Synergy of the Damned (Apple and the NY Times)

This item from Server Side:

NYmag says that the NYTimes is set to start charging for its online content in the next few weeks. Supporting some of my speculation is this bit: "Apple's tablet computer is rumored to launch on January 27, and sources speculate that Sulzberger will strike a content partnership for the new device, which could dovetail with the paid strategy."

So we go from "free on the internet" on a general purpose computer (except its not "free" because the Times has always had a sign-up requirement and its pages are chockablock with ads and "rich media" sales tools, aka intrusive popups) to pay-as-you-go on some obnoxious Kindle-like tablet manufactured by Apple and probably DRM'ed out the wazoo. Couldn't happen to two better companies.

I subscribe to Salon but will probably pass on the Times because it isn't trustworthy (Judith Miller's fictional "weapons of mass destruction" reporting, the paper's general cheerleading for the Iraq and other elective wars, or, for a more up-to-the-minute example, yesterday's poorly fact-checked article on tech company IPOs, and on and on). Didn't subscribe to their columnists when they tried the experiment of putting them behind a for-pay firewall: getting weaned off Maureen Dowd was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

This is a classic Thomas Friedman quote, from that New York magazine article:

Friedman recently told me by phone. "What was coming to me anecdotally from my travels was the five worst words that as a columnist you ever want to hear: 'I used to read you before you went behind the wall.'"

Uh, Tom, that's eleven words. A reader's subscription dollars would be better spent on an honest non-fool such as Salon's Glenn Greenwald.