Internet

Bailing Out One of the 20th Century's Best Business Models

What's black and white and red all over? Newspapers looking for a handout, that's what!

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Here's a new holiday cocktail for you: Combine one part bailout seasoning with another part perennial journalistic self-pity, pour it out over the Christmas/New Year's publishing interregnum and presto!—it's time for patriotic men and women to get behind a government rescue of what was until very recently one of the most profitable sectors in the United States: The newspaper industry.

"We're more worthy of a bailout than the jokers on Wall Street," argued Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock on Dec. 20. "You can't have a democracy without us. If newspapers are dying, so is our system of government."

Quite. Without Whitlock in the trenches covering the Big 12 North conference, how is the Republic to survive?

I kid (Whitlock can actually be a pretty interesting journalist) because I love. Newspapers, that is. Not necessarily their employees, and certainly not their employees' self-inflated, anti-competitive, and occasionally please-help-me-Washington ideas about how to get out of a mess largely of their own making. With a 100-year head start on putting the "new" in media and the "class" in classifieds, loyalists of companies that once printed money as well as papers now want the rules changed so that they can survive, or at least still afford private school.

Take former New York Times foreign correspondent Joel Brinkley, now a professor of journalism at Stanford (as an aside: how many industries are fortunate enough to have an entire wing of academia primed and ready as a backup employment plan?). Writing in the Dec. 21 San Francisco Chronicle—ironically, one of the papers that has embraced Web-based competition most effectively through the mere act of putting all its stories online, for free, at a static URL—Brinkley made the curious argument that giving news consumers what they obviously and understandably want (free news) was the biggest threat to print publications. "The newspaper industry," Brinkley suggested, "should ask the Justice Department for an antitrust exemption that would allow publishers to collaborate on a decision to begin charging for their Web sites….[I]f most papers in a region—San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, for example—began charging for Web access at more or less the same time, many readers would likely subscribe."

Yes, and many (in fact most) likely would not!

Blaming the customer is the second-to-last refuge of any crappy industry, business, or organization (the last refuge being asking for a handout on Capitol Hill). As my ex-L.A. Times colleague and current Reason magazine Contributing Editor Tim Cavanaugh has noted in our pages, the paper we both short-timed for was filled with people making jokes about whether we could just "fire our readers." Over the recent holidays, an entire journalistic Festivus celebration of customer-blaming broke out over New Yorker finance columnist James Surowiecki's lament that, "The real problem for newspapers…isn't the Internet; it's us. We want access to everything, we want it now, and we want it for free." To extrapolate, if only us greedy human beings would realize that our very democracy was at stake, that we "are taking an active step in the formation of a country without a civic conscience," then we'd damned well volunteer to pay an unnecessary premium to keep our finest journalists in permanent six figures. Sounds precisely as convincing as the argument that enlightened voters will surely agree to pay extra taxes so that political campaigns can be financed through "clean" money.

At the risk of alienating what few old newspaper pals of mine still have jobs, the industry they (and I!) so cherish, which has suffered mind-blowing valuation losses and several dozen rounds of downsizing both in personnel and column inches, is still bloated after all these years, with costs that no publisher would dream of incurring if he was starting a newspaper from scratch in 2009.

In an era where there are no journalists left who don't have an e-mail address, newspapers still employ strange woodland creatures known as ombudsmen to "interface" with readers. On their first beer, newspaper hacks will talk bitterly about Jeff Jarvis and Mickey Kaus and Jay Rosen, all those ivory tower types who think newspapers could somehow be better with less staffing…and by the third they're talking smack about the writer across the hall who hasn't filed a thing in four months (and who never took any of the voluntary buyouts, for obvious reasons).

As I have had the privilege to experience, there still exists these 19th century things called "editorial boards," in which up to a dozen (though usually more like half that) wiseacres and a couple of dames sit around, listen to grandees, and between the lot of them write maybe 1,000 words a day of grave, unsigned, top-down wisdom about the State of the Union address (Hey! I wrote one of those!), or the latest fighting in Gaza. The opinion journalist Michael Kinsley, a man I once disdained but grew to have enormous respect for after learning what he tried to do with the L.A. Times opinion page, once wrote the world's most brutal (and ultimately self-defeating) memo on the insane economics of editorial boards…I can't find a public copy of it right now, but you can see a few of his similar sentiments here.

Suffice it to say, as one who is familiar with the numbers, you could probably print at least three Reason magazines (complete with website, blog, the whole nine yards) for the cost of one elite-newspaper opinion section, with its 14 pages a week. Are the elites three times better? You tell me.

Think of those economics—and of the fact that not one single ballyhooed newspaper poll organization added as much value to this year's presidential race as a lone Internet baseball geek named Nate Silver—the next time you see some politician push for government assistance to our endangered newspapers, or read some columnist confuse her own job security with the very health of the nation. Mark my words: This will not be the last time you hear about newspaper bailouts. Not if journalists have anything to say about it.

Matt Welch is Editor in Chief of Reason magazine.

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  1. In return for public bailout monies, newspapers should be required to print the most upbeat stories possible – the taxpayers deserve nothing less for their cash.

  2. I doubt that WWS is lookign for a government handout like the Capitalist ruled rags are.

  3. Domo arigato,

    Do itashi mashite.

  4. Let’s get those cathode ray tube factories up and running first!

  5. Again, the troll misses being first by this >_< much. Tee hee.

  6. Great, so now Journalists want to be government employees, too.

    I ask this question: If we do bailout the newspapers, how is the Republic to survive?

  7. Paul,

    The New Republic might come back around to advocating peace instead of wrong headed destructive war.

  8. The New Republic might come back around to advocating peace instead of wrong headed destructive war.

    By making newspapers funded by the organization wanting the war. Check.

  9. The Gov’t’s first order of business should be returning the Weekly World News to glory…

  10. What’s black and white and red all over?

    Newspapers are red? See, the joke doesn’t work in print.

  11. LurkerBold,

    If we give you a bailout do you shut up then?

  12. Naga Shadow,

    Yes, anything to continue the revolution.

  13. Angry Optomist,

    The good newspapers are Red!

  14. Ha ha! Your medium is dying!

  15. Apparently the New York Times is $1 billion in debt, and has $400 million due in May that they don’t have. Will Obama and a Democratic Congress be able to stand by and watch one of their major PR assets go bankrupt?

  16. Jeff P – the MSM is completely ignoring Bat Boy. It’s like they want to pretend he doesn’t exist.

  17. And afterall, we know… we know that when government provides or holds purse strings to monies that newspapers depend on, that no politickin’ with the editorial board ever takes place.

  18. “Sea Kittens”? That sounds . . . delicious!

  19. Will Obama and a Democratic Congress be able to stand by and watch one of their major PR assets go bankrupt?

    Doubtful. They’re not forgetting the UAW…erh I mean, uhh, GM, Chrysler and Ford.

  20. I like kittens in a light wine sauce.

  21. Kittens are people too.

  22. If read the part about the anti-trust exemption right then I like it. Let all the regional papers conspire to turn all their sites into pay-sites. I’ll be standing by with my own team of hacks with digital cameras and laptops. We can record and observe and then upload over starbucks to my new free news site. Of course you’d never catch me anywhere west of Texas let alone california.

  23. Sea kittens. So is it cruel that I keep four of them in a 46 gallon container and never let them out?

  24. sage, there will be government guidelines coming out on that in a few weeks.

  25. I like kittens in a light wine sauce.

    I’m allergic as all get-out to cats when they’re alive, so I don’t think I’ll ever risk finding out if I’m allergic to the meat. Maybe someone who’s sampled them in a restaurant in China can let me know what they taste like.

    -jcr

  26. I don’t even pay for porn on the web. If you think I’m going to start paying for “Local Cabbage Wins State Fair!” stories, you got another thing coming.

  27. I’m allergic as all get-out to cats when they’re alive, so I don’t think I’ll ever risk finding out if I’m allergic to the meat.

    JCR, I would surmise that you’re not allergic to cat meat, you’re allergic to cat hair or dander. As am I. Properly prepared, you shouldn’t have any problem.

  28. There is another parallel I hadn’t thought of. Instead of a litter box I use a protein skimmer. And man, some of the stuff that it collects would make you want to gobble down a soiled litter box like it was almond roca.

  29. The Reason chattering classes have given a rest to bashing brown people and it is on to the Asians with cats for food jokes. Very funny sickos.

  30. Very funny sickos.

    Who’s bashing?

    Cats, dogs, and many other animals that most people in the west wouldn’t eat are readily available for human consumption in China. I don’t have a problem with that, why do you?

    -jcr

  31. Because I am not a sick murdering meat eating freek like you?

  32. (as an aside: how many industries are fortunate enough to have an entire wing of academia primed and ready as a backup employment plan?).

    Law has law schools.

    To a lesser extent, the defense industry has engineering schools (but these days, this is less of a ‘revolving door’ and more ‘hanging out in the same lobby’)

  33. If the New York Times needs money, they can just get Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council to condemn something for them. Or they can be partners in the Atlantic Yards project.

  34. you’re allergic to cat hair or dander

    My understanding is that the allergen is a protein that’s present in their saliva (which of course is all over their hair.) I don’t really want to find out if that same protein exists in their meat.

    -jcr

  35. To a lesser extent, the defense industry has engineering schools

    A much, much lesser extent. I worked in the Defense Industry for some years and I don’t know anyone who went back to academia. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but…

  36. Newspapers are essential..

    ..for me to poop on!

    No, seriously, I am not kidding. I am newspaper trained.

  37. Because I am not a sick murdering meat eating freek like you?

    Cats eat meat. Do you hate them, too?

    -jcr

  38. …it was astonishing to read that the Times just spent $45 million on new printing facilities in order to get eight color pages into each issue. Color pages cost nothing on the Internet.

    I found this comment particullarly striking.

    I enjoy reading the Chicago Tribune everday, but I don’t think it deserves a bailout.

  39. Because I am not a sick murdering meat eating freek like you?

    My wife was a vegetarian when I met her. She got cured of that malady real fast.

  40. That reference from the schmuck at the San Francisco Examiner is priceless. That guy really thinks an anti-trust exemption for the Established rags would make them strong on the ‘net? In Silicon Valley? What!?

    Maybe someone should tell him that within two weeks of that passing, there’s going to be three or four news portals for all your local news in the Bay Area for free. The market opportunity presented there for a new competitor would be phat, phat, phat!

    I guess the next step would have to be a “1st Amendment Exemption” for the Bay Area dailies so its illegal for anyone else to distribute information about the news there. Wow, what a moron.

  41. Doesn’t the NY Times have some real estate it can sell?

  42. Are trout also sea kittens?

  43. I also love this piece inflated sense of self importance:

    You can’t have a democracy without us. If newspapers are dying, so is our system of government

  44. How did you manage to cure her Paul? I’m curious… I know many vegetarians and I often wonder what’s to be done about their poor eating habits.

  45. My wife was a vegetarian when I met her.

    My mom and dad are vegetarians these days, but they’re doing it for the alleged health benefits. They don’t have any issue with anyone else eating meat, and they don’t generally bring it up in conversation because they don’t want to be associated with idiots like LurkerBold or those PETA freaks.

    -jcr

  46. Cats eat meat. Do you hate them, too?

    They can be trained to be vegans.

  47. And yeah…. if the news”papers” are dying, then I don’t really give a shit. If free speech and dissemination of information died that may be a problem… However, it seems the Interwebs have that covered, no thanks to the NYT.

    StrongBad once called newspapers a “Paper Version of the Internet”… I’m inclined to agree. Besides, most journalists I’ve ever known or have read are always blabbing about the environment but how many trees does their industry destroy year to year and how much energy to they waste shipping things out morning, noon and night??

  48. They can be trained to be vegans.

    I hate cats, but I don’t hate them that much, you depraved little bastard. Eating meat is one of the very few pleasures they get, and you’d deny that to them? You asshole.

    -jcr

  49. You can’t have a democracy without us.

    And, apparently, we can’t have a constitutional republic with you. Don’t let the door, etc. . . .

  50. They can be trained to be vegans.

    Ditto to what JCR said.

    I vegan cat is one unhappy cat.

  51. If LurkerBold tries to feed me veggies I’ll barf them up all over his birkenstocks.

  52. Sean W. Malone,

    The Chicago Sun-Times was the first all recycled newspaper in the US in the 1970’s, maybe even the 60’s.

  53. jcr, you are an angry cowboy aren’t you?

