Publishers: Stop Breaking Your Sites

The New York Times has a nice new redesign. One small problem: I can’t copy/paste quotes from stories there. It took me a couple of minutes of fucking around to get one quote into the post below this. Maybe “blogging is dead” and everybody is on the Twitter, but I’m sure we’ve sent a few million hits to the Times over the years, and this new redesign means we’ll be sending less.
Similarly, a few months after redesign, the Maddow Blog still hasn’t put out a RSS feed that lets someone follow Steven Benen’s posts. So I’m posting less of his (excellent) work, like this find: a New Jersey Pastafarian town councilman who wore his sacred colander when being sworn in.

Here’s an open thread to share your redesign nightmare stories.

144 replies
  1. 1
    Aji says:

    It’s a feature, not a bug.

    Ergo, they’re not “breaking” anything.

  2. 2
    SGEW says:

    You can actually follow all of Benen’s posts by looking for them here:

  3. 3
    Kiko says:

    @Aji: Correct. Just wait until HTML5 and DRM is implemented in all browsers. I have this feeling mistermix and a lot of other people are going to be outraged approximately a year after it would have made a difference.

  4. 4
    Aji says:

    @Kiko: That’s over my head. What’s gonna happen – no ability to cut and past quotes from anywhere?

    Or is it going to be a much wider-scale overhaul on a lot of fronts?

  5. 5
    MikeJ says:

    What happens when you you try to copy text? I just followed your link in both Firefox, where I keep javascript turned off, and Chrome, where I keep it on, and had no trouble at all copying.

  6. 6
    Amir Khalid says:

    I tend to think so too. Making it impossible to copy/paste chunks of text means that those who paid to get in, like dpm, can’t sneak the goods out to their friends i.e. us.

  7. 7
    Aji says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yes, All about those $$.

  8. 8
    gene108 says:

    I just saw a really stupid commercial for a Citibank Thank You Rewards card. It has a college-ish age intern getting donuts (several dozen) and coffee for the office in the morning and instead of thinking he’s being treated like crap he’s gloating because his Citi Rewards Points will pay for a vacation to Miami, Florida in the near future.

    Anyone who has ever had rewards points on a credit card must realize the amount you have to spend in order to get anything worthwhile is pretty fucking huge. The kid would have to be buying donuts and coffee for the rest of his life to get his vacation.

    Also, too what sort of dickish office sends an intern to get food for like 30 people and not allow him to claim it as an expense? Has Evil Big Cubicle Corporation gotten so bad?

    It’s just one of those commercials that I see and immediately say bullshit to the premise, which is why I guess I do not like it.

  9. 9
    Comrade Mary says:


    Under the Constitution, the president nominates federal judges, cabinet members and officials for executive agencies, and the Senate votes on their confirmation. But what if the Senate isn’t in session? The answer has always seemed clear: The Constitution gives the president the power to fill “all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate.”

    Latest Firefox with latest NoScript, with all NYT associated sites permitted or just some of them — and it works fine.

  10. 10
    Joshua James says:

    I HATE the new design of the Maddow Blog… and CROOKS AND LIARS just did the same thing, basically… because I have to click on a story to see if I want to read it, and then click back, etc, and sometimes I just don’t click because there isn’t enough info…

    whereas (like this blog, or like papers of old) if my eyes skim down to see what’s new, I often get drawn into a story i might have never have read, given the headline or blurb… because it’s there. And I don’t have to do anything but follow with my eyes.

    I don’t think Maddow Blog or C & L are now as user-friendly, and tweeted as such, but that’s what they want to do… and I find myself reading less and less of them, just because of that…

  11. 11
    c u n d gulag says:

    I love Steve Benen, but I’ve had nothing but problems with their redesigned site.

    It’s a fustercluck!

    And, no matter how many e-mails you send telling them about your problems, it appears that no one over there gives a flying f*ck!!!

    Also, too – Crooks & Liars! Hate – HATE! – the redesign!!!

    I’m an old dog, and I’m not interested in learning any new f*ckin’ tricks!!!!!!!!

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    Well, there’s the Slate redesign. I called it a ‘hot mess’ at the time it was introduced and I haven’t changed my mind. If there’s some deep logic to the order of the articles and the targets of the links on the front page, it’s ‘way too subtle for me.

  13. 13
    MikeJ says:

    @gene108: I believe the premise is he is claiming it as an expense, but puts it on his card (and uses the expense claim to pay off the card) to get the points.

  14. 14
    lamh36 says:


  15. 15
    MattF says:

    Oh, and love that photo. The gray-haired guy whose photograph is on the wall looks astonished.

  16. 16
    Elizabelle says:

    test: text from NYTimes story this morning

    A National Strategy Funds State Political Monopolies

    Exploiting a loophole in the state law and a network of political action committees in Alabama and Washington, Mr. Hubbard shuffled hundreds of thousands of out-of-state dollars into the Republican organization in Alabama, vastly outraising the state Democratic Party. On Election Day, Republicans won majorities in both the State Senate and House of Representatives for the first time since Reconstruction — and Alabama joined the rapidly growing fraternity of states where government is controlled by a single political party, now the largest it has been in more than half a century.

  17. 17
    IowaOldLady says:

    Mr IOL is watching a recording of the FOX Sunday show, hoping to point and laugh. Predictably, they talked briefly about Christie, mostly saying the media was mean to him and what about Benghazi? I put on my Mom Hat and said, “We’re not talking about Barack from down the street. We’re talking about you.”

    Then they moved on to the Gates book.

    They are so predictable.

