By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Old Republic

Technologically, that is. Last night I sat down to check out the just-published New Republic. After reading Michael Crowley’s characteristically insightful piece on Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold, I tried to open Jeffrey Rosen’s essay on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

Unlike Crowley’s article, Rosen’s was restricted to subscribers only — and I got a message saying that my print subscription had expired. No problem, or so I thought. I’d already decided that when my print subscription ran out, I would switch to the digital-only edition. (After all, if I had to wait for my mail carrier, Friday night would have turned into next Tuesday or Wednesday.)

But — incredibly — there was no provision to switch from print to digital online. When I tried to access a subscriber-only feature, I got a message that said:

Your subscription to The New Republic has expired…. If you feel this is inaccurate, or would like to switch to TNR Digital, please contact us at

Unwilling to take “later” for an answer, I tried signing up for a digital subscription anyway. Naturally I got a message saying that my user name and password were already taken (by me, of course).

So, finally, I did as I was told and sent an e-mail to explaining what had happened and asking to switch my expired print subscription to online-only — something that should cut my renewal fee of about $70 to just $30. And now I have to wait for someone to read my e-mail, and to hope that he or she understands what I’m trying to do. This is 2005?

By the way, I’m not sure how he did it, but Andrew Sullivan found a free link to Rosen’s article. So there.

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Apparently not a parody


The late, great John Rice


  1. Rick in Duxbury

    This is nothing compared to the mishegas at Boston Herald. Every time my online 90 day subscription expires, I have to manually complain, lose a few days and get an apology and renewal. This doesn’t count the maintenance of the site, which is often inaccessible or without access to the columnists (Only reason to subscribe in the first place). If they wanted to show people they were “here to stay”, a good place to start would be their paid website. (I did get a swell apology email once from Erin Purcell however!)

  2. Wes

    At least 4 times per week the thought relights that all this “digital” like may just be revenge of the six track.

  3. Anonymous

    Ah, the travails of an assistant visiting professor!

  4. Anonymous

    So there.Very mature Dan.

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