Forget, for a moment, that the design of the above-the-fold portion of this website is ugly as sin, crowded with ads and “junk” (hat tip, Edward Tufte). Look at the ad, sitting front and center!
It’s blocking the copy — the only reason we’ve come to this page. Yes, I know that lots of publishers are doing this these days. That doesn’t make it right — it makes it intrusive, in the same manner as television ads. And people like these just as little as they like TV ads (in general, Super Bowl excepted!).