  18. 18
    MikeJ says:


    Then they moved on to the Gates book.

    The book in which Gates says that Obama made all the right calls in Afghanistan?

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    mistermix: NYTimes cut and paste worked fine for me, but I’ve noticed other glitches on its site.

    I preferred readers comments appearing at bottom of linked story, not as sidebar.

    However, appears you can still pull text of a comment to paste here:

    reader comment from diekundsterfuge on the story re funding political monopolies:

    Now that we have had a few election cycles to assess the impact of Citizens United, we must sue to reinstate the basic limits on campaign contribution that that decision lifted. As the article briefly relates, research now exists to corroborate testimony by experts that unlimited, unchecked funds pouring into the political agenda of one party or another does grievous damage to the integrity of our society.

    How ironic, for all the screaming they do about states’ rights, conservatives sure don’t seem to mind when political money laundering from one or more states steamrollers over the inclination of other states to eject conservatives from office.

    comment by reader Terry Plumb of Rock Hill, SC:

    An insightful article, which every American should read. Two suggestions on related topics The Times should pursue:
    1. The industry that raises and spends campaign $. Ideology aside, people are making millions on the process. Who are they? Do they really care who’s elected or is their primary motivation monetary?
    2. The insidious political fraternity, which parks campaign operatives in highly paid state jobs between election years. These people — bright, energetic no-nothings — replace knowledgeable govt. employees and do real harm. Every state govt. is littered with them.

    It might be harder to link to the comments, but they’re attributed with the story

  20. 20
    Schlemizel says:

    @Joshua James:

    My guess is the design is good for the cell phone viewer. You can’t see much & the text is tiny so you have to have very few words that load as quickly as possible & let people click through if they think it might be worth waiting for the load time to read.

    Yes it sucks

  21. 21
    Elizabelle says:


    Looks like the Pastafarian is wearing a plastic colander.

    Maybe he couldn’t get a metal one through security.

    Maybe he didn’t want the gleam from reflected metal … it’s hard out there for a Pastafarian.

  22. 22
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Schlemizel: Yabbut that’s why sites have mobile versions. Even The Reality-Based Community is now readable on both desktop and mobile. The MSNBC site is a heap of fail everywhere.

  23. 23
    IowaOldLady says:

    @MikeJ: That’s the one. It’s a “bombshell.”

  24. 24
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Schlemizel: That’s probably it. C&P works fine for me at the NYT in Chrome on Winders, but there have been sites that attempt to block it using the usual L mouse button drag. (I haven’t looked at it on my phone or tablet yet.) In those cases, I open a page text window (ctrl-U) and copy (and edit) as needed.

    I think the NYT redesign generally looks better, but the usability has gone down. Note that they’ve removed the “last update” time stamp from the NYT mast-head, so one never knows how old it is. I default to refreshing it each time I go back to its tab. “More Hits!!!11”


  25. 25
    Amir Khalid says:

    Although, like other commenters here, I’m not having any problems copy/pasting text:

    Under the Constitution, the president nominates federal judges, cabinet members and officials for executive agencies, and the Senate votes on their confirmation. But what if the Senate isn’t in session? The answer has always seemed clear: The Constitution gives the president the power to fill “all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate.”

    I’m still under my monthly 10-story limit, by the way.
    ETA: Firefox (thwe latest version, whatever that is) and Winders Sieben.

  26. 26
    rda909 says:

    Wait. You’re complaining that you can’t copy other peoples’ work, then paste that work to a site that profits from the advertising of the wingnut welfare circuit? So “progressive” of you.

  27. 27
    SteveM says:

    I agree with complaints about the iPhonization of every site’s design — but I’m having no problem copying and pasting from the Times site. I’m in (boo! hiss!) Win8 using Chrome, BTW.

  28. 28
    IowaOldLady says:

    Holy crow. On some other Sunday show, someone is saying this isn’t nearly as bad as Obama shutting WWII monuments. These people are demented.

  29. 29
    Donna says:

    I use this in my reader, and it works pretty well to find Benen’s posts:

  30. 30
    Kiko says:

    @Joshua James: You know I was about to mention a site I stopped reading a few years ago when it was redesigned to maximize page views, and I just realized I don’t remember its name anymore. (I am one of those people who will have a bad experience at a restaurant and boycott it well past the time when I remember why it is I am boycotting it.)

  31. 31
    TriassicSands says:

    In my experience, the vast majority of site redesigns bring change without improvement. For some reason (small mobile devices?), web designers (I mean you Google) seem to think that hiding options and requiring additional pointer clicks to accomplish simple, common tasks is what redesign is all about. The Times redesign also qualifies for this kind of unimproved, new-and-improved site.

  32. 32
    J. says:

    Hate the NYT redesign — or rather the new architecture/navigation. Glad I’m not the only one. Did the Times not beta test the new navigation with actual users? Doesn’t seem that way. Now I have to click twice as many times to move around. And I HATE the sidebarring of the Comments.

  33. 33
    Violet says:

    @IowaOldLady: Watched “Meet the Republicans” for grins this morning. Led with the Christie story and the roundtable including Chuckie Toddler, an African American woman who was the Mayor of somewhere–I think it was Baltimore–and had some position with the DNC I believe (didn’t catch all that), Mark Halperin, and some woman who is on the editorial board of the WSJ–she was a true Murdoch toady. That went about as you’d expect.

    Then he moved on to Reince Priebus (sp?) and at that point I muted it and paused the TV. I just FF’d through it it and noticed the chyron at the bottom changed from “Bridgegate” to “Bombshell”–which was about the Gates book–at the very end of the Priebus interview.

