There I was this morning at the New York Times online op-ed page, the scene of so much self-righteous hand-wringing in recent weeks over the violence in our culture and rhetoric. I was deciding whether to subject myself first to Gail Collins or Charles Blow, when my eye was drawn to the ad you see here for something called "Project Blackout." A busty babe wields an assault rifle the Times surely wouldn't want in private hands. And look: the ad is peppered by bullet holes.
Click through to learn more about the violent video game, and you'll see the image [after the jump] of a man . . . in a crosshairs.
Note also the legend under the ad image that appeared on the op-ed page: "Advertise on NYTimes.com".
So the Times points a finger at our culture with one hand, takes bucks from the purveyors of violent video games with the other. Got it.
PS: the ad was positioned on the page right under a Charles Blow column calling for more . . . gun control.
Note: I heard from one reader who suggested the ads are generated by some kind of advertising algorithm over which the Times has little control. Assuming, arguendo, that is so, no one, um, held a gun to the Times' head to enter into such an arrangement. For that matter, the Times must have some control over what appears on its site. Surely you won't see ads for hard-core porn, for example. If the Times were intent on preventing violent video game ads from turning up on its op-ed page, it could have found a way. And when the Times puts "Advertise on NYTimes.com" directly under the ad, I say it assumes responsibility.