  54. Matt Welch says that if print journalists having anything to say about it

    Well, could we at least get some cash for a few copy editors?

  55. To start with, it is a fact that we will have to have newspapers in the future, too. I cannot imagine starting my morning without reading a paper and having a cup of coffee.

    Newspapers are a very good way to get information and various kinds of news, which you can talk about with your workmates. There are a lot of people who do not access to the Net or who have no time to listen to the radio or watch television. We are always so busy. So it is even good for our health to stop for a little while to read.

    In addition, local newspapers are the best way to get the local news, find information about coming events, etc. It is good to have a newspaper where you can check the TV programmes. Although there is a text channel on television, I usually find it hard to get to the right pages. If you are not a very technologically minded person, you certainly should be a subscriber to a newspaper!

  56. LurkerBold,

    Boiling kittens alive is a delicacy in China. Have at em.

    Goes somethin like this.

    1. (Meow)
    2. (ARRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!)
    3. (Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm)

  57. Pirjo,

    Those are some very good reasons to keep newspapers. Too bad the wrong people are in charge of them.

  58. Reading newspapers everyday is must for both students and adults for growth and enlightenment irrespective of the class or field of their life. For, reading newspaper everyday is highly educational, and an important informal education in that. One can ignore this important function of the life at own peril.

  59. Naga Shadow,

    You are sick. I would not be astonished if consuming of cats in China was something left over from British impearilism and it does not shock me that you embrace it either.

  60. I am editor in charge of finnish newspaper in Finland. We are having similar problem. I want you to know without newspaper our cultures will diminish.

  61. Pirjo,

    You are wise.

  62. LurkerBold,

    Somehow I think you have yourself in mind for those “right people” spots.

  63. They can be trained to be vegans.

    Yeah, your mom said the same thing about whales. Right before I harpooned her.

  64. I know that I know everything of interest to me several hours, and sometimes days, before it appears in the Houston Chronicle.

  65. you are an angry cowboy aren’t you?

    Me? You’re the one who wants to starve cats to death.

    Incidentally, you can’t “train” a cat to be vegan. You can deprive them of meat in their diet, but don’t fool yourself into believing that they like it.

    -jcr

  66. OT: Here’s a Friday Fun Link for everyone. PETA wants everyone to stop calling them “fish” and start calling them “sea kittens” so that nobody will want to eat them. Really.

    Uhhh, If you look in the handbook you’ll see that Friday fun links are pretty much only used on FUCKIN’ FRIDAYS!

    Sheesh, kids today. [sadly shakes head]

  67. LurkerBold,

    British imperialism? You don’t read much do you? I don’t remember reading anything in Dickens about Tiny Tim eating cats. However, I recall my Marco Polo. “Two legged mutton”. Think about it . . . .

  68. “Cats eat meat. Do you hate them, too?

    They can be trained to be vegans.”

    Sure, and dogs can be trained to walk only on their hind legs, but it’s entirely unnatural. Cats digestive systems are evolved and suited for eating meat, as are those of all carnivores and most omnivores including humans. Whose going to train sharks to stop eating their sea kitten brethren? Seriously, anyone who tries to train an animal away from it’s natural acclimation is likely to end up dinner or in the case of PETA, malnurished.

    Ironic that an organization that may have an inordinant number of pussy-eaters in it’s ranks would use “kittens” as a deterrent to eating anything.

  69. How did you manage to cure her Paul?

    Probably a perfect storm not easily duplicated. My wife was a bit of a diva, who went through that feminist/activist thing in college. She went veggie for… sustainability… or something. Either way, ‘sustainability’ wasn’t a word that was en vogue, but the concept already was.

    Anyhoo, being a bit of a Diva, she didn’t like to cook, and moreover, liked to be cooked for. Me, being a new, modern man of the 90’s knew how to cook, enjoyed cooking, and had a fully stocked kitchen. (I had been working for years in the private sector while she was earning her masters degree). The P-Dogg was an unrepentant meat eater. Because she liked meat, but avoided it for socio-political reasons she was forced to smell and see my cooking. And like Jules in Pulp fiction, Paul was brazing seasoned steaks, and eating meat, so that meant my wife was eating meat.

    Bottom line: learn to cook really well, and your wife will get tired of smelling great food she can’t eat.

  70. This is a sick sick sick group.

    The natural world is about peace and harmony. It is only the humans that disturb it.

  71. Paul,

    Great story. I thought it would be a dirty story though I will keep that advice tucked away.

  72. British imperialism? You don’t read much do you? I don’t remember reading anything in Dickens about Tiny Tim eating cats.

    I was not talking of the British. I was talking about their Asian victims.

  73. Somehow I think you have yourself in mind for those “right people” spots.

    As my dad often says, “scratch a liberal, find an autocrat.”

    -jcr

  74. Why does not anyone wanting to save the newspaper?

  75. On topic, here in North Windsor –

    The Detroit News and the Free Press have a JOA so this applies to both publications.

    Changes due to occur in first quarter 2009 include:

    Expanding digital information channels that provide news and information to a variety of audiences when, where and how they want it.

    Limiting newspaper home delivery to Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays while selling printed copies at newsstand seven days a week.

    Providing subscribers daily access to electronic editions, exact copies of each day’s printed newspapers.

    “Our decision to limit home delivery to three days a week reflects the reality that major newspaper markets are facing daunting economic challenges. Advertising in this economy is down and costs are up. We can’t live in the past. We need to shift resources to the digital side of our business, which readers and advertisers clearly are telling us is our future,” Hunke said. “Ultimately, our commitment to the people of Michigan is to continue to be their premier source for news and information, no matter how they choose to receive it.”

    Gosh darned progress! 😉

  76. LurkerBold,

    The natrual world is a pretty brutal place buddy. Ever watch Animal Planet? Lions exterminate cubs. Polar bears abandon young to other polar bears to eat. Etc.

  77. Ever watch Animal Planet?

    You mean the one produced by some corporation, shown on cable by another corporation and it is full of sick scenes to get cheap ratings to sell advertising to other corporations?

    No.

  78. Ever watch Soylent Green?

  79. Lurker…

    A. Tons of companies recycle paper for daily use or use already recycled paper.
    B. Few companies but newspapers truck it all over various cities two to three times a day…
    C. All the energy that goes into creating online news sources is used by print papers too! Then they print out what they did on their computers instead of just posting it to a much more easily accessible medium like the internet (for most people).

