What to read

Daily Tissue reader Anthony, commenting on the new madison.com paywall “(It’s not a paywall,” says madison.com; “It’s complicated, and porous!” –actually we’re paraphrasing, not quoting), had this to say:

I’m out. I already pay $4.95 per month for access to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s website and budget-wise I can only afford one Wisconsin newspaper subscription at a time. I need to go with the one that has the best Capitol coverage and analysis.

We can’t argue with that. We’ve all got a point where we can’t or just won’t afford a further expense in some category, like news and information. Anthony talks about “Wisconsin” newspaper subscriptions as if maybe he’s buying outside Wisconsin, too. That would be very rewarding. Far too few of us are reading the New York Times.

For example, we reach out our hand and let it fall on the first copy of the NYT lying there, and the first story in the Monday June 18 edition — which is still sitting around, because there’s bound to be interesting stuff we didn’t get to yet, and never will — is this expose’/investigative report on privatized prison “halfway houses” in New Jersey. These are goddam hell holes run for profit.

In our humble opinion, no one should be subscribing to any local newspaper (in print or online) until they have FIRST subscribed to Amurica’s (yes, we said Amurica’s) flawed but nonetheless best newspaper, the New York TImes. Most of us don’t. That’s a mistake, repeated millions of times over, and we are a poorer nation for it. The NYT story begins:

TRENTON — Most of the attacks happened inside the supply closet. Away from workers or security cameras. A dark space that Vanessa Falcone tried desperately to avoid.

Ms. Falcone was an inmate at the Albert M. “Bo” Robinson Assessment and Treatment Center, a 900-bed halfway house here that is at the vanguard of a national movement to privatize correctional facilities.

She was assigned to the cleaning crew, under the supervision of a janitor. One night in 2009, he ordered her into the closet.

“He took his pants off and grabbed my hair and pushed me down,” Ms. Falcone, now 32, said in an interview. “That started a few weeks of basically hell.”

Finally, she told a senior guard that she was being sexually assaulted, according to internal reports written by the guard.

She was immediately transferred to another halfway house. The janitor was dismissed. And that is where it ended.

State officials and prosecutors did not conduct an inquiry into the allegations or the halfway house, which is run by Community Education Centers, a company with close ties to New Jersey politicians, including Chris Christie, who became governor in 2010. [emphasis added]

“They shipped me off to another place like it never happened,” said Ms. Falcone, who had gone to prison for forging prescriptions.

This 3-part story can only be criticized for being  too long, too thorough. It’s too much, and in fact we haven’t read all 3 parts. It took 10 months to research, and it is just devastating to the notion of privatizing prisons.

Don’t want to read all those words? The NYTimes also has video reports of the same story.

If you haven’t tried the New York Times, try it now. There’s a link in the sidebar at the right.  We recommend getting some version of the newsprint delivered; this automatically includes full access to everything digital. There is frankly so much there… it’s not just 10 times better, it’s 100 times better than madison.com. And with the hardcopy, you can visually scan quickly and thoroughly for what interests you. There is no way to scan any online news source as quickly and thoroughly as you can scan the hard-copy pages. Skeptical? Try it for yourself. And let us know if you think we’ve steered you wrong.