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NY Post Fucks Up Royally

New York- The New York Post went eyeball to eyeball with an angry public this week.

Late yesterday, The Post blinked.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid had demanded on Tuesday that anyone trying to read its online edition must first provide a mother lode of highly personal information, including name, age, home address, home telephone number and even income.

But shortly before 5 p.m. – after Lowdown phoned Post execs Lachlan Murdoch and Col Allan to inquire about catastrophic glitches in their intrusive registration process – the execs backed down and abruptly removed the requirement.

Thus the vaunted new regime – or just “an opportunity to better serve our readers,” as a Post exec had madly spun it last week – was taken out and shot.

“The Post will have no comment,” the paper’s PR rep Howard Rubenstein told me after Murdoch and Allan refused to return my calls.

For the past two days, Post management had been under heavy fire from inside and outside the paper for the Web-site malfunction.

“New York Post registration fiasco,” pronounced the influential Romenesko media-biz Web site. “A right royal cockup,” declared a blogger on memefirst.com.

Gawker.com’s Jessica Coen complained: “It’s funny how you spend your whole damn day trying to register for the Post’s online edition – after all, you don’t put this much effort into far more significant activities, like toilet training your cat. Nevertheless, the Post is your kitty litter of choice … ”

Cybergossip Matt Drudge – whose drudgereport.com is perhaps the single biggest driver of Internet traffic to news sites – had even considered delinking Post features.

“I have more respect for my readers than to ask them their phone number, home address and how much they make – especially in this age of identity theft and database hacking,” Drudge told me.

I asked Rubenstein: Any chance that Post management will try to reinstate the hated registration requirement?

“They have no further comment,” Rubenstein declared. “I’m not going to say another word.”

 

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