Effective February 1st, the new url for The Dish will be www.andrewsullivan.com. Sullivan spends much of his post spewing a bunch of feelgood gobbledygook trying to convince prosepctive subscribers that they'll be "special" if they subscribe, even coining the phrase "Dishheads" to inculcate an elitist sense of exclusivity and solidarity (do you suppose he got the idea from Rush Limbaugh's term "Dittoheads"?). Sullivan has a staff of seven, wants to continue paying them, and even envisions expansion of the site's capabilities. Here's the money shot describing his pay wall:
Our particular version will be a meter that will be counted every time you hit a 'Read on' button to expand or contract a lengthy post. You'll have a limited number of free read-ons a month, before we hit you up for $19.99. Everything else on The Dish will remain free. No link from another blog to us will ever be counted for the meter - so no blogger or writer need ever worry that a link to us will push their readers into a paywall. It won't. Ever. There is no paywall. Just a freemium-based meter. We've tried to maximize what's freely available, while monetizing those parts of the Dish where true Dishheads reside.
Still, if he's restricting some of his content to subscribers, it is a pay wall, regardless of how he rationalizes it. It is a rather unique type of pay wall I haven't seen used yet, though.
Of course, Andrew Sullivan has a twisted way of rationalizing in the first place. For example, he believes that Sarah Palin is not the mother of Trig Palin, has written a series of articles questioning Trig's maternity, and believes it is up to her to prove that she's Trig's mother rather than up to him to prove she isn't. And while Sullivan has not pushed this as much as before, he most recently questioned the official story of Trig's birth on February 28th, 2012. Not even accounts to the contrary by credible sources such as Anchorage Daily News reporter Julia O'Malley, no personal fan of Sarah Palin, have persuaded Sullivan that he's out to lunch on the Trig story. Sullivan even goes so far as to imply that Palin's failure to sue those who question Trig's maternity constitutes doubt of his maternity.
Andrew Sullivan also misrepresented the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During the closing days of the 2012 presidential campaign, Sullivan wrote a hit piece describing the LDS Church as "white supremacist" and "Nazi-like in its racist precision and exclusion". Of course, this is in reference to the ban against otherwise-qualified Black men receiving the Priesthood, a ban lifted in 1978, but Sullivan failed to mention that the LDS Church also believes such men will get a chance to accept the Priesthood in the spirit world, which is why we perform ordinances for the deceased in our temples. And two days later, Sullivan even condemns Brigham Young University for being named after a "vicious racist".
But despite Sullivan's track record for lies and smears, people seem to be signing up. Tech Crunch reports that six hours after he first made his announcement and put out his call for sign ups, Sullivan told them “We’re well into the six figures". Nevertheless, initial public reaction posted to the New York Times blog is mixed, tending towards the unfavorable:
sodakhic Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:47 p.m.:
When you go this route, it would be nice to tell the truth. I sure wouldn't want to pay 19,99 for your hogwash. You still don't believe Trig Palin is Sarah's son. Hope your venture fails and takes you down with it.
Mikedbike Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:47 p.m:
Sounds like an interesting approach, but given that the internet and MSM are swimming with almost identical commentary, it's hard to imagine why anyone would choose to pay for it. He does offer a gay perspective, but that's mostly irrelevant on almost every political and social issue short of gay marriage. Well, good luck sir.
Allan H. Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:44 p.m:
Sullivan is a mean-spirited man with such a narrow range of opinion that it will be difficult for him to make a go of it. The Daily Beast started out quite well, with a variety of opinion, but it has moved to pretty consistent leftwing views and Sullivan should have stayed there. It's hard to see what value added there could be to an even narrower site.