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‘Rolling Stone’ Put Alleged Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev On Their Cover

By / 07.17.13

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Where do I start with this one? Actually, let’s start with the official statement from Rolling Stone themselves:

[Contributing Editor Janet Reitman] spent the last two months interviewing dozens of sources – childhood and high school friends, teachers, neighbors and law enforcement agents, many of whom spoke for the first time about the case – to deliver a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster.

I’m sure Janet Reitman did a wonderful job on her story of alleged Boston bomber Dzhokhar Anzorovich “Jahar” Tsarnaev. I’m sure we get a fascinating story of his background and how he came to be the supposed madman he is now.

But f*ck this. Putting him on the cover of Rolling Stone was a bad move. I get that he’s the subject of the biggest feature in this month’s issue so it’s only natural that he get a cover. However, Rolling Stone is a music magazine reserved mostly for rock stars and celebrities to get the covers (with the exception of a Charles Manson cover 40 years ago). So putting him on the cover carries a certain connotation that’s insensitive to every single victim of the Boston bombing; that Tsarnaev is now deserving of some sort of celebrity status.

This is trolling of the highest order. It’s a money grab. And it’s tap dancing on Martin Richard’s grave. I don’t want to trash the article before I’ve read it, but the cover line turns my stomach. Poor Tsarnaev’s family failed him and he “fell” into radical Islam. I’m sick of articles apologizing for domestic *cough*White*cough* terrorists by making borderline excuses to why they did something totally horrible. There’s a thin line between exposing and excusing and I don’t know if Rolling Stone will toe it with its new cover boy.

Even the actual photo on the cover reeks of “cool.” There isn’t anything to distinguish Tsarnaev from any celebrated star who’s been on the cover before him. He’s got a smug look on his face, a little cool shirt and his hair style. The magazine might as well come with a thumbtack for every would-be terrorist to put on his or her wall.

But beyond that, here’s what really bothers me at this very moment — and I understand that these are two unrelated events but let me say it: Trayvon Martin just got posthumously convicted of assault and was told by a court in Florida that he deserved to die 48 hours before one half of the terrorist duo that killed an eight-year-old is on the f*cking cover of Rolling Stone.

I guess Rolling Stone has decided that they’d be the ones to fill the troll void Newsweek left. Great.


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