'Stone' cold

Magazine shows accused bomber through cracked lens of celebrity worship

  • Follow Editorials

The editors of Rolling Stone magazine defended their decision to grace its current cover with a flattering photo of the surviving Boston bomber by calling it “serious and thoughtful coverage” of “political and cultural issues of the day.”

Yes, and if you look up the definition of “hokum” you’ll see that explanation there, too.

What a load of manure.

“Serious and thoughtful coverage” of “political and cultural issues of the day” in no way requires 1) the use of a suspected terrorist’s picture; 2) the use of a suspected terrorist’s picture as big as life on your cover; or 3) the use of a suspected terrorist’s most complimentary picture he’s ever taken.

It is, however, a good way to draw attention to your magazine, which this has done. But with any luck, their decision to use Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s Glamour Shots photo – which made him look like a rock star – will backfire.

It already has created a backlash, with thousands around the country expressing outrage and offense at the despicable stunt, and several large retailers declining to sell that particular issue.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has added his disgust as well.

Are the fine folks at famed pop culture pundit Rolling Stone as tone-deaf with their music tastes? What in the world were they thinking when they decided to make a rotten, murderous, contemptible terror suspect look like the next coming of Bob Dylan?

What next? The “Tsarnaev Diet”?

It’s bad enough that there were already lunatics and crackpots out there – supposed Americans! – who support, admire and even love Tsarnaev. In social media and on Internet sites, fans of the alleged Boston Marathon bomber have expressed their devotion to him. One girl said she planned to have one of his Twitter quotes tatooed on her body. A Facebook page dedicated to freeing him had 6,000 followers earlier this year.

That’s just how vapid our celebrity-obsessed culture has become.

And, as twisted as Tsarnaev’s Manson-style groupies are, one expert warns that fawning media depictions such as the Rolling Stone cover could cause those depraved devotees to follow in his bloody footprints: “If they want to become famous, kill somebody,” a criminologist describes their potential thinking.

Thank goodness there are still people with more sense than either Dzhokhar’s disciples or the editors of Rolling Stone.

“CVS/pharmacy has decided not to sell the current issue of Rolling Stone featuring a cover photo of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect,” the chain said in a statement. “As a company with deep roots in New England and a strong presence in Boston, we believe this is the right decision out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones.”

Where are the favorable photos of Tsarnaev’s badly wounded victims who are striving to build their lives again?

Even a celebrity-spellbound culture should consider, from time to time, what it is celebrating.

Comments (32) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 07/23/13 - 11:03 pm
6
20
ACES, Take a chill pill.
Unpublished

In the real world (and I know this is a strange place for you, one in which you find yourselves at odds with many at times - one in which you may not have ventured) .. No one (including us dyed-in-the-wool liberals) could care less who Rolling Stone puts on the cover of their magazine. It's not the end of the world - nor representative of anything other than the wishes of the publisher of RS Magazine - get a grip.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 07/23/13 - 11:01 pm
5
17
But of course, President Obama must be behnd it ...
Unpublished

Let the vitriole against the President begin, Augusta, don't let me down ...

Chris 232
91
Points
Chris 232 07/24/13 - 12:48 am
0
1
Patience FedEx
Unpublished

I'm sure Humble Angela and Car Face are going to attempt to draw some islamo-fascist connection between the bomber kid and the president. Meanwhile MyFather is busy completing his dissertation on how all of this was prophecized in the book of revelation. The RS cover is another sign that we are living in the end times.

Riverman1
87033
Points
Riverman1 07/24/13 - 05:18 am
14
1
Reporter's Privilege

Let’s see, they get Gen. McChrystal fired by divulging private comments and put the Boston Bomber on the cover. Reporter's privilege I guess.

Dr. Hook
“But the thrill we've never known
Is the thrill that'll getcha when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rollin' Stone”

seenitB4
90979
Points
seenitB4 07/24/13 - 05:45 am
6
2
Backlash bites

I think they will see a backlash like the Food Network is right now.

corgimom
34215
Points
corgimom 07/24/13 - 06:22 am
7
1
Does anybody still read that

People still read Rolling Stone?

corgimom
34215
Points
corgimom 07/24/13 - 06:34 am
7
7
A newspaper is against

A newspaper is against Freedom of the Press?

