18 comments on “Can Someone Explain This To Me?

  1. Rolling Stone usually (?) has rock stars on its covers. Getting “on the cover of Rolling Stone” is seen to be a sign that somebody has made it big. The other examples you list portray themselves more as news magazines (although Rolling Stone covers news as well to some degree).

    • I completely agree with Harper’s Dad. I theorize that some in our society MUST have a cause to rail AGAINST. I thought that the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin thing would keep their attention for a while, but apparently it is a busy month.

      Imagine how great it would be if they use all of that energy, turned that hatred into love, and actually supported something. We would all be happier, I think.

  2. I was reading that people objected to the ‘glamour’ shot that was used, as though RS had hired a make-up and done a jail cell photo shoot.
    I think the outrage may stem from this incident still being so fresh and, sadly, because it’s Rolling Stone.
    When I saw it, my first thought was, ‘Should be an interesting read.’

  3. There is no controversy. Honestly. If putting this guy “glamorizes” terrorism, then putting Axl Rose, Keith Richards or Jim Morrison etc glamorizes drug use. …and trust me, no one is rushing to CVS or Walgreens to pick up a copy of Rolling Stone.

    Hell, the controversy might be from Rolling Stone to increase sales. Yes, I’m that cynical.

  4. There is no controversy, I think that this entire so called ”controversy” is an invention of the media to bring attention to itself. It is summer after all and not much is going on. The caption at the bottom let’s reader get the impression that he is a victim and a monster, not a victim nor a monster just a thoughtless self-centrered egotist.

  5. Here’s my take on this “controversy.” First let me assure everyone I”m all for free press but when I saw this cover I wasn’t surprised. Of course Rolling Stone would publish a picture of the Boston Bomber with the nice hair. I knew this would happen the first time I saw a photo of that murderer. I also knew they wouldn’t post a picture of the murderer of those children in Newtown Connecticut. Why? He’s not as “hot” as Jahar. Yes Virginia, the Rolling Stone magazine, which has a reputation for cover photos of rock stars would OF COURSE post a picture of Jahar with his “Jim Morrison Hair.” They’re selling magazines after all. Let me repeat, I don’t have a problem with putting this murderer’s photo on the cover of Rolling Stone but of course they would post a glamorized photo of this murderer. Oh, did I mention he is a murderer? Rolling Stone is defending posting the glamorized photo of the murderer by saying he is “of the same age as many of their readers.” Uh…..how about Adam Lanza? Another “same age as their readers.” When Rolling Stone puts Adam Lanza on their cover then I’ll believe their lame argument. Rolling Stone is in the business of selling magazines, they’re selling a few more for sure by their decision to post this glamorized photo of the murderer Jahar whatever his name is.

    • Good points all. Actually, with the exception of the omission of words like ‘alleged’ or ‘suspect’, I agree with everything you’ve written. Rolling Stone did not take the photo, it had been previously published, but they chose it so their responsibility is the same. I just think its an editorial decision they have every right to make. They did a Manson cover as well.

      Many, including Mayor Menino have suggested the motivation is to sell magazines. I imagine that’s true.

      • My issue is with the glamorized photo. Adam Lanza’s story is just as interesting but the Rolling Stone would NEVER put him on their cover. If they did the Rolling Stone would be a laughing stock. Of course they would never put their “editorial responsibility” on the line by taking such a risky move. However, if they did I would have a lot more respect for their decision. Of course they have the right to put the Boston Bomber “suspect” on their cover but we also have the right to point out their cravenness in selling magazines by posting such a GLAMORIZED photo. Again, my issue is with their choice of a glamorized photo.

    • The NYT printed the exact same picture, center of the Sunday times MONTHS ago, top of fold. NYT did not get one email of complaint. Not one. Where was the indignation then?

      • Exactly! I didn’t find the NYT article but, as I noted below, I found it in the NY Daily News from April. They got it from the subject’s Twitter profile. The perception that it is a glamour-shot appears to be inferred from the context of being the RS cover.

  6. Has the editorial wing of Rolling Stone not already taken the position that the seductiveness of the photo chosen is part of the point? (Who knew? Evil is everywhere!) The problem I see with this, is some variation on ‘the mistake is on the front page, the retraction is buried on page twelve’. Most will never read the treatise inside, and the argument is that all we’ll be left with is a subliminal suggestion that fame is desirable at any cost.

    Geraldo Rivera — and I truly hate to have to attribute this to him — opined that OJ Simpson was so shallow and addicted to fame, that when his athletic celebrity had petered out, he let the spotlight he achieved from being a murderer fill the void. What a world.

    • It occurs to me that at least some amplification on why my thoughts drifted to OJ. It stems from considering the company Tsarnaev kept, which is to say, the two buddies who — instead of alerting the authorities when they surely believed he was involved in the bombing — ditched his laptop like they were trying to protect him from the high school principal for a chemistry lab prank. That mindset is pretty telling.

      Am I way off on this?

      • I don’t think you are way off at all. Loyalty of friends is great but concealing or attempting to conceal evidence is a crime. I’m not a lawyer (but I have seen them on TV), isn’t there such a thing as being an “accessory after the fact”?

    • Good points. Usually the victim of the ‘mistake on page 1 – retraction on page 12’ scenario is the subject. In this case it is the public. But that also makes it, largely, self-inflicted. Shame on me if I’m unwilling to invest the time to read the whole story.

      It is certainly true that we will live in a society where celebrity is easy and yet, ironically, still sought-after. More people can name the Kardashians than can name the Supreme Court justices. Imagine the results of a name recognition poll between Honey Booboo and Aung San Suu Kyi.

      There are a couple reasons why this furor interests me.

      I’m fascinated that emotions run so high about the Rolling Stone cover when I don’t recall any hand-wringing over the photo when it was published by the New York Daily News three months ago. NYDN pulled it off Tsarnaev’s Twitter page. Rolling Stone didn’t send Annie Leibovitz and a team of stylists to his cell for a photo shoot. The perception of ‘glamour’ is inferred from the location. As “Old Lurker” comments, it’s a space usually occupied by rock stars.

      I’m troubled by the fact that all this “controversy” smacks of ‘guilty until proven innocent’. We (and I’m embarrassed to say this includes me) have decided he’s guilty so the media should only show him as such; maniacally laughing with a Molotov cocktail in one hand the Quran in the other. I can turn on Fox News almost any evening and see photos carefully chosen to portray its subject as Fox wants us to see them; the serene and thoughtful Michelle Bachmann juxtaposed with the wild-eyed, hysterical-looking Nancy Pelosi; the weddings of fresh-faced young hetero couples opposite drag queens & leather men on PRIDE floats; distinguished looking Tea Party statesmen opposite whatever Liberal they can find being ‘perp walked’.

      The fact that we abandon ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is cases like this is human nature. It was an unspeakable act and we want to blame someone. The fact that we allow ourselves to me manipulated by images chosen to support an agenda rather than learning the facts for ourselves is concerning. That fact that some now seem to be demanding this of the media is depressing.

  7. And the old maxim continues to be true: “If it bleeds (or in this case causes blood) it leads”. Story of my early career in commercial television and radio. I don’t think there is any motivation behind RS’ choice of covers than that. I will probably read the article, just because I am curious what makes someone who appears to be a perfectly normal teenager turn into an alleged mass murderer. I think there is some newsworthiness in that.

    I have to wonder what the reaction from “the masses” was for the other magazine covers.

    Peace ❤

    • Good points. Both you and Domani Dave made the “evil is everywhere” point. It is an interesting part of this story. This is not someone who was radicalized by having grown up with bombs falling on his house.

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