Cover BoyPosted: July 18, 2013
People around here (Boston) are livid about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s appearance as the cover boy on this month’s Rolling Stone magazine. He comes across looking like a teen heartthrob you’d see on the cover of Tiger Beat, complete with Armani shirt and rock star hair.
You can feel the anger and raw emotion emanating from Facebook, Twitter, and talk radio and Boston Mayor Tom Menino released an open letter to Rolling Stone. At best it’s a crass, clumsy attempt at PR — we’re all talking about it, after all, and when was the last time Rolling Stone was relevant? At worst it glorifies evil and retraumatizes the families and victim’s of the Boston Marathon bombings.
The reality is that this is nothing new. Evil has graced the cover of countless magazines over the years, including a previous issue of Rolling Stone. Our fascination with characters like the Unabomber and Charles Manson and the Boston Strangler drive this. Heck, in another era Judas might have been named Time’s Man of the Year.
None of which is to justify what Rolling Stone did — it’s not just the cover that irks people but the sympathetic portrayal of a terrorist. It’s simply to put all of this into context.