    Pirjo…

    Your medium is dying. Deal with it. The information you provide is still valuable to everyone, assuming your Finnish paper is a worthy news-source, but the way you present it is going out of style quick. I suggest you adapt.

    Speaking for myself and at least all of my friends born in the late 70s, early 80s and up… I don’t want another piece of paper cluttering up my day.

  80. The natural world is about peace and harmony. It is only the humans that disturb it.

    Tell that to an Ibex getting its throat ripped out by a Lion. That never gets old.

  81. Why does not anyone wanting to save the newspaper?

    Why stop there? Let’s bring back all manner of technologies and businesses that we’ve left behind. Wouldn’t you love to read your newspaper by the gentle light of a whale-oil lamp?

    The fact is that newspapers are an outdated business model. Things change. Sure, I’ll miss some of the hard-copy publications I used to buy, but I’m not willing to steal money from my fellow citizens to keep them around.

    -jcr

  82. LurkerBold,

    You totally ignored the fact that people were eating people in China long before Western influences.

  83. Ever watch Animal Planet?

    You mean the one produced by some corporation, shown on cable by another corporation and it is full of sick scenes to get cheap ratings to sell advertising to other corporations?

    No.

    So you’ve seen it, then.

  84. Pro Libertate,

    Oh yes, lol, Soylent Green is a good idea for Naga.

  85. I thought it would be a dirty story though I will keep that advice tucked away.

    Oh believe me, the long winter evenings flew by when I told that story to the right crowd.

  86. folks, LurkerBold is a troll. Stop arguing with him, please.

  87. Why does not anyone wanting to save the newspaper?

    Same reason we didn’t save the steamships. Change happens. Adapt.

  88. You totally ignored the fact that people were eating people in China long before Western influences.

    And all of that was pre-Mao.

  89. Paul,

    For you, my animal planet watching friend.

    LurkerBold,

    You should click and watch too.

  90. I eat newspapers for breakfast!

  91. folks, LurkerBold is a troll. Stop arguing with him, please.

    Angry Optomist, we are having an enlightened discussion. Please join us or go suck on your SUV pipe.

  92. The natural world is about peace and harmony.

    Oh, this is too easy.

    Take a little walk around your neighborhood, and watch a cat stalk and kill a bird.

    It is only the humans that disturb it.

    Kid, critters have been eating each other since before we went multi-cellular. If you can’t cope with this, try to work it out in therapy.

    -jcr

  93. The natural world is about peace and harmony.

    Tell it to cancer.

  94. Speaking of Animal Planet – Jeff Corwin tells a great story about why he’s no longer a Vegan or Vegetarian…

    He was for a long time, but he always kinda hated it and then decided to give up the ghost when a good friend and colleague of his got literally eaten by a Lion… Kinda puts the struggles of living creatures into perspective.

  95. That is what you get for encroaching on the lion’s peaceful envioronment. Might get the same if you keep one in a cage too.

    How would you feel in a cage or if someone came up and poked you in your doorm room?

  96. TAO,

    He’s a troll impersonator, not a troll.

    “…Now available in vanilla nut flavor. So for a tasty treat that’s good to eat, try Soylent Green. Soylent Green is people. Soylent Green. Made from the best stuff on Earth… People!”

    The natural world is about peace and harmony.

    Say, what about black holes and supernovae?

  97. Pirjo,

    Your comments on what makes a great newspaper (reading it with coffee, easy access to tv listings, best local news coverage) have less to do with the paper itself and everything to do with the quality of the news. I read a paper every day, although not my local (The Denver Post). My local paper has gotten worse over the past ten years to the point where the only thing they cover are meth lab busts, murders, and sports. If you want anything of value relative to the local beat, you need to read political coverage on websites, local blogs, and sometimes even some of the free local daily community paper.

    Perversely, I think the paper responded to its shrinking readership by dumbing down content even more, so now we get more meth lab busts and murders every day. The paper is a joke.

    But I still read the news every day, and I incorporate my online and dead tree news into my daily routine. I also travel a lot, so when I can’t get a paper I use a blackberry to read the same stuff (or at least as much as I can).

    My daughter, who is two years old, will think that I’m crazy that I ever read a paper. But she won’t be deprived of news; she’ll just experience it in a different way.

  98. Boy, the trolls are eatin’ good in this neighborhood!

  99. How would you feel in a cage or if someone came up and poked you in your doorm room?

    I’d eat them for breakfast.

  100. Newspapers aren’t going to disappear anytime soon. Even if the NYT goes bankrupt, it is such a valuable brand, and there still are enough dead tree based readers, that someone will pick it up. They are just going to have to find a business model which can deal with diminishing circulations. Small local papers seem to be doing fine, by and large.

  101. Good night. I am reminded why never should be arguing with Americans. All you never see good in helping keep tradition working and alive. I wish good luck to all of you.

  102. See?

    SPANK SPANK SPANK you fail!

  103. I vote that LurkerBold be taken to Africa and dropped off. Surely, with nature on his side, he will make it back in one piece.

  104. Why does not anyone wanting to save the newspaper?

    We saved them all the time.

    For wrapping fish. I mean sea kittens!

    Is this thing on?

  105. 4:52 was for Paul @4:51

  106. folks, LurkerBold is a troll. Stop arguing with him, please.

    …and not a particually skilled one.

    And what happened to Lefiti anyway?

    Oh, wait. I think I know…

  107. Naga Shadow,

    At least I am not afraid of the Africans and am willing to be friends with them. The Asians too.

  108. Good night. I am reminded why never should be arguing with Americans. All you never see good in helping keep tradition working and alive.

    If it takes government to keep a tradition alive, then the tradition isn’t worth keeping. Traditions are kept by individuals because they have value. Once people abandon them, well, this post finishes itself.

  109. Pro Lib,

    YO! Can I get a little tequila with my soylent green?

  110. Or Earth-colliding comets and asteroids? Or fire? Wind? Volcanoes? Earthquakes? Radiation? Tsunami?

    Did I leave anything out?

  111. At least I am not afraid of the Africans and am willing to be friends with them.

    The Africans, however, may be afraid of you.

  112. 4:52 was for Paul @4:51

    Try again.

