The Trouble With Rolling Stone's Boston Bomber Cover
  • WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2013

  • Posted by: Matt Howard

There's an uproar surrounding the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone. No, it's not because it features naked, blood-soaked vampires; and no, it doesn't even flaunt the curves of a teen idol. This time it's due to the magazine's use of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's photo. Many are calling it a glamour shot. It's even been compared to a former issue that featured Jim Morrison.





Although Tsarnaev could easily pass for a stoned, rock frontman, we're going to have to disagree with the criticism. The issue hasn't been released yet, so no one has even read Janet Reitman's article, but we're confident that the use of a flattering, normal photo was a necessary evil. If you look beyond the young man's face, you'll notice the headline and description (cut out of the photo above), reads, "THE BOMBER: How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster." That doesn't sound very flattering to me.

I assume the photo was used for the holy shit factor. Showing Dzhokhar as a normal kid sends a far more powerful message than using a photo of the alleged bomber's shot and injured body. The terrible TV news coverage already ingrained those images into our brains. Would you prefer a cliche mug shot? Comparing the photo to that of a celebrity only substantiates the reality of this dude being "one of us." I don't agree with overt 'fear-your-neighbor' sensationalism, but this subtle message, once realized, is a potent depiction of how deeply disturbed Dzhokhar was.

To lighten the mood a bit, I picked through the Rolling Stone archives and selected a few covers that we find more disturbing than the most recent.


The horse even looked unsure about this one...





Weird...





Prior to Traffic Michael Douglas spent most of the 90s as a grandma...





The star of tonight's nightmare...





Mariah forgot how to hat...





Billy Joel channeled his inner Stallone...





Ever wonder how to make Whoopi Goldberg look flattering? Add wig-wams, a softball uni and sit her down poolside...





"Hot Ready Legal". No.


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