Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Word From the New York Times Columnists

As many of you have heard, The New York Times will begin charging money to read its Op-Ed page. Many have agreed that, in a world of unlimited punditry, the well-known voices of the Times are expendable.

But before you say goodbye to Friedman, Dowd, Brooks and Krugman, we at The Yellow Line have been able to secure exclusive excerpts* from these writers un-published columns commenting on the new fee. Enjoy.


Thomas Friedman: We met in a back alley office in the West Bank. Kids played in the street, but my companion wasn’t interested in games, he was interested in truth. When I reminded him that the world is flat and he could have just e-mailed me, he responded with the kind of answer that makes you take notice. Leaning forward, brow furrowed, he said, “I don’t own a computer.” He was right, of course. Millions of people across the world are being left out of the global technology revolution because they lack an essential piece of equipment: the computer. And, when we analyze it, this computer-deficit makes the New York Times decision to charge for its opinion pages even more baffling. After all, what are the political implications of charging people $50 when they don’t even own a computer?


Maureen Dowd: It really is true. I work for plutocrats. I used to think those Bush bumper stickers and Cheney shirts owned by our illustrious editorial board were just wry winks at the nature of power. But I see now I was wrong, we all were. The leadership here has no interest in running a paper. They’re much happier heading out to their Vermont lodges, sipping their Pinot Noirs and plotting their next money grab. Charging us to use the bathroom, maybe? How about my parking? Are you going to stop validating? There really is no depths to which these Bush-loving dictators will sink. Hide your family photos or they’ll find a way to charge you for looking at those too.


Paul Krugman: Many in America may assume our rights are no less secure today than before the Bush administration took office. But they would likely change their mind if they saw a new bit of evidence. A new but widely ignored press release by The New York Times clearly indicates that freedom of the press is in danger. Ostensibly, the paper is merely instituting a fee to read specific sections. But this “revenue enhancement” really means you will no longer be able to read the paper for free. And if the paper is no longer free, neither are we. It’s just one more erosion of rights which could go unnoticed until only the rich can afford the news and the poor are left reading car manuals and the sides of cereal boxes.


David Brooks: When you drive out of the city, past the inner suburbs an the Bourgeois Bohemian enclaves, you’re going to see a lot fewer blue New York Times bags laying on doorsteps. This is the exurbs, with its parking lots like runways, SUVs like tanks and hardworking Americans who have as much use for The New York Times as the rest of us have for horseradish . Few at the New York Times understand this new class of Americans. This is, of course, their loss. Think how much we could all learn if the whole nation felt compelled to take the time and debate the $50 on-line subscription fee? But as long as papers like the New York Times continue to ignore the fastest-growing segment of the country, Republicans will continue to win elections. That’s not unreasonable. That’s just what happens when you name your paper after the most closed-off liberal city on the east coast.

*all excerpts are parodies—this has been a message for the humorless

5 Comments:

At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Stephen Curtice said...

Brilliant! Almost as good as recounting the struggles between a college newspaper and the school administration in iambic pentameter! (Sorry for the inside reference.)

 
At 12:39 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

Steve!!!! Man I miss you! Had forgotten about the iammbic pentameter!

 
At 9:01 PM, Anonymous David said...

On the Testosterone Times. News paper circulations are slipping. I know this, we all do. With that said and noted, I say go ahead then and charge if they will, charge as the might to read your columns! Ah, the sordid world of--- coin. You are all worth the expense for me. Of course, I still will find myself reading the op-ed section (specifically)....the rest? Well, just as before---I like to recycle anyway.

Maureen! Con Te Partiró. Your columns, as the line from the hit from the new Brazilian Girls CD, refers---DON’T STOP!

 
At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With that kind of thought processesand logic these guys would qualify hands down for top Whitehouse postings
To bad, the NYT now goes to the trash pile. We can't subscibe to them all.

 
At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With that kind of thought processesand logic these guys would qualify hands down for top Whitehouse postings
To bad, the NYT now goes to the trash pile. We can't subscibe to them all.

 

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