There are few things more startling than seeing the face of an infamous bomber on the cover of your favorite publication (ex-favorite publication, I should add). When I pick up an issue of Rolling Stone magazine, I expect to see a well-known artist or up and coming one, not the face of a terrorist. But, not the latest issue. Instead, Rolling Stone chose to decorate its latest cover with the face of accused Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
I understand why they did it. It certainly grabs your attention; isn’t that the point of the cover? But I can think of a million other ways they could have come up with to grab the attention of readers that didn’t involve a picture grabbed from an Internet website of a murderer. Why not feature the face of one of the heroes of that day instead? Boston Mayor Thomas Menino sent a letter to Rolling Stone asking the exact same thing.
The magazine that I once fantasized about one day writing for has now lost all credibility to me as being a publication solely looking for the most sensational form of journalism. Rather than concentrating on the actual positive story behind the Boston bombings, they chose to focus and glorify the man behind it and depict him as being a rock star. I mean, he looks almost like a young Jim Morrison. And while Jim Morrison certainly isn’t the best example of moral wholeness, he certainly wasn’t responsible for a terrorist attack on the people of our country.
Apparently, the story about Tsarnaev focuses on how he turned into this “monster” of a person. Frankly, I don’t care how or why it happened. The fact of the matter is that he is responsible for the deaths of innocent people. Children. Mothers. Fathers. Brothers. Sisters. Law enforcement. Does it really matter all that much why he did it? He did it from a place of hatred. Why would anyone want to give someone that is able to do such a thing a magazine cover? And this isn’t some tabloid magazine or paper next to the checkout at the grocery store. This is Rolling Stone. Artists once coveted that spot, although according to various tweets and posts from a number of artists, that is no longer a position that they wish to be given.
So, why, Rolling Stone? Why would you choose to give this man a glorified position such as this? It would be one thing to include the story that you supposedly spent months working on within the pages of your magazine. But to give him the spot where The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, the cast of Friends (do I need to continue?) also had is absolutely ridiculous. Yeah, Rolling Stone has had some shocking covers such as the cast of True Blood completely naked covered in fake blood, but they still aren’t terrorists. You can compare it to the fact that Charles Manson was once on the cover, but I don’t believe that to be the same. Yes, he’s a murderer but not in the same way that Tsarnaev is. I think it’s a travesty to the people not only of Boston, but Americans everywhere to see this.
The spot shared by musical and acting greats should have gone to one of those who ran towards the explosions to help and save those immediately affected by the blasts. Not the man responsible who ran away to hide in a boat in someone’s driveway.
“The survivors of the Boston attacks deserve Rolling Stone cover stories, though I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them,” Mayor Menino said, and I agree. Who would want to be part of that (once) famed Rolling Stone cover club with a man who tried to bring a city and a whole country down?