Gathering moss

There’s been an outcry over this week’s Rolling Stone cover, featuring the Boston bomber. Some stores are refusing to carry the issue, and many people are boycotting the magazine in complaint.rolling_stone_AP13071714405_270x367

While everyone has the right to protest, and while stores have the right to not sell the magazine, I find myself more in support of the magazine than the protesters.

The best argument the protesters have is that terrorists and criminals should not be given any publicity because it could encourage copy-cats.

But then some are against the cover because then bomber “looks like a rock star” as if the magazine is promoting him — this despite the words on the cover calling him a “monster.”

But isn’t that the point of the article? Not all bad guys look like bad guys. Not all evil Mulsim terrorists look like bin Laden.

Also, this is news. Rolling Stone does cover the news too, you know — it’s not just a music magazine. It’s won awards for its news coverage. Sometimes bad guys make the news.

I don’t know, this seems kind of like punishing the messenger. The article doesn’t sympathize with him or paint him in a good light in any way; it’s an attempt to understand how a kid like that could do something so terrible.

6 thoughts on “Gathering moss

  1. A _huge_ amount of the unrest, as far as I can discern, comes from the generation that considered “the cover of the Rolling Stone” to be a counter-cultural achievement. To them, that cover is a place reserved for rock stars and their ilk. They’re the ones who grumble when Katy Perry is on the cover (“bubble-gum pop star hasn’t done anything”), but when _this_ hit, they spat venom.


  2. Its a tough one. I agree with you Michael, but at the same time, I don’t live in boston or mass anymore. a lot of people i know felt the same article could have been used with a less endearing picture. a mug shot, for example. This is the picture the suspect himself wanted published on the internet, so there is that argument.

    I know, personally, after 9/11, if any endearing pictures would have been used, I would have been upset. To many people, its still an open wound. While I dont agree with the sentiment of boycotting this issue, I at least understand it.

    I think in the long run, Rolling Stone will survive this, and perhaps even come out ahead on this, but they HAD to know this was going to create a lot of controversy. They dealt with it when they did the manson cover.


  3. I think there are a lot of people in the Ma area that are generally upset that they feel the image selected was the one that he wanted, and that its disrespectful to the victims.

    That being said, I dont agree, but I at least understand where they are coming from, and I dont think its ‘spitting venom’, and that it comes from honest-to-goodness displeasure.


  4. Rolling Stone promotes their magazine by cascading rock stars and people deserving of recognition on their cover. The picture makes him look like a rock star. This country has a bad enough problem with granting people who do bad things into celebrity status; we don’t need to encourage these people any further. Rolling Stone can do what they want but don’t try to sell me on the “this is reporting news” when the picture they chose isn’t in any way related to any images of the crime. It’s irresponsible.

    As Don Henley put it, “This year, notoriety got all confused with fame” except it’s every year. I think people have had enough if it and if we are starting to see outcries that helps break down the celebrity culture in the country by punishing those who capitalize on criminals by mixing them into celebrity then I am all for that movement.


  5. Cant edit comments, sorry for double.

    I also know many people in the area who want to read the article, and arent upset by the cover.

    What I do think is that Mayor Menino did a great disservice to the city by writing and publishing the letter that he wrote. An elected official needs to consider all sides, despite his/her personal opinions.


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