Rolling Stone Publishes Yet Another Controversial Cover
Rolling Stone magazine is receiving a sizable amount of backlash over their decision to use a “selfie” of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber, on the cover. One of the more shared opinions is that this is glamorizing and creating a celebrity out of an [allegedly] horrible individual; Rolling Stone is typically fond of using musicians and actors on their covers. Perhaps, though, the more troubling complaint is that the cover was “uninspired.”
The magazine is no stranger to a controversial cover. They’ve published Britney Spears (at 17) in a bra, in bed…
They’ve dressed Kanye West up as Jesus….
But probably the closest comparison of the Tsarnaev cover would be this one of Charles Manson…
…in which it wasn’t so much the content of the article, but the presentation – it came off with the same visual impact as a poster for a rock concert.
It could probably be argued that many people who are quick to call for a boycot of the magazine aren’t fully aware of the serious journalism that Rolling Stone is actually known for. Their presentation may have a lot of flash, but their content is equally as hard-hitting – going back decades with the likes of legedary writers like Hunter S. Thompson.
As far as the argument about glamorizing Tsarnaev, the article reads, “The Bomber. How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.” Calling someone a “monster” is hardly positive. The article itself seeks to try to understand how a horror like this could happen.
Let’s also not forget that this image has been published before on the cover of the New York Times.
What do you think?