'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 (34)

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.
ymnbde
7560
Points
ymnbde 07/24/13 - 12:28 pm
5
3

duffstuff extremes aren't necessary

glamour shots to mug shots? wow
pictures carry messages, just as much as words
have you never heard just how many words a picture is worth?
the picture glamourizes the man...
i guess the 8 year old kid he put the bomb beside was not interesting enough for an article, and not pretty enough for a cover photo?

karradur
2370
Points
karradur 07/24/13 - 12:35 pm
2
3

@ymnbde

Did YOU read the article?

carcraft
20787
Points
carcraft 07/24/13 - 01:01 pm
6
2

karradur, a picture is not an

karradur, a picture is not an article. The picture glamorizes a terrorist. I suppose there would be no problem with a picture depicting Zimmerman as the savior of black people done in a romantic heroic nuance?

David Parker
7919
Points
David Parker 07/24/13 - 02:10 pm
4
2

First Amendment is a bummer

First Amendment is a bummer for some I guess. I'll trade having to see dude's face in the check-out line for liberty anytime. If that's not your bag, Delta's ready when you are.

karradur
2370
Points
karradur 07/24/13 - 02:21 pm
1
4

@carcraft

"I suppose there would be no problem with a picture depicting Zimmerman as the savior of black people done in a romantic heroic nuance?"

Hasn't that already been done, with the editorials about how un-racist he is?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 07/24/13 - 03:46 pm
3
1

karradur...do you have a

Unpublished

karradur...do you have a single scrap of evidence that he WAS/IS racist?

grouse
1588
Points
grouse 07/24/13 - 04:53 pm
0
0

No racism?

Unpublished

"F------ punks. These a-------. They always get away." To what aspect of Trayvon Martin was he referring. His hoodie? His being a teenager? His being black? Maybe all of the above.

Bizkit
22105
Points
Bizkit 07/24/13 - 05:46 pm
3
1

The point is of all those who

The point is of all those who actually see the photocover few to none will have read the article. The cover has been hyped. That's the point-the cover now has its own context independent of anything the article may have said. Geez do I have to slpain' this . Once something has been politicized then forget about it. The article could paint him as Satan incarnate and no one would see beyond the picture-after all it's worth a thousand words.
On another note. I seem to be losing my typing motor skills with age-what's with that? Something I learned in high school and have typed millions of letters since. Now I feel like a spazoid.

Bizkit
22105
Points
Bizkit 07/24/13 - 05:58 pm
2
1

Oh Humble you forget the

Oh Humble you forget the Alinsky Strategy that is the mantra of all Progressives. Don't forget it's (Rules for Radicals) on the President's reading list. Silly girl. Tbledsoe and I were worried about you after your singing gig. I think someone has a crush on you. Not mentioning any names. Although I note Burn looks just like you now too. Which is weird-Bizarro World-so I'm kinda right at home. I see it all now. Bod-Tech is Tbledsoe and Humble is Burn. Well I 'm no Dick Tracy so I'll leave the deductive work to Sherlock.

myfather15
42206
Points
myfather15 07/24/13 - 10:11 pm
0
1

duffstuff

How about respecting the victims and publishing NO picture of this horrible person? Is that to much to ask? I suppose so, if you're trying to capture people's attention and sell your magazine. Absolutely NO picture would have been better!! Absolutely NO article would have been better!! What exactly was the purpose of Rolling Stone, of all magazines, to do a complete article on this subject; even before a trial has occurred? MONEY, that's the purpose!!! As usual, liberals who are usually against RICH people making money, are perfectly ok with a liberal magazine trying to do that very thing!!

duffstuff
722
Points
duffstuff 07/25/13 - 09:01 am
1
0

We dont read in America!!!

First off, if anyone is actually referring to me as a liberal they have no idea what they're talking about cause my views are much more complicated and diverse than that. Secondly, while I have mixed feelings about the publicity these kinds of people get...what do you expect? It's a big story and we have a free press. You're not gonna silence the press from doing a big story. I honestly don't believe Rolling Stone had any intention of pushing some agenda to "make us like this guy." I can't prove that, but neither can you in your assumption that they had such an agenda. It's pure speculation. The best thing to do is read the article to see what the tone or message is they are presenting. And I if the picture was a mug shot would it make that much a difference to you? Does that really change anything? I guess it might if you don't actually read the article and tried to understand the story in full context.

Oh I forgot, This is America...We don't like to read. lol

Darby
19291
Points
Darby 07/25/13 - 11:29 am
1
1

"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."

.
You seem to be forgetting the putty-like impressionable minds of American kids who see that cover and identify with the killer.

These are the same kids who proudly parade around high school and college campuses sporting T-shirts bearing the image of the madman and terrorist Che Guevara.

They look at Che and Mao and the Boston bomber the way they should see Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine or Francis Marion or so many, many others who gave us the opportunity to become great as a free nation.

Those kids may not really know Che and the others, but they aren't being taught who our real heroes were either. Not in our schools today.

If we continue to lose our kids, it might just be "the end of the world".

You might want to think about that.

Darby
19291
Points
Darby 07/25/13 - 11:59 am
1
1

"I honestly don't believe Rolling Stone had

any intention of pushing some agenda to "make us like this guy." I can't prove that, but neither can you in your assumption that they had such an agenda."

.
And lacking absolute proof, we just keep our mouths shut and go on about our lives, right?

And.....
"Oh I forgot, This is America...We don't like to read. lol"

.
We do, don't we, or we wouldn't be on this page right now would we?

On the other hand, America is producing kids who are visually stimulated, who don't really like to read. They get the preponderance of their information from still photos and video.

This is why the paparazzi are in such demand. Rolling Stone and other publications are well aware of this and reach out to those pliable young minds with "glamor shots" such as the Boston Bomber photo.

If RS had fronted a mug shot, most of the younger set wouldn't have turned past the first page.

That's reality in America (and much of the world) today. Sad but so true.

duffstuff
722
Points
duffstuff 08/01/13 - 09:34 am
0
0

All I'll say at this point is

All I'll say at this point is, of all the things to really be outraged over, a simple close up picture of a terrorists face is far down on the list. If people want to carry him as some kind of hero that's their ignorance. I guess if you saw a picture of Charles Manson helping an old lady across the street that would totally erase everything else he did in your mind right? If I had that picture I'd publish it cause its provocative and interesting. However that doesn't mean my article is gonna praise Charles Manson. I just feel like people are so short sided in their perspective cause they look at things with such tunnel vision and don't take the full context into account.

Back to Top

Loading...