On Paying for the Newspaper (In Light of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius)

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the Affordable Healthcare Act in the National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius case. Last night I read everything I could get my iPad’s hands on via the Web site of the world’s best source for news, the New York Times.

But that wasn’t enough. I went to bed last night knowing that there was going to be a six-column headline this morning. I love six-column headlines. Here it is:

Justices, By 5 – 4, Uphold Health Care Law;
Roberts in Majority; Victory for Obama

That doesn’t appear anywhere in an online search at this time except in a summary of news coverage on Politico. It is a uniquely physical object— a double-decker set of text delivered to millions of homes and stacked nears thousands of sticks of gum on streets and in stores all over the world. A comma- and semicolon-separated statement of facts that define, forever, what happened yesterday.

When I went out to walk the dog this morning, the paper wasn’t quite here yet. While I was out, I saw the delivery person walking by with her stacks. I chased her down and gave her all of the money in my pocket (eight dollars). Because she delivers me something worth paying for, every morning.

We really do live in a wonderful country.

Archive of My NYT Anonymity Because Clause Tweets

From April 2 – September 24, 2007, I used my Twitter account (@juggernautco) exclusively to publish all of the “because clauses” in articles from the New York Times that contained information from anonymous sources. Here’s a fun list of those tweets.
because the report will be issued this morning Mon Sep 24 22:28:33 +0000 2007

because he needs to work with both courts Mon Sep 24 22:28:00 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to comment on the situation Mon Sep 24 22:27:00 +0000 2007

for fear of the police Mon Sep 24 22:26:14 +0000 2007

because the specifics of the veto had not yet been made public yesterday Mon Sep 24 22:22:20 +0000 2007

for fear of alienating the theater Mon Sep 24 22:20:25 +0000 2007

because the White House is not commenting on Mr. Draper’s book Mon Sep 24 22:19:44 +0000 2007

citing the struggle over Mrs. Astor’s will Mon Sep 24 22:19:01 +0000 2007

because he was not speaking for the network or the show Mon Sep 24 22:18:46 +0000 2007

because the votes of individual countries had not been made public as of late today Mon Sep 24 22:18:12 +0000 2007

so as not to be seen as pre-empting the announcement Mon Sep 24 22:16:48 +0000 2007

out of concern of disrupting the process Mon Sep 24 22:16:28 +0000 2007

because of a Defense Department policy not to confirm information on nuclear weapons Mon Sep 24 22:15:42 +0000 2007

because the talks were supposed to be private Mon Sep 24 22:14:57 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to speak for Mr. Hsu Mon Sep 24 22:14:30 +0000 2007

because of a continuing review by the Justice Department Mon Sep 24 22:13:45 +0000 2007

because he is a bureau employee Mon Sep 24 22:12:44 +0000 2007

because the information is classified Mon Sep 24 22:12:30 +0000 2007

to avoid upstaging Mr. Ban Mon Sep 24 22:11:59 +0000 2007

because they were discussing a military action by another government Mon Sep 24 22:11:07 +0000 2007

to avoid upstaging the event Mon Sep 24 22:10:29 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to discuss its financial terms Mon Sep 24 22:10:05 +0000 2007

because his wealthy clients insist on privacy Mon Sep 24 22:09:58 +0000 2007

to discuss internal campaign deliberations Mon Sep 24 22:09:14 +0000 2007

because they feared the gunman Mon Sep 24 22:07:45 +0000 2007

because of the private nature of the talks Mon Sep 24 22:07:02 +0000 2007

because the White House had not yet negotiated the matter with Congress Mon Sep 24 22:06:50 +0000 2007

because the matter remains under official inquiry Mon Sep 24 22:06:10 +0000 2007

because he was discussing intelligence assessments Mon Sep 24 22:04:48 +0000 2007
because he was not authorized to be quoted by name Mon Sep 24 22:02:11 +0000 2007

because information about the raid remained classified Mon Sep 24 22:01:00 +0000 2007

so they would not be seen as upstaging the White House report Tue Jul 17 12:28:07 +0000 2007

to discuss internal strategy Tue Jul 17 12:27:31 +0000 2007

to discuss details of relations between the United States and Russia Tue Jul 17 12:26:45 +0000 2007

