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September 25, 2005

We Want Krugman Back. We Need Him

By Rob Kall

NY Times New Pay-To-Read Policy Betrays Democrats and Progressives by cutting off access to Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, Bob Herbert and Maureen Dowd


If you hadn’t noticed, the NY Times has implemented a new policy that charges for access to op-ed articles by their top columnists. This is not unique. There are news websites in the UK that do the same thing, and the Wall Street Journal also does it.

But there is more at stake here than just a financial decision to start profiting from columnists, or to start pushing for subscriptions that provide access to columnists.

Paul Krugman is one of the most visible, most influential progressive columnists in the US. His words inform and also rally progressive and moderate democrats, greens, and others to the left of right wing extremism, and probably some republicans who actually believe in responsible fiscal and economic conservatism.

The new policy charges $7.95 a month or $49.95 a year—not a fortune, but more than a lot of people can pay or will pay, since the world of the web is a world where info is usually free, unless, as business week observed in an article titled, http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_39/b3952034.htm”>is Paul Krugman Worth $49.95?

It has proven next to impossible to get online users to pay for something that's not hard business data (which promises to make them money or keep them from losing it) or that doesn't play into fanatical tribal identification. While the Times' Maureen Dowd is a darling of her ideological set, political loyalties have not yet translated into the face-painting extremes of sports.

That’s right Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich, Bob Herbert… stalwarts in the tiny front lines of the real progressive media—people who do not drink the right wing echo chamber kool aid. They are now, all, blocked off from the free access millions of readers across the nation have depended upon. Here in Doylestown PA we have a daily paper that is loaded with right wing syndicated writing. There are tends of thousands of towns like mine,where people don’t get access to the perspective Krugman, Dowd, Rich and Herbert bring to current events. For those people—blues in red towns, the New York times is a political floodlight in otherwise dark places.

There are a few ways to handle this.
1) You can contact the New York times and complain. You can tell them you’ll stop buying their print edition at the newsstand.
2) Write to your local daily paper and ask them to carry the syndicated columns of the writers you like the best. This would be great, because not only you, but other people in your area will gain access to their writings.
3) Seek out other websites that reprint Krugman’s articles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like, since the Times betrayed the democratic party and the left.

This move by the times really is a betrayal. The right wing routinely refers to the Times as a key part of the left’s miniscule “liberal media.” Pulling the strongest voices is a downright stab in the back— a crass financial move that makes it clear that even the New York Times, the paper most vilified by the right as a liberal publication, is not.

Tell your local paper to start carrying your favorite NY Times columnist.

Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

Follow Rob on Twitter & Facebook. His quotes are here

Rob's articles express his personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.

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