More “Sponsored Content”

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I thought perhaps you guys might be interested in some public airing of the whore-shilling e-mail “inquiries” I get almost every day. honest whores

Remember when advertisers would simply pitch their product or service openly? When ads were… ads?

A few still do it this way… but the new way is to smuggle a product pitch into an “article” written by some hack/shill working for a search engine advertiser or similar. The company employing the hack/shill will solicit a publisher (me, for example) and attempt to get the publisher to post their shit “content” (that is, an ad) masquerading as an article in return for – and this is the kicker – a pathetically small fee.

I mean, c’mon. If I am going to whore my ass out, it’s not going to be for $45 (really; see below).

I’ve been a professional writer for 25-plus years; it’s taken me decades of hard work to earn the trust of my readers (note – this doesn’t mean they necessarily agree with me; just that they know I am not peddling them something because I’m being paid to do so) and these assholes want me to compromise that – flush my credibility down the terlit’ – for $45.

It makes my teeth hurt.

From: Peter Hawthorne <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 8:08 AM
Subject: Content Enquiry



I represent a digital marketing agency currently working with a major auto manufacturer who operates in the same marketplace as international automotive groups, Jaguar, Ford, and General Motors.
We are in the process of securing sponsored placements for our client and we were wondering if you were interested in featuring such a post on your site.

For the privilege of being featured on your site, we would be happy to offer a fee in the region of $75.
Kind Regards,

Peter Hawthorne 

My reply to this Peter dude:

On Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 8:12 PM, Eric Peters <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Peter,
 We’d be happy to discuss selling ad space.


And Peter the Whore-Shill Monger replied thusly:

Hi Eric,

Thanks for getting back to me and I apologize for the delay in my reply.street whore 2

To give you an idea on what we do, we would be looking to write sponsored content for your site. This content would usually come in the form of a 500-word article. The writer of the article would spend time on your site and get a feel for tone, style, and the type of content you usually post. They can go and write a tailored article for your blog. You can review, edit and reject the article if you find it not suitable. We want to contribute to your site and pay you for the privilege of posting it. We don’t divulge the name of our clients or brands at this stage – normally only when the articles are sent over for review.

In this regard, would you accept sponsored posts? As a verification and confirmation, can you send me the specific name of your site/s if this is something you would be interested in? If the price we offered in our previous email ($45 per post) is not acceptable to you, how much would you charge?



I sent him this in reply: 

We don’t accept “sponsored posts” – ads disguised as articles, written by some hack/shill pretending to be a legitimate journalist.
Doing that destroys the credibility of the site. 
And the kicker… you want me to whore my site (and myself) for $45!!
Fucking hilarious.
Go chew on a dead toad’s sphincter.
I thought I’d “share” (as the saying goes) the above with you so you have some idea what I – and other writers/publishers – have to deal with. I love the Internet as a publishing vehicle, as  a way to end-run the MSM (and Uncle). But the structure of the thing is rotten, like an old tree that still looks healthy on the outside.
It is almost impossible to make an honest living.
Your choice, as a publisher (and as a writer) is to either whore yourself out as an on-the-down-low product pitcher – or risk financial ruin by declining to do that. I’ve managed to maintain the editorial honesty of EPAutos solely because of reader support (and our handful of honest advertisers, who advertise openly – and separately from the editorial content of this site).

But it hasn’t been easy, because the deck is stacked heavily against any web site publisher who doesn’t play this disgusting game. It’s of a piece with the “pay per click” advertising that Goo-guhl developed only much worse because now they are not only hoping to pay you nothing (or next to nothing) to publicize and pitch their products, they want to try to pretend they are not pitching products at all. The want to blur any lines that used to exist between journalism and advertising, making them one and the same thing. And because publishers and writers are being reduced to penury, the pressure to sell out and become a whore is … extreme.
So, thank you. You guys help keep EPautos honest. Whatever you read here, whether you agree with it or not, is honest journalism. I am no one’s paid whore – not for $45 and not for $45,000.
Feed them fish heads! depends on you to keep the wheels turning! The control freaks (Clovers) hate us. Goo-guhl blackballed us.

