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“I have to say, the Rolling Stone magazine cover with the bomber is in poor taste. We shouldn’t make rock stars out of murderers.” That was Brad Paisley‘s tweet on Wednesday (July 17) in response to the controversial magazine cover featuring accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Paisley’s tweet has been retweeted almost 4,000 times. I think because so many people agree that of all places, Tsarnaev’s face shouldn’t be on the cover of this particular magazine.
People may want to hear the story of “how a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.” But putting that monster on the cover? A spot on that cover is a very coveted place. It’s a benchmark of success and fame and glory. So that’s where Rolling Stone went wrong, I think.
Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino wrote a letter to the magazine’s editor saying their decision to print this cover “rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment” and sends a message that “destruction gains fame.” He is so right, especially when you consider the millions of people who won’t even open the magazine. They’ll just see the killer on the cover. And if even one of those people thinks there is some kind of cachet in terrorism, that’s one too many. Tsarnaev is accused in the April 15 bombings that killed three people and wounded 260 at the Boston Marathon finish line.
Rolling Stone has released a statement saying that the story is part of its longstanding commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. But stores like Rite Aid, Stop & Shop, CVS, Walgreens, Shaw’s, Roche Brothers, Cumberland Farms and Tedeschi Food Shops have all released their own statements that they will not be selling this issue of Rolling Stone.