It’s odd, I think, that Variety‘s Justin Kroll (or his editor) would use quote marks to highlight the name of the rock group that Mick Jagger has been playing with for the last 49 years. It just seems weird that a writer or editor for the oldest showbiz trade in existence would do that. Editor: “Hey, Justin, a rock group’s name is like a play or a book title or a title of a movie…right?” Kroll: “Yeah, I guess so. It’s a performing act and you have to pay to see them….same difference.”

Quotes are a way of implying distance or a certain skeptical attitude on the part of a writer or a publication. You know…like a 1957 Time magazine story about beatniks using terms like “reefer” and “way out” in quotes? Variety referring to “The Rolling Stones” feels a bit analagous to that joke that Robert Klein told in the ’80s about the N.Y. Times always referring to male story subjects as “Mr.”, and concluding that in a story about Meat Loaf they would refer to him as “Mr. Loaf.”