Will you help us? 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: EPautos stickers – new design, larger and magnetic! – are free to those who send in $10 or more to support the site. Please be sure to tell us you want one – and also, provide a mailing address, so we can get the thing to you!EPautoslogo


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    • So is Eric_G. Man’s got to eat, right? And not too many non-crony or non-Uncle dominated places to work with my skills.

      I do spend a lot of time thinking about what I’m doing in Comcast. Sometimes I try to justify it by pointing out that Ma Bell and broadcast radio/TV stations are still the benchmark for cronyism in the telecom world. Cable is still relatively new to the game. My mentor in the business was there in the early days when there was no FCC looking over the industry and probably influenced my political thinking more than anyone. But no aspect of radio or telecommunications is free from the the strong guiding hand of Ministry of Communications. The Internet sort of got a pass for a while until there were a few billion dollar companies involved. Then the FCC decided it was time to regulate. Just like that. No bills passed in Congress, no debate. One day you can do whatever you want with your network. The next, well, not so much. I guess as long as the money keeps coming in the door (and no one builds a network right next to yours) that’s all that matters.

  1. Eric,

    Go read Popehat. That guy get’s all kinds of the same requests. His letters are always enjoyable to read. Something about “ponys”. He may give you ideas on fun ways to respond. 🙂

    • He is an insider and decent writer. But unlike Eric he remains a bloodsoaked statist scumbag. A federal prosecutor fuckhole who has never disavowed the state or the inhumane illegitimate power he wielded.

      Force feed him fish heads and make him humble.

      Popehat = Ken White

      • I know who he is, but frankly, he writes more entertaining responses to SEOs. THAT was my point. If you’re going to engage with those SEOs and post the comments on your site for the entertainment of your readers, might as well do it well.

        • Turns out Ken White might be human after all.

          I remember I posted a comment on his site once years ago, that he deleted.

          Asking him if he felt bad about all the human beings he put into cages. And was making that extra income worth doing such a despicable thing.

          Why couldn’t he just be a normal ethical human and get a job changing peoples oil or mopping the floors and emptying the trash of businesses. Something like that which people actually needed.

          He must be aware that the whole law and order bread and circuses is an utter farce and mean spirited randomness that’s only purpose is to make the ruling class’s rule seem legitimate.

          Anyway, he has become depressed enough to check himself into an acute care locked psych ward for a time. Maybe he’ll come to realize just what it is that he has to be depressed against.

          Caging millions of people like animals. Who would have thought the US would be no better than a hellhole like North Korea.

          And what is the deal with the giant Pope’s hat. What’s under that thing anyway. Some kind of alien conehead or something?

          Happy to Be Here


          I’m Still Alive

          • I have no time for scum such as he or his ilk. I have a hospital bill from a wreck when I was run over from behind. I’ll soon have to engage a lawyer to sue the guilty party’s insurance company to settle it. I’d rather have all my teeth pulled than to deal with a lawyer…..any lawyer…..for any reason.

            • Me either. Its bad enough its a planet of the statist apes situation.

              I’m not going to voluntarily spend any additional time with authoritarian apes. Especially if they lack self awareness to realize they’re not “doing their job” but are instead part of violent hierarchy that is robbing formerly free human beings of their very humanity.

              Its bad enough, the abuses the damn dirty statists are already inflicting upon me.

              Eee ee eee, I’m a war hero! Statist ape with ak47

  2. As often discussed on the No Agenda Show podcast, native advertising has infected even large institutional newsrooms, including NPR, cable news networks and even the New York Times. It usually is presented as a “lifestyle” piece. The local station news is ripe with the stuff. Just about any live remote from a business is going to be paid for. Most of it is quite easy to spot when you’re looking for it, but a good writer can sneak the product in so subtly it’s easy to get fooled.

    I don’t know what to say about native ads. On the one hand, hey, products need promoted. If there’s a story there (and the new iPhone release is not a news story), it might not be all that bad, but at the same time it should be carefully vetted and any claims need to be verified. And besides, when you own the printing press you can do whatever you want with it. But on the other hand, It certainly discredits the news source. And it’s a pretty slimy way to promote your product.

    Neutral voice journalism is a fairly recent phenomenon. Even in the 1930s there were plenty of newspapers, all with their own slant on the news of the day. I know they all accepted and ran opinion pieces and native ads as news. Especially political news. Joseph Pulitzer, namesake of the prize all journalists drool over, started out selling sensationalist papers (imagine 50 years from now when the National Inquirer Prize is the highest honor a journalist can receive). Since we can’t seem to remember the past, every time there’s some new way of communicating we have to go through the same thing. Again, as long as the reader has a pretty good BS detector I think it’s OK. The guy publishing native ads will eventually be outed and people will stop visiting his site. The real danger in native ads is that Uncle is going to get involved.

    Most of us were indoctrinated in the public socialist schools to believe newspapers. And for those of us who went through it in the 1970s it was especially bad. At my high school, we had to read The Grapes of Wrath and The Jungle was on our summer reading list (oddly enough we also had to read Brave New World and Animal Farm). Newspapers (supposedly) destroyed the Nixon presidency and were considered to be sacrosanct. Walter Cronkite told us the Vietnam War was unwinnable. Network news was there because it had to be, not because it made money (but don’t kid yourself that it was altruistic in any way). It took Ted Turner and Rodger Ailes to pull back the curtain and openly admit they were going to manipulate their news networks to promote an agenda. “Honest” journalism never really existed. At least these days it is easier to spot.

    For the record, at one time in my career I made my living producing ads for local television.

    • Hi Eric,

      I make no pretense to objectivity. My opinions are clear. But they are mine – not the bought-and-paid-for opinions of others, masquerading as mine.

      I am not a whore.

      I’ll close this site down and walk away before I start shilling “content” for “SEO” scumbags.

      • And of course if you ever did start taking native advertising, you’d have to shut the side down because there wouldn’t be any customers long before you’d have any crisis of conscience.

          • I thought it might, as the money you’re paid is stolen/slave labor/has blood on it.

            But then again, this is the system people want. Everyone still fights the claim “taxation is theft” when I make it, so I guess the theft/slavery is worth it for the “roads”.

            So if I was ever lucky enough to get offered a state or govt job, I may feel less guilty about it since 95% of the population loves taxes. You know, for our safety, and for the kids.

            • I guess I am a crony capitalist in that I seek out others for jobs. I think that term is not quite on the money. When I use the funds I generate with a truck to go against the bill for goods from the person I buy those goods from and make it look like it’s only outlay on my part is that crony capitalist? or just screwing the you know what? Some of that money is generated occasionally by state contracts. Since I’m well underpaid I don’t lose a second of sleep over it. It’s the best deal the taxpayer gets even though I would rather build roads for privateers. Is the oil industry part of the govt.? Nothing shown on the stock market exchange but XOM just moved its global HQ to Midland, Tx. so I’m guessing that corporate tax rate everyone screams about is just more hooey. When they keep you from starving the line gets blurry….at least for those of us who live and die by the price of oil…..and that’s a lot more people than even realize it.

              • We all work for the state in the end.

                I’m installing 2 miles of 12″ sewer line for a private HOA/country club. It will eliminate a lift station and the old sewer lagoon. It’s all private. Where’s the money come from? The department of environmental quality(DEQ). The project is financed with money and incentives like low interest loans and grants from the federal government.

                It’s almost impossible get away from working for the state. If I work for the city of Idaho Falls, or a private HOA, the money all comes from stolen funds called taxes, either directly or indirectly. When governments intervene so heavily, you can’t get away from their tentacles.

                • where I used to work in NV, a lot of the jobs were for the school districts

                  installing camera systems. building guard shacks for school police

                  maybe soon there’ll be a contract to bid on for a maximum security detention facility

                  I think I confused eric_G with someone else that said they were some kind of inspector for a state.

                  it’s sickening. and maddening. what Americans have come to tolerate and accept as the norm.

