|He Awakens the Rock Star in Only One in|
Five African Americans,
According to the New York Times
The amount of coverage that the Times has devoted to Richards in the past month boggles the mind: a simple nytimes.com search reveals that in the past seven days thirteen articles on Richards have been published in the pages of America's newspaper of record, while in the past thirty days, there are more than ten thousand references to him.
A similar search reveals that in the same past month, the Times has published just 18 articles in which Winston Churchill, for example, is mentioned; meanwhile a Times Online search of Charles de Gaulle - the 40th anniversary of whose death on November 9th, 1970 was just celebrated to huge fanfare in France - brings up only 19 results.
Now, there are many ways to bring down the Times, for they make it soooo easy these days, and we at COTT are not claiming that our research methodology is worthy of the scholarly untouchability of, say, a Michelle Obama dissertation. But nevertheless, we find it suspect that the Times would devote so many column inches to a pop culture figure who would be more appropriately chronicled in "US Weekly" or "People Magazine".
Of course, there is a reason that the Times writes non-stop about Keith Richards: to regain hipster authority among its shrinking youth readership.
What is at once hilarious and tragic to us at COTT, is that the first lines of today's NYT Book Review of "Life" contains a glaring journalistic faux-pax, wherein the rather lame reviewer, Liz Phair, equates ability to comprehend this Times pop culture hero with cognitive ability :
"You better believe it. This cat put the joie in joie de vivre. As the legendary guitarist for the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards has done more, been more and seen more than you or I will ever dream of, and reading his autobiography, “Life,” should awaken (if you have a pulse and an I.Q. north of 100) a little bit of the rock star in you."
The Times should have known better than to bring up the delicate subject of IQ, even in their breathless coverage of a pop icon whom they adore, and on the very front page of their Book Review at that !
We will expound on this topic shortly. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, please enjoy a few contributions by the well-indoctrinated readers of the grey lady to her comments section :
"Bravo to Keith Richards, one of the most important musical artists of our day as a Rolling Stone, now taking his own legend up a notch as an author. Beatles come, go, die off, but the Stones persist. Greatness lives on."