This is probably an unpopular opinion, and I was afraid to share it at first, but since I’m going into the journalistic field I figured I needed to be brave.
I don’t usually write controversial pieces or anything mildly serious for that matter, but I felt the need to say something about this issue.
Let me start by saying a few things. I currently live in Boston and have lived in New England all my life. I was a few blocks away from the attacks when it happened, and that day and week was the most upsetting and terrifying couple of days I’ve ever experienced. I mourn the victims of the attacks and pray for their family and friends, and believe the first responders deserve all the praise in the world. And I, perhaps most importantly, am not one of those psychotic girls that worship the Tsarnaevs.
That being said, I’d like to share some articles that share a similar opinion.
- “I would argue what is inciting people here, in part, is the ugly truth of Tsarnaev’s story; that a kid who looks like he could be the backup singer in a boy band somehow, allegedly, became a bomber capable of such carnage.”
- “We may want the media to reconfirm for us that psychopaths are crazed, nutty, creepy recluses whom we can easily identify and thus avoid. But, as this cover reminds us, that simply isn’t the case.”
- “While the full text of the article isn’t scheduled to be released until Friday, it hardly sounds like a puff piece. Here’s the cover type: “THE BOMBER,” followed by, “How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by his Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.”
I don’t know about you, but to me calling somebody a monster doesn’t sound much like glorifying him.”
I must admit that when the cover first surfaced I went along with the masses and was aggravated, upset, furious. But then I stopped and thought about it. The Rolling Stone is not solely an entertainment magazine, it has done political and controversial pieces before such as the cover with Charles Manson on the front that has been surfacing recently. They have also had political figures such as Obama on the cover, and he is neither a criminal or entertainer (however, I’m sure there are people who would say otherwise).
Many people are upset over the picture that was chosen for the cover. Would people be less upset if they used a picture such as this instead? Perhaps. But what is extremely eerie about the cover photo is that Tsarnaev looks almost average, which contradicts the notion that all murderers and criminals look like monsters and can be easily picked out by anyone anywhere at any time. By choosing this cover image, and the words that are on the cover (remember, they call him a monster), the magazine hopes to educate us and break the trend of what the media usually feeds us about terrorists and that in and of itself is terrifying. But does that mean that they need to be censored? No, I don’t believe so. A number of stores in New England have already stated that they will not be selling the issue. For a nation so proud of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, this seems contradictory to what we stand for. The article has been deeply researched, and well thought out. The magazine has also released a statement regarding the cover.
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.
In short, the people at Rolling Stone set out to educate us, and had the courage to provide us with well-researched information that we might have not received otherwise. Before boycotting the magazine, or becoming furious, read the article when it comes out tomorrow keeping in mind that this was meant to teach us something and save your opinions until then. I plan to do the same.
UPDATE: Here is the link to the full article. I have yet to read it, but I will post my opinion afterwards. http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/jahars-world-20130717