The year is 2012, and Michael Wolff is in prison. He’s the first high-profile conviction under 2011’s anti-aggregation law, the draconian act that’s allowed newspapers to duck behind ever-pricier paywalls. These days, a New York Times subscription will run you $7,000, and “the cultural divide between the news-haves and news-have-nots is just depressing,” writes Simon Dumenco for Advertising Age.
Dumenco is among the few who can afford a subscription, “but it feels both Orwellian and un-American that I had to sign an ironclad nondisclosure agreement.” Now he can’t correct people who get their “information” from the Glenn Beck Channel, previously known as Fox, or the poor folks relying on CNN, which, now unable to borrow reporting, recently spent three days covering balloon-flying quintuplets. Of course, Newser kept aggregating, and Wolff paid the price. But he’s in good spirits, telling Dumenco, “I’ve got access to some pharmaceutical-grade news in here.”