VIdeo: Rolling Stone Cover Photo Sparks Outrage

Pop culture magazine features photo of suspect in tragic Boston bombing


 
 

LEANNE ITALIE, Associated Press | | Thursday, July 18, 2013

GALLERIES

Multimedia Thumb

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Two explosions occurred at the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing two people and injuring 22 more.
More >



VIDEOS

Multimedia Thumb

Boston Firefighter Criticizes Rolling Stone Cover

Boston Marathon bombing suspect featured on cover of pop magazine.
more >


Multimedia Thumb

Boston First Responders Scrambled to Treat Wounded

Hundreds of police and EMTs, even doctors and nurses, immediately began treating injuries.
more >


Multimedia Thumb

Boston Marathon Patient Injuries

Worst of injuries were blast effects to the legs; shrapnel was relatively minor.
more >





NEW YORK (AP) — Sultry eyes burn into the camera lens from behind tousled curls. A scruff of sexy beard and loose T-shirt are bathed in soft, yellow light.

The close-up of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone hitting shelves Friday looks more like a young Bob Dylan or Jim Morrison than the 19-year-old who pleaded not guilty a little more than a week ago in the Boston Marathon bombing, his arm in a cast and his face swollen in court.

JEMS Boston Marathon Bombings Coverage

Has the magazine, with its roundly condemned cover, offered the world its first rock star of an alleged Islamic terrorist?

The same image of Tsarnaev was widely circulated and used by newspapers and magazines before, but in this context it took on new criticism and accusations that Rolling Stone turned the bombing defendant into something more appealing.

"I can't think of another instance in which one has glamorized the image of an alleged terrorist. This is the image of a rock star. This is the image of someone who is admired, of someone who has a fan base, of someone we are critiquing as art," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a communications professor and the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Public outrage was swift, including hard words from the Boston mayor, bombing survivors and the governor of Massachusetts. At least five retailers with strong New England ties — CVS, Tedeschi Food Stores and the grocery chain the Roche Bros. — said they would not sell the issue that features an in-depth look into how a charming, well-liked teen took a dark turn toward radical Islam. Stop & Shop and Walgreens followed suit.

Tsarnaev is not referred to as Tsarnaev in the article. The magazine uses his playful diminutive instead in a headline: "Jahar's World." With cover teasers for other stories on Willie Nelson, Jay-Z and Robin Thicke, it declares for the Tsarnaev story: "The Bomber. How a Popular, Promising Student was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster."

Rolling Stone did not address whether the photo was edited or filtered in any way in a brief statement offering condolences to bombing survivors and the loved ones of the dead.

"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," the statement said.

That's little consolation for James "Bim" Costello, 30, of Malden, Mass., who needed pig skin grafts on most of his right arm and right leg after the bombing. His body was pebbled with shrapnel, including nails he pulled out of his stomach himself. Three of his close friends lost legs that day and others suffered serious burns and shrapnel injuries.

"I think whoever wrote the article should have their legs blown off by someone," struggle through treatment "and then see who they would choose to put on the cover."

The accompanying story, he said, "just seems like a cry for attention" from Rolling Stone.

The transit police officer who was shot during a showdown with Tsarnaev and his older brother said he hoped the cover didn't glorify the surviving suspect in readers' eyes.

"They could've picked anybody else," Officer Richard Donohue told NBC's "Today" show on Thursday. "There's a number of people they could have picked for an arts and entertainment magazine than an alleged bomber."

Lauren Gabler had finished her fourth Boston Marathon and was two blocks from the finish line explosions that April day. At first she thought the Rolling Stone photo, released on the magazine's website and Facebook page, was of a model or a rock star.

"All of a sudden you realize that's the Boston bomber," said Gabler, who lives in the Washington, D.C., area. "The cover almost tricks you into what you're looking at. I haven't read the article yet, and I know it will probably be quite in-depth, but my initial reaction is that the photo that's being used almost makes him look like a good guy."

Rolling Stone said the cover story was part of its "long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day." And the magazine has had plenty of covers featuring people outside the realm of entertainment, from President Obama to Charles Manson.

Putting criminals and alleged criminals on the covers of major magazines is justified if they are major news figures, said Samir Husni, a journalism professor who heads the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi. It's digitally manipulating a photo that never is, said Husni, reached by phone on vacation in his native Lebanon.

"They'll probably regret it later," he said of Rolling Stone's handling of its cover. "Even if it wasn't doctored it's going to bring those negative reactions."

Hundreds of Facebook and Twitter commenters condemned the magazine. Many cursed. Others expressed sadness and still more vowed never to read or purchase the magazine again.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino spoke for them in a letter he dashed off to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner accusing the magazine of offering Tsarnaev "celebrity treatment" and calling the cover "ill-conceived, at best," in that it supports the "terrible message that destruction gains fame for killers and their 'causes.'"

The letter goes on to call the cover an obvious marketing strategy and concludes: "The survivors of the Boston attacks deserve Rolling Stone cover stories, though I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them."

What does the controversy say about the culture today? It's a culture that has already produced an online fandom for the attractive young bombing suspect, including young girls calling him "hot" and promising to help clear his name. At his hearing last week, a dozen or so girls wore T-shirts and stickers bearing his face.

Jamieson had this to say on that score:

"If you took that picture and you walked into an audience three months before the bombing and you said, 'Here, this is a cover of Rolling Stone,' what would people say? They'd say, 'Ah, a new artist emerges on the national stage and Rolling Stone is doing a cover. What is his name? Well I guess it's Bomber.'"

___

Associated Press writers Cara Rubinsky, Steve LeBlanc and Bridget Murphy contributed to this report from Boston. David R. Martin contributed from New York.

___

Follow Leanne Italie on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/litalie

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Boston Firefighter Criticizes Rolling Stone Cover



Boston First Responders Scrambled to Treat Wounded



Boston Marathon Patient Injuries



Boston Fire Audio: Marathon Explosions



Boston Police: 'Many Casualties' in Marathon Explosion

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Gallery 1

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Medical responders run an injured man past the finish line the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013.


Gallery 1

AP861455748869_2.jpg

A Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner following an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013.


Gallery 1

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Medical workers and authorities work on the scene near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/WCVB-TV/ABC)


Gallery 1

Explosions at Boston Marathon

A Boston police officer clears Boylston Street following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013


Gallery 1

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Gallery 1

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Medical workers wheel the injured across the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013.


Gallery 1

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Emergency workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Gallery 1

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Gallery 1

Explosions at Boston Marathon

In this image from video provided by WBZ TV, spectators and runners run from what was described as twin explosions that shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Boston. Two explosions shattered the euphoria of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/WBZTV)


Gallery 1

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Medical workers aid an injured man at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion there Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. Two explosions shattered the euphoria at the finish line on Monday, sending authorities out on the course to carry off the injured while the stragglers were rerouted away from the smoking site of the blasts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)


Gallery 1

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)



Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, boston marathon explosions, boston marathon blast injuries

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

British Medics Bid Farewell to Afghanistan Base

Medical team and troops leave Camp Bastion.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Plane Crash at Wichita Airport

Small plane crashes into airport safety building.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Authorities Investigate Firefighters at Arizona EMS Call

Confrontation caught on video involving Glendale firefighters.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Radio Problems for New York Medics

Medic’s radio failed during a call with an armed patient.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting Incident

Solider is shot by gunman at national memorial in Ottawa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >