Is it wrong for Rollling Stone to put Tsarnaev on their cover?

Apparently people are upset that the Rolling Stone put a sultry photo of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover for a story about evil.

People are apparently upset that Rolling Stone would put Tsarnaev at all on the cover.  But also upset that the photo they used – one of Tsarnaev’s own photos – shows him in a sultry, almost-rock-star post:

tsarnaev--cover-big

So now some people are all flipped out, boycotting the Rolling Stone etc.

My take?  Is it really necessary to start every story about Tsarnaev with a full disclosure that we all agree that blowing up the Boston Marathon is a bad thing?  As I’ve written before, empowering every single citizen with the ability to become an instant activist is not always a good thing.  At some point, it becomes unsafe to write about anything, lest we tick off x, y, or z.  There’s a time and place for legitimate ire, legitimate boycotts.  And good activists know when it’s legitimate and when it’s not.  This strikes me as just silly.

How about you?

Here’s Toure on MSNBC, with whom I agree on this one:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • Ninong

    Actually it was the perfect choice to illustrate Rolling Stone’s article. It was a selfie posted on Tsarnaev’s Twitter account and apparently Rolling Stone wasn’t the only publication to think it was an excellent choice. Even the New York Times went with that photo.

    Just because some people are biased against Rolling Stone, does that mean you have to join them?

  • JLSR

    So–if your friends jumped off a bridge….
    Just because others have done it, doesn’t make it better.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    We obviously have different ideas of glamor and glorification because I see neither in that cover. This was not a choice I would have made. There are three celebrities mentioned on the cover any one of whom would have, in my opinion, been a better choice for the cover, but I don’t see this as glamorizing him. For that matter, for years I have thought that we shouldn’t even mention the names of serial killers and mass murders (like the two guys from Columbine) much less put their pictures on the news, but the press does that all the time. So here we are. Again, this isn’t something I would have done, but the idea that this is glamor or glory strikes me as absurd overreaching by people just looking for something to be fake-outraged about. Find a real injustice and put some effort into that.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    You are inflating the issue with the “gun and hoodie” comment. I’m looking at the cover. Is that your idea of “glamour”? We obviously have different definitions of that word.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    They went with one of the 20 or so photos of Tsarnaev that have been available since the bombing, all of which everyone is familiar with. He didn’t “pose” for a “glamour” shot.

  • Ninong

    NY Daily News, April 19, 2013, article on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with the exact same photo, large and in color, right up there for the whole world to see. Their photo is even more “sultry” in that they included more of his slightly reclining torso. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/boston-marathon-bombing-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-tweets-run-article-1.1322163

  • Ninong

    NY Daily News, April 19, 2013, article on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with the exact same photo, large and in color, right up there for the whole world to see. Their photo is even more “sultry” in that they included more of his slightly reclining torso. http://www.nydailynews.com/new

    The Atlantic, May 1, 2013, they made their exact same photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev even more interesting by added a large “LOL” to it, taking that quote of his when he tweeted about the victims of the bombing. It’s still the exact same “sultry” photo that all the publications have been using over and over again. http://www.theatlanticwire.com

    NY Times, May 4, 2013, article on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with exact same “sultry” photo. You have to click on theirs to get it to blow up really big. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05

    Remember the Menendez brothers, Lyle and Eric? They murdered their parents in cold blood. They were both good looking and came from a well-to-do family. The media ran “glamour” shots of them all the time during that long, drawn out trial process.

    Remember the CraigsList killer? The tall, good looking blond medical student who had a habit of killing call girls? He was smart, good looking and had a beautiful fiancée. The media always used “glamour” photos of him and all of the articles were along the lines of how could such a nice, smart young man go wrong?

  • JLSR

    Let’s say they put a glamour shot of George Zimmerman on the cover next, maybe posing with his gun in a hoodie. Would anybody think THAT was in bad taste? My opinion is that it feels like the glorification of a person who committed a heinous act and takes away from the journalistic content of the article.

