Trendy Notes – Rolling Stone’s Latest Cover Creates a Stir
The Boston Marathon was staged and ready on a beautiful spring day back in April. Nobody could have imagined the horrors to come courtesy of two brothers, Russian immigrants, who decided to terrorize their adopted community for reasons that still don’t validate the lives that were lost and irrevocably changed forever.
The elder brother didn’t survive the tragic chaos that unfolded but his younger sibling was captured and is awaiting due process.
In the meantime, Rolling Stone magazine has decided to use 19 year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as it’s poster boy for rebellious simulation but for some reason, the inspiration behind their latest offering is not resonating with the masses.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the sight of Tsarnaev, who in all honesty can easily pass for the lead singer of a popular European-based boy band on the cover of a magazine that perpetuates rocker chic can inadvertently send a message to the young and restless that you can screw up royally and still have your name and image garner the same attention as rock stars, athletes or the Hollywood elite.
Rolling Stone released a statement justifying their decision to put the Boston bomber on the cover of their latest issue, “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”.
As elaborate as their statement may seem, it still doesn’t excuse the insensitive and offensive tone of this particular cover. Hopefully none of the editorial staff suffered direct consequences from the bombing, which could possibly explain how the publication is able to hide behind the shield of supposed “journalistic integrity”.
There are varied ways to present and illustrate the complicated layers of a young and once promising college student who transforms into an overnight mass murderer without propelling him to celebrity status and cover model.
The nagging need to yield profit at whatever cost is eroding the media at large and distributing a sense of numbness and unaccountability that is becoming increasingly disturbing.
Rolling Stone’s decision to feature Tsarnaev is a blatant capitalization on an event that is still a source of pain and agony for those who suffered insurmountable loss and there is simply no excuse for such a thoughtless and careless action.
Courtesy and consideration needs to be implemented when it comes to covering controversial topics that almost always elicit strong reactions. Some get it right and some fail to measure up.
Rolling Stone got it wrong this time.