So I hear that the New York Times may start charging readers (via Just One Minute comment). The standard objection is that when the NY Times tried doing that with their “premium” columnists, people just stopped reading. But what if that’s the plan? Perhaps the NY Times sees its biggest problem as the erosion of its brand name as the pajama clad radicals repeatedly link to its egregious failures. But what if they couldn’t do that because the targets were behind a subscription wall populated primarily by fellow travelers? The newspaper is already mostly a comfort read, a means for people to justify their pre-existing viewpoints, not a source of actual news. So why not embrace that?