  • JLSR

    Something else of which not to be proud.
    No matter who has been on ANY magazine cover in the past, does THAT make it better? Let’s put a glamour shot of George Zimmerman on the cover next, maybe posing with his gun in a hoodie. Would anybody think THAT was in bad taste? My opinion is that it feels like the glorification of a person who committed a heinous act and takes away from the journalistic content of the article.

  • JLSR

    Totally not the point. Let’s forget about all the other serial killers, mass murderers, dictators, etc. that have been on covers of magazines in the past.
    How about if they put a glamour shot of George Zimmerman on the cover next, maybe posing with his gun in a hoodie. Would anybody think THAT was in bad taste? My opinion is that it feels like the glorification of a person who committed a heinous act and takes away from the journalistic content of the article.

  • JLSR

    I stand corrected, but totally not the point. No matter who has been on ANY magazine cover in the past, does THAT make it better? Let’s put a glamour shot of George Zimmerman on the cover next, maybe posing with his gun in a hoodie. Would anybody think THAT was in bad taste? My opinion is that it feels like the glorification of a person who committed a heinous act and takes away from the journalistic content of the article.

  • http://www.sustysavvy.com/ Mike Hower

    I agree that Rolling Stone was right to make this a cover story – in the US we seem to stray away from attempting to objectively understand why people who were otherwise good, do bad things – we just brand them as evil and that’s the end of it. Here is my take on why this is not the best way to go about things: http://www.article-3.com/like-it-or-not-rolling-stone-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-cover-story-is-good-journalism-912255

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yea! That gives me hope. The only other one I know has a white beard and hair that haunts me when ever I pass a store window.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    laughing. I know. They get unruly when you dip their little feets in ink!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah, well, I had to give him fangs. It pulls attention away from the fact I can’t draw worth a damn, especially when using a mouse. ;-)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I see one every morning when I wake up and mumble “G’mornin’” to my wife. ;-)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Here’s a question: Has anyone even seen a hippy in the past forty years or so? Even spell check doesn’t have the term in file. Even my old bell bottoms died decades ago.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The additions are very hip and True Blood.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    No, people had real lives then.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I would also place Mother Teresa in that nasty category.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “lying on a satin-shited bed” Yep, that was gross.

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Things happen to people and we make up our own stories about the significance of those events and the relative merits or demerits of each character in the narrative.

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    George Bush pere et fil, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan all killed more innocent people with explosives in the course of daily business than the most evil Muslim terrorist. Nobody complains about them on the covers of magazines.

  • Ninong

    Rolling Stone has a history of controversial covers. Most of them feature people in the entertainment industry, like 17-year-old Britney Spears in panty and bra lying on a satin-sheeted bed. But they did feature nortorious killer Charles Manson.

    What about this Rolling Stone cover of Kanye West as Jesus Christ? You would think this one would have really stirred up some controversy: http://fstoppers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/359×425.jpg

  • Ninong
  • SkippyFlipjack

    It’s interesting that much of the criticism focuses on the image; as this photo making the rounds suggests, I think many people are actually upset about the article itself. I think some people find it easier to think that monsters are born monsters. The suggested alternative story amounts to “Why do bad things happen to good people,” which is one of the fundamental questions that gave rise to religions, and which I’m not sure they’d trust Rolling Stone to answer.

  • lilyannerose

    My immediate thoughts when I saw this cover is that how can someone who looks like this have done that? It makes one think about automatic assumptions, how we visualize terrorists, even our unconscious profiling and how we categorize people based upon their looks. I find it a thought provoking cover simply because of my immediate reaction. To me it is literally THAT picture which speaks 1,000 words.

  • nicho

    Everyone really needs to take a deep breath and take the knot out of their knickers. Half — if not more — of the so-called “celebrities” on the cover of Rolling Stone are drug addicts, alcoholics, wife beaters, serial adulterers, gang bangers, thugs, tax cheats — and any combination of the above.

