Liberal cocooning at the NY Times
While everyone's been blasting bloggers for contributing to the "cocooning" phenomenon--i.e., readers gravitating toward those sites that tell them what they want to hear--the New York Times seems to have developed a Web strategy that counts on cocooning, according to Jon Friedman. Who else but reinforcement-craving Democrats would pay $49.95 a year to read Paul Krugman? ... The Times, of course, is supposed to be the un-Balkanized, common-ground information outlet, so its shift toward a caterpillar strategy should be the cause of much more respectable hand-wringing than, say, the emergence of ideologically targeted sites like Lucianne.com and RealClearPolitics ... Also, Lucianne and RCP actually do a much better job of forcing their readers to confront what they don't want to see than the Times does. ..One reason why people will not pay is that many of the op-ed writers are syndicated. Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd run in the Houston Chronicle on the same day they run in the Times. The Chron used to run Krugman, too, but he did not have much of an audience in the Houston area. My feeling is that if anyone says anything significant or worth knowing on these pages, it will not take long to find it somewhere on the web.