Rolling Stone, Tsarnaev, Lanza, Hitler and Manson
If the editors of Rolling Stone magazine thought putting Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover would garner them some publicity they were bang on! Virtually wall-to-wall media attention has been paid to the cover. While some large retail outlets have decided not to sell the August issue, I think that will be easily compensated for with all the free advertising.
If the editors of Rolling Stone magazine thought putting Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover would garner them some publicity they were bang on
Rolling Stone is a reputable magazine that covers a wide range of subjects including music, travel and current events – in other words news. In fact in 1970 Rolling Stone won a National Magazine Award for an interview with notorious killer and cult leader Charles Manson conducted while he was in prison. On the cover of that issue was a picture of Manson, not surprising considering an in-depth interview with him was to be found inside. Many words come to mind when I think of Charles Manson, but glamorous isn’t one of them. Yet today the publication is being raked over the coals for glamorizing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by displaying him on the cover. When did it become the purview of newspapers and magazines to present news in a sanitized way?
Many words come to mind when I think of Charles Manson, but glamorous isn’t one of them
Similarities have been drawn between the current Rolling Stone cover and the TIME magazine cover of 1938 depicting Adolph Hitler. At that time Hitler was the TIME news maker of the year, something that should not be confused with Man of the Year. He was on the cover as a news maker, certainly not as a kind, warmhearted fellow.
It is undeniable that Tsarnaev is a news maker; the victims of the bombing are also, sadly, news makers, and much has been made of them in the media. But to try to erase Tsarnaev from the facts won’t work any more than when television news reports didn’t mention Adam Lanza after he murdered school children in Newtown. Facts won’t go away, no matter how unpleasant.
Like it or not, Manson, Hitler, Lanza and Tsarnaev are or were news
Like it or not, Manson, Hitler, Lanza and Tsarnaev are or were news. Nobody ever said it was going to be nice. The role of journalists is to provide information, warts and all, not just the nice parts. Rolling Stone put Tsarnaev on the cover because they have a piece of journalism inside the issue about him, not because he’s a nice guy. By putting him on the cover they are not touting him as some kind of hero , rather they are telling prospective buyers what is inside.