    After the mid-point commercial break they’ve gone to Iowa where John Yang is interviewing voters about Bridgegate, as they are calling it. Hysterical.

  34. 34
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Violet: Hey! I’m an Iowa voter and no one asked me.

  35. 35
    The Pale Scot says:

    Apropos of nothing, a small culinary discovery. B&J’s Butterscotch ice cream dropped into a cup of strong sumatran coffee with splash of Jamison’s is quite good.

    Under things you can’t try during the week.

  36. 36
    kdaug says:

    You know what’s brilliant?

    On, yea verily, this very site, (very) I have a box on the right with the following text within:


    You don’t have permission to access / on this server.”

    OK, I don’t make the cut to view your ad? Cool. I think this works out best for both parties.

    ETA: Could you let the rest of the ad servs know?

  37. 37
    mai naem says:

    The NYT can do what they want but if people don’t want to pay for it, they’ll find a way and it’s easy now with people having multiple devices. You get your ten articles with your cell phone, another ten with your tablet, another ten with your home laptop/pc, another ten at your computer at work. I don’t have the solution but this stuff is throwing money on IT.

  38. 38
    sparrow says:

    @Violet: Was it Sheila Dixon (our disgraced ex-mayor), or Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (the current, useless mayor)? They’re both worthless pay-to-pay corrupt dems, I’m afraid.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @IowaOldLady: You clearly were not at the Red Hat ladies meeting at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Urbandale, Iowa. That’s where it was all going down.

  40. 40
    The Pale Scot says:

    Also, you can no longer use Anonymouse to access the NYT.

  41. 41
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I’m still under my monthly 10-story limit, by the way.

    If you hit the limit, Private Browsing (ctrl-shift-p in FF, ctrl-shift-n in Chrome) is your friend. Starting a fresh PB window resets the counter.


  42. 42
    skippy says:

    @Joshua James & @c u n d gulag: i, too, hate the re-designed maddow and c&l blogs. i certainly don’t read either as much as i used to (tho mike’s blog round up is still a daily read for me).

    another used to be much easier to read blog is skepchick, a feminist skeptic blog. again, now i don’t read it as much as before.

    luckily balloon juice re-design is not off-putting, and i still read it daily.

    and of course, skippy is as user-friendly as ever!

  43. 43
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Violet: Oh gawd. That’s embarrassing.

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @sparrow: I just rewound to find out. It was Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. When Dancin’ Dave asked her her one question, she led with “I want to start by saying I’m loathe to criticize Gov. Christie who was so helpful to our President after Sandy.” That cracked Dancin’ Dave right up. He said, “You just hurt him with Republicans by praising him,” and dissolved into peals of laughter. She looked nonplussed.

  45. 45
    Botsplainer says:

    Personally, I dislike most of the site redesigns of the last two years. They don’t seem to add anything useful.

    And every mobile site I’ve seen is an abortion.

  46. 46
    Ben Franklin says:


    When I’ve reached my five free ( 5 pending free after free registration) rather than last year’s 10, I just don’t read until the next 5 free come up in a month or less.

    That’s not a bug to me.

  47. 47
    MattF says:

    @The Pale Scot: I can’t blame publishers for limiting free anonymized access to their sites. I’m sure the NYT faces constant attacks from just about everywhere.

  48. 48
    The Pale Scot says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I delete my Safari cookies with Coco Cookies, that is no longer working, the Chrome still works?

  49. 49
    Aji says:

    @Ben Franklin: No, but it’s not a bug to them, either. All it means is that you’re not their target market – i.e., those susceptible enough to fork over $$ to access the site and all its features, while not giving a shit that they won’t be able to copy/paste to discuss the content elsewhere. They’re wagering that there are more than enough people unlike you out there to make their current model profitable.

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    Politico can see which way the wind is blowing and it’s blowing in the direction of “More Christie scandal stories and extra dirt on him mean more clicks!” Hence from Politico Magazine we get: 15 Chris Christie controversies you may have missed. It’s a good roundup of various things that may get a little more scrutiny now.

  51. 51
    rda909 says:

    @c u n d gulag: Yes, sites almost always have tons of problems when they are redesigned, and especially when they’re brand new. I remember even this site had all kinds of issues for a long time with a redesign, and it’s a fairly simple WordPress design.

    That’s why it was odd to me that just a month or so ago the dominant theme here and so many other “progressive” blogs was that Obummer screwed the pooch yet again with the launch. Of course, never any mention of how they built in 3 months buffer time to iron out kinks, which they seemed to have done quite well, and at probably one of the more complicated sites possible. Oh yea, and the Wingnut Welfare operatives and t-bagger govs all over the country were doing their best to blow up the site, and still are for that matter.

    President Obama and his administration has succeeded very well despite all that. Too bad so many “progressives” still fall into the media’s “failure” storylines with regard to anything President Obama does. With the 2014 midterms fast approaching it sure would be nice to have maximum energy and excitement to make sure we diminish the control Republicans have. That kind of enthusiasm from liberals and progressives has been earned by President Obama, with his incredible track record of liberal accomplishment so far.

  52. 52
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @The Pale Scot: Dunno. I’ve never kept up with the various ways of manually deleting cookies. I just run Spybot Search & Destroy (on Winders) to clean out cruft like that occasionally. AdBlock Plus, FlashBlock and SBS&D have been sufficient for me (on Winders). When I do use a Mac, it’s usually FF or Chrome with ABP and FB. I only use Safari when nothing else works (no particular reason).



  53. 53
    Violet says:

    Ooh! Looks like Dancin’ Dave has TWO roundtables this morning! Part two, which appears to be the second half hour of the show, is going to be on the Gates book. He’s got Tweety, Gibbs, Rick Santorum (WTF?), former Congresswoman from CA Jane Harmon, and Jeffrey Goldberg. That’s five people. Haven’t seen that before.

  54. 54
    geg6 says:

    The redesign of the Maddowblog sucks donkey dicks. Just sayin’.

  55. 55
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @The Pale Scot: In case I misread your question – I started Safari on Winders. Under the “gear” icon on the top right there is a “Private Browsing…” item on the menu. If you select it you get a “Private Browsing” box in the URL box. Presumably going to the NY Times that way works the same way as it does on FF and Chrome (the Times will set a cookie to keep track of your article count, but it won’t be retained when you close that tab, so the counter will start fresh when you start again).

    Presumably it works the same way on the Mac.



  56. 56
    Violet says:

    @geg6: It really does. The whole MSNBC site is awful and impossible to navigate.

  57. 57
    wvng says:

    @c u n d gulag: I have heard from good sources at msnbc that a lot of people are very unhappy with the new design and working to get it changed.

  58. 58
    IowaOldLady says:

    The MSNBC site takes forever to load on my computer and then runs very jerkily.

  59. 59
    Violet says:

    @IowaOldLady: The other day someone linked the Mayor of Fort Lee’s appearance on Andrea Mitchell’s show. That video never loaded for me, ever. I tried several times but no go.

  60. 60
    geg6 says:


    Yes, and if the intention was to make it more friendly for mobile devices? FAIL!

  61. 61
    EthylEster says:

    TriCare’s online website WAS pretty good.

    Then Medco redesigned it (after buying whoever delivers TriCare online pharmacy services IIRC). The result: much slower page loads, harder to find info, less informative email “reminders”, loss of history on scripts in place before Medco purchase, etc.

    I can’t find a way to get site to remember IDs, etc and when I log out of one parent’s account, no easy was to login in to the other parent’s account. Maddening. Customer service via email SUCKS.

    Note that this is an excellent example of how the private sector can screw things up…if we needed another example.

  62. 62
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Did you try with Firefox or IE? I posted something here about this a few days ago, seems to only be a problem using Chrome, at least for me.

    The other thing I see is that my Chrome auto-zoom extension now doesn’t work at their site, as soon as I click to go to a specific page, it’s zoomed way in. Then if I adjust for that, when I go back to the home page it’s zoomed way out.

  63. 63
    sneezy says:

    I just copied and pasted from various pages at with four different desktop browsers (firefox, safari, chrome, and opera). No problems.

  64. 64
    MikeJ says:


    The whole MSNBC site is awful and impossible to navigate.

    I’ve never read a positive comment about their redesign, but I wonder if that means anything. 99% of people never comment on anything on the internet. Every comment you read is written by an outlier, a weirdo who actually posts. The only way to know if the redesign achieved their goals is to look at their traffic and see if it’s gone up or down.

    FWIW, I despise the mobile everywhere sites too, but people with more than two neurons to rub together are rarely the target audience for any web site.

  65. 65
    PeakVT says:

    Sites are getting worse, and Firefox is, too. The last upgrade broke at least two extensions I really like. But they incremented the version number, so progress!

  66. 66
    Zippity says:

    @geg6: 100% agree.I used to go there several times a day, now it’s less than once a week. I cancelled my NYT digital subscription because of the new design with the comments-and let them know that was the reason. I cannot view all the comments in chronological order with their replies on my android phone. Totally useless now, unless viewing from a desktop. It won’t even let me request the desktop site from my phone.

  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:


    MSNBC was never my “go to” site (I don’t read any of the network news sites), although it’s a shame it’s so hard to find Steve Benen. Wish he was back at Washington Monthly.

    That said: since the MSNBC redesign was so shit-tastic, is it possible it’s sabotage by designers or someone else in the corporate hiearchy?

    Because once you shake longtime lurkers/viewers off your site, they may not go back.

  68. 68
    MikeJ says:


    The last upgrade broke at least two extensions I really like. But they incremented the version number, so progress!

    Firefox mobile now requires a restart for changes in the useragent string to be picked up. Last I saw it was wontfix because they don’t want to encourage people to actually get stuff done.

    And Stoke equalizes!

  69. 69
    gogol's wife says:


    Amen, brother (or sister).

  70. 70
    currants says:

    @MikeJ: TOTALLY off topic: you posted some recipes for pie crust sometime before the holidays. The one that uses vodka makes truly fabulous crust (at least for apple pie, which is all I’ve made so far), but is a royal PITA to work with once you start rolling it out/putting it in the pan. Any tips for mitigating that?

  71. 71
    currants says:

    @SGEW: Hmm. Tried that, but I get ALL of MSNBC news updates (subscribing using feedly). Too much I don’t want.

  72. 72
    Suzanne says:

    GEEZ, Mistermix. I’ve been complaining that you can’t click on links or copy/paste text on THIS site’s mobile version since the last redesign. Seems slightly unfair to complain about the NYT’s site doing the same thing.

    Can you plz fix this site now?

  73. 73
    MikeJ says:

    @currants: I did?

