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 "Rolling Stone."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."
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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."
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 .

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by: marym from: RI
July 19, 2013 1:03 PM
Now wouldn't it be a really fine gesture of ALL the proceeds from ALL there magazine sales go to the victims of the Boston bombing !!!!!!!


by: marie from: nj
July 19, 2013 12:46 PM
Is Charles Manson the next cover ?


by: Patricia Lancaster from: Durban, South Africa
July 19, 2013 6:28 AM
SHOCKING!!! Do not glorify this murderer in any way or form. Rolling Stone magazine boycotted!


by: ymassar29 from: miami
July 18, 2013 4:46 PM
Do people forget when TIME magazine put on their cover the photo of Timothy McVeigh who was a US Soldier who bombed an Oklahoma Federal Building killing 168 people and from those 19 were childern who occupied the daycare located in that building. Thier cover stated The Face of Terror. Seriously, what is the real reason that so many are upset up this cover? Would it have made a difference if they were of color? I think that we as a Nation have a right to publish and speak our minds. We must stop being so sensative as to what is being put out there in our newspapers, Facebook and every other avenue of Media as well as Social Media.

Rolling Stones did what they did and if your upset about it, guess what we live in a FREE nation and you don't have to buy it. Voice the fact you don't approve of it and that is fine but boycotting, banning or protesting just makes it seem we live in a SOCIALIST nation. I support any media that will provide me with the entire story with facts and that excludes our local channels here in South Florida, which I by my own choice refuse to watch.

Lets live in a FREE America so that we have the write to publish, voice how we feel but in a positive constructive way without violence.


by: VICKI from: B.C.
July 18, 2013 3:05 PM
shame shame shame not classy at all!!!


by: scallywag from: nyc
July 18, 2013 10:51 AM
So let's cut to the chase. What's the real role of media? Is it to offend, provoke, entertain, inform, titillate, cater to preferred tastes or to challenge those tastes?

Or how about the idea that the idea of the press is for it to explore whatever themes it dare chooses albeit as long as it refrains from slandering or perjuring individuals? Which is to say if the mainstream press can saturate and numb us with images of entertainment icons why shouldn’t a magazine be allowed to run a feature of an individual who for better or worse has shaped our understanding of society?

Who knows maybe the role of press is just to be an obsequious marketing tool to preferred dogma and keeping the sheep den cozy....sorry not all terrorists are hunch back tyrants but sometimes the boy next door gone disturbed, or is that headline not fitting well with our well formulated understanding of what reality and morality ought to be and look like...?

In Response

by: Fred from: Boston
July 18, 2013 1:56 PM
Apparently the role of this magazine is to glorify terrorists for profit. Sure they can put a photo of the terrorist who killed 3 people (including the 8 year old boy he was standing next to when he planted the bomb) and maimed or wounded 264 others on a cover normally reserved for artists and heroes. They can put nice photos of Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer or any other sick twisted mass murderer they want on the cover, as long as they're willing to take the backlash and loss of sales from a justifiably outraged public. As far as its journalism goes, Rolling Stone is blown away by countless print and internet news sources. They shouldn't be applauded for desperate sensationalism.

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