When I was in high school, my younger sister and my mom started doing a paper route. This involved some horrible hours (about 3:30 a.m.) and a lot of riding in the back seat, folding papers as fast as you could, so they could be tossed out the window on to the driveways. I went a few times and I got horribly carsick and threw up in the gutter. Needless to say, I don’t necessarily love the smell of newsprint. (Also, throwing up in the gutter is a pretty good way to make sure you don’t often get asked to deliver newspapers in the middle of the night).
We did, however, enjoy reading the comics every day and I often read the op-eds and letters to the editors in the bathroom while I curled my hair and brushed my teeth.
When I went to college, I was involved in starting up a student organization called “Current Events Student Association.” Somehow, our president wrangled a deal with the New York Times that allowed us get about 200 copies of the Times every day for the school year and then we would deliver them around campus for student consumption. For this, they paid us several hundred dollars a semester (I’m still not quite sure how this all worked out).
I started reading the NYT pretty consistently and I especially fell in love with the op-eds and the editorial page.
Unfortunately, once I left BYU, I didn’t have access to those anymore because the NYT kept the editorial section and comments under tight reign – the dread “TIMES SELECT.” Invariably, I would see a little teaser for an article that interested me and when I’d click on it, a notice would come up telling me that it was “Times Select readers only!” and “Please subscribe for only three million dollars a year” (this second bit may be slightly exaggerated). Regardless, I mourned the loss of my daily Op-Eds.
Then, a few weeks ago, Times Select was discontinued. The New York Times is once again for the common man (assuming the common man has an Internet connection). I now subscribe to the Op-Ed columns for FREE and the two new articles show up every day in my Google Reader. And I do a little victory dance (for somehow, I’ve convinced myself that is was my personal unhappiness that made the NYT change it to free)
I love the NYT Op-Eds. You should too. Read them and rejoice at the brilliance of Thomas Friedman and David Brooks.