The L.A. Times descends into civil war!

A mostly political Weblog.
March 25 2007 3:44 AM

The LAT Descends Into Civil War!

Why the best thing it could do is disappear.

(Continued from Page 7)

Bed, Bath  & Beyond TimesSelect: Due Torre thinks TimesSelect's new "students and teachers" promotion--in which everyone with a ".edu" email address gets those premium pay-to-read New York Times articles for free--is a bigger hole in the TimesSelect dike than the paper lets on. ... Let Mike D at Due Torre explain why. (Key player: alumni associations!) ... P.S.: But is this giant loophole really unintentional? I'm not sure the Times really minds if every college graduate in the world gets TimesSelect without paying (though that's kind of a reverse Robin Hood marketing strategy). For one thing, it will make Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd happy. (They get a bigger audience.)  For another, it gives the paper a graceful way to effectively abandon its whole ill-conceived pay-for-opinions plan while maintaining it as a formal fiction--just as Bed, Bath & Beyond maintains the fiction that you only get 20% off if you have a coupon (even as it distributes coupons so freely that basically everyone has four or five lying on the floor of their car). ... Update: Ad Age follows up--

But the Times said it doesn't believe most alumni will cheat. "It's an honor system," said Vivian Schiller, senior VP-general manager, NYTimes.com. "And we're assuming that the alumni of this nation's colleges and universities have a thorough enough education in ethics to keep them honest.  [E.A.]

Web. Free content. Ethics. Funny! ...12:48 P.M. link

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bloggers: Forget your TTLB rank. Are you on the James Bennet 40? ... 12:11 P.M.

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The  historic crossroads in history: Steve Clemons, who may be the only person who thinks Sen. Chuck Hagel had a good day yesterday, says Hagel now "may be less loyal to scripted party direction."  I didn't realize that was possible. ... Seriously, it makes perfect sense for Hagel to postpone his decision until later in the year. Like "E-mailer X,"  I'm convinced a successful late entry is possible. All the Russertesque pundit-talk about the need to raise millions ignores the emerging reality, which is that a late entrant only really needs to win Iowa and New Hampshire--then he or she will be able to sweep all the states that hold early primaries, Hart-84 style. But if you're going to postpone your decision to run you don't need to summon reporters to Omaha to do it. The whole incident reeks of some back-story explanation. He can't really be this much of a flake. ... P.S.: And if you're going to run as an independent, Unity '08 candidate, do you have your aides tell the NYT that you have "no intention" of doing it? ... P.P.S. As Influence Peddler notes, the non-announcenent speech was weak. Hagel fan Peggy Noonan wouldn't write an opening like "America stands at an historic crossroads in its history." ... Update: Emailer D.B. notes an eerie similarity to Woody Allen's "Speech to the Graduates". ...  2:03 A.M. link

Monday, March 12, 2007

Do we really need to toggle between Daylight and Standard time? Here's a sociological argument--validated by casual empiricism!--that keeping Daylight Savings Time year round would cut traffic  (and save a lot of the energy cars now spend idling during rush hour jam-ups). ... It's all about separating the Sun People from the Clock People. ... Update: Mounting  empirical support! ... BoiFromTroy reports rush hour has eased at the Precor machines at his gym! ... [But  the public rebelled when Congress started DST in January and February during the mid-70s energy crisis.--ed Clock people don't like it when they have to get up and go to work in the dark. But there are fewer clock people, and more people with flexible work hours (including the self-employed) than there used to be. People with flexible work hours can get up later with the sun--easing the morning crush. What didn't work in 1975 might work now.] ...8:58 P.M.

Radar shouldn't be embarrassed at its "unimaginative" editorial meeting (accidentally recorded and published on Page Six)--a point ETP's Rachel Sklar beat me to.  Good ideas come from bad ideas. Just like blogging! ... According to Page Six, Radar editor Maer Roshan runs meetings where "'[p]eople just blurt stuff out.'" Those are the best kind, no?  ... 8:10 P.M.

Don't Stop Now! Where's "Faggot-Guy"?  ...  It seems like only last week that Andrew Sullivan was calling me "faggot-guy" at every available opportunity. ("[F]rom now on ... on those few occasions when his name comes up, he will have a new appellation on this blog. ... How does it feel, Faggot-Guy?") He was sending me passionate emails. But today, nothing! Sullivan's brilliant running conceit has simply disappeared. ... Did he lose heart? Has he come un-unhinged? Did his new boss, David Bradley, decide that running around calling people "faggot-guy" might not be in the highest tradition of the venerable Atlantic? ... Update: The Cycle of Excitability is nearing its all-too-predictable end. He's back to calling me "Kaus."   He'll be sucking up again soon! [Don't think so--ed. It's his Darwinian  default mode.] ...    5:17 P.M. link

Is Neoliberalism dying--or only The New Republic? Just because Marty Peretz had to sell the New Republic  after its hectoring support for the Iraq War turned off its readership,** do they have to cooperate in presenting their marketing-move to the left as the "death of neoliberalism"? ...

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