News / USA

Thousands Condemn 'Rolling Stone' Boston Bomber Cover

VOA News
U.S.-based magazine Rolling Stone is under fire for using a picture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of its upcoming issue.

In this magazine cover image released by Wenner Media, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the Aug. 1, 2013 issue of In this magazine cover image released by Wenner Media, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the Aug. 1, 2013 issue of "Rolling Stone."
x
In this magazine cover image released by Wenner Media, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the Aug. 1, 2013 issue of
In this magazine cover image released by Wenner Media, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the Aug. 1, 2013 issue of "Rolling Stone."
The photo, unveiled by the magazine Wednesday, depicts a youthful Tsarnaev with soft eyes and long, flowing curly hair. The magazine chose the photo to promote its in-depth story on Tsarnaev's life leading up to the April 15 attacks. But it was instantly compared to similar portraits of legendary rock stars Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison, prompting accusations that Rolling Stone was glamorizing terrorism.

Thousands of people went on Facebook and Twitter to condemn the magazine, with many vowing to never buy another issue. A handful of retailers, including two national drug chain stores, have refused to sell the issue.

In a letter to publisher Jann Wenner, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said the survivors of the attack were more deserving of a cover than Tsarnaev, but added "I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them."

The magazine issued a statement late Wednesday defending its decision to use the photo, saying it falls within commitment to "serious and thoughtful coverage" of the world's biggest "political and cultural issues of the day."

The issue officially goes on sale Friday.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan are accused of plotting the attack on the famous race that killed three people dead and left more than 260 others wounded, many of them losing legs and other limbs from the shrapnel caused by the homemade bombs. The younger Tsarnaev was wounded in a shootout with police that left Tamerlan dead, and was captured a day later.

The pair are also accused in the shooting death of a police officer with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology .

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Tab from: London
July 20, 2013 7:29 AM
Immediately when I first saw this I had the same reaction as everyone else and I thought 'how horrible'. Then I thought about what it demonstrates about how society view aesthetics, and how they transcend morality. I haven't read the article, and don't know what it says specifically; this point may not have been why the magazine published this cover. But it is interesting; it has really made me think. For example, look at how people use Che Guevara's face on t-shirts and posters etc, seeing him as a 'revolutionary' not a 'terrorist', despite his crimes against humanity. But he has a romanticized appearance, so its okay with him! Funny no one has t-shirts with Fidel Castro on them...

by: Hunter Edwards from: Courtenay, BC
July 20, 2013 5:49 AM
The reaction to this cover is further proof that people willingly choose not to see reason. Ever. This cover isn't saying "Look at how beautiful terrorists are", it's saying "Is this what you envision as a terrorist? Throw your stereotypes out the window."

by: Andrea Belial from: Miami
July 19, 2013 11:42 PM
I admire this magazine for doing this, thank you. I hope to find one of their magazines since people are being so close minded and taking them out of the shelves, what a shame. I will def be buying them more often.

by: P. R. from: Venice, California
July 19, 2013 10:22 PM
This cover definitely glorifies terrorism. It is insensitive to all families who have lost loved ones due to terrorist acts. While in the short run this cover is huge publicity for Rolling Stone magazine, in the long run it is a ridiculously stupid act. I will never buy this magazine again. I will never buy an ad in this magazine. And I will complain to any store owners who carry it.

by: MM from: FLORIDA
July 19, 2013 3:07 PM
I've been buying rolling stone for years, this has made a huge impact on how I feel about this magazine. There was no reason whatsoever to put dzhokhar tsarnaev face on the front cover. As an artist is a disgrace to put names like "Willie Nelson" "Jay Z" "Robin Thicke" amazing artist (American) that have been put in the same page with this inhuman. You should be ashamed, a lack of respect, a lack of education. I will never again after 9 years will buy this magazine again.

by: Karen Wheeler from: Vernon, B.C.
July 19, 2013 2:59 PM
BAD FORM!! TOTALLY!!

by: Anonymous
July 19, 2013 2:35 PM
I could take this article more seriously if it was proofread. There are several grammatical mistakes.

by: Marie from: Boston
July 19, 2013 2:33 PM
My problem with this cover is the text, not the photo. By proclaiming "BOMBER," under his picture, it flies in the face of our justice system, which affords all of us accused of a crime the presumption of innocence.
Note that I think it's highly likely the evidence will prove he's guilty. But he hasn't had a trial yet, so to declare him the bomber without his guilt having been proven in a court of law makes a mockery of our system.
We have to stop trying people in the press.

by: jinspin from: NJ
July 19, 2013 1:54 PM
I read the article. Rolling Stone wanted to be edgy and they thought it was cool that pic looked like Jim Morrison since you know they are like magazine about iconic rock stars. But they went too far. The article romanticizes terrorist Jahar and is just as DISGUSTING as the Teen Beat cover. Beautiful, soulful eyes - R U Kidding me? Who says this about cold blooded remorseless killer??? Brothers were lazy potsmokers who never had real jobs and Americans paid for their welfare and this dirtbag Jahar even got scholarship to go to college. Jahar wasted his college by smoking pot and he was failing classes.

They blame financial problems on parents who left for Russia and "boring" college. The article was more about blaming society and everyone else to humanize Jahar as the poor soul victim. Even though he killed maimed 250+ Americans and partied and prob smoked pot after bombing. It was SICK OFFENSIVE COVER and ARTICLE and Rolling Stone just trying to be edgy and sell magazine. Too bad the author and editors did not lose any family members to the bombings to see how disgusting and hurtful to victims this had caused. Oh yeah that Manson cover was 20 years ago and at least the editor at that time had decency not to use Manson picture that looked like Teen Beat or teen rock star. Mugshot would have shown this is what happens when you KILL PEOPLE! IDIOT EDITORS! Irresponsible abuse of JOURNALISM

by: Jan from: Ontario
July 19, 2013 1:12 PM
As a magazine you show poor taste in glamorizing what he did...glorifying murder...and equating him with similar status to R&R greats. He does not deserve front page status. By all means, write your story on him, but do not glamorize what he did by making him look like a rock star...it's almost saying the deplorable cowardice of what he did was super cool.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs