Ed Driscoll

Fish Trapped In Cocoon, No Escape Possible

Last December, one of Mickey Kaus’s best ironic juxtapositions illustrated just how tightly the liberal cocoon envelops the New York Times:

We all have our bubbles: From the NYT’s Wednesday columnist pages–

OP-ED COLUMNIST W. Won’t Read This

By MAUREEN DOWD

Published: December 14, 2005
Never ask a guy who’s in a bubble if he’s in a bubble. He can’t answer.

To continue reading this article, you must be a subscriber to TimesSelect.

But Dowd is a columnist, and some columnists are pay-to-read, unlike bloggers, whom anybody can read…right?

Not if you’re blogging for the Timeswhich traps its bloggers in the TimesSelect bubble as well, as Ann Althouse notes:

Stanley Fish has a blog…

And he’s blogging about Scalia. Don’t you want to link to it? But you can’t! The NYT has put Fish in an aquarium: on TimesSelect, which makes him irrelevant in the great oceans of the blogosphere. Sigh.

You know, over the months that TimesSelect has limited access to its key writers, I’ve started to skip over columns as I scan through the paper in the morning, making quick decisions about which articles to read. Maybe Maureen Dowd said something provocative, but if I can’t engage with it by blogging about it, I don’t even take the trouble to find out what it is.

But this Stanley Fish blog is just crazy. It’s a blog. But you can’t link. By having blogs, the Times seems to want to say we’re cool. By making them unlinkable, it’s saying we’re clueless. But maybe they want their subscribers to stay out of the linked-up blogosphere and wade around in the Times blogs. Stay here, in our safe domain — our clean, well-lit aquarium — with our approved bloggers. Of course, we riffraff bloggers, in wanting to link, are trying to send them more readers and to get a lively conversation going.

Please, don’t send us more readers. Don’t talk about us.

Whoops–I guess I should have honored the Times’ request.

Related: Jeff Jarvis notes that “Times Public Editor Byron Calame can make anything dull