as he did a similar earlier campaign in his home state of Arizona (even though McCain voted against a federal constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage).
Obama has spoken out against Proposition 8, even though personally he is opposed to gay marriage - a political juggling act which some have suggested could cost him Californian votes.
According to the latest Field Poll however, Obama is tipped to win California's vote with the largest margin since World War II.
Either way, Jordan was aghast to see his blog being used as a Prop 8 prop.
“I was horrified, I was clutching my pearls, I was left feeling violated” noted Jordan, who blogs in character as a satirical caricature of the former First Lady of the Philippines. Marcos was of course noted for her luxury shoe collection.
But not only does Jordan barack for Obama, what's more to the point here is the fact that Jordan is gay and is involved in his own longterm same-sex relationship.
Jordan’s Australian readers are not seeing the ads, leading him to assume that the ads are IP-targetted. And indeed yesterday TechCrunch noted that California residents who view sites that include Google Adsense ads were seeing Support Marriage ads.
TechCrunch noted the irony inherent in Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s recent endorsement of a NoOnProp8 advertisement in The San Jose Mercury News - and later spotted the same Support Marriage ads on TechCrunch. The ads were subsequently filtered out.
Prop 8 ads also popped up on Gaywheels.com, in spite of the fact that the site had reportedly specified to Google that it wanted no political advertising.
Google Adsense is an automated, keyword-activated ad generator which is easily incorporated to any blog. Frockwriter does not use it because a/we like our white space; b/we think Google Adsense looks like crap and c/we don’t care how much money is generated from Google Adsense, it’s not enough to compensate for the fact that it looks like crap.
According to Jordan he has generated a whopping US$88 in Google Adsense revenue in twelve months.
It's interesting to ponder how Imelda popped up on the radar of Support Marriage/Google Adsense.
Was it the blog's Obama posts?
Could the politically-affiliated name of the blog itself - Imelda, The despotic queen of shoes - have been a contributing factor?
Some of Jordan’s readers, coincidentally, have reported difficulties logging onto his blog whilst travelling in China, leading Jordan to speculate that there may be some censorship issue in that country.
Or could it be the case that Ferragamo fan John McCain is a regular reader of Jordan’s blog, can’t get enough of its shoe coverage - and urged his conservative allies to send advertising Imelda's way?
And could McCain be secretly ogling Ferragamo’s womens collection?
On the latter chic conspiracy theory Jordan quipped, “You know what they say - the ones who vehemently oppose gay lifestyle are generally closeted gays”.
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