  • nicho

    Asshole

  • mflinn

    Oooooh, it’s the Hippie Magazine heralding a new Counter-Culture hero! Ignore the gigantic text on the cover that reads “THE BOMBER” and “…Monster”. Don’t bother to read the article. This is ridiculous. I’m buying two Rolling Stone subscriptions – one for myself and one for our local library in hopes of turning more decent citizens into dirty fuckin’ hippies. Far out, man.

  • samizdat

    True. But take a look at that pic. It has ‘respected academic’ all over it. Time could have just as easily wired their Berlin correspondent for a more candid picture. However, judging from the style of their covers at the time, this was obviously the preferred choice.

  • lynchie

    Well we know little of his background so good guy going bad has no relevance. The NFL player Hernandez who signed a huge contract with the Patriots could just as easily go on the cover. Not convicted but everything going for him and he apparently kills a guy and maybe a few others. If you look he has a history of violence. In this case we see a striking example of brain washing (Jim Jones, Manson, Heaven’s Gate, Moonies, David Koresh) and this may be another.

    Are we so afraid of a picture that we want to ban it. It is reality. Banning pictures is a key element of keeping us uninformed. Bush did it by banning all coverage of returning coffins and body bags from Iraq and Afghanistan so we would not see the truth about the human cost of that senseless war. The photos of body bags in airports during Vietnam helped turn the opinion of people about that waste of 58,000 american kids. In this case we need to examine what kind of hate was generated in this kid, what did we as a country do to help bring it about and hope that there will not be a repeat of this insanity. It is a photo just as “fuck” is only a word it can’t hurt you.

  • lynchie

    Rolling Stone had Manson on the cover

  • Ninong

    Is your cousin a high-priced hooker?

  • qivucuzusywa

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

    Or I can read the article for
    free and with little financial benefit to Rolling Stones to learn what
    they might have to say, but be annoyed with them for the cover photo and
    think twice before handing over my money. The stirred the pot. Pot’s
    stirred, and they can deal with the consequences.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    I don’t know about the public in general, was a bit before I was paying attention to such things… but the defense councils used that issue to bring a motion to try and have the case entirely dismissed, stating that it prejudiced the jury pool before selection. The prosecutor in the case also had a contempt hearing, for giving a pretrial interview and publicizing facts in the case not previously made known. The main reason nothing came of it was that the judge didn’t believe Rolling Stone’s circulation was enough to be influential.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yep. David Koresh and Ted Bundy both looked like rock stars.

  • Ninong

    All of the articles about Charles Manson were along the lines of crazy cult leader with mind-control over his followers, sort of like Jim Jones, except that Jim Jones killed more than 900 people.

  • Ninong

    No.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ zorbear

    You would think that by now we’d have learned that the most monsterous thing about monsters is that they don’t always look like monsters.
    Well, you might think that, but then you’d be wrong…

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Charles Manson was put on the cover in 1970 to be admired? I don’t think so.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    RS put Manson on the cover in 1970.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I’m not old enough to remember, so I have to ask…did people react this badly when Rolling Stone put Charles Manson on the cover in 1970?

  • htfd

    Time for people to grow up. Not enough empty bellies yet or the brain dead would be thinking rationally.

  • Ninong

    And the caption on the Tsarnaev cover calls him “a monster.”

  • Ninong

    We have been telling John that his site is the only site with this problem since May 3rd. For your information, John and I have exchanged emails over the past three months detailing this problem. He has sent me emails asking me if things had improved any and, if not, exactly what we were experiencing.

    We have had at least two or three threads on AmericaBlog going back to May in which John asked us to please report our problems to him. If you really did “come here daily,” you would know that.

  • Kyle_C

    Only as wrong as the central coverage that every media channel gave to this kids facebook pictures. Why is the line being drawn here? This mass murderer’s pre-shoot-out physical attractiveness has already been commoditized. I just get suspicious that this is another example of 1) hippie punching 2) protecting market share.