because of diplomatic protocol Tue Jul 17 12:26:29 +0000 2007

because he is not an official spokesman Tue Jul 17 12:26:09 +0000 2007

saying the British Foreign Office had asked that it be the only source of information on the case. Thu Jul 12 03:13:01 +0000 2007

because of the age of the youngsters involved Wed Jul 11 20:41:18 +0000 2007

to encourage candidness Wed Jul 11 20:41:08 +0000 2007

because he still consults for Microsoft Wed Jul 11 20:40:35 +0000 2007

because he is not authorized to talk about strategy decisions Wed Jul 11 20:40:16 +0000 2007

under Israeli military policy Wed Jul 11 20:39:09 +0000 2007

because the new candidate had not yet been announced Wed Jul 11 20:38:31 +0000 2007

because Mr. Bloomberg had not authorized release of the information Wed Jul 11 20:38:22 +0000 2007

because negotiations between the companies are confidential Wed Jul 11 20:36:18 +0000 2007

for fear of compromising efforts to find Mr. Taub Wed Jul 11 20:36:03 +0000 2007

under the organization’s rules Wed Jul 11 20:35:47 +0000 2007

because the idea has not been approved by the White House Wed Jul 11 20:35:22 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to brief reporters Wed Jul 11 20:35:01 +0000 2007

because he did not want to appear to be speaking for his former employer Wed Jul 11 20:34:33 +0000 2007

because the president had yet to make an official statement Wed Jul 11 20:34:12 +0000 2007

because they were not authorized to reveal such details Wed Jul 11 20:33:52 +0000 2007

because the matter is considered so delicate in China Wed Jul 11 20:33:26 +0000 2007

under government rules Wed Jul 11 20:32:47 +0000 2007


because the firms had not made their intentions public Wed Jul 11 20:32:35 +0000 2007

because of the continuing investigation in Britain Wed Jul 11 20:31:24 +0000 2007


for fear of damaging the negotiations Wed Jul 11 20:28:19 +0000 2007


because they said they did not want to be drawn into the political fight between Mr. Bruno and Gov. Eliot Spitzer Wed Jul 11 20:27:25 +0000 2007

to avoid upstaging Bush Wed Jul 11 20:26:27 +0000 2007

because she was not authorized to talk about the policy Mon Jun 25 02:45:05 +0000 2007

because they did not want to be quoted on political matters Mon Jun 25 02:44:51 +0000 2007

to encourage candidness Sun Jun 24 13:39:09 +0000 2007

because his organization had not authorized him to discuss the deals Sat Jun 23 16:28:17 +0000 2007

because no formal analysis had been conducted Sat Jun 23 16:28:00 +0000 2007

because she was not authorized to talk about the policy Sat Jun 23 16:27:47 +0000 2007

to comment on matters they had not been authorized to discuss Sat Jun 23 16:27:34 +0000 2007

because he had been an undercover officer Sat Jun 23 16:27:19 +0000 2007

to encourage candidness Sat Jun 23 16:27:02 +0000 2007

for fear of retribution from Lakers fans Tue Jun 19 12:17:17 +0000 2007

because of the sensitivity and gravity of the situation Tue Jun 19 03:04:15 +0000 2007

because the composition of the commission had not been made public Mon Jun 18 02:53:25 +0000 2007

after saying he was still too embarrassed to speak publicly about the issue Mon Jun 18 02:52:46 +0000 2007

because an official statement was still being prepared by the Monetary Authority Mon Jun 18 02:52:21 +0000 2007

for lack of authorization Mon Jun 18 02:51:58 +0000 2007

because negotiations continue Mon Jun 18 02:51:12 +0000 2007

fearing for his relatives’ safety Mon Jun 18 02:50:31 +0000 2007

after saying he was still too embarrassed to speak publicly about the issue Thu Jun 14 13:06:13 +0000 2007

in exchange for his campaign’s assessment of Mr. Thompson Wed Jun 13 20:02:03 +0000 2007

because of concerns about Senate norms of confidentiality Wed Jun 13 20:01:31 +0000 2007

under customary diplomatic rules Wed Jun 13 20:01:20 +0000 2007

because formal budget negotiations with the City Council have yet to begin Wed Jun 13 19:59:53 +0000 2007

