Here's how newspapers roll in the twilight time of their market-enforced dotage.
Because their labor is worth something, editors and publishers make a lot of noise about how they're going to crack down on "misappropriation" of their content on the Internet and start charging readers to access their electronic offerings. Then they proceed to steal the work of bloggers and say they have every right to do so.
Yet folks like William Dean Singleton -- the self-styled Sir Galahad who aspires to slay the monster Google and conquer the lawless Internets -- wonder why they weren't named Class Favorite.
HERE'S A little something from the Los Angeles Times earlier this month:
"The reality is that unless a lot of people who produce news act in unison to start charging for content, then individually they will fail," said Alan D. Mutter, a former newspaper columnist and editor and consultant on new media ventures.
News Corp.'s solution is the latest proposal to publishers seeking to wring money from Internet readers to offset double-digit drops in print and online revenue.
The notion of charging for digital access to news, either online or on devices, has been gaining momentum ever since the Associated Press' annual meeting in San Diego in April. William Dean Singleton, chairman of the AP and chief executive of MediaNews Group Inc., railed against the "misappropriation" of news on the Internet -- a reference widely interpreted as a swipe at search giant Google Inc.
"We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories," he said. "We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it anymore."
Wall Street Journal Editor Robert Thomson added to the invective, saying Google and other news aggregators who believe that content should be free are "parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the Internet."
TAPEWORM, heal thyself.