Thursday, May 10, 2018

Reactions and Plans

                  To Sign Up:  STRIKE CENTRAL IS HERE
Bloomberg Opinion/View Commenters' strike May 7 - May 13

To Comment on an Current Issue: The Commentariat is HERE

This page is for those who participated. For feedback and planning.

Please comment below. You know the drill, I hope. I'll repeat directions anyway.

Very important: You don't have to register at all to sign up or comment. After writing your comment, follow these directions, as shown below:

1. Scroll down to the comment box and enter your comment there.
2. Click on the toggle by Name/URL.
3. Enter the name you use for Disqus.

Everything else with the comments is self-explanatory.



Tony White said...

M.P., glad I got this opportunity to express what our goal of this protest is, as maybe we've wavered a bit. Please -- this is about preserving the integrity of Bloomberg's Opinion pages. Public discourse (eventually) leads to the facts. By BV charging ANY fee, they are shooting themselves in the foot. Why pay for something which has less intrinsic value, then to NOT pay and get something of higher value? Bloomberg Opinion will be forever ruined, so why would you want to comment there, anyway?


ModeratePoli said...

@Tony, i need to clarify. I didn't think the strike was over. If you got that impression, I have some editing to do.

Tony White said...


This really is about is Bloomberg News "Free Press" or is it a "Multi-media company"?

Is it "real" news or "fake" news.

Is it an "expert" or a "Troll"?


Tony White said...

M.P. -- we scheduled a week strike. The time is at hand to debate whether we proceed, or disband. So long as Bloomberg has a paywall, regardless of our ability to bypass said paywall, I DO NOT WANT TO COMMENT THERE ANYMORE.

JC1010 feels the same as I -- why comment there anymore? It doesn't feel the same anymore. Don't you agree that the atmosphere at Bloomberg Opinion has changed?


Tony White said...

********************************** TO MODERATOR **********************************

Micah718 8 hours ago
I have seen waynerober comment on other articles. He is breaking the picket lines. The question is what are you going to do about it?


What are you going to do about it? He should be removed! "Steeple" has been posting, too. Who else is cheating? Are you and I [and a few others] the only ones NOT opinion-ing at Bloomberg?


Ps - do we have someone posting tomorrow? Who's in the queue?

ModeratePoli said...

Friday morning - Fishy
Saturday morning - traveler, maybe mb too.

About people making a couple comments, I don't want to start throwing people off the list for a moment of weakness, or a moment where they really wanted to express something. It's the bane of rebellions when you start attacking your own.

Tony, can you write to me at I have a question not for general consumption. No rush.

Tony White said...

Traveler is still on the "island" if he wants to be. I think the guy who replied to my posting today rattled him a bit. Traveler has read some of our comments and needed some material for his Saturday morning posting.

So it looks like we're on cruise control for a day or two. Thanks for the quick work. Hope you enjoyed your almost-a-day-off time off?

Let us know where you stand on the matter. If you [and everyone] want to pause the strike rhetoric for a week, I'm fine with that. Just don't expect that things will go back to the way they were fantasy. It'll never be the same, until it's like it was before the paywall scheme. Just my humble opinion, which, according to Fishy, ain't even worth a penny!!!


Reaganite88 said...

I have always thought that one week was too short. Bloomberg is just now experimenting with this idea and I doubt if a single week's data will even make it into the analysis for them. The "strike" should probably last for the entire month of May IMHO.

As to the cost issue, frankly I have no intention of either reading or commenting on their opinion pages until the firewall price is brought down to a reasonable level (like less than $5 a month). I understand that they have an obligation to make money but for $34 a month I can buy access to literally a dozen online publications with more reasonable firewall prices. If they want to keep the price point that high then they will limit their comments to the wealthiest Wall Street types, Public Relations firms, and the foreign shills for whom no price is too much to influence elite opinion.


JC1010 said...

I agree with today's postings by ModeratePoli, Tony White & Reaganite88. I can see Micah718's point about scabs (an old fashioned term), but Moderate is right I feel. If some people "expose themselves to sin" and yield to temptation a little...well, that's understandable and excusable. Habitual sinning, not so much. Tony is getting pretty adamant about his "never" position, isn't he? Which is good in principle in my view. As for Reagan I agree that maybe we could take a look at a longer walk-out to keep the issue alive and, perhaps, hope for a reasonable monthly fee, something around $5 per month maybe. I could cut back on fresh fruit & vegetables and switch to canned. Not joking. Anyway, I really appreciate all the thought and work you guys are putting into it. And I really appreciate being part of this.