  • Ninong

    NY Daily News, April 19, 2013, article on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with the exact same photo, large and in color, right up there for the whole world to see. Their photo is even more “sultry” in that they included more of his slightly reclining torso. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/boston-marathon-bombing-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-tweets-run-article-1.1322163

    The Atlantic, May 1, 2013, they made their exact same photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev even more interesting by added a large “LOL” to it, taking that quote of his when he tweeted about the victims of the bombing. It’s still the exact same “sultry” photo that all the publications have been using over and over again. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/05/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-lol-text/64783/

    NY Times, May 4, 2013, article on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with exact same “sultry” photo. You have to click on theirs to get it to blow up really big. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/us/dzhokhar-tsarnaevs-dark-side-carefully-masked.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  • BeminDC

    I come here daily but choose not to delve into the comments (my choice has been affirmed today). This type of language (” Remember this, your site is the ONLY site with this problem. “) is a little over the top for someone who does such a great job covering stuff, without a mega-media budget. So shush.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Thanks dear. I totally suck at Photoshop. Thank Cthulhu most of my jobs require me to do no more than crop and occasionally touch up screenshots of various computer applications.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Back off DC, if you came here more often you would realize this is a major problem. John works hard on it and has specifically requested input so he can solve the Ad problems. So get off your whiny horse.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Go Becca!

  • Mike_H

    Seems more concentrated here than anywhere else, though — for obvious reasons. And I think a lot of people around the country are taking their cues from the reactions by Bostonians.

  • caphillprof

    Which overnight turned the Tricolor into the “freedom flag”

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Well, as you like. I personally am sick to death of fear-mongering and monster-shouting, and therefore I refuse to get upset at some magazine’s photo choice, because it fails to make a bad man look unattractive.

    Or are we required to monster-fy even the mere images of our villains, like thus?–

  • caphillprof

    It’s silly.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The NYT isn’t considered a hippie publication, and therefore is ineligible for the usual reflexive punching.

  • JLSR

    People, especially, Rock stars, have always aspired to be on the “Cover of the Rolling Stone.” I usually agree with you John, but it is NOT the journalistic “content” that is at issue here. It is putting a “lamor shot” of a killer, a terrorist on the coveted cover of a R & R magazine.

  • Ninong

    Time Magazine “Person of the Year” covers:

    Adolph Hitler, 1938

    Joseph Stalin, 1939 and 1942

    Nikita Krushchev, 1957

    Richard Nixon, 1971

    Henry Kissinger, 1972

    Ayatollah Khomeini, 1979

    Vladimir Putin, 2007

    Those are just the killers who were voted “Person of the Year.” Time had lots of covers of other notorious killers who weren’t awarded Person of the Year status, such as Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson and many others.

  • Ninong

    Why was there no “controversy” when the NY Times used the exact same photo of Tsarnaev to illustrate one of their lengthy profiles stories on him?

  • BeminDC

    I call FOUL. Did you donate $50K for John can hire a web guy? Don’t be a jerk, this isn’t Huffington Post with millions and millions in income. Be nice.

  • Ninong

    John,

    Why did the Touré video automatically repeat itself? Why did I have to listed to TWO different audio commercials that were talking at the same time as Touré?

    Is that the way it supposed to work? Why is it no other site on the web has that problem? Something is wrong with whoever is in charge of these things for your site. Is it an unpaid high school intern or something?

  • Ninong

    It was really annoying to have to listen to an e-surance commercial coming on automatically and talking over Touré. I was unable to find any place to kill it. Then another commercial came on just as the Touré video repeated itself automatically. I can’t figure out how to stop the Touré video from endlessly repeating itself.

    John, all of this is really annoying. And when are they going to fix the problem of some of your ads dropping down and covering text? That is still not completely fixed even though I assume they have been working on it for about three months now. Remember this, your site is the ONLY site with this problem.

    Okay, Touré finally shut up, so I only have to listen to him twice while also listening to two different audio commericals that came on automatically while Touré was talking. Extremely annoying. John, doesn’t that happen to you, too?

    As far as the Rolling Stone cover, I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. They chose that Twitter profile pic of him to illustrate their story as captioned on the cover: “The Bomber, How a Popular Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.”

    The New York Times used that exact same photo of Tsarnaev to illustrate an in-depth story they ran on him. Exact. Same. Photo. And it was a large photo! Where was all the outrage then? It’s because it was on Rolling Stone’s cover and certain people don’t like Rolling Stone. What about Osama bin Laden’s photo on the cover of Time? What about Hitler’s photo? What about Charles Manson’s photo? What about O.J. Simpson’s photo?

    It’s journalism. They get to choose the photo they think best illustrates the point they’re trying to make. Without reading the story I can pretty much imagine where they’re going with this. He was a young kid when he was brought over here. Both of his parents, especially his mother, are a piece of work. His older brother was much older when he came over here and never did become Americanized. He ended up getting radicalized and buying to Jihad. He even convinced his American wife to go along with all that. The mother became radicalized right around the same time. The father didn’t fit in over here because the only work he could find was fixing cars, even though he had been an attorney in Russia. They were living all together (including the married brother and his family) in that small rundown subsidized-rental apartment.

    And, to quote Rolling Stone, Dzhokhar “became a monster.” He wasn’t like that at all in high school.

  • jm2

    was it wrong to put Charles Manson on one of their covers? the headline that went with it was, “The Most Dangerous Man Alive.”

  • condew

    Not just in Boston.

  • condew

    The lesson here is do something horrendous, get treated like a rock star.
    It’s an insult to every person past or future who gets on the cover of Rolling Stone.
    If you want more mass murder, this is the way to encourage it.

  • Will

    Rolling Stone is not Time Magazine. Look at the other covers throughout the years, they are cultural heroes and Rock Stars, people to be admired. There is a huge disconnect and the only reason is to generate controversy to sell more magazines.

  • Will

    It’s crass and potentially dangerous. Even the possibility that some mentally unstable loser out there with no opportunities would pick up the message “Want to be famous? Blow shit up.” It’s not the cover for me but the teen idol pose that is trying to generate controversy and increase sales. Rolling Stone is not Time Magazine, RS covers are meant to display cultural heroes.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I think Rolling Stone is just overjoyed that they didn’t go with their first choice..

  • SkippyFlipjack

    [delete].

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    With a cover that mentions Robin Thicke, Jay-Z and Willie Nelson, putting a terrorist on the cover seems odd. But it’s hardly unprecedented. (see Time covers below) For people who think Rolling Stone only covers music, they obviously have never read the magazine.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY WOULD PUT A MURDERER ON THEIR COVER

  • Jesse

    A boycott sounds stupid to me, and there’s nothing wrong with putting him on the cover, but it’s the picture choice that’s the issue for me. It’s not a picture that says “good boy gone bad”. It’s not a picture that raises the question of how innocence is transformed into pure evil. If you wanted to do that, you’d have a baby photo of him, or a cherubic picture of him as an adult. The people who make these decisions for the magazine aren’t idiots. They made a conscious decision. And the result is a picture that fetishizes/sexualizes a terrorist.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Oh no I am not saying you censor. I understand the revulsion you feel and have expressed.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Ah, the beauty of evil—often the first step to disaster.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Can understand the trauma now that you have explained it.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Do you really see him as a sultry rockstar? He looks like a scrawny kid to me.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    George Zimmerman?

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I agree with John. Lots more things to worry about. Maybe people also think “the Bomber” sounds kind of cool, and would prefer that they went with the working title, “One of those Two F*cking Pricks” they would have been happy?

  • BeminDC

    Who’s censoring? Not me. Just not buying it. And CVS can make a business decision not to carry it if they don’t want to.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Reading your mind about now. Like!