  113. Soylent Green goes great with tequila, Naga. In fact, tequila is a great marinade for any Soylent product.

    Mmmmmm, the humanity.

  114. LurkerBold,

    Seems like you just admitted you aren’t anymore in touch with “nature” than I am.

  115. I love this discussion about “out-dated business models,” survival of the fittest and bloggers emerging from their mothers’ basements to exhaustively cover the mechanisms of government. But, the fact of the matter is, the vast majority of successful blogs and other online news sources make their money simply by providing links to newspaper sites (you know, those places that pay people to do the grunt work of reporting). I know, I know a lot of sites produce original work. But, let’s face it, it’s mostly opinion and commentary on subjects those old horse-and-buggy newspapers and magazines have already reported. Look, I don’t dispute that ink on paper is becoming outmoded. But free-market principals are not. News organizations are committing suicide by not charging for content. They are spending a lot of money to give away their product for free. Hits on a Web page to not produce enough revenue. Folks, just because you want everything for free doesn’t mean you should get it for free.

  116. Pro Lib,

    You may owe me a new laptop. I just spit water all over it after your “Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, the humanity” comment.

  117. Good night. I am reminded why never should be arguing with Americans. All you never see good in helping keep tradition working and alive. I wish good luck to all of you.

    Pirjo, I believe there will always be a demand for organizations that gather news and present it to its audience. There will always be a demand for reporters to gather the news.

    But, I don’t think future news gathering organizations can afford to keep someone on staff who doesn’t submit any stories for 4 months in a row.

    Their current business models are outdated. I’m sure they can adapt to the 21st century environment.

  118. How would you feel …if someone came up and poked you in your doorm room?

    All the girls I was friends with loved it. I even poked a few myself.

  119. Who’s not being friendly to Africans?

    Or Asians…? Did I miss something?

  120. I believe the claims of the death of newspapers are greatly exaggerated.

  121. Time – Early ’70s
    Place – Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
    Problem – Feral dogs and cats destroying the native fauna that lives there

    Time – Mid ’70s
    Place – Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
    Solution – Influx of Vietnamese refugees that trap, butcher and consume feral dogs and cats in park thus protecting the native fauna at no cost to taxpayers.

    I love true stories with happy endings.

  122. Lets try that again.

    Naga. Good stuff. Brings to mind the old adage: I don’t have to run fast, I just have to run faster than you.

  123. Who’s not being friendly to Africans?

    Or Asians…? Did I miss something?

    It is LurkerBold who is missing something…

    …between his ears.

    Dude, you are the worst left wing troll ever.

    You are even more brain dead than these free-market worshiping morons.

  124. Newspapers, hah! The only newspaper I need is the City Paper because it’s free and has the ads for thr tranny escort services, sweetcake.

    it also has the only good, complete list of concerts and it has decent reviews, plus it’s totally liberalled out in the most flamboyant way, which makes for entertainment.

    although some websites do it better, I love having a smutty rag in my hand to read.

    Poor Pirjo, he doesn’t really get it, and may never will.

  125. Well played, Phalkor.

    I thought Pirjo was a legitimate poster.

  126. Boy, the trolls are eatin’ good in this neighborhood!

    Their feeders?

    Paul
    Naga Sadow
    John C. Randolph
    Sean W. Malone
    and others

    Shame on all of you.

  127. Someday I expect to get an e-mail from one of the Hit & Run editors explaining to me that the only real Hit & Run commenters that ever existed were me and smacky. Everyone else was an impostor.

  128. .,

    Whateva bro. I’m sick lying on my couch. Entertainment is hard to come by as I don’t watch much TV.

    Pro Lib,

    You’re making me paranoid. Am I real? I dunno. What is real . . . .

    Paul,

    I have that scene bookmarked on my ipod. I love it. It has it all. Crocodile, buffalo, and lions in a bizarre three way battle. Teh AWESome!

  129. I’m starting to beleive that I’m a legitimate poster. Though I’m assembled from code and set to harass and entangle others on H&R for about 8 hours a day, I now believe I have become self-aware.

    Yes

    Today I even went through the trouble to find a real Finnish name and simulate Finnish grammatical errors. My programmers should be proud.

  130. Naga,

    I think I was influenced by my Urkobold posting today (about new TV shows coming out in 2009), which included a talk show hosted by a solipsist. It’s the fate of all of us who take skepticism too far.

    Or is it?

  131. phalkor,

    Damn you. You gave me scare for a moment there.

    “If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

  132. Everyone else was an impostor.

    Its a fair cop, guv. You see, I’m not really Robert Clayton Dean (that’s the name of a character in a movie, doncha know), so I guess that makes me an impostor.

    Of course, I’m willing to bet that “Pro Libertate” isn’t how you endorse your paychecks, either, so I guess that makes you an impostor, too.

  133. free-market worshiping

    Lefiti,

    It does not follow that because you worship Big Brother, that those of us who don’t must worship something else. The market isn’t something to worship, it’s something to use, like we use language.

    -jcr

  134. Knock it off, Pro Lib. Seriously, before I wig out and go into a catatonic state from which there is no return.

  135. R C Dean,

    I don’t believe in Texas, either. All I’ve ever seen is Houston and Dallas.

  136. R C Dean,

    Interstingly, when I worked at the Coliseum down here I wore nametags with different names. Roland, Serpico, Murdoch, Aramis, etc. I stopped doing it when someone in payroll created paychecks with their names.

  137. Someday I expect to get an e-mail from one of the Hit & Run editors explaining to me that the only real Hit & Run commenters that ever existed were me and smacky. Everyone else was an impostor.

    Don’t worry ProL, I got out of the black lodge eventually.

  138. you never see good in helping keep tradition working and alive.

    I’m all for tradition, as long as the people who practice them can do so without robbing others to fund whatever traditions they care about.

    Printing a newspaper is in the process of changing from a viable business to a museum hobby, like sailing clipper ships or driving conestoga wagons from Illinois to Utah.

    -jcr

  139. Relax, Naga. While you may not exist, you are a Sith lord, at least. That’s better than most people who are figments of my imagination.

  140. I just had a moment of enlightenment. dbcooper isn’t the hijacker, he’s the agent from Twin Peaks! Welcome! Have some damned good coffee.

  141. I’m told I once carried a greenskin warrior who hunted the purple buffalo across the land of Fantastica in order to find a human child and save the childlike empress.

    But I have no memory of that.
    Now there is…nothing.

  142. Pro Lib,

    Awesome 2009 lineup. Osama’s Hereos and Eliot Spitzers Whore Search were my favorites. The BattleStar Serenity sounds good but I fear it turning into some sort of Oprah like series.

    Oh and for the record, I wasnt real. Though through some sort of unholy triumvirate between you, Epi, and George Lucas I have filled some sort of void and become . . . real!

  143. Battlestar Serenity will always stay edgy–and sexy–so long as Moore and Whedon both stay on.

    My only concern with Eliot Spitzer’s Whore Search is that it’s airing on CBS. Then again, maybe we can just sell unedited DVDs after the first run. Hmmmmm.

  144. phalkor-
    You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, it’s crawling toward you. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?

  145. Naga-
    You’re reading a magazine. You come across a full-page nude photo of a guy.

  146. What do you mean, I’m not helping?

  147. A guy? Why would I be looking at a guy?

  148. Ah, the VK-Empathy Test. Coincidentally, I just tested Episiarch in another thread. He failed, of course.

    I think that tests whether you are a replicant or not, not whether you exist at all. Then again, what do I know?

  149. Wait! Is he a tall guy or a short guy?

  150. I remember that! They couldn’t have been implanted . . . I think.

  151. The newspapers have finally shed the old business model and realized that the most efficient way to make money is simply to ask the printers of the money for a few billion with no middleman.

  152. Paul
    Naga Sadow
    John C. Randolph
    Sean W. Malone
    and others

    Shame on all of you.

    Dude, they’re the muse for some of the best “A” material.

  153. Also, no journalist has been more instrumental in my fantasy baseball success than Nate Silver.

  154. What’s weird are all the comments from people who talk about how they’ve stopped reading newspapers, and now “get their news online.” They talk about how newspapers are a dying industry, because people now “get their news online.” They talk about how newspapers should just accept their fate, because everybody now “gets their news online.”

    The thing that’s weird about that is that when you “get your news online,” you’re STILL GETTING IT FROM A NEWSPAPER. I don’t understand why anybody is making a distinction between “newspapers” and “online.” All of these companies called “newspapers” are now web-first media organizations, reporting and writing for the web while happening to print some of the content on dead trees.

    Hell, even when you dare to submit yourself to, say, a TV organization’s website, you’re still ultimately getting your news from a newspaper, because it’s newspapers that generate a big majority of the stories in journalism and set the direction for news judgment.

    Everybody who talks about newspapers “needing to adapt” is totally missing the point: Newspapers HAVE adapted. Christ, everything they produce is on the web. These sites have been there for years. But nobody, anywhere, has figured out how to generate sustainable ad revenue on the Internet. Advertisers, for myriad reasons, simply do not value your eyeballs on a website the same way they value your eyeballs on a printed page.

    So when we talk about “newspapers dying,” we’re not simply talking about a bunch of newsprint and ink going away. We’re talking about the death of the entire business of NEWS as we currently know it. The only “adapting” that’s in play at this point is consumers adapting to no more massive, ubiquitous, well-staffed, full-time journalism. In any format.

    I don’t understand why so many people are celebrating that. What — just because those idiots down at the local rag are always doing blah-blah-blah and never doing enough bleh-bleh-bleh, etc.? I mean, what is it that y’all are expecting to happen, exactly? That the market is going to produce some new version of full-time journalism, conducted by some new group of people, who can somehow manage to magically rake in sustainable ad revenue that the current entity clearly cannot?

    I understand having a quick buzz of schadenfreude over newspapers’ plight. That’s natural. What I don’t understand is why anybody — especially here, where people are current-events hounds — would ultimately remain gleeful about the prospect of journalism’s death.

  155. Like this guy, Sean W. Malone, earlier in the thread, responding to the Finnish newspaper editor:

    Your medium is dying. Deal with it. The information you provide is still valuable to everyone, assuming your Finnish paper is a worthy news-source, but the way you present it is going out of style quick. I suggest you adapt.

    I don’t understand that. Presuming that this Finnish guy’s newspaper is like the other 99.9% of them out there, his “medium” is the web. And as far as I know, the web isn’t dying, as Sean suggests.

    I’m not sure what Sean wants Mr. Finland to do. Adapt… in what way? Mr. Finland’s paper is already online, already providing the “valuable information” that Sean says he still appreciates and wants. What else is it that Sean is suggesting Mr. Finland do, exactly?

    See, the thing is, this whole thing isn’t just a problem for newspapers. It’s a problem for all of us.

  156. The thing that’s weird about that is that when you “get your news online,” you’re STILL GETTING IT FROM A NEWSPAPER. I don’t understand why anybody is making a distinction between “newspapers” and “online.”

    You may need to read Welch’s article more carefully. It’s not the newspaper… it’s the model. You might want to follow the link Welch provided to Kinsleys article which really gets into the meat and potatoes of what newspapers… operative syllable “papers” are spending their money on, and what the rate of return is on the expenditure.

    The point here is that newspapers can make money. But not by printing papers…(or having editorial ‘boards’ etc.) it’s subtle, but it might take a second read.

  157. “We’re more worthy of a bailout than the jokers on Wall Street,” argued Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock on Dec. 20. “You can’t have a democracy without us. If newspapers are dying, so is our system of government.”

    Bwahahahahahahahahahaha. What a fucking joke. It is this kind of conceit that has led to the downfall of these fucking bozoes. Have they not heard of the internet?

  158. B,

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. The clicky thingie that gathers dust on my office desk that uses a series of tubes. Got it. Market failure son. It’s a bitch and we need a bailout.

  159. Everyone else was an impostor.

    Perhaps all of the unnamed but me.

  160. As I have argued elsewhere, if there is any bailout of newspapers — which I don’t support — it should come from those who most benefit from them: broadcasters. Television and radio, public and commercial, cable and network. Where would they be without the day’s NYT, for example? Lots of dead air. If every story cribbed (generated? inspired?) by the Times was credited, viewers and listeners (and bloggers) would have a much better idea of where the day’s news is coming from.

    The same is true, by the way, of the failing publishing industry: take away book-flogging interviews (here I assume some personal guilt/self interest), and more dead air. Some books seem to exist mainly as an entre to broadcast exposure.

