Finally, the Paywall War Begins in Earnest

I doubt anyone outside a few dedicated journalistic hardcores would take a second look at this story before they chalk off this website from their bookmarks bar.  Bye, bye New York Times, we knew you well.

That’s right, so I got this e-mail:

Dear Times Reader Subscriber,

We want to let you know about an important change to our Web site, NYTimes.com, and new benefits you will be receiving as a valued Times Reader subscriber.

Starting March 28, The New York Times will begin charging for unlimited access to NYTimes.com and our NYTimes apps — but, as a Times Reader subscriber, you will get unlimited access* to NYTimes.com and the NYTimes app for iPad® included in your subscription.

….

That’s right, I subscribe to the times for my dad.  I pay for him to receive the New York Times on weekends.  And you know what? He’s less apt to drop a Fox News talking point on me out of no where like an atom bomb on a hot August 6th morning.

But for all you chuckleheads, it means I won’t be able to link to New York Times content anymore, or at least, you won’t be able to see it when I do.

So what happens when the Grey Lady opens the salvo in the paywall wars? Other minor newspapers have put up paywalls: I think the LA Times and some small, local news outfits have as well.  But everyone agreed the true beginning would come with the New York Times. Do we finally develop a culture that pays for digital content? Or is the slippery slope one that will take us right back to the beginning of 2009?

Do we isolate ourselves further from what’s really happening in the world and instead nestle up next to our hot boxes, shoveling shit in our mouths, staring at middle-distance with doe eyes in front of Dexter or American Idol, clueless and blissful, ignorant and happy, waiting for the gun we don’t know is against our head to go off, and then bleeting like maimed livestock for a culprit.

That was a joke about the founding of the Tea Party. And maybe about you too.

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