If you don't like the cover, don't buy it. It's not like they are disclosing a big, dark secret.

I think the cover picture is intriguing. It makes you think. Here is somebody so evil, so twisted, but then you see that picture, and he looks so normal. He looks like someone attractive, desirable.

And that's the power and beauty of photojournalism.

karradur
2871
Points
karradur 07/24/13 - 07:07 am
5
7
Hey ACES, try this.

Read the article.

I cannot tell you how many people I've talked to who have complained about the cover, yet haven't actually read the article.

And the reason Rolling Stone used a picture of Dzhokar Tsarnaev that made him look like an all-American boy is because he WAS an all-American boy.

But you'd have to read the article to find that out, and apparently that's too hard for the ACES, as well as an "outraged" America that has absolutely no problem with the same magazine featuring three naked people drenched in human blood on their cover for their True Blood new season special.

justthefacts
22759
Points
justthefacts 07/24/13 - 07:22 am
7
2
Sure

Boil the frog slowly..

jimmymac
42949
Points
jimmymac 07/24/13 - 07:36 am
9
1
Magazine
Unpublished

I'm not bothered as much by the Boston bomber being on the cover of Rolling Stone as I am about the number of girls professing love and support for him. What makes women hunger for the worst of society? You often hear of women professing undying love for murders and even marrying them. What type of gene is missing in them?

soapy_725
43772
Points
soapy_725 07/24/13 - 07:50 am
0
0
Whores do sell themselves for money. Politicians, editors, Rev.'
Unpublished

Whores do sell themselves for money. Politicians, editors, Rev.'

KSL
134725
Points
KSL 07/24/13 - 09:02 am
7
2
No Karadur

He wasn't an All-American boy.

karradur
2871
Points
karradur 07/24/13 - 09:11 am
3
4
@KSL

Did you read the article?

Bizkit
33058
Points
Bizkit 07/24/13 - 09:29 am
4
2
I think it is fine for the

I think it is fine for the Rolling Stone to have this on their cover. However it is just as fine for everyone to label them as supporters of terrorism and supporting anti-American sentiment. Gee folks what's new. I am sure the goal is to glamorize them so it will generate more copy cat terrorist. Ah the power of the press. You don't have to read the article no more than read the inside of Playboy. The cover tells a story too.

dahreese
4743
Points
dahreese 07/24/13 - 09:38 am
3
6
@Corgimom; "A newspaper is
Unpublished

@Corgimom; "A newspaper is against Freedom of the Press?"

You don't have to read the article. "You can tell a book by its cover."

And if you haven't read the article, you can count on your local editorials.

pearlthesquirrel
786
Points
pearlthesquirrel 07/24/13 - 09:40 am
1
1
$$
Unpublished

Can't wait for this issue to come out so I can get it. If I'm not wrong, O.J. was on the cover of TIME, and Charles Manson must have been on the cover of , well, the cover of EVERY magazine printed around 1970.....and the U.S. is still around. What I'm really wondering is why Bill O'Reilly hasn't called this "racist".....since that's the hot topic button issue of the last two weeks.

Bizkit
33058
Points
Bizkit 07/24/13 - 09:42 am
6
5
NO don't boil the frog

NO don't boil the frog slowly. You have to fry em fast and cut that tendon so they won't jump outta da pan. It doesn't matter that people read the article-no more than to castigate Dean for comments made years ago without context. It's the "snapshot phenomena". Take a snapshot outta context and then take the liberty to paint it however you like. The Dem party is masterful with this.

dahreese
4743
Points
dahreese 07/24/13 - 10:12 am
4
7
" Take a snapshot outta
Unpublished

" Take a snapshot outta context and then take the liberty to paint it however you like."