    What would bloggers and other karaoke journalists/pundits write about without the newspaper journalism that forms the base of the information food chain? HuffPost would collapse like a bad souffle.

    Under capitalism and the market economy, a thing’s value is determined by what people are willing to pay for it. Thus the value of much of the noise in the blogosphere (including HuffPost), not to mention a spectrum of opinion magazines that operate in the red, print or online.

    Part of the reason newspapers are failing is the media environment — our stars — and a greater part — ourselves. But there is undeniably a disengagement on the part of many former newspaper readers. When you live in a superpower, why should you care about anything beside yourself? A brew, a bong, a flat screen TV and a good Internet connection should suffice. Work for $11 an hour until you die. Oh, unless the economy collapses first.

    True, the same morons (and trust fund babies) who argued that the LA Times could reverse its circulation slide by becoming more conservative have raised that suggestion on the East Coast. If that were true, however, the circulation numbers of the Washington Post and Washington Times would be reversed. Newspaper on paper are on the way out.

    As for the jobs waiting for out-of-work journalists? If there are more than four dozen out there, I’d be surprised. All those slots teaching journalism won’t last too long when university bean counters decide there is little future in training students for jobs that won’t exist, or won’t pay a living wage or health benefits.

    Personally, as an old lefty, I’m willing to take my chances with books and the marketplace — no sales, no royalties. That’s the way I got started as a newspaper free lance and stringer, 10 cents a word published.
    Mark Pinsky

  161. Tom: good points. If I were a newspaper, I’d investigate setting up a micropayments system to support online news sources (and other websites). The problem is that very few people will subscribe to a news site, but current systems (credit cards or PayPal) make paying for anything on the web is too expensive or complicated for anything like an article.

    But what if reading an article cost (say) one cent, and that cent was automatically added to your ISP bill? Set the figure low enough that nobody could reasonably object. Assuming the security problems could be solved (e.g. some scammer opening popups that get charged to your account), this could give newspapers a real revenue stream outside of advertising.

  162. Newspapers need to be more aggressive in marketing the multiple functionality of their product. They could get some help from Mad Magazine which has advertised that their publication is “suitable for wrapping fish”.

  163. But what if reading an article cost (say) one cent, and that cent was automatically added to your ISP bill? Set the figure low enough that nobody could reasonably object. Assuming the security problems could be solved (e.g. some scammer opening popups that get charged to your account), this could give newspapers a real revenue stream outside of advertising.

    Look up Esther Dyson and micro-money. Microsoft took a stab at this with their “Passport” thingy and fell flat on its face. The software goo that holds this together is not yet ready, but I suspect it will be. Even though it flopped at first I still think the micro-money concept is way cool.

  164. As for the jobs waiting for out-of-work journalists? If there are more than four dozen out there, I’d be surprised. All those slots teaching journalism won’t last too long when university bean counters decide there is little future in training students for jobs that won’t exist, or won’t pay a living wage or health benefits.

    I read an article the other the day that said 1) J-school enrollment is just as high as ever, and 2) the job market for J-school grads was just as robust as ever when last measured.

    Out-of-work journalists also have a pretty easy entree into public relations & such.

  165. How odd… My post disappeared, except “Tom…”

    Gah… Oh well, all I was going to say was, I want Mr. Finland to adapt to the changing environment, if he has, great – it didn’t seem like it based on his pro-dead tree comments.

    I’m anti-dead tree. As for your points about advertisers not valuing the online medium as much as printed paper… well, all I really have to say is, good thing posting articles online doesn’t come with the massive overhead costs associated with printing presses, paper, drivers, buildings/real-estate, mechanics and ink and that reduction in ad support comes with a gigantic improvement in efficiency.

  166. A friend of mine who’s a journalist actually suggested the bailout thing; I thought he was joking. How on earth can the press stay independent if it’s being paid for by Uncle Sam?

    The problem, as I see it, though, is less about print vs. digital than it is about the changing nature of what people want to read. Financial news will always be around because people make their living by it. Bloomberg isn’t going anywhere. Opinion and culture pieces are cheap to produce and appealing to read, and blogs can do as well as newspapers, so that’s where I can see the merit of the “let ’em die” argument.

    But news — actual, factual news — is costly to produce. If you want someone to sit in City Hall meetings, you have to pay him. Still more, if you want someone to report on Iraq or Afghanistan or Gaza, you have to pay him and protect him. People can’t do difficult reporting for free in their pajamas. What I see in newspapers is that they cut their foreign boards and most smaller papers get everything from the AP. And (especially in my poor destroyed home paper, the Chicago Tribune) the emphasis has just shifted from capital-N News (wars, Congress, foreign affairs) to human interest and fluff pieces.

    Yes, Reason is more efficient than the Times’ editorial board. But both subsist off news reporting. And in the dark corners of my heart, I worry that the paying public just doesn’t want that much hard reporting, and soon we won’t know what we don’t know.

    Not that I think subsidies are the answer. Feh. I don’t know what the answer is. But it’s dangerous at a civic level to have newspapers that contain ever less actual news. Any ideas?

  167. Sorry for the double post — I just read back over Mr. Pinsky’s comment, and I absolutely agree. There is a degree of disengagement.

    “What?” I can hear folks saying. “But I read more news than anybody else!” No, you read more opinion than anybody else. Maybe you spend all day on the Huffington Post and DailyKos with occasional trips into Slate. It’s easy to read opinions, particularly ones that echo your own. When was the last time you read a news article that you had to read twice to understand? When was the last time an article woke you up to the fact that you don’t know much about Brunei, say, or the Canadian government?

    The broader question here, I guess, is what’s the libertarian response to being disappointed in the low standards of the public? Folks on the left and right generally say: improve the public! But I tend to have practical and ethical objections to that. So what do we do?

  168. What a laugh. So called “journalists” whine about the decline of newspapers, when they are the ones killing it. They say we can’t have a democratic government without them…WHEN THEIR NAKED POLITICAL BIASES ARE WHAT’S TURNING PEOPLE OFF.

    I’m old enough to remember a time when objectivity was the gold ethical standard. Now it’s all about twisting, omitting, and shaping context to fulfill a liberal ideologies. THAT’S NOT NEWS, THAT’S BRAINWASHING PROPOGANDA UNDER THE DISGUISE OF NEWS.