because he has to maintain neutrality Wed Jun 13 19:58:35 +0000 2007

because the family has agreed not to speak publicly Wed Jun 13 19:58:06 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to speak publicly about any divide within the administration Wed Jun 13 19:57:31 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to release the information Wed Jun 13 19:57:11 +0000 2007

saying that his company did not want to elicit comparisons with the iPhone Wed Jun 13 19:55:06 +0000 2007

because he still consults for Microsoft Wed Jun 13 19:53:18 +0000 2007

for all the obvious reasons Wed Jun 13 19:53:09 +0000 2007

because he said he did not want to jeopardize his relationship with Canny Wed Jun 13 19:52:04 +0000 2007

because of rules that bar civil servants from speaking to journalists without authorization Wed Jun 13 19:51:44 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to speak for the production Wed Jun 13 19:51:22 +0000 2007


a standard practice in the German government Wed Jun 13 19:51:01 +0000 2007

because of the secret nature of his job Wed Jun 13 19:49:19 +0000 2007

because the composition of the commission had not been made public Wed Jun 13 19:49:01 +0000 2007

because he is not authorized to speak to journalists Wed Jun 13 19:48:39 +0000 2007

to describe private discussions among senior officials at United Nations headquarters Wed Jun 13 19:48:26 +0000 2007

to discuss potential clients Wed Jun 13 19:48:14 +0000 2007

because the investigation was ongoing Wed Jun 13 19:48:01 +0000 2007

for lack of authorization Wed Jun 13 19:47:48 +0000 2007

in accordance with the ministry’s practice Fri May 25 13:47:23 +0000 2007
because they were not authorized to do so publicly Fri May 25 13:46:55 +0000 2007

because the issue involved personnel decisions Fri May 25 13:46:36 +0000 2007

because he was closely involved in the investigation Fri May 25 13:46:14 +0000 2007

for fear of political retribution Fri May 25 13:46:00 +0000 2007

under civil service rules Fri May 25 13:44:56 +0000 2007

because the briefing was confidential Fri May 25 13:44:34 +0000 2007

to avoid undermining coming talks Fri May 25 13:44:15 +0000 2007

according to department policy Fri May 25 13:44:04 +0000 2007


because the proposal has not yet been finalized Fri May 25 13:42:54 +0000 2007

because of a working relationship with some people on the program Sun May 20 16:34:51 +0000 2007

about confidential discussions Sun May 20 16:34:02 +0000 2007

under civil service rules Sun May 20 16:33:48 +0000 2007

because he was closely involved in the investigation Sun May 20 16:33:22 +0000 2007

because the information continued to be compiled Mon May 14 19:45:12 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to speak about the matter Mon May 14 19:44:29 +0000 2007

because of a confidentiality agreement Mon May 14 19:44:10 +0000 2007

because he expects to work again with one of the networks Mon May 14 19:43:45 +0000 2007

because of a working relationship with some people on the program Mon May 14 19:43:35 +0000 2007

to be candid about a colleague Sun May 13 14:33:55 +0000 2007

because the league had not made the formal announcement Sun May 13 14:33:36 +0000 2007

because the talks were in a delicate stage Sun May 13 14:31:38 +0000 2007

because the information continued to be compiled Sun May 13 14:31:17 +0000 2007

because the settlement was not yet public Sun May 13 14:30:58 +0000 2007

so as not to pre-empt the president’s announcement Fri May 11 15:04:29 +0000 2007
because neither side is supposed to be commenting on it publicly Fri May 11 15:04:21 +0000 2007

because he did not want to be drawn into the dispute Thu May 10 14:11:23 +0000 2007

because he did not want to upstage the governor Thu May 10 14:10:46 +0000 2007

saying that the bloggers work in the beauty industry and wish to keep their identities secret so they can write candidly Thu May 10 14:10:35 +0000 2007

because his discussions with White House officials were confidential Thu May 10 14:10:15 +0000 2007

because he was discussing private national security deliberations Thu May 10 14:09:55 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to speak to the news media Wed May 09 16:33:47 +0000 2007

because he was discussing private national security deliberations Wed May 09 16:33:31 +0000 2007

because the talks were in a delicate stage Wed May 09 16:33:15 +0000 2007

because baseball officials have been ordered not to talk about the Mitchell investigation Wed May 09 16:33:04 +0000 2007

