Rolling Stone Cover With Dzhokhar Is Great
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2013 4:52 PM CDT
In this magazine cover image released by Wenner Media, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the Aug. 1 'Rolling Stone.'   (AP Photo/Wenner Media)

(Newser) – Chances are you've heard about the decision by Rolling Stone to put Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. Critics have been in a rage all day, and stores including CVS say they won't even stock it. It's offensive, exploitative, and glorifies violence are the more common refrains. At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern has a different word: Brilliant. "By depicting a terrorist as sweet and handsome rather than ugly and terrifying, Rolling Stone has subverted our expectations and hinted at a larger truth," he writes. Instead of seeing a monster, we see "a boy who looks like someone we might know."

This is great journalism, writes Stern, and he argues that Rolling Stone is getting unfairly slammed by critics. Where was the outrage when the New York Times ran the same photo on its front page? Or when Time put the Columbine shooters on its cover? Rolling Stone isn't glorifying Tsarnaev, it's exploring the contradictions about him. "We may want the media to reconfirm for us that psychopaths are crazed, nutty, creepy recluses whom we can easily identify and thus avoid. But, as this cover reminds us, that simply isn’t the case." Click for the full post. (Meanwhile, USA Today notes that Rolling Stone put none other than Charles Manson on its cover 40 years ago—and won a National Magazine award for the interview.)

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Rolling Stone Cover With Dzhokhar Is Great is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 87 comments
Jul 21, 2013 9:05 AM CDT
Most Rolling Stone readers were to stoned to even know there was a bombing.
Jul 18, 2013 10:20 PM CDT
That scum on the cover is NOT GREAT. This is exactly the reason maniacs perform these horrific murders... for the infamy! Dzhokhar the joker has now instantly become a successful one, catching right up to the likes of filth such as Charles Manson! Stop making media darlings out of these creatures!!!
Jul 18, 2013 9:58 PM CDT
hey john johnson did you lose any one? were you there to see what went on first hand? YOU ARE A REAL NUTTER IF YOU THINK THE COVER OR THE "PERSON?" ON IT ARE GREAT!!!!!!!!!