So bagging on RS has been good sport among rock-critic types for, oh, the past couple decades perhaps, with even subscribers often sassing the venerable rag for its Baby Boomer tendencies, from ludicrously fawning reviews (“World, meet Mick Jagger, solo artist”) to hilarious cover choices (still my favorite) to uncouth online snafus (recall the great domain-name quasi-disaster of a few months back). Their political coverage, too, has gotten ever more shrill and ever more dominant — sort of the print equivalent of “MTV doesn’t even play videos anymore.”
To those haters, Rolling Stone now says unto you, “Bite me.”
Anyone seeking reassurance that the magazine (or print as a whole) ain’t dead quite yet need look no further than RS getting Stanley McChrystal, the fuckin’ top commander in Afghanistan, fired. (They even, after some initial foot-dragging, put the article up online! So people could read it! Revolutionary!) For both rock writers and fans (?) of same, this is a mixed blessing — the magazine is generating major heat right this second (more than it has since… when? Longer than many of us have been alive, quite possibly), albeit with something not at all music-related. (Some valuable insight into the mag’s record of great political reporting here, BTW.) Does this mean U2 records will stop getting five stars? That Keith Richards might not appear on more covers in the next decade than all non-scantily-clad artists under 30 combined? Of course not. But at the very least you’ll have these guys to kick around for a great while longer. Don’t pretend you’re not relieved.