A Secret Santa In The Inbox

Penguins Dressed As Santa Amuse Children At Everland

Earlier this year on January 2, at 12.31 pm – just a half-hour after our Dish independence post went live – a reader wrote:

I just wanted to drop a quick note to say that I have been a reader for awhile, but this is my first time writing to you. Good luck on your new endeavor – and to that end, I also wanted to let you know that I signed up to be a founding Dish Member with a payment of $100 for this first year. To the extent that there are students (or others) who would otherwise read your blog, but might not spend the $20/year, I’d be happy to underwrite a number of subscriptions – say, somewhere in the range of 10-20 subscriptions for the first year. Let me know if that’s helpful or interesting to you at all. Happy New Year, and good luck to you and the rest of the team in your new enterprise.

Throughout the year, we also received many emails from readers at the other end of the economic spectrum. For example:

I’ve read your blog for years, so I’m an ardent fan. My photo has appeared in your View From Your Window feature and you’ve posted my email comments several times. Your blog has made me feel “attached,” despite a disability that leaves me isolated in a remote, rural part of the US. Your $20 price for full access to the Dish is a small price to pay, but my $620 SSDI leaves me unable to participate. For that I feel a genuine loss. I am so appreciative, however, for the bits I can still read above the read-ons, but I can’t tell you how sad I was to run up against the paywall and watch the script vanish as I was reading tonight.

Another reader:

Not sure what I will be able to read before the “Read on” enters the story, but unfortunately I may have to say goodbye to The Dish, as I simply cannot afford anything at all. My finances took a deep hit a few years ago and the Internet is all I have for news. No newspaper, no paid web sites, no cable. I need to pay bills and feed a family, so every penny counts. It sucks to be broke.

‘Tis the season for giving, so we arranged to provide subscriptions for 20 in-need readers based on the $400 contributed by the founding Dish member. One of the gift recipients replied:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is a real holiday gift to me. I’m over the moon. Please thank your anonymous donor from me.

You just did. Another happy new subscriber:

This is great, thank you! And thanks to the anonymous donor! My holiday reading just got substantially more interesting. I will be sure to pay it forward. Happy holidays.

(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)