Yesterday the Senate confirmed the first openly gay man as a federal judge. A historical moment, for sure. But as Gawker's Seth Abramovitch noticed, Google brings us back to reality, placing this tasteful ad for something called "The Bathhouse" at Mandalay Bay's Las Vegas casino adjacent to The New York Times' story announcing Paul Oetken's accomplishments. While the ad likely appeared in that space because of a Google's advertising algorithm that matched gay ad with key words in the story, the placement stings a little--it screams: Hey gay readers, this is what you're into, right?
Just last week we saw the same ad on a story about Michele and Marcus Bachmann on The Washington Post's site on a story about how he has made his stance on homosexuality clear through the years, calling gays "barbarians" who "need to be educated." The Bathhouse ad showed up next to an article discussing his "strong conservative values." Given the backlash Bachmann has received from the gay blogger community, which is spreading rumors that he is gay, the placement is less hurtful than the ad above, just a little bit hilarious.
The Google algorithm works in not so mysterious ways, sometimes it wins and sometimes it loses.