Let me know if you can read these two good Dionne pieces

OK, I’m going to conduct an experiment here. Please help me out.

The last couple of weeks, E.J. Dionne has had two really excellent columns. There’s nothing unusual about that. But there’s something new — or something that I hadn’t previously noticed — about them. Here’s the first:

Did you see that at the end of the tweet — “my column free access?” I’m asking y’all to try to link and read the column, and let me know if you’re able to do so without being a subscriber. Then, leave your thoughts on the column.

I loved the piece, because E.J. is getting to the heart of my great appreciation of Joe Biden. Because I am both liberal and conservative myself, I see Joe as the only hope left to the country. We had plenty of such people to choose from in the decades after 1945. And we needed them. We need them more than ever now. But now there’s just Joe.

But E.J.’s piece also shames me a bit. I say the same things he’s saying here all the time, but I tend to present them as truth without the careful documentation and explanation. This is possibly because I grow weary of repeatedly explaining how I arrive at conclusions that have taken seven decades of thought and observation to reach. And people shrug it off, because they think it’s just the ranting of an alter cocker.

But I guess it’s also because I don’t get paid anymore to put in the time to dig up all the evidence supporting conclusions I reached long ago. So I don’t. Too much time spent doing what little I do to make a modest living. And doing it around those naps that are the residue of my stroke in 2000. I can do all the things I used to do, but I have less time in which to do them.

In any case, I’m very appreciative to E.J. for taking the time to explain it to his readers, especially since I know he’s busier than I am.

Now, the other column, which features the same “free access:”

First, again, please let me know if you can read it. Beyond that…

Another good piece. There are, of course, many things that, considered alone, tell us “all we need to know about him.” You could compile a lengthy list of things that, considered singly, should cause any voter to run the opposite way. But this should be, if not the top item, at least very close to it.

Anyway, I wanted to share these columns because they’re important, and I’m thinking E.J. gets these points across batter than I do.

Beyond that, though, I really want to know whether those links work for nonsubscribers.

This is one of the things that concerns me most about blogging these days. To me, almost everything worth discussing these days is from things I subscribe to. This was fine 10 or 15 years ago, before everybody got so serious about pay walls. Now, it’s a huge problem — I bring up something, and I want everyone to read it so we can have a discussion with everyone fully informed, but most people can’t open it. Because normal people don’t subscribe to four or five newspapers.

So when I get a chance to share, I seize it. But please let me know if it worked for you…

27 thoughts on “Let me know if you can read these two good Dionne pieces

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Thank you so much, Carol! I want to take advantage of openings like that whenever they occur, and I appreciate E.J. providing that opportunity.

      All papers should do that. It’s not only helpful to the country (because pretty much all FREE commentary out there is complete crap, with the good stuff behind pay walls), but it’s good business for the papers. It’s an opportunity to get people interested in subscribing…

  1. Dave Crockett

    It took a little bit of give-and-take but ultimately your “gifting “access to those articles worked in both cases. Of course, both times I was prodded to become a paid subscriber, but was able to bypass the pods and continue reading. As to the articles’ content, I would say that I generally tend to agree with the points he makes.

  2. Ken

    From a previous thread:

    “Yeah, that was the point of that piece in the Globe. The medical profession increasingly pushes the idea that gender is a separate thing from “biological sex,” and the writer was arguing with that. You increasingly find that sort of language out there, and the writer was taking exception to it…”
    – Brad Warthen

    Since this thread was conveniently closed without including my response, I’ll add it here:

    Actually, no, a more careful reading of the pieces shows that’s not what the Globe article’s authors were saying. They were merely taking exception to a certain choice of words related to “sex” and ONLY to sex. It wasn’t pushing back against the underlying (and generally accepted) notion that transgendered people are real. Nowhere in the piece do the authors say that sex and gender are the same thing. They are not. Read it again and you will see that they only take issue with the re-definition of “sex.”

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          There are often workarounds. I just don’t always (or even usually) know where to find them. It used to be that you could get past some firewalls by googling the headline, verbatim, rather than going through the paper’s app or browser site. But I don’t think that one works anymore….

          And you say the thread was CLOSED. Dang. I need to get somebody in to help with that. That’s not me, it’s some weird setting in Workspace. Maybe it was added by some recent update. In the past, I’ve found these “closed” notices on posts that were years old, and I didn’t want them there, but it wasn’t a big deal. Having them show up on recent posts is unacceptable…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Yep, you’re right. I just looked back, and it says “Comments are closed.” But I don’t know why. I’ve got to talk with somebody who understands the platform better than I…

  3. Doug Ross

    The obligatory “Joe Biden shouldn’t debate Trump” media pieces are sprouting up now to convince the Democrats that Joe debating Trump would only give Trump a platform for his SCARY, racist, misogynistic, fascist, transphobic, anti-immigrant, gun-loving views. It has NOTHING to do with the perilous prospects of Joe standing on a stage for two hours without any notecards or teleprompters.

