I’m sure I’m in the minority feeling this way, but peoples’ outrage over the Tsarnaev Rolling Stone cover seems to be entirely based on context. I don’t have a problem with it at all. Journalism is journalism, no matter how you slice it.
The photo chosen for the cover is not “glammed-up”, in fact it is the same photo seen countless times in the media already. When you do a prominent story, whomever you are, you put a picture of the central figure on the cover of your publication and this is nothing new. I have to wonder how many people have taken the time to actually read the article, which carries an important message. Rather, people are content to blabber on about the disrespect they see on the surface. Too bad so few people look beneath the surface. We are truly a nation dominated by childish ignorance. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those who survived and responded to the Boston attack, but as a thinking man I have to say this latest “outrage” just goes too far.
I’ve never really cared for Rolling Stone, but this latest to-do intrigued me enough. This is not the first notorious cover for Rolling Stone, with Charles Manson among other “unlikables” featured on the iconic magazine’s cover in the past. When considering this piece, we must also consider the fact that over the last several years, Rolling Stone has become less about music in much the same way that MTV and then VH1 have. Whether or not you consider Rolling Stone to be primarily about pop culture and music (anymore), I’m not sure the “inappropriate for Rolling Stone” argument holds much water. The article actually addresses the issue of Tsarnaev in the context of the pop culture normalcy that obscured what was really going on from even those closest to him. Similarly, the cover photo portrays him as the normal kid he appeared to be, and THAT is perhaps the scariest part.
For those interested in reading the article, it is available online, so you need not seek a hard copy from one of the shrinking number of retailers willing to sell it to you: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/jahars-world-20130717