Breakdown at the New York Times. - By Timothy Noah - Slate Magazine:
The Dec. 4 New York Times contains the single stupidest sentence to appear in that newspaper since I began reading it more than three decades ago. It's in a news story by Holli Chmela about the Kennedy Center Honors, an annual ceremony recognizing lifetime achievement in the performing arts. One of this year's winners was Andrew Lloyd Webber. Here is the sentence:
Mr. Lloyd Webber is often referred to as the Shakespeare of his time with musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera.
Setting aside any aesthetic judgments (which I'll admit is difficult), this sentence has an apples-and-oranges problem. William Shakespeare was a playwright and a poet. Andrew Lloyd Webber is a composer. Yes, they're both popular and British and men of the theater, but to compare the two makes as much sense as comparing Nathan Lane's acting with the set designs of Ming Cho Lee. Moreover, a quick search of the LexisNexis database indicates that it simply isn't true that Lloyd Webber, however idiotically, is "often" compared to Shakespeare.