    NO THANKS NEW YORK TIMES, I HOPE YOU GO BANKRUPT, AND ALL YOUR “REPORTERS” BECOME GRANT PROPOSAL GHOST WRITERS

  169. But news — actual, factual news — is costly to produce.

    Yup, its the killer app for newspapers.

    And the one that the idiots running newspapers have given the lowest priority to. Instead, they headline opinion and entertainment, and expand those sections, etc., when that is the part of their business that they cannot compete with the web for.

  170. I don’t think the micro-payments will ever fly now, given the cemented zen of web content: everything for nothing. Earlier on, with Justice Department approval, a deal might have been worked out by newspapers with Google, Yahoo or MSN, when they still had deep pockets, for exclusive aggregation, coupled with some form of micro-compensation.

    Still, that would also have required a restructuring of AP — cutting off the sharing of local coverage (to maintain product exclusivity), shifting to just national and international coverage and perhaps one or two staffers in state capitals.

    The larger issue I have with most bloggers is that they talk so tough and scathingly — so much ambient bile and, I have to say, ignorance — yet they are afraid to put their real names on what they write. That’s the first thing journalists do — accept responsibility and take their licks. Otherwise, it’s just scribbling on the bathroom stall for a somewhat larger audience.

    As for those gleefully dancing on the grave of the newspaper business, have fun. The economic Reaper may shortly be calling on you. If you aren’t a doctor, teacher or cop, why should you expect to be paid for what you do?

    Mark Pinsky

  171. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is on the verge of closing forever unless a buyer is found or a bailout is profered.

    The good people of Seattle will be deprived of the humor and social commentary provided by Zippy the Pinhead.

    Sometimes death is good. Circle of life, don’tcha know?

  172. The last place that newspapers should be looking for a bailout is D.C. Rather, they should be turning to sites like Google, which draw so much of their strength from the quality of the content they get to index on other sites. If newspapers go away, so do most of the top content-creators in the search sphere.

    So why not appeal to Google for a bailout — but not in the form of cash money. Rather, ask ’em for a lil help in the development of a decent content management system to replace all their antiquated, costly systems like Saxotech. Just a thought:

    http://blogs.courierpostonline.com/mojodojo/2009/01/09/google-ceo-on-newspapers-the-good-news-is-we-could-purchase-them/

  173. hey say we can’t have a democratic government without them…WHEN THEIR NAKED POLITICAL BIASES ARE WHAT’S TURNING PEOPLE OFF.

    I’m not turned off by their bias, I’m turned off by their pretense at objectivity. Over in Europe, it’s very clear where each publication is coming from, and they don’t try to hide it. That used to be the case in the USA, too. Every political movement would have its own newspaper.

    -jcr

  174. What is the f–k is reason magazine?

  175. Good point, what the f–k is reason magazine? Do people pay for it? Is that how they pay your salary, Matt? How much longer are you going to be around?…and why should we care?

  176. Reason could go all-digital – and, from my perspective, is handling the societal change extremely well by already posting their entire magazine online as well as providing video content and other multimedia applications – and they’d be just fine when the time comes.

    Yes, Reason also circulates a printed edition, so?

    Again, news content still needs to be provided, so I think Matt’s going to be safe.

  177. As someone with a rotten local newspaper, I can tell you a newspaper can ruin a town, then complain that no one buys it. Why read endorsements of incompetent politicians or wasteful tax increases? Once given an alternative, people quit reading newspapers.

  178. What’s black and white and red all over? Why, the New York Slimes, of course! Also the Washington Compost, the San Francisco Chronic Fail, and the Seattle Post-Intelligent, not to mention U.S. Too Gay.

    Ha ha ha ha! How’s it feel to suck your own blood, you Communazi parasites? Bleed, you treasonous lefturd faggots! Bleed!

  179. I subscribe to papers that are free on the Web because you’re supposed to subscribe to good stuff so that it can continue.

    Hell, didn’t I just get a pleading letter in the mail about how I ought to donate to Reason Foundation because it’s championing the right ideas at a critical juncture in our nation’s realization that “free markets”, well… aren’t?

    And what’s this at the bottom of the column:

    “Help Reason celebrate its next 40 years. Donate Now!”

    And why is a donation to your magazine a tax writeoff? How’d you get that worked out?

    Throw away your crutches Welch!

  180. So the newspaper business will have to choose:

    A) Adapt to reality;

    B) Ignore reality and go out of business – for good;

    C) Ask for a government bailout;

    D) Hope for one of those Festivus Miracles.

    By the looks of things, some will not only choose Alternative C), but resolutely go for D).

  181. So, Matt seems to think newspapers owe the world free content, but comes up with no logical solution for how to fund the work that would go into it. Yup, he’s a libertarian for sure.

  182. Hey, Hal-900, who is going to provide the content? Some geek sitting in his underwear in the basement spouting off about the city council? If the local newspaper isn’t there providing the original reporting on the city council, the local blog slob won’t have anything to rage about. Or maybe you think all these people will rush out of their homes to report on local issues for free, cutting into their TV-watching time. Yes, of course, that is the answer! Because if fully funded newspapers corporations can’t afford to give away content for free onlline, some local yokel is going to figure out how to make money on it. Think before you type!

  183. Why does no one (Doug for example) seem to understand that “REPORTERS” will still be around and necessary, but the medium they use to distribute their information needs to change??

    The local blog slob will have all kinds of stuff to rage about (he’s probably already getting 90% of his information online anyway as it is… so how does that change?). Yet, here we are going over and over all this nonsense.

    Part of the reason newspapers can’t afford to give content away for free online is because their business models come complete with gigantic overhead costs – including printing, materials, distribution, machinery, laborers, and buildings… blah blah. I’m pretty sure you could have ad-supported news that would cover people’s salaries when that’s the standard means of communication.

    Also……. the Sony Reader sucks my ass. It’s black and white, has no other functions and basically does nothing but read their proprietary eBook files and maybe PDFs. I used to travel for a living and seriously contemplated getting one to replace books………. but… uh… no.

  184. Journalists make six figure salaries? Uh, which ones? I’ve yet to encounter one of these guys. I even know some Washington Post reporters that make around $50k.

  185. Right underneath your story is this:

    Help Reason celebrate its next 40 years. Donate Now!

    You mean, people should get their newspaper news for free, but they should pay to read your scribblings?

    Must … be …. consistent

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