I’m not sure what the big deal is. Nate Thayer was respectfully asked by Olga Khazan, the Global Editor for The Atlantic, to repurpose an article he wrote for NK News about “basketball diplomacy,” for the benefit of her readers. Nate Thayer, needing a paycheck more than exposure, respectfully declined. And then, perhaps deciding that if he was going to work for free, he might as well get that exposure in a different way, he chose to adapt his experience into a blog post about the sorry state of unpaid journalism. Publishing the editor’s e-mail address seemed unnecessary, I suppose, but hardly vindictive so much as childish: “You offered me exposure to your readers, I return the favor to you via mine.” And then his comments were picked up by New York, which got him being a bit more profane and officially on-the-record. Recursively, the whole thing wound up back at The Atlantic, in a half-defensive blog post by Ta-Nehisi Coates that seemed intent on contextualizing Thayer in the worst possible light. Which might not have been such a terrible thing, what with another blog accusing Thayer of plagiarizing his entire article. The whole thing’s spit-balled around the blogosphere long enough for even me, The Lowest Man on the Totem Pole, to chime in about it . . . so let’s get back to the actual point: that writers are increasingly asked to exchange their services–whether to create entirely new content or to adapt previously published work–for nothing more than the opportunity to reach a larger, or different, audience. Monetizing that would, one assumes, be left up to the writer . . . though if The Atlantic finds itself requesting free articles in order to boost their own ad revenue, I don’t imagine that’s a winning strategy.