Tony White said...

JC1010 - " ^ " [arrow up]. We enjoy having you. Stick around [what have you got to lose?]. We need to queue up comments on the Paywall issue, and yours would be appreciated.


Tony White said...

Reaganite88 -- sorry I didn't get back to you sooner...

I like your reasoning to extend the time period of the strike [and the reason behind it {data gathering}]. However, the groups seems tired and weary, and need a respite. The other reason is we'd agree to a one-week strike [Yak's comment that our integrity would be questioned is a good reason].

I like the idea for me personally to just sit it out for a week. I would still NOT participate, but I may just 'upvote' and keep my opinions guarded. We could use next week as a kind of "wait and see" assessment.

Please advise the group as to your's [and anyone else's] opinion on continuing "as is," or a change in tactics. We've won nothing up to this point.


ModeratePoli said...

@Tony, it seems like you've been waiting for me to write something, but I have to say that I don't feel like a leader in this. I'm quite uncertain what to do.

On the one hand, it looks as though the comment threads on BB are suffering. Earlier this week, they were still robust. Today it's a mess. The Watergate story has hundreds of comments, but I didn't see one name I recognized. Some comments are good, but nothing special. The Ponnuru thread is a bust. A complete wipeout. But maybe there's not much to say about the topic.

On the other hand, the other good commenters haven't been running here to sign up. They've checked out, and I have no idea where they've gone.

I kind of want to make an appeal to BB to save the View/Opinion. Keep it open and free as a public service. Bring back the vibrant comment threads but making it free again. So far, BB hasn't responded at all. That may point to the need, as Reaganite suggested, that we extend the strike and point out how the comment threads are rubbish now.

A big part of me wants to return to commenting. A fair number of people ridiculed me for this, but I put a lot of heart and soul into thinking about the issues and commenting on them. I think it's the same for everyone else here. WE CARE! But we are still missing a lot of good commenters who made BB as good as it was. Some of those good commenters may be sympathetic but won't sign up here because I've personally argued with them, angered them, and been somewhat insulting. (Hahaha, somewhat.)

I wonder if we need to set up our own forum, and try to commit to making it as lively as BB was. I know Traveler really like Talk Radio Sucks. Unfortunately, I'm not such a fan. Plus, I can't seem to get validated there. But perhaps this core group can MAKE a NEW FORUM, and make it great.

So, perhaps keep the pressure on BB while some of us research forum tools in preparation for setting up our own if we need to?

Tony White said...

ModeratePoli -- you've been too wonderful allowing us to utilize your website and taxing you the way we have. I hope you're not gonna try and extort some money out of us and put up a Paywall once your blog goes international? That'd be just like Bloomberg and his corporate financial gurus!!!

Thanks for expressing your views -- they matter immensely! Let's use the next couple of days to gather our thoughts, and allow some of those on the list the opportunity to express their thoughts and recommendations. I know you got a little tired this week, so take some more time off for good behavior.

And as far as pissing off some of the other commentators, we're ALL guilty of that!!!

I'll check in here and wherever else I see activity. Thanks, again, for all your hard work and allowing us to "camp" at your "house" until the storm passes. :-)


johnny sunshine said...

The other factor that I haven't seen anyone mention is that, from Bloomberg's point of view, the key factors in whether they hold their course or modify or reverse it are likely to be 1) pageviews and 2) new subscriptions.

We don't know what their numbers are, or how long they intend to let this trial run before they feel they've got a sense of what the numbers will be going forward. The history of firewalls across the news industry is replete with trying one policy, then reversing abruptly once a too strict firewall seems to be too abruptly removing your news operation from the public conversation and putting the whole on a glide path to extinction. See, especially, the Times. They're candid about leaving workarounds available to non-payers, as long as it's just enough of a hassle that a subset of those who use them and can pay eventually do.

Of course, the main exceptions to this are business or niche professional/science publications, especially the Financial Times and WSJ. So that's probably why Bloomberg thinks this might work. I'm just hoping that they conclude that that is true of their time-sensitive market news, but not so much of their opinion section. It's not unknown for news operations to wall off areas they think someone will pay for, while leaving the opinion sections free. I think the Journal did that for a time.

I'm hoping their numbers on both those fronts, especially for the Opinion part, are terrible. I think the main point of our strike is to reduce the value of those columns as much as we can by not adding our bit of value. I expect I'm not alone in thinking that one lure of Bloomberg's opinion section over, say, the New Yorker or the Atlantic or NYMag Daily Intelligencer or the like is that we don't only get the expert opinion, we get some sense of what the rest of the nation who aren't professional opinion writers on that topic are thinking about that subject. Without being swamped by trolls like Politico is. Collectively, we're a real value add, to my mind.

So when most of us who are worth listening to are gone, maybe people who also value the comment section will saunter off to less costly competitors, leaving crickets at Bloomberg Opinion. Hopefully fast enough to save the comment sections, and Opinion generally.

Tony White said...

Johnny Sunshine -- "... to reduce the value of those columns as much as we can by not adding our bit of value...."

Thank you for adding your vital voice to the mix! I agree with those words 100%. If this is true, it only points to one conclusion:
-- continue with the strike "as is"
-- continue to try and recruit others to "choke" comment threads

There really isn't ANY viable options here. I will admit, however, that our ability to "choke" further comments is unrealistic, although others have voluntarily high-tailed it out of Bloomberg. It would be nice to grow our list to include those writers just so we stay in contact until Bloomberg Opinion drops its Paywall.

Your input into this conundrum, Johnny Sunshine, is very appreciated.


Tony White said...

Goldman Sachs: The fiscal outlook for the US 'is not good'
Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, sees the deficit ballooning to $2.05 trillion (7 percent of GDP) by 2028.
"Lawmakers might hesitate to approve fiscal stimulus in the next downturn in light of the already substantial budget deficit," the economist said.
The Congressional Budget Office projects that debt could equal GDP within a decade, a level not seen since World War II.

One of the reasons I enjoyed BV was that there were plenty of Economics geeks there. I've been negative on the U.S. economy and all its debt and stimulus for quite a long time. The annual Federal budget deficits are now above $1T/yr and growing. Is this an healthy economy???


ModeratePoli said...

@Tony, well the GOP did what GOP tends to do, which is cutting taxes and reducing revenue. Since they didn't bother to cut spending (a difficult lift), the result is pure and simple based on arithmetic. No one knows how long this growth in debt can last. I might live to see the contraction, I might not. Hope I don't waste a ton of Medicare spending before it happens.

Tony White said...

M.P., Just so you know, I'm on record as having opposed the GOP tax cuts. Obama, while doubling the public debt while in office, had annual deficits in the $700B range -- half of what they are now. I've always been a super-saver, and always had enough saved for a rainy day and then some. I'm just waiting for the walls to cave-in financially in this country. The 2008 financial crisis was just "kicked down the road" without changing a thing, really. Just keep the public debt growing and growing. It sickens me, and has altered how I have prepared for a cataclysmic change in world order.


Tony White said...

Trump says he will propose new tax cuts prior to November

Those GOP-er's love their tax cuts!!!


ModeratePoli said...

@Tony, that's an important story. Of course, what Trump says he'll do and what he actually does are two different stories. But this--is it going to be a pre-election promise to the middle class that's then forgotten? Will he even have the outline before November? And how will it affect the deficit? Oh yeah, no need to ask that.

But, Tony, do we have a GOP bot to argue for it? See, we might need one, or it's just a chorus.

Tony White said...

@M.P., I'm sure Yak may try to argue for it, if that's what you mean? Do we need more right-wing, conservative voices? I believe so. The whole pluthera of views. Are you being sarcastic regarding having any GOP-er's on board? For the record, I am an right-wing conservative democrat. Call me a "DINO."


Anonymous said...

Popcorn@MP re BBG post:
Yeah well these guys are annoying alright, but I can hardly spot an organized effort here, frankly. Like everything else in Putin’s Russia, any state project usually sinks in corruption. A normal practice is to see around 80-90% of state funds allocated getting embezzled. Leftovers are used to hire poor students who’re ready to work for peanuts on Putin’s troll farms. They’re simply not competent to debate on forums like BBG. I’d say people shilling for Putin regime here are independent and conscious commenters.
As for your second point. Imagine that the Dem candidate is disqualified for 2020 race. On the ground of personal rejection from Trump or a phoney (yes phoney, because it was already overturned by a higher International court) verdict. Or imagine that all Dem candidates were replaced with ‘alternative’ GOPs for November midterms. They are still plenty to choose from, right? ‘Cause Dems are just ‘unconstructive’ opposition, you know. How would you feel about such regime in power?