                  I tend to chime in if I here anyone acting like they’re in any kind of executive position. or have standing to evaluate Eric as if he owes us anything.

                  where we get to smoke a cigar and sit in an armchair and muse about which elected official we will choose. and son, bring me another mint julep while I ponder my white mans burden a bit further.

                  the truth is much less glamorous if your honest. maybe not as bad as Kunta Kente once had it. But closer to that than to any crony making a leisurely choice based on meeting with them at a country club or high end executive lounge. let’s at least be honest with our true status in this matter.

              • You’re not a crony capitalist. A crony tries to gain advantage for himself through government action. This can be done many ways. The most direct is just outright ban your competitor from doing business, such as what the Bell System did when they said there needs to be a “natural monopoly” in telephone service. More familiar is when government piles on more and more regulation in order to drive out profitability in small companies and generally harassing the little guys.

                Over the last 10 years or so, the amount of s*** paperwork I have to do has skyrocketed. And I’m just a headend tech in western Colorado. I’m certain there are people who’s sole job function is to deal with regulatory compliance. Small companies aren’t going to be able to hire someone just to keep track of the paperwork, and they’re far more likely to be visited by the regulators too. Big companies are already doing 90% of what the regulations usually require (since they “work with regulators” to write the regulations), so just adding another monthly report saying you did something isn’t too big a deal.

                And if your business is not in compliance, the fines are either a drop in the bucket or devastating, depending on the size of your company. In the case of my employer, no big deal for most of them, although supervisors get a lot of crap from the managers when something is out of compliance. But a $10,000 fine (for example) could wipe out a small company, or at least raise the cost of insurance and bonds down the road enough to make the difference between a profitable stable company and not.

                • “there needs to be a ‘natural monopoly’ in telephone service”
                  There are places where natural monopolies exist, e.g., daily newspaper in a mid-size city. But ‘natural’ monopolies happen, they don’t need to be enforced by the gunvermin. Anything the gunvermin is involved in ‘ain’t natural.’ Along the same lines as “Free Trade Agreements.”

                  • So when Vicente Fox, the shrub’s buttfuck buddy, made his statement about Norte Americanos being lazy and drunkards I would have dearly loved to kick him in the nutsack….or where one would be if he had any nuts. He “owns” Coca Cola in Mexico, every damned drop made and Carlos Slim “owns” the entire telephone network. It’s difficult to be lazy or fat or drunk in Mexico when most have to pick up cardboard and haul it on their back to buy some frijoles and flour/cornmeal, the food of champions.

                    • “if he had any nuts” – c’mon 8, cain’t everybody have’em. And clearly Hitlery has a paid of brass ones.

                    • Hi Phillip,

                      I’ve read (and believe) that Bill Clinton told one of his girlfriends that Hillary “had eaten more pussy” than he had. Not that there’s anything wrong that, of course! 🙂

                    • Hi Eight,

                      I have family in Mexico. It’s a great place, overall (generally, the people are very nice and the culture of “safety” is nonexistent there) but – as I know you know – it is also utterly and openly corrupt. That’s the difference. They are open about it. I prefer this, if I have to pick.

                      Give the cop a $20 and he’ll leave you be.

                    • eric, on a daily basis being Mexican doesn’t look like that much fun although they don’t sweat things nearly as much but that may be due to lesser expectations.

                      The flip side to bribing there is not killing the cash cow and I admit as long as I’m not a Mexican it works pretty well but some of my friends had husbands and other males members in prison for not very clearcut reasons.

                      Try to start a business though and you’ll find it’s not that friendly.

                      For the most part when people complain it’s because “the govt.” doesn’t do enough of this or that. The church is part and parcel of everything and the population is compliant, being used to be told what to do. Everybody with a little money is “jefe”.

                      There is a good reason for poverty in Mexico and it all goes back to “the church” and “the govt” being nearly one in the same. The people are even more sheeple than the ones across the north border.

    • ” If there’s a story there” – I remember before the show was finally hung out to dry, the morning news on the radio used to prominently feature the results of the previous night’s ‘American Idol.’ Sometimes it was the main story. That’s news? Of course it was Faux News, but it was on the station that had the best local traffic and weather reports. At least it wasn’t NPR.


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