  • dpmanning

    I am an ordinary, polite, middle-aged guy, but here are my feelings about this murderer: Fuck Him.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    When in doubt or pissed: Censor.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, Tsarnaev in a teapot. More worthy of news is the kid who was kliled by the FBI and associated with the brothers, including the drug murders. Rachel did quite a piece on them recently.

  • ron

    you are correct. it is silly. isnt the point of the article how someone with lots of things going for him can go bad? and this guy is already as infamous as you can get. is rolling stone really going to increase that by putting him on their cover? when all the networks obsess over his trial for months in the near future will we hear the same complaints about making him a celebrity?

    id like to make some point about political incorrectness here as well, but i dont know how to word it.

  • cole3244

    we are talking about the cover and that alone will result in valuable free publicity, just because the cover annoys you doesn’t mean others won’t decide to buy the mag, word of mouth is valuable and this cover accomplishes that no matter how you might feel about the cover.
    any pub is good pub especially if it is free.

  • Theo

    if Rolling Stone’s goal was to make people discuss this, they succeeded; bad publicity is better than none at all

  • Mike_H

    Although I think the cover photo actually complements the article well (on how a “good boy/good student” could turn into a terrorist), I have also seen that a large percentage of people in and around Boston are still nowhere near capable of rational discussion about this topic. So it doesn’t even matter if they would have, upon reflection, actually enjoyed the article or understood what the point the author was trying to make — they’re just not thinking in a very nuanced fashion, and so it’s like a bunch of lemmings rushing together to condemn the Rolling Stone cover because it’s what everyone in Boston is doing.

  • ComradeRutherford

    No.
    Better to discuss things than to not.

  • BeminDC

    Not exactly a pin-up photo of a mass killer sex symbol.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    It’s not possible to cover the news without glamor shots of the perpetrators of crimes?

  • BeminDC

    Or I can read the article for free and with little financial benefit to Rolling Stones to learn what they might have to say, but be annoyed with them for the cover photo and think twice before handing over my money. The stirred the pot. Pot’s stirred, and they can deal with the consequences.

  • nicho

    If by “works” you mean “covering the news,” then yes.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Apparently it must be a formula that works for them.

  • nicho

    Well I’m from Boston, lived a few blocks away, and often watched the Marathon at the place where the bombs went off. I found the bombing devastating, but I want to read this article to see what made this guy do what he did. You are perfectly free to shut your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears, and go “LALALALALALALA.”

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    I think that’s really one thing that a lot of magazine/newspaper editors never seem to take into account. Stores display magazines so people can see the covers. Often in a place where they are impulse bought, because the people who really want to read a magazine regularly subscribe. So, who wants to be standing at the check out stand, staring at a picture of a radicalized murderer? How does that encourage anyone to buy the magazine? I get that in general we’re a pretty depraved people, but I have zero interest in the story based on the cover, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

  • Hue-Man

    Here’s the Time magazine cover from 80 years ago this week – I’m sure I would have found better if I hadn’t looked only at the first page of their covers. Much ado about nothing. What’s in the article?

    I would like to understand better what’s turning American and Canadian kids into fundie terrorists. Headline: “Canadians in Algeria attack became angry, alienated at home” http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/04/03/algeria-attack-canadians-medlej-katsiroubas-yoon.html

    The third Canadian who studied with the two killed in the Algerian gas plant attack is about to be released from jail in Mauritania. He claims not to have been involved in the attack. http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/canadian-man-convicted-for-terror-ties-to-be-freed-expelled-from-mauritania-1.1367303

  • nicho

    They’ve had other killers on the cover — Manson, Ted Bundy, GW Bush, Dronebama

  • barrykyle415

    This issue is close to being as stupid as “freedom fries.” Close, but I doubt the stupidity will ever exceed freedom fries.

  • BeminDC

    And I’m legitimately pleased I won’t have that little prick staring me in the face when I step into my local CVS.