    My best tip for rolling out pie crust is keep it cold. Put a jelly roll sheet in the freezer and as the dough heats up apply the cold pan to the crust. I usually keep two in and swap them back and forth. Cold cold cold is the best hint for pie crust. If you’ve got grantie countertops like all good liberals they can help hold the cold. If you don’t, but you do have a large pizza stone use it. It’s designed to be a thermal reservoir, usually maintaining a high temp. You can stick a pizza stone in the freezer and roll out your pie crust on it.

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    The “jerkily” part was personally requested by Morning Joe The Intern Killer just to remind you that he’s on MSNBC.

  75. 75
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    OT but reality just keeps demonstrating that satirical exaggeration, even by the best satirists we have, can barely keep up with reality.

  76. 76
    aimai says:

    @MikeJ: Interesting solution. You can also put a bag of ice down on a stone surface before rolling it out to extra chill it. I have a marble countertop but I don’t find that it holds the cold all that well. I’ve done the icecube thing.

  77. 77

    What kind of publisher discourages quoting of their publications? Me, I’ve never been willing to pay directly for the NYT site. Instead, I read the NYT at our local library site via one of the big aggregators.

  78. 78
    Comrade Mary says:


    GEEZ, Mistermix. I’ve been complaining that you can’t click on links or copy/paste text on THIS site’s mobile version since the last redesign. Seems slightly unfair to complain about the NYT’s site doing the same thing.

    What mobile device are you using? Works ok on iOS 6.

  79. 79
    WaterGirl says:

    @aimai: I thought the secret to making a great pie crust is that you handle it as little as possible. No dawdling while rolling it out. Roll this direction, roll that direction, boom boom boom and you’re done.

    *I should state that I do not make a great pie crust, so I am not an expert. This is just what I’ve read as I have tried to get better.

  80. 80
    AnonPhenom says:

    “Similarly, a few months after redesign, the Maddow Blog…”

    Couldn’t tell ya. Every time I go to their site since the redesign my Apple mobile device crashes. I mean, I know Safari sucks. But it appears the web designers at MSNBC (and the Executives directing them) suck just as hard.

  81. 81
    dpm (dread pirate mistermix) says:

    @SteveM: Same here – chrome, win8.1. I wonder if it’s browser and OS-specific.

    @Suzanne: I’ll bring that up with our large, highly-paid design team. BTW, you can switch to the non-mobile site if you don’t like the mobile one.

  82. 82
    Keith P says:

    I quit going to over its redesign. They added so much damn javascript that I had to literally wait a full minute to actually use the site. JavaScript is overly abused everywhere, unfortunately (my biggest pet peeve is when sites use it to scroll to the top of the page after loading. I hit a site, start reading it while it still loads, and then it’ll jump back to the top when I’m halfway done with an article)

  83. 83
    cleek says:


    he’s gloating because his Citi Rewards Points will pay for a vacation to Miami, Florida in the near future.

    wife and i flew from NC to Japan, first class. entirely on CC points.

  84. 84
    anonymoose says:

    Benen RSS Feed:

    Its not a full story feed, but just about everything Benen writes is worth a click-through anyways.

  85. 85
    Baud says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix):

    FWIW, I like the mobile site. One annoying thing is that, after hitting refresh, the mobile site auto-scrolls to the top. It used to stay at the same place where I hit refresh, which is more convenient for long comment threads. If that can be fixed, it would make me very happy.

  86. 86
    cleek says:

    @Keith P:

    when i try to read MotherJones’ site at work, the AV junk spends ten seconds chugging through all the JavaScript crap they use. sucks.

  87. 87
    MattF says:

    @Keith P: Vertical ‘jumping up and down’ is my biggest peeve about the Guardian site. I try to click on the navigation bar across the top of the page, and it jumps away. [Raspberry sound].

  88. 88
    currants says:

    @MikeJ: You did. (I think one had a link to serious eats, and the other was…probably somebody famous I hadn’t heard of.)

    I thought cold might be the problem, so the second time I made the crust about 6 hours ahead. It’s not so much the rolling out as the getting it off the plastic into the pie pan, and I can see how cold could help. And I think you’re right, cold cold cold will help even more. Thanks for the tips on how to accomplish that kind of cold once I’m in progress!

  89. 89
    currants says:

    @aimai: I don’t have a marble countertop, but I DO have a marble slab I could put in the freezer and use for this purpose. Ice cubes…hrmm, I can’t use them without making a mess.

    ETA I think the jelly roll plan is the easiest and least likely to result in a crashing mess on the floor, at least if I’m the one baking.

  90. 90
    CDW says:

    I had no trouble copying and pasting a line from the NYT and from your MSNBC article link to a Word doc using Firefox.

  91. 91
    Violet says:

    @Baud: Yes! This! Drives me nuts. On a long comment thread I have to scroll back down to where I was in the comments if I hit refresh. Also, the comments aren’t numbered on the mobile site so it makes it harder to find where you were.

  92. 92
    cleek says:

    oooh… and on new Disqus, you can’t shift-click (or ctrl-click) to a link to make it open in a new window. f Disqus.

  93. 93
    Andy says:

    This is the RSS feed @stevebenen himself posted on the Twitter shortly after the terrible, horrible MSNBC site was launched:

  94. 94
    Baud says:


    I don’t believe the mobile site has ever had numbering, but that would be nice also.

  95. 95
    Central Planning says:

    Just to be clear, the Pastafarian was elected in Pomret, NY (south of Buffalo), not NJ

  96. 96
    Bob h says:

    There used to be robust commenting at Washington Monthly. Then the redesign and no one comments anymore.

    Also, the redesign at National Memo is totally screwed up on IPad/Safari at least.

  97. 97
    raven says:

    @Bob h: There used to be robust commenting on NFL playoff games too.

