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:


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 | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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