Howell Raines was widely mocked in 2004 when, in a defense of his tenure at the New York Times, he said the paper of record should cover events of significance to the popular culture, such as the death of singer Aaliyah. (She'd been dismissed as a minor musician by one of the paper's stodgy critics.) When Raines was replaced as editor, it was assumed the Times would revert to its old gray ways. Except that it didn't. Online, of course, the Times has made its accomodation to popular obsessions, devoting vigorous coverage to the death of Heath Ledger, for instance. And in print, the last bastion of journalistic refinement? Here's the front of today's Arts section, devoted to an erudite analysis of that cornerstone of modern culture, the game show Deal or No Deal. (Related: Radar magazine has done a textual analysis of the Wall Street Journal since media mogul Rupert Murdoch captured the Times competitor. Conclusion: ever-so-slightly dumber.) Click for the image.