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Dumbest of This Week's 5 Dumbest: New York Times Pay-Wall Woes

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --The New York Times' (NYT) plans to set up an incredibly porous pay wall was considered the dumbest thing on Wall Street this week by readers of TheStreet.

As of late Friday, about 35% of the nearly 160 people who took our poll believe the Times plan is ill considered.

The new subscription system for the company's namesake newspaper debuts on March 28, allowing nonsubscribers 20 article views each month before the wall kicks in, or better put, until one decides they'd like to allow the wall to kick in.

All articles linked to the Times Web site from social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as five articles a day from search engine sites like Google, can be viewed independent of the limit, leaving a huge gap in the wall that the broadsheet is now seeking to plug.

The Times spent somewhere between $40 million and $50 million to build the wall. Despite that, publisher Arthur Sulzberger seems to have no idea who's reading his paper, or how everyday people use the Internet to their advantage.

"Can people go around the system? The answer is yes. There are going to be ways," Sulzberger said at an appearance at the Paley Center for Media. "Just as if you run down Sixth Avenue right now and you pass a newsstand and grab the paper and keep running you can actually get the Times free." Oh, so we're not savvy Web users, we're all thieves.

"Is it going to be done by the kind of people who value the quality of The New York Times reporting and opinion and analysis? No," he continued. "I don't think so. It'll be mostly high-school kids and people who are out of work."

Shortly after uttering this gem, Sulzberger was smacked with a sudden moment of self-realization. Maybe he saw what it would look like in print. "I can't believe I just said that." Neither can we.

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