to describe the private views in the governor’s camp Wed May 09 16:32:56 +0000 2007

out of fear of expulsion by the government Wed May 09 16:30:39 +0000 2007

because he did not want to be drawn into the dispute Mon May 07 14:33:33 +0000 2007

because of the issue’s delicate nature Sun May 06 15:43:29 +0000 2007

because of the difficult political situation Sun May 06 15:43:14 +0000 2007

because of the political delicacy of the matter Fri May 04 16:27:01 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to speak for Mr. Murdoch Fri May 04 04:32:48 +0000 2007

to protect her child’s privacy Fri May 04 04:32:15 +0000 2007

out of concern that he would face reprisals Fri May 04 04:31:55 +0000 2007

because of the issue’s delicate nature Thu May 03 06:05:08 +0000 2007

because he is not authorized to comment publicly on the bank Thu May 03 06:04:32 +0000 2007

because he was discussing internal White House deliberations Wed May 02 21:38:31 +0000 2007

because he didn’t want to discredit his authors’ books or books by others Sun Apr 29 22:16:33 +0000 2007

because of the sensitive nature of his job Sun Apr 29 22:15:29 +0000 2007

because of the continuing investigation Sun Apr 29 22:15:25 +0000 2007

for fear of harassment by Sunni fundamentalists Sun Apr 29 22:15:07 +0000 2007

because the briefings in the House and Senate were classified Fri Apr 27 15:54:13 +0000 2007

because he did not want to reveal his team’s intentions for Cuba Thu Apr 26 04:08:55 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to talk about Chase Wed Apr 25 15:39:49 +0000 2007

because he is not authorized to speak about the governor’s condition publicly Sun Apr 22 22:18:23 +0000 2007

in order to discuss internal deliberations Sun Apr 22 18:33:54 +0000 2007


because the figure had not been officially released Sun Apr 22 02:04:25 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to talk to a reporter Sat Apr 21 19:03:10 +0000 2007

because financial terms are never made public Sat Apr 21 19:03:11 +0000 2007

in order to avoid reprisals Sat Apr 21 19:02:54 +0000 2007

because the information is classified and the deal has not been formally announced Fri Apr 20 05:32:03 +0000 2007

because they were divulging proceedings that were not supposed to be made public Fri Apr 20 05:31:39 +0000 2007

because he was speaking before the discussions took place Tue Apr 17 12:25:40 +0000 2007

citing the diplomatic negotiations over Mr. Meshal’s release Mon Apr 16 14:37:13 +0000 2007

because they were not authorized to discuss the accident Sat Apr 14 13:24:45 +0000 2007

ecause diplomatic negotiations were under way Sat Apr 14 13:24:31 +0000 2007

citing the diplomatic negotiations over Mr. Meshal’s release Sat Apr 14 04:53:46 +0000 2007

because of his close ties to the church and because he had not yet read the book Sat Apr 14 04:53:05 +0000 2007

because of the sensitive nature of the talks Sat Apr 14 04:52:32 +0000 2007

because diplomatic negotiations were under way Tue Apr 10 13:30:36 +0000 2007

saying they could be held in contempt of court Tue Apr 10 13:30:17 +0000 2007

because of diplomatic considerations Mon Apr 09 06:20:00 +0000 2007

because he was discussing internal assessments of Iran’s motivation Sun Apr 08 14:57:01 +0000 2007

because they were discussing internal Bush administration deliberations Sun Apr 08 14:56:32 +0000 2007
because the investigation is continuing Fri Apr 06 15:49:55 +0000 2007

because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue Thu Apr 05 15:13:02 +0000 2007

they were not authorized to publicly discuss the details, some of which are classified Thu Apr 05 15:12:32 +0000 2007

speaking on the customary condition of anonymity Wed Apr 04 04:53:25 +0000 2007

because they were not authorized to speak to the news media Wed Apr 04 04:53:06 +0000 2007

because the talks are confidential Wed Apr 04 04:52:20 +0000 2007

as is the tradition in his office Wed Apr 04 04:51:43 +0000 2007

because the discussions were confidential Mon Apr 02 12:59:24 +0000 2007

because the talks are confidential Mon Apr 02 12:58:49 +0000 2007

to avoid upstaging Mr. Ban Mon Apr 02 12:58:37 +0000 2007


because he said the Clintons would not like his speaking openly Mon Apr 02 12:32:07 +0000 2007

because the Qaeda assessments are classified Mon Apr 02 12:31:36 +0000 2007

The Ballad of Tyler Hicks

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/08/22/multimedia/23tylerhicks_190.jpgTyler Hicks is one of the best war photographers in history. He has won the Pulitzer Prize and worked with some of the best, including C. J. Chivers and Dexter Filkins, trying to explain a world gone mad.