Kinda like Iraq has weapons of mass destruction? "We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

karradur
2871
Points
karradur 07/24/13 - 10:13 am
4
4
So what I'm interpreting is...

...none of you have read the article.

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 07/24/13 - 10:22 am
0
1
The Chronicle should be
Unpublished

The Chronicle should be defending freedom of the press. The boy is young and good-looking (to some, I guess) and doesn't fit the stereotype of a monster (at least by appearance). The headline and the photo clearly are met to show the dichotomy of a normal-looking teenager and the horrific crime he committed.

validPoint
982
Points
validPoint 07/24/13 - 10:46 am
4
2
Excellent Article

Excellent article. It seems that the photo on the cover is glamorized to say the least. Also, cheers to the merchants who will not stock the magazine's cover. Out of respect for those innocent victims and their families, this is the right thing to do.

Can't help but wonder if royalties were paid for the photo, wouldn't be surprised.

dahreese
4743
Points
dahreese 07/24/13 - 10:57 am
1
5
"So what I'm interpreting
Unpublished

"So what I'm interpreting is... new ...none of you have read the article."

That's asking too much.

duffstuff
722
Points
duffstuff 07/24/13 - 12:13 pm
3
2
I don't understand what all

I don't understand what all the fuss is about over the Rolling Stone cover with Tsarnaev. People seem to be offended by the picture itself, but it's just an picture of his face. So what if he's wearing a nice shirt and his hair is styled? It's not like it's a picture of him rescuing kittens with the caption "Maybe he wasn't such a bad guy?" Now that I could understand outrage. Rolling stone was clear in its tone and even boldly on the cover refers to Tsarnaev as a Monster with a capital M. I guess we need every picture of him to be one where he's strapped with bombs so we're clear in the fact that he was a bad person? FYI..your actions are what define who you are, not your pictures. The picture seemed pretty morally ambiguous and maybe thats part of the point...You can't judge someone's heart/soul by their face or by certain perceptions.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 07/24/13 - 11:19 am
3
1
meh, Rolling Stone had an

meh, Rolling Stone had an agenda and it was implemented, successfully even. With regard to girls liking bad boys, nothing new. Will this motivate others to cause violence? prolly. Cost of freedom, priceless.

duffstuff
722
Points
duffstuff 07/24/13 - 12:14 pm
3
1
Inside man

How do you know what their agenda was for certain? Do you have an inside man? lol

Also I'm not sure if you can say with much certainty that this will cause more violence. People who do this kind of thing do it out of A. some personal philosophy and B. These people are often sociopathic by nature which means they have little or no ability to understand human empathy. I've never heard of a terrorist act that was committed based predominantly on getting their face on a magazine. Maybe you know of some cases where this applies though???

validPoint
982
Points
validPoint 07/24/13 - 11:29 am
4
1
Not offended, The kid is Cute

So, what I am interpreting is insensitivity is being shown. There is nothing wrong with the photo, at all. However, there is a time and place for all things.

ymnbde
10040
Points
ymnbde 07/24/13 - 11:56 am
5
1
you can judge a magazine by its cover

the picture carries a message all its own
a modern James Dean, rebel gets his due
good looking, misunderstood just like Jim Morrison
the article is separate and hidden from counters and racks
and most people will get their impressions from the picture
sure, they have the right
sure, they are obviously irresponsible and immature and provocative
why not put Hitler and Stalin on the cover, glamour shopped?
geez... morally ambiguous? quite not...

duffstuff
722
Points
duffstuff 07/24/13 - 12:24 pm
1
4
So...

ymnbde....So every picture has to be a mug shot or one where he has bombs strapped to him in order for you to know that he's a bad person?? I guess the fact that the article was critical of him and even stated very clearly on the cover that he was a Monster, I guess that holds no weight at all apparently?

karradur
2871
Points
karradur 07/24/13 - 12:25 pm
2
1
@duffstuff

You see, the fear is that we might stop considering all Middle Eastern Muslims in traditional clothing to be terrorists and anyone else to not be terrorists.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs