Posted in: Media Industry

‘Rolling Stone’ Tsarnaev Cover ‘Inappropriate,’ Says America [Poll]

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Rolling Stones Tsarnaev cover has caused a lot of controversy this past week among celebrities, social media users, some businesses, and even other media publications. But how does America feel about the issue?

More or less the same.

According to a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, most Americans think that “The Bomber” cover is “inappropriate.”

Per The Huffington Post:

“By a 65 percent to 15 percent margin, respondents to the poll, who were shown the cover image before answering questions about it, said that the cover was inappropriate. And 51 percent said that the cover glorifies Tsarnaev’s actions, while another 26 percent said it did not, and 23 percent said they weren’t sure.”

A handful of retail chains have announced that they won’t be selling Rolling Stone‘s Tsarnaev issue in stores, and both Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick have openly criticized the publication.

As we reported this week, one Boston resident has even started a social media push to burn copies of the issue.

The poll noted that only a small number of those responding admitted to being Rolling Stone subscribers or regular readers. Among those who were, the response to the Tsarnaev cover was roughly the same.

In response to criticism of the cover, Rolling Stone issued the following statement:

“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.”

But if we feel bad for anyone, it’s Janey Reitman who did all the footwork on this story. If you can set aside your anger at Rolling Stone, the Tsarnaev article in the issue is actually quite well done. You can read it here for free.

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Comments

34 Responses to “‘Rolling Stone’ Tsarnaev Cover ‘Inappropriate,’ Says America [Poll]”

  1. Anonymous

    Rolling Stone lost all credibility once they made the decision to became a gangster rap rag. In the beginning it was all about peace, love, and rock and roll. Somewhere along the way it morphed into a magazine that promotes, violence, narcissism and misogyny. They recently featured that immoral, no talent thug Rick Ross on the cover. This is a guy who's claim to fame is that he raps about raping women while they are unconscious. How do you go from Dylan and John Lennon to promoting two-bit criminally minded thugs that shout extreme profanities in a monotone over a computerized beat and not feel any shame?

    Rolling Stone lost all credibility once they made the decision to became a gangster rap rag. In the beginning it was all about peace, love, and rock and roll. Somewhere along the way it morphed into a magazine that promotes, violence, narcissism and misogyny. They recently featured that immoral, no talent thug Rick Ross on the cover. This is a guy who's claim to fame is that he raps about raping women while they are unconscious. How do you go from Dylan and John Lennon to promoting two-bit criminally minded thugs that shout extreme profanities in a monotone over a computerized beat and not feel any shame?

  2. Richard Nicoletti

    The spokesperson seems to justify to story by saying that it is well done. That doesn't make it any less unappropriate. Let's not turn thugs into anti-heroes or rock stars. He belongs in jail, or maybe worse.

  3. Gina Fernandez

    Anyone can write an article. we as americans have that right. HOWEVER, Putting this "person" on the cover gives him movie star/ celebrity status which is wrong in everyway possible.

  4. Esperansa Torres

    Im sorry but to burn copies of the mag. You first have to buy it so all in all R.S. wins.

  5. Esperansa Torres

    Im sorry but to burn copies of the mag. You first have to buy it so all in all R.S. wins.

  6. Linda Fiets

    If they absolutely HAD to put a picture of him on the cover, they should have used one of the bloody ones of him in the boat with the laser dot from the rifle on his forehead. Don't glorify the sick bastard!

  7. Linda Fiets

    If they absolutely HAD to put a picture of him on the cover, they should have used one of the bloody ones of him in the boat with the laser dot from the rifle on his forehead. Don't glorify the sick bastard!

  8. Ann Knickerbocker

    Did these people actually READ the story? Do these people know HOW to read? Tsarnaev is described as a monster. Rolling Stone does more than write about music. It has a number of hard-hitting journalists (such as Matt Tahibbi) that do excellent, in depth reporting on serious issues. As a retired journalist, I get Rolling Stone magazine IN SPITE of the focus on music, because of the serious journalism the magazine does. So pu-lease actually read the article before you judge it.

  9. Ann Knickerbocker

    Mmmm, many newspapers printed this same photo. Did you complain about it then? I didn't think so. Oh, and btw, for what is is worth, the photo YOU refer to wasn't even made public until AFTER the RS went to press. So, duh….

  10. Ann Knickerbocker

    THEY did nothing to the photo to make him look angelic. This was a photo that was printed by many newspapers (I heard no one complaining then) and it is exactly the same photo as has been published before. And if you were able to do more than look at pictures, you would read the caption under the photo describing him as a monster. And that, for you shallow thinkers, is part of the story. A man that could look so innocent, yet commit such a heinous act. But you actually have to have some grey cells to understand, I guess.

  11. Ann Knickerbocker

    RS is a magazine about the contemporary music scene, with some excellent reporting of serious issues thrown in. Like it or not, rap — gangster or otherwise — is a genre that some "music" lovers are interested in. I myself love all music but rap and contemporary country. However, I am not so selfish or self-absorbed as to think that RS shouldn't do stories on rap and contemporary country just because I don't like them. I just skip those articles if I don't want to read them.

  12. Ann Knickerbocker

    The magazine put a photo of a terrorist on the cover, over a caption that referred to him as a monster. It is YOU and your ilk that are making out that doing so makes Tsarnaev a celebrity. The magazine makes no such claim.

  13. Renee Sophistra Browne

    Honestly, I didn't read the magazine but from the cover what I get is that Rolling Stone was trying to show that the terrorist looked like a regular human being. I don't see any horns, debilitating scars, not blind fury coming from this man's eyes. America has become fixated on image and that needs to stop. What offends me more is that other magazines don't even talk about real issues, all we have time for is discussing who is famous. Get off this issue and change something that matters.

  14. Renee Sophistra Browne

    He looks like a human being. A human being bombed Boston. Why does everyone expect Tsarnaev to have horns, and if we did post a picture of him all bloodied up like others have suggested, what does THAT say about US as humans? For such claims to be civil, a lot of us seem to want to see blood. Plus, he was a young man, just because he is attractive shouldn't mean anything! By the way…you do know there are other things we should be protesting right…like our food being poisoned, the war in Iraq, racism, our right to vote being altered…you know something worthwhile, other than a photo? And in all honesty, are you really picking hairs over what got airbrushed…I'm sure they won't give him a styled cut in prison…duh.

  15. Renee Sophistra Browne

    First off all, that would make us (the readers) sick AND pretentious and second of all if you didn't read the article then you yourself are glorifying the terrorist by ignoring what he did in favor of what he looked like. America cannot be a country of vengeful citizens, and true we cannot be blind, but could you be a little more sensible about your battles? Learn about the enemy, learn that he can look like anyone, and learn that revenge, (because that is what the terrorist thought he was getting) IS NOT THE ANSWER!

  16. Joseph Eugene Paul Breton

    I appreciated RS' identification of Tsarnaev being in the age group of people to whom the publication is directed. RS may be disappointed to know that there are a lot of older people who read it also. The picture is a thousand words, but the tens of thousands of words behind the picture are also as vitally important. Not all young people are models to be admired. There are the troubled youth. There are also those who choose to do evil. I think RS did the world a favor.

  17. Ann Knickerbocker

    Mary Yamada No, they did not airbrush anything. The photo is greyscale, meaning it was likely copied from the newspaper. If you will look closely at newspaper photos, they consist of lots of dots that make up the photo. That's how they are printed with newsprint technology, unlike magazines which can do photos of higher quality. If you compare the photos on the cover and go online to find the original printed in newspapers, you will see there has been NO enhancement on the part of Rolling Stone. None.

  18. Richard Jones

    Gina, we think alike, I also made similar assessment of this cover….small world finding that we have two mutual friends as well….

    @ Ann, The fact this picture was "the cover" raises it to celebrity status no matter what the caption states……most people don't read the captions as they walk by a news stand….it's the main cover photo that's the "hook" that draws one in…..it's the sexy red dress in the window that gets your attention…..this "Jim Morrison" style glamor shot was not the way to go for the cover, possibly photos of the survivors, victims, and the many heroes that didn't run away would have been a better choice….run this photo secondary to the main story "below the fold" so to speak… Anything else is glorifying his image and or actions…..how many children wanting to make a name for themselves in a "copycat high school shooting" will take such action to be…..on the cover of rolling stone…..the aspirations of any rising star…..shame on Rolling Stone….and good for you Gina for recognizing or what it was and speaking your mind….

  19. Brian Brook

    Do you realize, that the majority of Americans ///don't know what this is about, and never heard of the story!;;;lol/idts.