Hail to the thief. Long live the chain. I’m comfortably numb.


In conjunction this week with numerous other CNHI chain newspapers, the News and Tribune erected an on-line metered paywall. You’ll even have to pay to read the explanation of why you have to pay, except that I already reprinted it.

To summarize conclusions gleaned from recent Twitter exchanges, the cost for electronic access is $10 per month, compared with $15 to receive newsprint according to the US Postal Service’s delivery schedule. The “Front Page” it ain’t.

Finally the most recent temporary publisher Bill “Sales, Not Content” Hanson has conceded that your monthly tithe will not buy a reprieve from the intrusive roll-over videos and pop-up/over/under, buzzing-gnat-like advertisements that justifiably render the newspaper’s on-line interface a local laughingstock. For this reason, I’m in no mood to subscribe. I’m okay with the price, just not paying it to be insulted by a chain.

Last night at Twitter, Jeffersonville-based managing editor Shea Van Hoy reinforced Hanson’s earlier insistence that working together, they produce an “excellent community newspaper,” by cautioning me not to peek around the paywall.

I would ask, Roger, that you not post entire N&T articles to your blog, as you did w/council story. I’m fine if you want to post a link, as you have in the past. Otherwise, it’s theft.

In short:

Roger, there’ll be none of that. I’ve no intention during this life or any other to follow of once acknowledging that time in 2011 when I screwed you over about your column after you did me a favor, but if you would, please resume directing traffic toward our paywalled website, as NAC has done for nine years running with scant thanks from us — but anything else is mere thievery, to be quelled by sending the Community Newspaper Gendarmes to your back door … of course, as soon as we fly them up on coach from Alabama, to which a sizeable portion of the $120 yearly cost will be going to Dixiecrat pensioners, anyway, even as we continue to insist that somehow, in some convoluted and wholly imaginary way with fingers crossed behind our backs, we’re not a chain.

Shrug. Yawn. Somewhere, a dog fertilizes a bush.

This topic effectively has jumped the shark, along with Doug England’s future in politics and the notion that this city by sanity’s edge actually possesses a downtown economic development strategy. With the periodic exception of lifers past the point of mobility, chain outlets typically are staffed by folks eventually moving elsewhere, to other chains, and so it will be with this one, too. Maybe the next batch will be better. Maybe not. Whatever. In the final analysis, it just isn’t worth giving a tinker’s damn one way or another.

As we await Trib Daniel’s inevitable rejoinders — touchingly, he is the newspaper’s Jim Fowler, wrestling diabetic hippos in the oozing swamp as his upper management emulates Marlon Perkins, sipping chilled daiquiris in the hovering executive copter — permit me to note that I’m happy to comply with Van Hoy’s warning.

Henceforth, I’ll offer only rough paraphrasings of whatever I read at the ‘Bune and ‘Bamagator … however I manage to read it, and as seldom as possible. After all, I’m far less a thief than a spy in the house of bile.