Financially desperate, the NYT has decided to put what it calls its "Special Voices" behind a wall and make you pay admission. The "Special Voices" are the columnists: David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Tom Friedman, Bob Herbert, Nicholas Kristof, Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, John Tierney.
I'm a longtime subscriber to the paper NYT, so I'll have access to the "Special Voices" without paying anything more, but the pay-wall nevertheless deters me from reading. Reading and blogging are a merged activity for me, and I'll invest my reading time in things I can link to. Perhaps the Times likes this. Those mean bloggers won't poke fun at Maureen anymore. She will be cosseted where old-fashioned readers can admire Mo's bon mots and Mo can can know there'll be no counter-mots.
The Times has obsessed so much about bloggers lately. One had to wonder which way they would go: will they embrace the blogosphere and interact with it, or will they go on the defensive? Now, we see, they've made the retrograde move. How very dull and stodgy of them! They tried to be trendy by publishing all those articles about blogging over the past year, yet now, they are cutting us off. The Times has been trying so hard to maintain a hip, youthful image for itself, and now its true, dinosauric nature is revealed.
UPDATE: Here's a Salon piece criticizing the Times. (Salon ought to know the effects of putting up a pay-wall.) Here's Kos on the subject -- anticipating missing Krugman and Rich. (Rich is fun to make fun of, but I never read Krugman.) Here's Atrios, predicting lots of money followed by lots of irrelevance. Links via Memeorandum. It looks as though only liberal bloggers care much about this. Is the Times unwittingly pushing young people away from liberal thinking?