Dzohkar Tsarnaev on 'Rolling Stone' cover like a rock star & ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?
Rolling Stone magazine sparked outrage today after putting a picture of suspected Boston bomber Dzohkar Tsarnaev on its latest cover--one that makes him look more like a rock star than a terrorist.
Once the cover was revealed, it took almost no time at all before the public began weighing in. Some are accusing Rolling Stone of glamorizing the killer, while others say the publication was practicing good journalism. But while I understand the logic behind both arguments, I have to say, I find the cover appalling, inappropriate, and totally insensitive.
The article, written by the magazine's contributing editor Janet Reitman, is described with the coverline: "The Bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster." Inside, Reitman reportedly quotes interviews from childhood and school friends, teachers, neighbors, and law enforcement officials.
But the image is what really got people talking. The picture, taken from one of Tsarnaev's social media accounts, shows him wearing an Armani Exchange T-shirt and staring intently into the camera, as his shaggy hair sweeps his forehead. It's a textbook pose, one that we have seen every major musician emulate in the same magazine and many others. The problem, of course, is that we're not just talking about some beloved artist here. We're talking about a killer--a person who plotted and succeeded in taking lives, injuring hundreds, striking fear into the hearts of people around the nation. It's despicable that Rolling Stone would treat him like any other cover subject, knowing that.
Do I understand the magazine's efforts to look into Tsarnaev's past and attempt to recreate a profile of his state of mind? Absolutely. But they could've just as easily done that without putting him on the cover or at the very least, choosing a photo that wasn't blatantly Dylan-like. And the fact that they didn't do that makes it clear they only had one intention when creating this issue: sell, sell, sell.
It's disappointing and saddening that the publication would be so tactless, especially thinking of the victims and their families who will now have to look at this issue (and Tsarnaev's smug face) every time they enter a pharmacy or a grocery store or pass a newsstand. I just hope Rolling Stone knows that many--including major corporations, like CVS and Walgreens, which have awesomely refused to stock the issue--aren't willing to take their little stunt lying down.
Image via Rolling Stone