    Did you happen to catch his press availability with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last week? Here’s 6 minutes shown on CSPAN of Joe reading off his notecards while the Prime Minister sits there watching Joe read. Kishida responds without cards, speaking for a few minutes… isn’t that the LEAST we should expect from a President? At the end, the press is ushered (pushed) out so that Joe doesn’t have to answer a question off the cuff.


      1. Doug Ross

        Did you watch the video?

        When Dr. DeMarco suggested watching the SOTU to show how great Joe Biden was, you jumped all over that. When I suggest people watch a 6 minute video of Joe reading off notecards while in the presence of the Japanese Prime Minister, that somehow is a MY problem. Watch him and decide whether he’s capable to lead the country for four more years. If he’s that strong, he should be BEGGING Trump to debate him not hiding.

        Watch the video. Or watch the videos from earlier this week when Joe wandered around a fast food place in Pennsylvania while the patrons stood around with all the enthusiasm of watching paint dry. Or watch Trump in Harlem as a large crowd of people of various colors cheered him…
        Reality is out there if you look for it.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I see no reason to, Doug, because you and I reach different conclusions based on what we see. To you “Joe reading off notecards while in the presence of the Japanese Prime Minister” is something awful. To me, it’s fine…

      2. Doug Ross

        And, because you don’t seem to understand this simple concept, thinking Joe Biden isn’t fit to be re-elected doesn’t mean I think Trump should be. I don’t encourage anyone to vote for Biden OR Trump. They are each bad for the country in their own ways… and if you vote for “least worst” , you’re the problem with the country.

    1. Barry

      In fairness, Trump always used notes or a teleprompter when standing beside any number of foreign leaders in press conferences.

      When he didn’t, he stood agreeing with whatever Putin said.

      For some reason, Doug always forgets those situations. But I’m here, with others, to remind him. Is it a memory thing, or just ignoring what we all saw for 4 years

      Of course with Trump, his notes are usually very short- and he ends up repeating his points over and over and over. Probably because- as his first term advisors have admitted, his attention span is ZERO.


  4. Randlr

    I can read them. I’m a subscriber, but I can’t access links to NYT or WP articles unless I’m on their apps.
    When I access these columns, I’m told a subscriber has let me access them and offers me a subscription.
    The NYT lets subscribers “gift” a certain number of articles each month to other people. Could you do that on your blog when you want to post something of interest?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yes, and I’ve tried doing that and asked people to let me know whether it works, but haven’t gotten much response. That’s why I was so emphatic this time.

      I’m worried that the NYT thing only works if you give it to one person — not the same as sharing on a blog.

      Let’s give it a try now, and see if anyone tries it. Here’s a piece I listened to on NYT audio yesterday. I’m linking to the browser, text version, which links to the audio: Have Faith in the Trump Trial Jurors.

      That’s the “gift” link. Please let me know if it works, y’all…

      1. Randle

        I can see that, too. Got a little notice telling me that’s thanks to a subscriber.
        I understand the need for paywalls, if newspapers are to survive, but I wish the there were enough people in the country supporting them, so that those who don’t or can’t subscribe could also access them. I can’t think of another time when newspapers, local and national, were more necessary to preserving our system of government than they are now. We really do need to read the same pages, even if we don’t end up on the same page.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Well, they’re basically gone now, except at the national level. Newspapers, I mean.

          I still watch with interest the things that the Post & Courier keeps trying to do to survive in the 21s century. And they succeed a lot. They are blessed to have the favorable business situation that allows them to experiment, and they haven’t been wasting that opportunity. That’s great.

          But most medium and small newspapers in the country are pretty much kaput….

  5. James Edward Cross

    I was able to read both articles. Both were pretty good. I think that Dionne is correct about what Biden needs to do but it is a very tight needle to thread and given that his media people have been ineffective at touting his accomplishments I fear it might not be enough. People, for the most part, have always voted emotionally and folks have soured on him. Single issue voters (except on abortion), short-term thinkers, and Trump true believers may be enough to take him down. Not to mention the economy is doing Biden no favors with inflation making the actual good economic news seem like spinning. The second Dionne article shows why no one should even be considering voting for Trump but it is likely to get a shrug and “we’ve heard it all before.”

  6. bud

    I could read the articles fine.

    As for Doug’s teleprompter/note cards obsession, it’s completely irrelevant if Biden or anyone else uses something to keep track of talking points.

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