Breaking news, America: The newspaper that’s won 47 Pulitzer prizes doesn’t just do this journalism stuff for free. And if you really want to prevent our democracy from going belly-up entirely, maybe stop reading our site in a fucking incognito browser.
(Yes. We know about the incognito browser trick. We didn’t take bullshit from Nixon during Watergate, and we’re not taking it now from you.)
Please, excuse us—the paper that broke the story of the Pentagon Papers—for expecting you to pay for our award-winning reporting. You do realize we work in the exact same office featured in the movie The Post, which hasn’t been renovated since the ’70s? A rat ran across my foot while I wrote this. On a typewriter.
We’re busting our assess every day protecting democracy and keeping the public informed, and all we’re asking in return is a subscription of $100 a year. $100 a year to preserve the people’s voice in government and expose corruption. To keep a free nation free! For God’s sake, Blue Apron costs more than twice that, and sometimes you forget to even make the meals before the ingredients expire.
We didn’t put up a paywall on washingtonpost.com to make things difficult for people. (Off the record, that’s the Republicans’ job). It’s just capitalism, plain and simple. Maybe if you ever read our Econ section, you’d already know this.
Maybe you all think the owner of The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos, is paying our salaries. Well, he isn’t. We’ve actually been trying to get Jeff to subscribe for years now, but go figure, the guy who invented Amazon Prime apparently doesn’t see the value paying annually for a Post subscription.
To be completely honest, we used to be doing all right financially, but we just blew our last 5 million dollars on a Superbowl ad during the most boring Superbowl in history. In our defense, we thought it was going to be a big game. None of our Pulitzers were for sports reporting.
With the 2020 election around the corner, now more than ever it’s critical The Washington Post is able to operate on full-cylinders. Without us, Grandma might as well just change her homepage to Breitbart news and we all call it a day. Fake news won, everybody! Democracy is dead and it’s all because you couldn’t give up your $4 Starbucks twice a month!
Is that what you’re going to tell your kids when you tuck them in at night one day? That Mom and Dad couldn’t give up their frappuccinos, and that’s why there’s an Amazon Alexa in the house making sure no one is speaking ill of the government? (Obviously, Bezos’ products work for the authoritarian regime that takes over when democracy dies. Are we really surprised? He doesn’t subscribe to his own paper.)
Maybe that’s the future you all want for America. At that point, why not just install an ad-blocker for all the media sites you read? Goodbye First Amendment! And then, you could go ahead and waltz on down to the Washington D.C. archives museum and take a huge shit on the constitution itself!
Yeah, go on. Shit on the real, actual American constitution. We, The Washington Post, just said that publicly, and you can quote us on that.
So go ahead, America. Keep on opening articles and scrolling quickly to mid-page, hoping you’ll glimpse a topic sentence before the paywall pops up. Keep switching computers at work when you burn through your complementary articles reading the Food section each month. Our journalists will feed their families on likes and shares.
But when democracy collapses, and we’re all rewriting history in some kind of 1984 censoring work camp, don’t come crying to us. Besides, we definitely won’t be checking our email inquiries in that scenario.
Here at The Washington Post, we beg you today: Don’t let democracy die because you’re standing in the shadow of our paywall. Stand up for America the only way Americans know how: with money.
Also, did we mention subscribers receive a complimentary water bottle with our new slogan on it? Pretty cool!
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