In March of last year, Hicks— along with colleagues Anthony Shadid, Lynsey Addario and Stephen Farrell—  was captured by Libyan forces, while covering the revolution in Libya for the New York Times. The article that the four of them wrote together explaining their ordeal, “4 Times Journalists Held Captive in Libya Faced Days of Brutality“, was a crushingly personal tale that also shed light on the story they were there to cover.

Last month Anthony Shadid died of an asthma attack while covering a story in Syria. This morning the New York Times published an article written by Hicks called, “Bearing Witness in Syria: A Correspondent’s Last Days“. I dare you to read it without crying. Hicks is a photographer, not a writer. It’s a hybrid document where he recounts the last days of his friend and colleague— ending with Shadid collapsing while Hicks was holding him up— and tries to tell the story they went there to get. Here’s a snip:

That evening I read a book while Anthony walked down the street to interview some fighters we had been with that day. A while later an activist returned to tell me that Anthony wanted me to follow him and to bring my cameras. I arrived back at the base where we had seen them prepare their weapons, and as is the custom I took off my shoes before entering. There I found a carpeted room full of the fighters, now familiar to us, singing and playing traditional music, some clapping as one sang.

Directly across from me, amid cigarette smoke and sitting among them, was Anthony with a huge smile on his face. This was exactly the kind of connection that made him most happy as a reporter; his great warmth and intelligence were part of what made him the most important journalist covering the Arab world.

He put his arms out and said gleefully, “Tyler, look at this!” I found a seat next to him. Always wanting to share the experience, he told me that when they started singing he immediately sent for me. They served a dessert of sweet cheese, doused in a sticky syrup. They ad-libbed to incorporate us into the lyrics of one of their songs, thanking us for coming to Syria to witness their struggle.

Read this article. Buy the newspaper in which it appears, and clip it out. Press it in a book or fold it into a novel on your bookshelf. And then, as time goes by, if you get nagged by doubts about the future of journalism, or want to debate about pay walls or Craigslist, pull this story out and read it again. And you will be reminded that the New York Times Company paid two friends to go find out what was happening with defectors from the Syrian Army in early 2012, and one of them died of a horse allergy, and the other one carried his body over the border between Syria and Turkey.

In Praise of Wolfgang Oehme

This morning I read the obituary of landscape architect Wolfgang Oehme in the NYT. Here’s a snip:

 For 30 years, Mr. Oehme teamed up with James van Sweden to develop self-sustaining gardens, free of pesticides, that could remain beautiful even as the seasons changed. They planted flowers and bushes not by threes and fives, but by the thousands. Details, like how the wind would move the leaves of different plant species, were studied meticulously. Water, whether trickling or in reflecting pools, became a hallmark.

Their work graced embassies, universities and private homes, including Oprah Winfrey’s. In Washington, it can be seen at the Treasury Department, the National Gallery of Art, the National Arboretum and the Federal Reserve building. In New York, they created pieces of Battery Park City and Hudson River Park. Their work extended to Minneapolis and West Virginia.

In effect, they revolted against the American lawn, which traditionally opened to the street with bushes around the house. Mr. Oehme and Mr. van Sweden put big plants in front of a property to create secluded space, which they filled with carefully plotted but unclipped plantings. Mr. Oehme abhorred the ever-popular azalea, arguing that it flowered for just two weeks before becoming a boring green bush. Grasses, he noted with approval, change with the seasons and can look striking in winter.

I don’t think I’ve ever some across his work, but I know that I will love it when I do. The heralding of grass has long been a passion.

Here’s a gallery of his work and a nice compendium of obituaries, including where to find his spaces.