Dish Independence: Reader Reax I


A reader writes:

I have been reading you for 12 years.   I would have paid you a long time ago.  $19.99 is too cheap.  I just sent you $100.  Thanks for all of the years of excellent reading.  You make me think.  You have introduced me to so many other excellent writers – David Frum and Rod Dreher specifically.  Congrats on this new business venture.  If you can’t make it work – no one can. Happy New Year to you and your excellent team (and the dogs and Aaron).


I was waiting for you to finally ask me for money. I will say, I’ve rarely, if ever, received so much for so little. Glad to support you and your great team.  Best of luck.


Easiest $100 I’ve ever spent!  Consider it retroactive payment for 10 years of reading you for free without ever once clicking on an ad. I suspect you are going to be surprised at how many people choose to give more – we already know that quality of time at the Dish is higher for core readers than almost any other source, and people will always pay for that.  Hell I give to NPR every year and I know I am on the Dish more often than on the radio.


I just signed up for $49.99.  I wish it could be more, but, to be candid, I’m still carrying debt from Obama 2012 contributions.  Living and contributing according to my means is a definite focus of the new year and beyond.


Since I found this blog several years ago, it has become part of my daily read. I don’t always agree on everything that comes out (I still don’t know the fascination about circumcision ), but I know that I’ll get honest, fair and balanced views on national events. It’s been Andrew’s marriage that helped me to be in favor of same sex marriages, where I wimped out and thought civil unions was the way to go, the essays on Obama’s first and second campaigns put me behind his candidacy, the discussions on religion made me to accept my own atheism (yeah, probably not what you wanted) and the fun of the “View from my window” contests, opened my eyes to wonderful places on this earth. This what a blog is, in my mind.

Thank you so much and yes, I am going to subscribe!


Count me in for $100! As a graduate of Columbia School of Journalism back in 1982 and now an advertising agency owner in L.A., I think you’re simply the best. If I had to choose between giving up the NY Times or you, I’d probably choose you. I am a firm believer in paying for value and The Dish has been an enriching and vital part of my life for years. You are worth $19.99 and then some, so I am happy to be one of your first subscribers and happy to pay $100 for the privilege. Keep up the great work. I know you will do well. As I learned back in 1989 when I first left the big agency I worked for and went out of my own, you’re always better off cutting out the middle man and betting on yourself!


I just gave $50 to Greenwald a few days ago. I only gave you guys $30 because I’m less 6a00d83451c45669e20167656dc2c9970b concerned about your viability. I was surprised you didn’t go this route sooner but I’m glad you have faith in your readers. I think one key difference between your blog and most other media outlets, particularly “old media,” is that you have all worked hard and succeeded at creating a real community vibe, and that you have done so without a comments section is a real testament. I’ve been reading since pretty much the beginning, and I do feel like I’m a contributor, however small. I would feel that way even if you never printed any of my emails. You guys not only read your emails, but you legitimately cherish the input. Dissents and varied opinions are aired, minds are changed … what a concept. I think a lot of us feel like we have a stake in this thing, so $20 is nothing, though I’m really glad you’re not cutting off the free-riders.

The advertising and host-jumping never felt right to me. This feels right.


The way I think of my relationship with your site is similar to a get-together I have with a good friend of mine every two or three weeks. We meet at a local bar here in Toronto and talk about the three things that interest us: movies, American politics, and baseball. I realize baseball isn’t really your thing (although you should reconsider that – it’s a beautiful sport). Other topics come up, of course, and we don’t always agree. But the discussion is the point.

The whole thing costs me almost exactly twenty bucks in beer money. (I buy, since my friend comes to my neighbourhood.) If I get the Dish for an entire year for the same amount for a whole year -well, that seems like a steal to me. Now if you could only supply the beer.


First, $20 a year is hugely reasonable. I think I pay $80 a year for New Yorker, $120 a year for the NYT as part of a student deal, and £140 a year for the Guardian (I’m British), all on iPad. However much I worry about my ever increasing media diet (both in terms of cost and size), adding The Dish at that price is a steal.

Second, I think it’s worth saying that, if anything, I think paying for content makes it better as an experience, in every sense. When I’ve invested in journalism, I feel I’ve done my bit to sustain this vital industry that I’d never want to see crumble. And it also makes me more attentive, more inclined to spend time reading what I should. I can only assume other Dish heads will feel similarly.

Oh, and if there’s any way to bind a digital community even more tightly together, this is it. Fret not. It’s going to work.

We certainly hope so. Join us and keep the Dish alive and ad-free here. A lot more reader feedback to come. We are simply overwhelmed with email but pledge to read every single one eventually.

(Context for the top illustration here and here. More Dish explained here and here)

Malkin Award Nominee

Screen shot 2013-01-02 at 3.06.41 PM

"Unfortunately, Sullivan isn't going away entirely. He's too beloved by the elite left-wing media to disappear into the obscurity he deserves. As we've seen from left-wing journalists like Ben Smith and Dave Weigel, there's already a push to ensure Sullivan's success in a new venture that will likely produce more of the hysterical, out-of-control Andrew Sullivan the media finds so valuable. Now that he'll be a total independent and beholden to no editorial oversight whatsoever, Sullivan will enjoy the room necessary to blossom even more as the media's wicked id, the raging conspiracy theorist and bigot who attacks the Right in ways the media doesn't dare, but still enables by propping Sullivan up," – John Nolte,

Actually, my contracts in the past all guaranteed me total editorial independence so there is no change there. And he doesn't seem to understand the difference between a pay-wall (which we won't have) and a meter that nonetheless leaves a vast amount of the content free. But if you want to show him that this is emphatically not a site propped up by anyone except its readers, pre-subscribe here.

New Dish: Update

It's an avalanche of memberships. And so far, a full third of you have given more than the $19.99 minimum, which is incredibly encouraging. We're still at the bottom slope of the mountain for a truly sustainable base, but your response thus far, I can truthfully say, has blown us all away. We knew you were a special readership. Now you're proving it. In a matter of a couple of hours.

All we can say is thanks; and that we will work our asses off to make it worth every cent you pay us. The post explaining the move is here. And you can pre-subscribe here.

We'll get more up-to-date info on the first day's response soon. But my basic response so far: wow.

Dish Independence: Tweet Reax

Dish Independence: Your Questions

A reader asks:

Congratulations on the move forward! I've already registered for a Dish membership ($25), but I've got one question: will RSS feeds work with the meter and the new site? That's my primary method of delivery for all online reading, and it will be difficult to keep up reading yall without it.

Fear not – our RSS feed won't be affected by the meter. Another:

Congratulations on the new adventure, we will definitely join the team! However, I could not figure out whether a subscription can be purchased for a couple with multiple machines or whether we need a separate account for each individual.  Any info on that?

You will be able to use your username/password for multiple devices, given that many Dishheads read the blog at work and at home, as well as mobile devices. Another reader:

Please consider allowing comments in the paid site. There will be far fewer "trolls" in that environment.

No plans for a comments section, but we will put it up for a vote again in due course. In the past, readers have overwhelmingly preferred our curated reader emails rather than often raucous comments sections.

One final point which may have gotten lost. There is no paywall. No one coming to the Dish home-page will ever be stopped. All links to individual posts will be outside the meter and as free after we launch as they are now. We have no intention of cutting ourselves off from the blogosphere we love and need. And vice-versa. The only meter arrives at the "Read On" posts, whose full text you have to be a member to read.

And, by the way, we are currently overwhelmed by the massive response. We'll report back as soon as we can firm up the precise numbers. But the level of support so far is pretty staggering. We can't thank you enough. Stay tuned …