According to the second article, it has been fixed.
Please Note:The legitimate hacked website was contacted and informed about its participation in the Zeus bot activity and accordingly has stopped serving the malicious variant.
Sure, they can work around the legal definition of payola. It doesn't change the fact that some people will find it just as vile as you find advertising. And as someone else mentioned, it's questionable whether record labels would be willing to pay for the service, or if it would generate sufficient revenue for Pandora.
What are your other solutions?
You suggest that Pandora devise a more creative source of revenue as if it's a completely trivial thing to do. If it were that easy, content providers would never resort to advertising at all. They don't do it to be evil. Some advertising is unscrupulous, but there's nothing meretricious about the concept of advertising itself.
Incidentally, your Kanye West example is known in the radio industry as payola. It's a reviled practice. Pandora is against it. You might want to share one of your other hundreds of examples if you really want advertising to disappear.
Have you reconsidered a computer career?