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven: Amen, fellow Pastafarian!

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    Flag, my ass rabies.

  100. 100
    Corner Stone says:

    Down goes Scampernick! Down goes Scampernick!

  101. 101
    Ricky says:

    A sacred colander is not to be worn on the head. It is only to drain but preserve the water in which his Noodleship bathed.

  102. 102
    Stella B says:

    I am an old person. I am retired and do not use the laptop anymore because turning it on invariably requires Spybot and Malware Bytes attention. I use a tablet, but I do not use reading glass. Why does every site redesign cripple pinch-to-zoom and smart text? For two years I’ve been tapping and pinching to read and now I can’t. I may go back to paper.

  103. 103
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Bob h: Brad DeLong’s blog on Typepad can still get a decent number of comments, but his blog at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a ghost town because they only accept Facebook logins…

    It seems clear that management too often doesn’t understand what it takes to have sensible feedback from sensible readers. But it’s an old problem, going back to the late ’90s if not earlier (e.g., the 1996-1997 Reader’s Choice awards battles at InfoWorld). There’s little indication that they really care. The readers are the product, not the customer…


  104. 104
    debbie says:

    @mai naem:
    Or you can delete your nytimes cookies and start all over.

  105. 105
    smileycreek says:

    You would think that for a swearing-in he would wear something a little more formal.

    Like a stainless-steel colander.

    Plastic is more for Casual Fridays.

  106. 106
    Tripod says:

    Big media site design has always sucked. Probably always will.

  107. 107
    WereBear says:

    @anonymoose: Thank you muchly.

    Chrome is lagging behind, now Safari is 64 bit and that can handle some things better.

  108. 108

    @MikeJ: Me too, cutting and pasting as usual in Chrome and Blogger.

  109. 109
    TooManyJens says:

    @Keith P:

    JavaScript is overly abused everywhere, unfortunately (my biggest pet peeve is when sites use it to scroll to the top of the page after loading. I hit a site, start reading it while it still loads, and then it’ll jump back to the top when I’m halfway done with an article)

    Holy shit, people are doing that on purpose? God damn it, now I hate everyone.

  110. 110
    chrome agnomen says:

    @Corner Stone:

    ahem. isn’t that…Ramen?

  111. 111


    Stainless steel probably couldn’t get through the metal detector.

    Though if his point is that wearing a yarmulke or headscarf for religious reasons looks just as dumb as wearing a colander on your head, I’m not really sure it’s coming across. Just saying.

  112. 112
    JohnK says:

    Chrome lets me copy and paste from the NYT even from Krugman’s columns and blog. Also the Maddow blog appendix has info on the new links and RSS since redesign.

    The Wait Continues for Safe Tap Water in West Virginia


    After a chemical spill greater than previously estimated, hundreds of thousands of people may have to wait days before the water is declared safe to use again.

  113. 113
    M. Bouffant says:

    Was reading this (“Do mobile-friendly redesigns run the risk of frustrating desktop users?”) just last night. As someone in front of a laptop on a desk for close to 16 hrs. a day, I couldn’t agree more. I’m not for cluttered sites, but most of the mobile designs w/ the huge type & all the space look more like books for beginning readers. (Well, you ‘ll never go broke underestimating the maturity or reading ability of the American public.)

    I suspect this mobile thing is merely to distract all of you while they render you homeless, which you won’t even notice or miss because your noses will be so far in your ‘phones.

  114. 114
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @TriassicSands: Reminds me of Gawker. The new design is a little bit prettier, but it crashes my cellphone browser now, which means I rarely visit the site at all. But in the middle of all the tweaking they completely fucked their comments … basically let trolls go nuts (they used to be hidden, like on /. or generally any site with high traffic and low amount of money spent on moderators that uses ‘trusted users’ to decide if new users’ comments should be promoted or not) and drove off the old, interesting commentariat. (Gawker used to be heavily focused on the NY publishing world which gave them a unique slant. That’s history, of course.)

    Trolls were allowed onto Jezebel with predictable results… Jalopnik started sucking GM exhaust pipes but that was probably because the site went “legit” and the writers/editors went more conventional and abandoned the young, broke, quirky, hoonage-lover set, which meant the commentariat changed organically… io9 actually does not suck but gets blocked by my work since I guess they started as kinda overly academic takes on scifi (I remember when the site launched: zzzzzz) into a kind of i-f*cking-love-science fest with commenters who actually ARE scientists or science students, so it’s like a more fun Science Daily that I’m not allowed to look at and will crash my cell phone browser because THANKS GAWKER.

    eta: I’m sure work blocks io9 also because it has scifi/comic book movie rumors and reviews but heck, so do some of the local newspapers which are not blocked, although I guess you could say that impacts the local economy, but, meh, doesn’t reading the local newspaper and its crabby comments actually make me dumber and a less valuable employee? ;-D

  115. 115
    TooManyJens says:

    @M. Bouffant: I hate pretty much everything that’s trendy in web design now: type you can read from across the room, sticky elements that eat up screen space, sliders and pop-ups, low contrast (although I think this one may finally be swinging back), information presented solely in video format, and hiding things so that it takes multiple clicks to do simple functions. Some of that’s for mobile, some of it’s for trying to keep you on the site or get information out of you, and some of it I just can’t explain. Without Element Hiding Helper and Flashblock, much of the web would be intolerable.


  116. 116
    muddy says:

    @debbie: What I find faster is when I open an article and it darkens, I just go up and type “ny times” (just in that format) and then a word or 2 from the title of the article. I get a list of google results where the one I want is helpfully highlighted because I was just at that page, altho could not read it. Limitless articles.