  • BeminDC

    I get that and I hear you. But some people especially in/from/connected to Boston think it is in very bad taste and is worth creating a stink about. And it looks like they’re getting some traction (CVS pulling from shelves, etc.). I’m not going to try to shut them down/ criticize them for using the same tactics I depoyed to fight anti-gay discrimination.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    By would I think that anyone and his brother is particularly qualified to be a good activist? Being a good activist takes far more than a modem. And when you hand jut anyone a political weapon it will not always be wielded well

  • Dave of the Jungle

    For me the photo says, here’s the promising young man who was cut down by ideology.

  • nicho

    All of the ginned-up “controversy” works to the advantage of the PTB. By keeping the spotlight on Tsarnaev, it takes the spotlight off the authorities and their role/fuckup in letting this happen — and why they had to assassinate the guy in Florida. As long as we’re clutching pearls over the cover, we’re not talking about that.

  • BeminDC

    Right — it just pisses people and stores off. Fail.

  • BeminDC

    The sultry rockstar photo treatment “On the cover of the Rolling Stones!”

  • nicho

    It’s a legitimate news story and a legitimate illustration.

  • nicho

    Exactly how does it “glamorize” him?

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Well, one assumes the goal of print media is to sell magazines, or better yet, subscriptions. If we’re debating the cover, and not buying the magazine, it’s still a failure.

  • Indigo

    “People.” “Some people.” Yeah, right, whatever. “People” found Zimmerman not guilty too. He’s cute, sultry even, and a sexy celeb in his own right. And a crazed zealot murderer. No problem. We’ve got plenty of those around. John Dillinger was handsome too. And sultry. And a murderer. This is America, that story goes way back in our history.

  • BeminDC

    Perhaps. I wouldn’t buy it. Hits a little close to home having run that marathon a few times so I completely get the outrage. If they’re going to be all “controversial” — and have no doubt that this was the point of this cover — they can’t be annoyed when there’s some “controversy.”

  • BeminDC

    I think it’s in bad taste and a stupid attempt at “creating buzz” and “being controversial.” Also, of all people to lament the fact that anyone can raise a stink these days, I wouldn’t have imagined it to be you, a blogger who has so effectively used this blog and social media to promote change. I have no problem with people saying that this isn’t the kind of product they want to support or to be in the marketplace. It’s tacky and people have the right to bitch about it. Rolling Stone asked for the attention and they’re getting it.

  • BeminDC

    Seriously — it glamorizes this little angry man.

  • nicho

    Well, they’ve put other killers on the cover — Bush, Charles Manson, Obama.

  • cole3244

    the cover has already accomplished its goal without reading the article.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Ugh that’s mediaite’s doing probably if its on a video. Sometimes I have no choice but to use their videos

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    See that’s not take as well. The very fact that he has a fan club because he’s young and cute-ish is why the pic is necessar. Also it doesn’t hurt to remind people that evil is sometimes nuanced even if they aren’t :-)

  • FLL

    If the story is the corrupting poison that is fundamentalist religion, then yes they have a relevant story, all the more so if the person who has been corrupted by this poison was, at one point, a likeable person with lots of American friends.

  • arcadesproject

    The cover is fully protected expression, of course, but it wasn’t smart to run it. How many borderline types are out there, poised to do something similar? How many could be pushed over the edge for a chance at being On the Cover of Rolling Stone?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It attracts attention and will drive up Rolling Stone readership. The photo-journalistic editorial choice will have served its purpose.

    Moreover, the photo is completely relevant to the story: How can an attractive, popular young man with so much apparent promise turn into a monster?

  • Whitewitch

    Hi John – Do you know you have ads on here that talk over the video?

    Now as to the Rolling Stone image – it is a very nice photo…and I think for the nutters out there it is a glamorization of the bad boy. Then, maybe nutters don’t need a reason to act out.

© 2014 AMERICAblog News. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS