‘The Bomber’: Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev makes cover of Rolling Stone

I absolutely understand and sympathize with millions of people across the globe who would rightly be offended by this magazine cover. Rolling Stone is a magazine which over time, has established a reputation for itself of being an unsullied voice in establishing popular culture, music, politics and lately, even scrutinizing financial trends.

So when a magazine with that degree of clout and voice opts, for whatever warped reason, to glorify terrorism or terrorists under whatever guise, it becomes a matter of bafflement for lesser mortals such as my humble self.

A picture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is on the cover of the August 2013 edition of Rolling Stone magazine.

This is the clown who thought it fit, between him and his equally clueless brother, to blow up a group of absolutely innocent people during the Boston marathon which took place in April this year. For absolutely NO REASON. Or hey, perhaps I am being a little too hasty here. He may give us his reasons when he has his day in court.

Were the cover picture one of Tsarnaev being led away in handcuffs by the Police I would still get no satisfaction for the simple fact that in my opinion, the less media coverage such louts get, the better for all of us. Give them a total media blackout, I say, and focus completely on the victims and possibly the issues that gave rise to the incident, if any. Because frequently, terrorists terrorize just because they can and not necessarily because they have any valid points to make.

Immortalizing them in any shape or form in the name of any kind of journalism turns my stomach.

This dude Tsarnaev can now proudly brag to fellow inmates that his bleeping image graces the COVER of a magazine that has immortalized the likes of Madonna, Sade, Ben Affleck, David Bowie, Mary J. Blige and Barack Obama to name a VERY FEW. What, PRAY TELL, does this creep, Tsarnaev, have in common with these outstanding contributors to the human race?

I stand, for what it’s worth, with everybody who has raised an eyebrow in query of this egregious glamorizing of a criminal element.

What is the message here for Pete’s sake?

Read the news report below to draw your conclusions.


The mag’s decision to feature the surviving Tsarnaev brother on its August cover has drawn outrage from tens of thousands of readers including the Boston mayor and Massachusetts governor. The magazine said in a statement Wednesday that ‘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.’


Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Boldly labeled “The Bomber,” the teenaged Boston Marathon bombing suspect’s portrait is splashed across the upcoming issue’s cover, usually reserved for rock stars and celebrities.

“How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster,” the cover’s caption reads while showing him shaggy haired and unshaven in sepia-toned shading.

Tens of thousands of people and at least four retail chains have since vowed to boycott the magazine since it unveiled the controversial cover with many calling its decision “shameful,” “sickening” and “glorifying” of an accused killer and terrorist.

Feeling the heat, Rolling Stone editors released a statement Wednesday recognizing the victims of the Boston bombing while explaining their use of Tsarnaev on its August cover.

“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 magazine said. “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.”

Still, more than 11,000 people have additionally stormed the magazine’s direct Facebook page with angry comments and hundreds of others have slammed a related article on the magazine’s website — some vowing to cancel their subscriptions.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick are among the latest to vilify the cover with Menino calling it “disgraceful” and promising to contact the publisher directly.

“Why would we want to heroize this guy? He’s a terrorist. We don’t want him in our neighborhoods. We don’t want him on magazines. We don’t want him anywhere,” Menino told WHDH.

Patrick mutually deplored it.

“The cover is out of taste,” he told the station.

At least four retail chains with stores in the Northeast have announced they will not be selling it in their stores.

CVS/pharmacy, which operates 7,300 locations nationwide, made its decision as an act of respect to those who lost their lives and were injured that tragic day.

“As a company with deep roots in New England and a strong presence in Boston, we believe this is the right decision out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones,” they said in a statement.

A second convenience store, Tedeschi Food Shops, that operates 190 locations throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, said they will not be carrying the issue either.

“Tedeschi Food Shops supports the need to share the news with everyone, but cannot support actions that serve to glorify the evil actions of anyone. With that being said, we will not be carrying this issue of Rolling Stone. Music and terrorism don’t mix!” the food chain wrote on their Facebook wall.

In two hours their announcement earned more than 1,500 “likes” and more than 200 comments that mostly praised their decision.

To one commenter who didn’t, calling the store’s move “ignorant,” Tedeschi expressed their hope that their now former customer would respect their decision as they respect theirs.

“The issue will be available for purchase elsewhere and people will be able to read the story. In our eyes, we believe that the issue should be glorifying the victims who lost their lives that day and not the terrorist,” the store wrote.

Supermarket chain Stop & Shop also said they wouldn’t sell the August edition, as well as the drug store Walgreens, which tweeted its decision after being inundated by customer complaints.

Tsarnaev’s face on the magazine appears surrounded by the names of musicians Willie Nelson, Jay-Z, Robin Thicke, Gary Clark, JR.

Though being far from a rock star himself, the teen does have a groupie-like following of adoring females in the “Free Jahar” movement who use the same photo of him to decorate their Facebook pages.

Many are comparing his wild look to such rock star legends as Jim Morrison, who blazed the Rolling Stone cover with a similar strong stare and shaggy long hair in 1991.

“WHY would you put a terrorist-murderer on the cover like he is a Rock Star? What were you thinking (or where you thinking at all). Someone should be getting a PINK SLIP for this embarrassing, foolish and shameful cover …” one man wrote on the magazine’s Facebook page late Tuesday.

“I think a mug shot would have been a better picture to use for your story,” another woman wrote on the magazine’s website Wednesday.

“Why are you glamorizing this kid? This kid did terrible things to people not to mention blowing up an eight-year-old boy who went to the marathon,” she continued.

Outraged readers have created and shared their own Rolling Stone cover suggestions as well.

One features slain MIT police officer Sean Collier who was allegedly shot by the Tsarnaev brothers three days after the bombings that took three lives and injured more than 260 others.

Another disturbingly shows 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta on the front cover while labeling him as “The Hijacker.”

“How a popular, promising Egyptian was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster,” the similar caption reads.

“If you wouldn’t publish this in NYC, why publish your cover in Boston?” wrote the Atta cover’s creator Kyle Clauss, adding the hashtag #BoycottRollingStone.

August’s issue is set to hit stands Friday.


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