"[I've] longed for the day when a long form piece about @NICKIMINAJ shows up in the Times. That day has arrived," tweets Liquor.com's Scott Hocker of the New York Times Magazine profile that has everyone talking today (11,700+ shares worth of talking so far). "Honestly how can anyone write today when this masterpiece exists?" wonders Daily Beast's Kevin Fallon. "Nicki Minaj, who is kind of a genius, didn't really give this writer anything until she tore her apart at the end," notices Katie Rogers with NYT Now. "This writer," by the way, is Vanessa Grigoriadis, who has previously profiled many pop stars, but not for NYT Magazine -- this was her first. "Reporter asks Nicki Minaj if she 'thrives on drama,' Minaj goes on long tirade and walks out. So...a little?" observes pop culture journalist Mark Harris. There was plenty of criticism for the Times, too, of course. "This Nicki Minaj profile is amazing mostly for Nicki, but also for how unquestioningly it assumes a white reader," points out Eater's Helen Rosner. At TechRader, Kate Solomon also notes, "NYT too distracted by the fact Nicki Minaj is a woman to ask her anything about her actual music or career." Either way, all hail Queen Nicki.
In other hubbubs, USA Today's Christine Brennan laments that domestic abuser and NFL player Greg Hardy remains unapologetic, yet will be cheered on Sunday, a fact that leads her to actually add the word "Sigh" to her column's headline. “If there’s one man in professional sports who should be contrite, it’s Hardy. Clearly, he doesn’t have it in him," Brennan writes. Speaking of football, checking in on yesterday's top story, the New York attorney general just opened an inquiry into fantasy sports sites. "And there it is," muses Daniel M. Jimenez with the Bay Area News Group.
In even bigger stories, the Associated Press reveals that nuclear smugglers sought terrorist buyers specifically with a vendetta against America. "Stories like this make me glad I live in flyover country," admits the AP's own Nicholas Riccardi. Meanwhile, Russia's defense ministry posts eerie video of missiles being fired across Iraq and Iran to bomb Syria. And back in the U.S., the Justice Department is poised to free 6,000 prisoners in its largest one-time release to date. "Good to see pendulum swinging back (a bit) on incarceration state," reacts National Journal's Ron Fournier.