May 26, 2005
KAUS ON COCCOONING:
Who else but reinforcement-craving Democrats would pay $49.95 a year to read Paul Krugman? ... The Times, of course, is supposed to be the un-Balkanized, common-ground information outlet, so its shift toward a caterpillar strategy should be the cause of much more respectable hand-wringing than, say, the emergence of ideologically targeted sites like Lucianne.com and RealClearPolitics ... Also, Lucianne and RCP actually do a much better job of forcing their readers to confront what they don't want to see than the Times does.
UPDATE: Related thoughts here:
What's peculiar about the economics of news-and-views is that, by raising the price, the Times will not merely reduce demand for their product, they'll reduce its value, because the significance of an op-ed does not come only from the author, but from the audience as well. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech would have been much less interesting if it had been given at some obscure academic conference, rather than on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in front of an audience of hundreds of thousands. Likewise, John Tierney and Paul Krugman will be less interesting when they are no longer writing to the internet masses, to America and the world, but merely to the narrow, unrepresentative subscriber base of the Times.