Like the Timex Social Club, I spend a lot of time lamenting the rumors that surround me every day. How do they get started? And where do they get crazy? In Truthmonger, I’ll try to suss out the kernels of truth in the rumors that are taking up airspace in gossip columns, blogs, and our tips inbox.
THE RUMOR: So the real reason for the pushback of Mariah Carey’s Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel? It’s because she wanted to snub the Grammys! Wait, let me get the exact quote from the completely faulty New York Daily News item that started it all: “Mariah’s been shafted so many times before that [pushing the record back] like a big ‘Kiss my butt’ to the Grammy folks… She doesn’t need the awards, because her career is already so successful.”
TRUTH THRESHOLD: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
HOW THIS RUMOR GOT STARTED: Yesterday’s Daily News started this whole line of spin with an item that was so many levels of wrong, I have to count the ways.
1. It claimed that the cutoff for Grammy deadlines is Sept. 28, and that Memoirs‘ newly christened Sept. 29 release date was a day late. (The Grammy cutoff date is actually Aug. 31. Memoirs missed the Grammy cutoff when it was first pushed back.)
2. It says the Whitney Houston record is coming out Sept. 1. (I Look To You will be released Aug. 31—just in time for it to qualify for the Grammys. Funny, that.)
3. Somehow this release-date jockeying is and isn’t resulting in a “Battle Of The Divas.” (Who cares.)
4. It notes that “Obsessed” “blasted onto the charts at No. 11,” but does not mention that it took another five weeks to get back to that spot. (Possibly not all that notable, though; to contrast, the first Whitney single went anywhere after debuting on the Hot 100 in the low 70s last week.)
5. Mariah “shafted” by the Grammys? She may not get the special Lifetime Achievement Award In The Form Of A Pony that she thinks he deserves, but The Emancipation of Mimi garnered Best Contemporary R&B Album, and “We Belong Together” picked up two awards, in 2006. If anyone’s doing the “shafting” here, it’s whoever ineptly promoted E=MC2 last year; “I’ll Be Lovin’ You Long Time” was at least as good as the Alicia Keys song up for consideration.
To sum it up: Sigh.
KNOCK IT TO ITS KNEES, BABY: I mean, I feel kind of bad for News gossip columnists Laura Schreffler and Amanda Sidman, because they just got spun so hard by whatever “music industry insider” fed them this story. But then I don’t, because their pile of sloppy reporting and factual inaccuracies is getting picked up all over the place! And it’s just 10 types of wrong, although I guess the people at IDJ are OK that this version of the tale behind Memoirs‘ pushback is now out there instead of the “label panicking over single not taking off right away even though it’s seemingly holding its own in a very weird pop climate where 95% of listeners would rathe engage with Michael Jackson and/or Beatles songs than anything new” plotline that’s the actual, y’know, truth. Bottom line: When newly installed Mariah mouthpiece Roger Friedman and I are agreeing about a story’s factual inaccuracies? You know someone somewhere screwed up big.
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