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Rolling Stone cover sends wrong message

By Staff | Jul 19, 2013

“…But the thrill we’ve never known is the the thrill that’ll get ya when you get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone.”

On the Internet, however, there are people who aren’t thrilled with Rolling Stone for the person on the cover of the next issue: Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev.

Since the unveiling, there’s been quite a backlash. On the magazine’s Facebook page there have been a lot of negative comments, like: “The best example yet of why Facebook needs a dislike button.”, “I hope not a single person from Boston or New England ever buys your magazine again…Want to see true terrorism? Look to the media.”, “Is this for real? Why don’t the victims get the cover instead? It’s sick that no one cares that people died, real people with lives and families, they just care about whatever will sell.”, and there was even a profanity-laced status update from hard rock band Disturbed’s frontman David Draiman. Although one commenter tried to be the voice of reason with this comment, “Look at these comments…What an awful mentality this country has…too brainwashed to read the article or have an intelligent conversation regarding both sides of the story…I wonder how many of you would like to see him dead on the cover of THIS magazine without a trial??”, it doesn’t seem to have stopped the incoming stream of negative comments on Rolling Stone’s recently shared links and posts.

It has also bolstered the online “Free Jahar” movement’s cause. (FYI: Jahar is an alternative spelling of Dzokhar.)

The article, written by contributing editor Janet Reitman, is supposed to be about how a Muslim man, who was supposedly going to have a bright future, flipped a switch and committed one of the worst acts of terrorism on U.S. soil. The article also includes “revelations” like how Tsarnaev at one time let slip to a friend that 9/11may have been justified due to the U.S.’s foreign policy with Muslim countries, that his former wrestling coach was the one who told him to surrender, and that he was completely isolated (away from his parents and his relationship with his sisters was strained at best), among others, according to a USA Today story.

Regardless of what may be contained inside, it’s the cover of a book or a magazine that draws attention. Tsarnaev is the most recent of murderers and committers of atrocities to grace headlines and the covers of prominent magazines. When this is done, what message does it send? It could send a message like “It’s okay for me to kill a bunch of people in the most brutal way possible, because I’m gonna be famous!” That may not be what the media’s saying when they put guys like Tsarnaev on the cover of something, but unfortunately that’s the message that comes across.

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