It's only been 5 years since Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl came out, that sounds like about the correct amount of turnaround time for the zeitgeist to hit the "paper of record."
The Times article covers various pirate fairs and images from a recent one in Savannah.
The article rightly states that while there are a preponderance of Captain Jack Sparrow impersonators, there is real creativity showing up in the work of many of these 17th century re-enactors. Just check out their Great Pretenders slide show.
Like Civil War re-enactors, many of these latter-day pirates pursue historical authenticity — down to their home-sewn underwear, pistol ribands and molded tricorn hats. Some have even hired blacksmiths to reproduce halberd axes from photographs. They can discuss their exploits without breaking character.
No Quarter Given, a journal of all things pirate, has counted nearly 130 re-enactment groups nationwide, compared with 9 in 1993, according to its publisher, Christine Lampe.