Dear New York Times reader,
Hi, it’s me, Arthur, again.
After reading the first FAQ message we sent explaining our new Digital Subscriptions and Premium Products policies, a lot of you responded, “Wha?”
That’s terrific. No, really. Because we appreciate all the confusion, doubt and hostility you’ve expressed. We’re continuing to test options in India. We’re learning from that, we’re fixing problems and everything is good again. Very good.
So here it comes: our big, shiny, new and improved FAQ. I think you’re gonna love it. I know I do. Take care. No worries.
Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
President, Publisher, and Really Nice Guy Who Is Sympathetic to Your Needs and Concerns, and Absolutely Not A Wildly Overpaid Corporate Drone Who’s Beginning to Panic Because He’s In Over His Head
1. I subscribe to The New York Times but a lot of days it doesn’t come. Can you do something about this? It’s very annoying. I hate missing Ross Douthat. And Mittens has nothing to tinkly-poo on.
That is not a question pertinent to this particular forum. You should go to NYTimes.com and click on FAQ: Getting Rid of Drunk or Incompetent Home Delivery Guys.
2. I do not subscribe to the Times, but I like to read it on the Internet for free. Now I can only read 20 articles a month. Or pay. Why must I pay for something I’ve been getting for free?
Because the superior quality journalism you get from The New York Times costs a pile of dough, you parasitic slacker. Who do you think we are—NPR? Thomas Friedman’s expense account alone is bigger than NPR’s annual budget.
3. But I want to read more than 20 articles a month! I want to read hundreds of articles a month! Though not necessarily all the way through. A lot of them are much too long. I want to look at pictures, too. And do crossword puzzles, though I can’t always finish them. The blogs I can live without.
You know the decent and honest thing to do? Subscribe to home delivery and get The New York Times brought directly to your doorstep every day, rain or shine, by highly dependable, nonalcoholic newspaper boys on superior quality bicycles. As an alternative, of course, you may avail yourself of our new Digital Subscription and Premium Products Plan, but it’s so complex you may not wish to go on living after you read the instructions. (Click here for our assisted suicide app.)
4. Why are you still testing your new plan in India?
We tested it in Canada, but only three people signed up. So we switched to India, which has a much larger population and where, our research shows, we’re particularly loved by hundreds of millions of Untouchables. (Click here for instructions if you are an Untouchable.)
5. How do I get me one a them there Digitalic Submersion things?
That’s Digital Subscription and Premium Products Plan.
6. That’s what I said.
To make things simple, we’ve designated our three options Option 1, Option 2 and Option 4. These options are as follows:
Option 1: Unlimited access to NYTimes.com from any digital device, excluding Macintosh computers, BlackBerries and Kindles, and to subscribers living in certain parts of Nebraska (Click here if you live in certain parts of Nebraska.) ($4.73 a week billed every four weeks at $26 a week plus shipping.)
Option 2: Unlimited access to NYTimes.com from iPhone, Android-powered phones, Princess phones, Maytag washing machines, plus Times Reader 2.0 and the NYTimes App for the Chrome Web Store, whatever that is. ($8.75 a week billed as $469.12 a year or as 260 zlotys per hour for residents of Lithuania and Burkina Faso.)
Option 4: Unlimited access to NYTimes.com from Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo Reader, McGuffey’s Reader, Reader’s Digest, breeder reactors, most microwave ovens and battery-powered flashlights, plus all smartphone and tablet apps plus David Pogue’s personal cell phone number so that subscribers can text him any time of night or day and receive answers to tech questions. ($135 a week billed as $135 a week.)
Note: NYTimes apps are not supported on all devices. NYTimes apps do not work at all if you have ever voted for a Republican. Additional restrictions apply, though not always. No parking between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., except Sundays. NYTimes.com is not responsible for wallets, purses or other property stolen while you are walking obliviously along the street, reading NYTimes.com on any of your digital devices. (Click here if you are feeling faint or nauseous or are in need of medical attention right now.)
11. I was thinking of signing up for one of your plans, but my 9-year-old daughter informs me I can get around the whole paywall thing by …
Please do not use the vulgar and demeaning term “paywall.” This is a Digital Subscription and Premium Products Plan, got that?
12. Whatever. Anyway, my daughter says I can get around the Digital Subscription and Premium Products Plan by just finding all your best stuff on Twitter or aggregator sites like HuffPo or Drudge and reading it for free. Is she right?
No! Your daughter is a liar. Tell her to shut up. There is no truth whatever to this vicious rumor, which our competitors are spreading to sabotage us. If you should attempt to read NYTimes.com that way, our tech people will detect it and we’ll sue you, you bastard, and your spoiled daughter, too. But it’s stupid to even try because it can’t be done!
(Click here to go back to top and read this all over again, which we recommend.)
BY LEWIS GROSSBERGER FOR