What does a bombing suspect have to do with music? Or pop culture?
Yet somehow the editors of the infamous “Rolling Stone” magazine have made the bonehead decision to feature Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of its August, 2013 issue. (Which raises a separate matter of why on July 17th is there already an August issue? What happened to the July issue?)
This “Rolling Stone” has gathered some moss as a result of this cover. Yes, free speech is allowed in America. It also has consequences, in America.
In the military there is apparently a saying: “One ‘Oh s*&&*t’ can ruin a thousand ‘attaboys’.” This may be your unfortunate moment.
But there’s still hope, “Rolling Stone” editors. All is not lost. Issue a public apology for the misstep. Decry glamorizing terrorism. Donate money to the bombing victims. You’ll repair some of substantial damage to your magazine’s reputation—a reputation that took decades to build and seems to have come crashing down in the last day or so.
More importantly, you’ll retain this reader.
There is no defense you can mount that will hold water. It was as bad an idea as would be putting the “N”-word on your cover, under the guise that it is newsworthy and part of current cultural attention. That would certainly also get some flack that probably wouldn’t be worth the sold issues and free press.
Just admit it, and move on. Otherwise, “Rolling Stone” will always be remembered in the same thought as the tragedy in Boston. Surely that was not your aim.
Please–aim at something else, somewhere else.