Rolling Stone magazine sparks storm with Boston bombing suspect cover


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2013 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

The number one rule of "journalism" is: If it bleeds, it leads." If a reader doesn't like, don't buy it or read it. Freedom of the press has to be protected. The USA is a democracy and the Amendments must be protected.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

As Sensato mentioned, Manson also was on the cover and that was edgy as well. Freedom of the press is at risk .

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is not censorship, it is merely exercising the freedom to choose not to purchase something you don't like.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

While I agree that freedom of the press is important, this is wrong.

It's wrong because it glorifies him. The same way the press glorifies anyone who commits mass murder. They make the diary of a loser, into a "manifesto".

Other losers see this, and see it as a chance to be remembered. We could see some other guy doing something horrific, and his reasoning being that he "wanted to get on the cover of Rolling Stone".

I'm sure that it's a really interesting read, and I believe they have a right to print whatever they want to, but glorifying him is just wrong.

They didn't need to put his face on the cover either. They could have written exactly the same stuff inside, but they didn't have to put his face on the cover and make him look like a rock star.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

See how USA is changing, becoming more strident and more polarised.

It's mainly driven by the most cowardly of impulses. True integrity is becoming more uncommon.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

See how USA is changing, becoming more strident and more polarised. Manson cover sparked nary a squeak. Anyway, this is not "glamorising" him. although might be an incentive for some whacko publicity seeker to do something stupid.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maybe people misunderstand freedom of expression? You can say what you like, but you have to face the consequences. In this case, running an insensitive story so soon after the event will lead to (most likely) a small amount of negative publicity, and unfortunately, an increase of sales. Rolling Stone is a business, and this will probably help their bottom line. Don't like it? Don't buy it, and tell your friends they shouldn't as well. Don't censor them for trying to make a buck. In the words of a somewhat famous man, "They're not wrong, they're just a$$holes."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Dennis Bauer

@Probie how does it glorify him? have you read the article?

He's ON THE COVER OF ROLLING STONE. You think that doesn't glorify him?

I said:

They could have written exactly the same stuff inside, but they didn't have to put his face on the cover and make him look like a rock star.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ok! So let's boycott this crappy magazine??

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Interestingly, the June 1970 cover of Rolling Stone featured Charles Manson accompanied by an exclusive prison interview with him. It was one of the magazine's top-selling issues of all time. Other big-name magazines have similarly featured despised villains. Link to covers:

Still, the Jim Morrison-like photo is troubling. Also, the other magazines featuring bad guys on their covers left out mention of secondary stories in the issues, like "On the Bus With Willie Nelson" on this one. This cover was highly insensitive at best.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@noriyosan73: Well said.

The 12-page story is based on interviews with dozens of sources that “deliver a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster,” it said.

I will make it a point to purchase this issue and read the article.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Americans having another whinge.

They all fiercely defend the right to free expression, unless it's offensive to them.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Freedom of the press is by no means at risk here. Some stores are choosing to boycott this one issue, which is their right. The Boston mayor wrote a letter to the publisher to complain; he did not issue a decree banning the magazine in his city, or anything like that. Rolling Stone produced what is, most likely, a well researched and reported article about a fascinating and important subject, then decided to promote it in the most controversial way it could think of. The result was certainly insensitive, and genuinely offensive to many. Some stores decided to just not put it on their shelves, saving them a boatload of customer complaints. Rolling Stone survives, freedom of the press lives on.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Unfriggin'' believably bad poor taste.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Absolutely agree noriyosa73! This cover photo has made my mind up not to read Rolling Stone.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Noriyosan73 " The USA is a democracy and the Amendments must be protected."

Democracies are interesting. The article is not specific but it seems like a vocal minority are complaining whereas the majority will simply decide not to purchase it if they don't like or agree with Rolling Stone's cover story. But this vocal minority has managed to get the magazine removed from thousands and thousands of stores across the country. A kind of partial censorship by a minority. Not very democratic.

Personally, I think the cover is in bad taste but I wouldn't complain about it or lobby to have it removed; let each person make their own decision and purchase it or not. And I am still interested in reading the article because, cover photo aside, Rolling Stone does great journalism.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@ yabits, the full article is online at

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While the cover is offensive in its own way, this is also a protected right to freedom of speech/expression etc even though it is a magazine that is doing it. Don't like it? Don't buy or read it. Boycott the magazine publisher if you want.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thanks for posting the link Oginome, in the article it gives the last few tweets from Tsarnaev that sound more like stuff a Snowden supporter would write:

"Evil triumphs when good men do nothing."

April 7th: "If you have the knowledge and the inspiration all that's left is to take action."

April 11th: "Most of you are conditioned by the media."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Note to all:

The picture of Tsarnaev used by Rolling Stone on its cover is exactly the same file photo used earlier by The New York Times on the front page of its May 5 edition.

Thanks to Matt Taibbi for pointing this out. Maybe people got upset because of some subconscious connection with that old Captain Hook song.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is another reason Rolling Stone is running an article like this and it has a lot to do with freedom of the press and threats to that freedom by the authorities.

Last i heard that this man has not been convicted. Too many people are " offended" by things these days, i say get a life and don't read the mag.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"Is the thrill that'll get you. When you get your picture. On the cover of The Rolling Stone!"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All these comments reminds me of the time I spent at a sheep farm in Nebraska. With all of the BAAAAing going on, I couldn't think critically anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If he wasn't so photogenic there wouldn't be an uproar.

It might be an advantage for getting his face on Rolling Stone, but I'm sure those boyish good looks could turn out to be a tad detrimental for obvious reasons once convicted and introduced to the US penitentiary system.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If you wind up getting featured on CNN's breaking news and the front page of the NY Times, you're a celebrity, and it doesn't matter what you did to achieve that status. Rolling Stone is a perfect example of how people who figure in the news command more news, and badness, unfortunately, is just as essential to the equation as is goodness. Maybe even more so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the publication, known for interviews with rock stars and others.

I have no problems with rock stars, if only Rolling Stone would stick to those.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Disgusting! Don't compare this lowlife with Jim Morrison!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Rolling Stone stopped being relevant at least 25 years ago.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't see what the big deal is about. The guy is part of a huge news event.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


'Last i heard that this man has not been convicted.' True, but you are kidding right? This scum was not officially convicted, but he's guilty! Mounds of indisputable evidence.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Probie how does it glorify him? have you read the article? I agree that it is in poor taste so short after this tragedy. I wonder if this will Backfire on Rolling stone.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Americans having another whinge.

They all fiercely defend the right to free expression,

unless it's offensive to them.

Yup, and Don't forget to include the Europeans, the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese as well.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites