The Rolling Stone is getting chastised for their latest cover choice.
This week’s Rolling Stone cover, which features Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will forever live in infamy. According to Yahoo News, a campaign was formed on Twitter to boycott the magazine. Fox News reports that CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Tedeschi Food Shops, and three other retailers announced they will not even carry this week’s issue of The Rolling Stone.
One of the reasons why The Rolling Stone has come under fire is that some people believe the magazine is “glorifying” terrorism by putting Tsarnaev on the cover. The magazine usually features celebrities on the cover, and some people feel that Tsarnaev is getting “rock star” treatment. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania told the Houston Chronicle, “I can’t think of another instance in which one has glamorized the image of an alleged terrorist. This is the image of a rock star. This is the image of someone who is admired, of someone who has a fan base, of someone we are critiquing as art.”
However, probably no one is more upset about the cover than the people of Boston. A Boston Globe headline reads, “Rolling Stone cover an act of irresponsibility”. Boston mayor Thomas Menino said Rolling Stone magazine should have done stories on the survivors, but after making Tsarnaev the cover story, they don’t “deserve” them now.
On the other hand, there are some people out there who think the boycott is a bit extreme. Washington Post media critic, Erik Wemple told CNN, “What you have here is a story about a guy who was very integrated and well-balanced, by all accounts, member of our society until something happened. We don’t know precisely what happened and that was the whole point of this Rolling Stones story–to account for how he slid off the rails.”
The Rolling Stone made the cover announcement on their Facebook page Monday. After receiving negative feedback, Rolling Stone released this statement on their Facebook page Wednesday, “Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, 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 political and cultural issues of our day.”
The Rolling Stone editors also added that Tsarnaev was young, and they felt that made it necessary to “examine the complexities of this issue” to see how these certain tragedies occur. This controversial issue hits shelves Friday.