Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ‘Rolling Stone’ Cover Sparks Outrage
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gets the rock star treatment on Rolling Stone’s latest cover, which features the accused Boston Marathon bomber front and center in a pose reminiscent of Jim Morrison or Bob Dylan. Though the issue has yet to hit newsstands, many are shocked by the audacious move made by the esteemed music magazine.
On the bottom right corner of the cover is the title to Rolling Stone contributing writer Janet Reitman’s article on the 19-year-old Tsarnaev: “The Bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.” Reitman spent the last few months interviewing people who knew the young man intimately and law enforcement agents. Reitman’s reporting, however, is not what’s being talked about.
Twitter and Facebook erupted after the Rolling Stone cover was leaked, with people taking to their social media profiles to lambaste the publication. On Rolling Stone’s own Facebook page, past fans of the magazine are threatening to cancel their subscriptions. Others, disgusted by the glorification of an alleged terrorist, state that if anyone should be on the cover of the magazine it should be Jeff Bauman – the bombing victim who lost both of his legs in the blast. It’s been dubbed “classless,” “a disgrace,” “desperate and pathetic” and worse.
Already, companies have issued statements announcing that they would not carry the issue of Rolling Stone on their newsstands. Rockland, Mass., based Tedeschi Food Shops stated on Facebook that they, “cannot support actions that serve to glorify the evil actions of anyone. With that being said, we will not be carrying this issue of Rolling Stone. Music and terrorism don't mix!” CVS pharmacy has also announced that they would not carry the issue.
One of the lone voices speaking out against those slamming the Rolling Stone cover was Facebook user Nicole Marie Keating. “Read the story and you'll probably notice it is not a glorification,” she wrote under Tedeschi’s post. “Are we not allowed to put his face on a cover without being accused of glorification? A lot of ppl want to know this kid's story, what could have made him snap, what better way to show readers what the big story in your magazine is than to put a pic on the cover?”
There were also people who took issue with Rolling Stone’s cover for an entirely different reason than glorification – naming him ‘The Bomber’ in the title. “I hope no one ever buys your magazine, ever again!” wrote Amila Konjic on Rolling Stone’s Facebook. “He is innocent until proven guilty! Ever heard of that? You are a disgrace. This is a classic case of trial by media which is awfully sad.” The comment has nearly 50 likes.
In a preview of Reitman’s article on Rollingstone.com, there are listed five revelations that will be found in the yet-to-be released article. One of the revelations is that a plea from Tsarnaev’s wrestling coach may have convinced him to surrender from inside the boat. Another, is that he warned friends about meeting his brother, telling them, “No, you don’t want to meet him.” The article also is said to reveal how seriously the younger alleged bomber took his religion.
Rolling Stones' Aug. 1 issue will be on newsstands (of businesses that will allow it) and the website in the near future.
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