    As far as pie crust goes, I freeze the butter (or wev shortening) before use and use ice water. When combined, I make a flat disk, put it on a plate in the fridge for a half hour to rest before rolling. The cold keeps the fat in blobs instead of melted, which is what makes the flakiness.

    For some uses I needed to be able to handle it more, and use some bread flour in it. Then you can stretch it a bit, and it doesn’t crack.

  117. 117
    Another Holocene Human says:


    Did the Times not beta test the new navigation with actual users? Doesn’t seem that way.

    Since the WWW began, doing actual usability research, using actual usability research, or even using the dedication to the scientific method employed by YUM!Brands marketers has been anathema to web design professionals.

    Forget it Jake, it’s web design firms.

    I remember in the mid 1990s when the MBTA (mucho bad transit, hehehe) had a perfectly serviceable website which they hired a crappy 3rd rate “webmaster” (seriously, I think it was like a sole proprietorship for the 10th largest city in the US’ transit agency and one of the epicenters of the tech boom… but don’t forget, MBTA was a crony-stuffing org so they made lots of bad decisions like that) to replace. He deleted the old site and made something so unusable that transit riders revolted and started throwing up their own websites with maps and schedules … yes … for real. (We didn’t call ourselves straphangers in Boston back then. In fact, there were no straps any more to hang from. I think maybe they have put straps on those lowfloor buses. Germy.)

  118. 118
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @rda909: Kos just had a big post on his own site telling single-issue screechers to stop negging partisans posting in glee over all the RWNJ (Right Wing New Jersey) Bridgeghazi fallout, and several determined screechers started arguing strenuously with Kos in the comments about why they should continue undercutting Democrats and demotivating Democratic volunteers.

    Kos is worried/excited about 2014. I don’t think he wants to kill the diversity on the site but it’s clear he wants enthusiastic local volunteers back on the site. He kicked the CTers off earlier. Interesting to see what he does with the Democrat-haters.

    Some signs of new life in the site in terms of a great volunteer active in Black Kos (Denise Olivia Velez) who has done some diaries to pull the conversation in another direction (from the dudebro and CT all the time crap) and local Kos meetups which segue into local activism and GOTV.

    If we can’t get mobilized in 2014 it’s gonna be a couple of long years. Lot of state races and GOP govs that gotta go this year.

  119. 119
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @currants: The site scrolling on its own is the sort of thing to impress PHBs when you unroll the new site design at the big meeting.

    Who gives a flip what customers want?

    Hence, NoScript.

  120. 120
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @cleek: If I can’t shift click a link to make a new tab I probably won’t follow it. Not just disqus–there are some plugin tools for blogs that bring up “related items” that do this too.

    Oh well.

  121. 121
  122. 122
    John Revolta says:

    Article says this guy’s from Pomfret NY. You guys’ve got him in Jersey.

    Whatddya think, you’re the friggin’ NY Times already?


  123. 123
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Stella B: Since the web started and web design as a field was launched by technically (not to mean otherwise) ignorant desktop publishing mavens, web designers have been exploiting any function in html, css, etc to force content to appear a specific way on YOUR screen. They muck with font, font size, background color, table width (so you can’t expand to get rid of scroll bars and must scrollbar if your screen is small), etc, etc.

    HTML was designed to fit many different monitors, so naturally this is the first thing they BREAK.

    They don’t care about people with presbyopia or people who are blind and using voice readers and people with shitty monitors that want to set the colors to less eye straining, and people with crappy equipment that turns a webpage with 200 OnMouseOver events into a videogame for the damned.

    You Vill Readt Euer Site Dis Vay!!! 10 point Helvetica #000000 on #ffffff! Oder else!

  124. 124
    Steeplejack says:


    Conspiracy theorists, I think.

  125. 125
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): You might have a point. His Noodly One was rolled into existence during a gentile-vs-gentile battle over teaching YEC Christian sectarian doctrine in science classes. Some sophomores came up with “Intelligent Design” and attempted to pitch that in court as non-sectarian, which it is not, neither is it science, and Pastafarianism was invented to satirize their arguments. YEC’s aren’t known for wearing head-covering, nor are secular gentiles, so the colander stuff is a dig on “ethnic” religions generally and there is some privilegy stuff to unpack there.

    Attacking people’s funky ethnic sartorial and tonsorial choices has a long history in the white supremacist playbook. (I’m talking about the Buckley set here, not Illinois Nazis.) Like Black women harassed at work or even denied promotions or terminated for wearing braids instead of using hair relaxers* and irons.

    *-this word is Orwellian

  126. 126
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @TooManyJens: conspiracy theories, like US did 9/11, etc

  127. 127
    Steeplejack says:

    The New York Times Web site redesign definitely has its bad points. I have two big beefs: First, I usually read the site on my Nexus 7 tablet, and I like to read the desktop site, not the mobile one. Even after selecting the desktop site, it still forces me to the mobile version of individual stories. It even does that if I manually edit the URL to take out the “mobile” part. Grr!

    Second, I get forced to the mobile version for article comments, which default to “newest first” and can’t be changed to “oldest first.” Maddening. I like reading the comments on certain stories/writers, e.g., Krugman’s blog, but reading them in reverse chronological order is incredibly frustrating. I tell myself that I will go back and look at the story or whatever on the real computer later, but I never do.

    P.S. As others have noted, going into “private browsing” mode is an easy way around the article limit.

