Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hey Now, You're a Rock Tsar(naev): Rolling Stone Cover Gives Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect 'Rock Star' Treatment

Alternate Rolling Stone cover courtesy of

The August 2013 issue of Rolling Stone hits newsstands featuring a snapshot of brooding of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, much to the chagrin of a large cross-section of pundits, entertainers, local officials, first responder and survivors of the Patriot's Day terrorist attack. Boston mayor Tom Menino wrote a letter to the magazine's publisher that stated in part "The survivors of the Boston attacks deserve cover stories, though I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them". Boston police commissioner Edward Davis and Suffolk County DA Daniel Conley also criticized the magazine's cover image.

More compelling was the reaction from survivors who were seriously injured in the April 15th, 2013 terrorist attack. Paul and JP Norden, two brothers from Stoneham, MA who each lost a leg in the bombing, posted the following on Facebook.
Here you go Rolling Stones; if you required a cover and wanted marathon related, one would assume that you would have promoted a nation of continued healing, provided American heroes and encouraged moving forward. This is just one of several available shots that would have made sense if you were looking for togetherness.

Instead, your irresponsible behavior did more to tear open wounds and insult victims, survivors and families that have been slowly healing and accepting the horrendous acts of terrorism. There is a very long road that awaits the involved victims and your magazine ripped at the hearts in an instance and cut at the deepest levels and for what, “To increase sales of a magazine that usually is worthy of music celebrities.” Well, Rolling Stones, you just reclaimed your 15 minutes of fame, we only hope, it lasts only fifteen minutes.

What you did yesterday with your incredibly poor decision, was weaken extreme good that has been built from unimaginable evil.

Well, we are here to remind you that we are 2 BROTHERS 1 NATION….Standing Boston Strong…….and no room for magazines intended on highlighting evil, hate and death.

Today, we take a step over that magazine and hold our heads up high and ask our supporters to do the same and to also ignore the sensationalism perpetrated by RS.

MBTA Police officer Richard Donahue, who was shot and wounded in the chaotic gunfight in Watertown, MA after the Tsarnaev Brothers ambushed and killed MIT policeman Sean Collier and carjacked a motorist in Cambridge, MA, issued a statement on Wednesday.

The City of Boston and the surrounding communities have faced many challenges since the bombings at the marathon finish line. The new cover of Rolling Stone has garnered much attention due to its sensationalized depiction of one of the alleged bombers. My family and I were personally affected by these individuals’ actions. I cannot and do not condone the cover of the magazine, which is thoughtless at best.

However, I appreciate our country’s protection of free speech afforded to us by the Constitution. I am confident that our Boston Strong community will remain intrepid and unshaken by the cover of this magazine.

The Rolling Stone piece is called The Bomber: How a Popular, Promising Student was failed by his family, fell into radical islam and became a monster and won't hit newsstands until this weekend. However, a number of retailers with ties to New England and the Boston area announced that they wouldn't be selling the August issue of Rolling Stone on Thursday. As of Thursday night, the list included pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid as well as Stop and Shop, Cumberland Farms, Tedeschi's and Big Y Foods.

In response to the Rolling Stone cover, Boston Magazine published an article titled The Real Face of Terror: Behind the Scenes of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Manhunt that included previously unreleased photos of a bloodied Tsarnaev on the boat with his arms in the air and a red dot from a laser sight on his head before he was taken into custody. The images were obtained by the magazine courtesy of a Massachusetts State Police sergeant who was on scene in Watertown that night.

One has to wonder if the Boston Marathon bomber were a middle aged crazed right wing Tea Partier like so many on the left insisted immediately after the terrorist attack, would Rolling Stone have used a similarly flattering image like they did for the younger Tsarnaev brother?

Or better yet, let's assume Mitt Romney won the 2012 presidential election. Who would Rolling Stone be more likely to use a flattering picture of on the cover to accompany an article- The moderate Republican former governor of Massachusetts or an unrepentant Islamic terrorist who admitted to killing four and wounding hundreds in a terrorist attack in a major American city?

Host of Fox News' Red Eye and The Five Greg Guttfeld summarized Rolling Stone's Tsarnaev piece as follows:

"Wow, here's a really good looking cool kid who loves to smoke weed (a lot -- isn't that cool and funny!) and seems super cool and all his friends just think he's the "bomb." He has such great hair!!!!

Oh -- sorry - and then the cute guy does something really really bad, and it's like totally weird because he was such a cool dude --and he was smart and stuff, and a great fighter and girls liked him! He seems really cute to me, anyway!!! :)

and when someone cool does something REALLY BAD WE THINK then we are really sad.


Like, why didn't he like us more??? : ^I

It sucks.... why couldn't he have been a dorky, ugly white right wing christian who didn't do drugs-- instead?

I mean -- That would have been more fun to write about! LOL."
In response to the public outcry [that they knowingly courted- NANESB!], Rolling Stone's editors released a statement on Thursday.

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
Pardon my Français, but bull-fucking-shit. First of all, if your 'hearts went out to the victims', I suspect you would use a much more drab image of Dzhokhar on the cover- maybe even his prison jumpsuit as he awaits trial instead of some sepia toned image that looks like its from the cover of his upcoming solo album. Number two, your referring to the murder and maiming of bystanders in a terrorist attack as a 'tragedy' underscores the fact that you don't take any of this seriously. A runaway bus didn't plow into the crowd- that would've been tragic. This was a premeditated act of murder and according to court documents, Dzhokhar and Tamerlane Tsarnaev set a backpack laden with explosives down next to innocent people cheering on the marathon runners and took off shortly before an 8 year old from Dorchester was ripped to shreds.

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