Thankfully, this one (one of the better articles I read last year) is free:
Current Affairs - "The Truth is Paywalled but the Lies are Free"
Your tl;dr is ace.
I place http://archive.is/ before paywalled URLs.
http://libgen.is and Scihub can be useful. I do not know if they are riddled with malware.
I also send longer articles to Instapaper. I am going to pony up for the $100 lifetime membership at http://pinboard.in which will archive the full text of bookmarks.
There's an entire readability industry out there.
But we shouldn't have to have a quiver of cheap kludges to read text on the internet.
I teach technical writing so this regularly fills me with quiet rage.
There are days when I wish that Gopher was still a thing.
It is! I'm having a small capsule myself to play with.
There is also the trend toward lighter and lighter gray font color on a white background. Maybe white on white is next? Black on black for the dark mode crowd.