  128. 128
    Cookie Monster says:

    Ironically, this very sites iPad theme is horribly broken. Press-and-hold on links to open in new tab doesn’t work, links to previous comments don’t work, and it breaks local search somehow. On am iPhone, none of this is a problem.

  129. 129
    rikyrah says:

    In response to the happenings with IRAN:

    When people say there would be no difference between a President Obama and a President Clinton, I bring up the following:

    1. There would be NO ACA under President Clinton.
    2. We would have gone into Libya under President Clinton.
    3. We would have gone into Syria under President Clinton.
    4. Osama Bin Laden would still be chilling in Pakistan.
    5. We’d be on our way to war with Iran under President Clinton.

    No difference my ass.

  130. 130
    rikyrah says:

    Tea Party Seeks To Replace House Leader Eric Cantor With Even More Extreme Candidate
    Author: Stephen D. Foster Jr. January 11, 2014 1:46 am

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is often seen as the real hand of power among House Republicans in Congress. If it’s a choice between Cantor and Speaker John Boehner, the Tea Party caucus would rather follow Cantor. That may be true in the House, but the Tea Party itself would love nothing more than to replace Eric Cantor in 2014.
    The Tea Party intends to challenge Eric Cantor in a primary with their strongest candidate yet.

    Apparently, Eric Cantor isn’t an insane enough of a conservative for the Tea Party. That why they intend to run a candidate against him in a primary this year in Virginia. David Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, seeks to unseat the long-time Virginia congressman.

    “I want to be Eric Cantor’s term-limit,” Brat told the National Review. Adding weight to his candidacy, Brat has been meeting with some “big as they get” right-wing groups about supporting his campaign financially. If he manages to get such funding, Brat could be the biggest threat to Cantor’s career yet. “I think it’s safe to say it will definitely rattle some cages when it comes out,” Brat says of the potential donors. But why do the Tea Party and David Brat want to kick Cantor out of the House?

  131. 131
    sparrow says:

    @Violet: ouch. She always looks nervous on camera. I don’t really think she’s a terrible person, just an ineffective one that is being led around by corporate and political interests that are not going to lead to a better Baltimore, but rather a money-extraction exercise. Sigh.

  132. 132
    danielx says:

    Humility comes haltingly to Christie, if it comes at all.

    Hmmm? From Frank Bruni’s column today….Firefox 26.0.

  133. 133
    rikyrah says:

    Sarah Boxer @Sarah_Boxer 7m
    RT @kasie: President Obama message to Congress on Iran deal: “I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation.”

  134. 134
    sparrow says:

    @currants: A general tip from this gluten-free baker: roll it out between two sheets of parchment (or one parchment on the bottom and one plastic wrap on top. Don’t be ashamed to get your fingers in there and correct any cracking. Ask for help when it comes to inverting over the pie plate.

  135. 135
    rikyrah says:

    Bureau of Prison’s Universal Children’s Day – December 06, 2013

    This past weekend, the Bureau of Prisons held its first ever
    Universal Children’s Day, a visiting event for inmates and their
    families.[….] With more than 123,000 federal inmates who have children under the age of twenty-one, BOP is committed to giving inmates opportunities to enhance their relationship with their children and their role as parents. There is no substitute for looking your children in the eye and letting them know you care about them. I was pleased by the large number of children that were able to visit with their incarcerated parents.

    Nearly 8,500 children visited more than 4,000 federal inmates during this special weekend. Our institutions across the country collaborated with their local communities to make the event a tremendous success and many featured activities such as storytelling, face painting, parenting workshops, family worship services and holiday-themed arts and crafts.[….] For some inmates this was the first time they read a book to their child or drew a picture together. My hope is that this is just the beginning, for many mothers and fathers, of a sustained journey back into the lives of their children and their roles as parents.[…]

  136. 136
  137. 137

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I’m just saying, a nice macaroni necklace would get the same point across without making it look like you’re anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim.

  138. 138
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:


    The cold keeps the fat in blobs instead of melted, which is what makes the flakiness.

    My grandfather had ideas along those lines as well. He said the secret to a pie crust was to use two table knives to cut the fat (like scissors) into the flour when making the dough. Mashing it all together with a mixer or whatever was too hard on the fat and would lead to a concrete-like crust. It has worked when I’ve tried it, but that’s been less than half-a-dozen times over the years.


  139. 139
    Suzanne says:

    @Comrade Mary: iPad with the newest OS.

  140. 140
    Suzanne says:

    @dpm (dread pirate mistermix): The mobile site sucks on the iPad in portrait mode. The columns adjust so that the first and third columns stay the same size, but the center column, with all the content, gets REALLY narrow. You have to use it in landscape mode only, which stinks for commenting.

    Can’t copy text on the mobile version, either.

  141. 141
    smedley the uncertain says:

    NYT “DENVER — For exactly a year, Peyton Manning had lived with the duplicitous burden of being the N.F.L.’s best quarterback and an underachieving one. ”

    This seems to work for me from the New York Times

    BTW, I don’t know how to do nice block quotes like most of you do… Sorry

  142. 142
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @John Revolta: Dam,
    I was hoping we could keep it a secret! I gotta live here ya know…

  143. 143
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @smedley the uncertain: I do block quotes manually. Like so:

    [blockquote]This is blockquoted text.[/blockquote]

    When you replace the square brackets with angle brackets, you get:

    This is blockquoted text.

    Assuming FYWP doesn’t mess it up…



  144. 144
    Missouri Buckeye says:

    @SGEW: And the RSS feed for Benen is:

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