The lucrative business move the NYT is missing.

The lucrative business move the NYT is missing.

The lucrative business move the NYT is missing.

A mostly political Weblog.
Sept. 19 2005 9:37 PM

The NYT's Premium Discontent

The paper misses its killer Web play.

Instapundit's Katrina Relief donation list. 

Not Ready for TimesSelect? Alert kf emailer G.L. neatly summarizes the NYT's dilemma:

"Do we read the times op-ed page and argue with it because it's that good, or because we know that the NYT website gets 29 million readers a month (which few free sites do) and we want to comment on ideas that "most people are reading"?

I think it's the latter. If they make people pay, that could change!

For example: like reading a lefty-liberal-economist? Can't pay for Krugman? Try ... Brad De Long!

P.S.:  So what's next, Ms. Dowd? Will you be touring to support your new video? They've made all the NYT columnists make little videos describing "the issues that shape [their] perspective." What humiliation will they think of next? As of this writing, there's only one conspicuous holdout. ... Update: Yesterday's "TimesSelect" op-ed columns are already available for free. ... 12:16 A.M. link

More than halfway (18 minutes) and a whole lot 'o storytellin' into the increasingly self-parodic Katrina-obsessed NBC Nightly News before they get around to the "extraordinary turning point" in the North Korea nuke talks. Pathetic and bathetic! ... 7:01 P.M.

kf Looks for Heretics: Slate blogger and Clinton-administration hero Bruce Reed writes:

After 9/11, the Bush White House rushed to restore politics as usual by making patriotism a partisan advantage in the midterm election. This time, Republicans were quick to point fingers at Democratic leaders in New Orleans and Louisiana. The administration has already used the crisis to advance the conservative wish list on Davis-Bacon and is reportedly considering turning the Gulf region into a laboratory for school vouchers and other right-wing hobby horses. [Emph. added]

Isn't abolishing the notorious Davis-Bacon Act on Reed's wish list too? This obscure law, which essentially requires that all government construction projects pay "prevailing"--i.e. union--wages, offers the ur-case of a policy that benefits a powerful Democratic special interest (the Building & Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO) while undermining the general interest in affirmative government the Democratic party is supposed to be pursuing (by making virtually everything the government does--including building low-cost housing--unnecessarily expensive). Eliminating Davis-Bacon's regulations would a) remove one of the right's major, valid complaints against government action; b) cut the size of the Federal Register roughly in half; and c) allow the sort of lower-wage WPA-style public works jobs program that might actually help thousands of poor, unskilled workers in the Gulf states as opposed to a relative few better-paid unionists. ...

In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt broke an AFL strike over "prevailing wages" in order to save the actual WPA. (Was FDR a loyal Democrat by DailyKos standards?) In the 1970s, when neoliberalism meant something, opposition to Davis-Bacon was a litmus test of whether a politician understood the difference between interest-group liberalism and reform liberalism. The Washington Monthly, in particular, pushed for its elimination. (You can buy a critique by TWM-alum Gregg Easterbrook critique here.)  Now the Washington Monthly is  defending Davis Bacon  against Bush, and leading "New Democrat" Reed uses it for some opportunistic anti-GOP sniping. It's come to that! ... P.S.: The Monthly's Kevin Drum may actually believe Davis-Bacon is a pillar of justice, but Reed--who, if I remember, fought hard in the Clinton years to prevent Davis-Bacon regs from effectively squashing welfare-to-work public jobs programs--knows better. ... Who needs Reed's Democratic Leadership Council if its leaders are going to go to bat for this Old Democrat, special-interest, anti-government law? ... 5:47 P.M. link