In case you've missed it, Rolling Stone magazine is in hot water for its latest issue featuring a glamour shot of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the living Boston bombing suspect.
The picture itself is being compared to other rock-star covers such as Bob Dylan or Jim Morrison, and the sub-headline reads: “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam, and became a monster." The article goes on to try and humanize “Jahar” (as his friends call him), and tries and explain away reasons for his horrific actions.
Putting a rock star picture on the cover and writing a sympathetic piece about this alleged terrorist hasn't sat well with the American public, and I can completely understand why. The glorification of criminals has somehow become chic in our cultural, and it lacks complete decency and disregards those who were tragically affected by the bombings.
Rolling Stone has issued a statement which reads:
“Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.”
Nonetheless, that hasn't stopped thousands of angry readers from voicing their disgust on Rolling Stone's Facebook page. It also hasn't stopped retailers like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Stop & Shop, the grocery chain the Roche Bros and Tedeschi Food Shops from refusing to sell this issue. They have every right to make that decision, and while Rolling Stone also has the right to print the issue, I do believe that it was in poor taste and they will suffer the economic consequences of their decision to do so.