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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The band Dr Hook And The Medicine Show released a song called "The Cover of Rolling Stone," which made fun of artists who had "made it" by gracing the cover of the magazine. Rolling Stone featured them years later on the cover.
  • Magazine Decay: Charged with this numerous times. In general their approach to music became steadily less countercultural in their first decade, reversing a little with their belated discovery of Punk Rock. In recent years the honor of being on the cover hasn't gone to exciting new people in music so much as any celeb-of-the-moment who might sell copies.
  • Never Live It Down: Between the Boston Marathon and University of Virginia controversies, one must wonder how badly their reputation has been hurt and, if so, how long it will take to be restored.
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    • While recovered a bit from it, nobody will let Rolling Stone forget how rather crass they were on certain bands in the 60s and 70s such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
  • Popularity Polynomial: The late-80's/early '90s generally featured a lull in coverage toward breakthrough rock acts, preferring instead to focus on older ones such as Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones. Their chief competitor Spin noticed this and earned acclaim and a sharp increase in subscription due to its heavy coverage of the two rising genres of the era - alternative rock and hip-hop - both of which Rolling Stone had mostly ignored aside from the occasional feature on Run–D.M.C. or R.E.M.. This reversed after the release of Nirvana's Nevermind and the subsequent Grunge explosion.
  • Polish the Turd: Film critic Peter Travers has been known to give blurbs (quotes featured on the back of DVDs), so he often gives quotable one-liners in his reviews that are contrary to his actual opinion toward the film. This has been lampooned and criticized by many people who believe that he is only in the business for quotability.
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  • Vindicated by History: Albums from artists such as Black Sabbath, Joni Mitchell, and Jimi Hendrix were once given scathing reviews. Since then, the magazine has completely reversed its position and started to celebrate them.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Invoked when Rolling Stone hired numerous younger critics who were known for their expository articles regarding political events, such as Matt Taibbi and Michael Hastings. They're also known to praise newer, more relevant music styles while ignoring artists who haven't yet had a chance to prove their staying power, and the magazine has thus been accused of hopping on bandwagons.

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