Why Buy the Cow?

The New York Times is reversing the decision it made two years ago to put some of its internet content, including all of its opinion columnists, behind its TimesSelect subscription firewall. Most people didn't think that was worth the $50 per year, and just stopped reading the Times' columnists. There's plenty of other internet opinion out there, and why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free elsewhere?

Frankly, most conservatives appreciated it when the Times put their writers behind the cordon sanitaire, which had a reverse megaphone effect in terms of the influence those columnists had on the national political discourse. If a New York Times columnist posts a column in a forest and there's nobody there to read it, does it make a difference?

But now it's two years later, and like the Berlin Wall, the TimesSelect wall has fallen. The haggard inkstained wretches are staggering across the shattered bricks and concrete, waving sheaves of (free) paper at us. Look, isn't that Maureen Whats-her-name? And Frank Whoozis? And David Whatchamacallit? Yeah, I kinda remember them. I've hardly heard a peep from them in two years, and then it was only if a column popped up in the Deseret News or some other influential newspaper like that. The silence has been nice.

Oh, well, I guess they can tell us what the O.J. arrest means for the Democrats in 2008. Joy.