Home Pop Culture America wants to boycott Rolling Stone cause they’re narrow minded.

America wants to boycott Rolling Stone cause they’re narrow minded.


Rolling Stone

Was Rolling Stone wrong to idolize Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

In the face of Rolling Stone magazine’s decision to run a cover story on Boston Bomber terrorist, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the magazine has gone on to face an avalanche of dissenting opinion calling for the journal to be boycotted for transgressing good taste and the memory of the Boston Marathon victims.

Adding to that list are now retailers who have told that they will not be selling the new issue which comes out tomorrow on their shelves because they disagree with its contents.

Joining the ever increasing naysayers now include CVS, Walgreens, , Rite Aid, Stop & Shop, the grocery chain the Roche Bros and Tedeschi Food Shops, a Massachusetts-based convenience store chain.

First it should be said that each vendor has their own prerogative to run or not run a journal as they see fit just as much as each journal ought to have the prerogative and right to run articles, and covers as it sees fit as well at the risk of offending consumers who disagree with such content.

Which presents an interesting dilemma for magazine publishers. What is America ready to consume and how far can and ought it go in presenting and questioning ideas that it perceives as integral to maintaining the integrity of its editorial mission?

Then there’s the legitimate question of what are advertisers who so often keep the journals afloat willing to tolerate in the preservation of their own brand’s marketing? After all inherent in the notion of capturing ad revenue is the idea that a journal’s editorial content is in keeping with the values, image and aspirations of the journals.

Yet what are we to make when an avalanche of dissent comes to the fore? Is this really about the public’s demand that the media only report on what it perceives as palatable and in good taste? Or is the consumer having become so coddled and manipulated by sensational and polemical press reporting that one is inclined to wish a mainstay media entity instant death when they choose to run content that goes against what many believe is anti American?

Then again who said journalism should be whether reporting is pro American or anti American? Or is that the hidden text of what may be going on here now with Rolling Magazine which has managed to offend the tastes of those who feel the prerogative of media ought to be propagating pro American discussions as opposed to any or all discussions that may or may not feed into the idea of pro America and its sympathetic causes, terrorism victims and so forth. Ought we not have faith that readers can make up their own minds for what passes as good content rather than having the shrill media departments of the establishment media telling us that this is terrible content that abuses the memory of America?

Isn’t it more abusive to condemn freedom of expression and freedom itself even if it doesn’t match ones own ideas of what makes for preferred rhetoric. Now we have to boycott media players cause they did what most media companies ought to be doing in the first place and ask tough questions and explore the dialectics of society?

Should not that in some way concern us? As journalists are we to now keep a steady of vigil of content of what we can and can not report on less we come off less patriotic, less American? Then again isn’t this the type of reporting in its most extreme form that most Americans pride themselves are free from unlike other parts of the world where the media is sanctioned?

In a society that is bellicose about championing freedom and freedom of expression something appears to be amiss when knee jerk reactions to content that may or may not offend us becomes a battle cry to boycott content.

In the end it’s simple. The reader doesn’t have to buy the journal nor does a vendor have to distribute it if it wishes not to but then don’t be surprised down the road if all one comes to read is a continual regurgitation of preferred media myths that most media outlets will be forced to continue publishing in order to stay afloat, save the rare media outlet willing to risk that intelligent consumers still exist.



  1. I haven’t followed every single complaint about the Rolling Stone issue, but I have seen and heard a great deal of them… and I would say the overwhelming majority of them were about the *front cover* of the magazine, **not** about the text/intellectual content of the article inside.

    yes, there were a few who complained about the content inside… some said it painted Dzhokhar excessively as a victim who was helpless to make better choices… and whether that characterization of the article is accurate or not I can’t say because I haven’t read it yet

    but still I can report to you that, overwhelmingly the complaints have not been about the journalistic content inside, but rather about the specific front cover having a “Tiger Beat” / “Justin Bieberesque” / “glam photo shoot” vibe to it hehe… those who have complained have asked, couldn’t Rolling Stone have found some other photo of Dzhokhar where he doesn’t look like he is posing for Tiger Beat? đŸ™‚

    and in my opinion the answer is yes… Rolling Stone could have found a less flattering photo of him… perhaps one from surveillance video… and it would not have diminished their text/article inside

    there are some who have said that part of their aim in using the “heartthrob photo” was to underline that Dzhokhar probably had greater potential for social interactions than say James Holmes or Adam Lanza who had freakish and frightening appearances… and by underlining this aspect, help draw attention to a dangerous condition… to say in effect: “if someone with so much potential for socialization with females became a mass murderer, something is seriously amiss, and we need to discover what is going on!”

    by using that particular cover it does kinda heighten the contrast… that this seemingly normal kid close to the finer aspects of life (college and opportunities) somehow fell into the status of accused mass murderer and terrorist

    anyway, the main reason I was replying was to assure you that yes, the media is still able to ask tough questions, and very few of the boycotters were objecting to the text content and questions raised by the article… they were objecting to the “Teen Beat”-like cover… they said it was an insult to the victims that one of the accused perps gets all this visibility and female fans swooning

    and had Rolling Stone employed a less flattering cover, they would still have been able to pursue those tough questions with no impediment… the only thing lost would have been a little bit of the contrast they may have been aiming for

    many of the boycotters are concerned about the number of teenage females taking up #FreeJahar hashtags and webpages and viewpoints… many of those teenage females have created images that say “Jahar is totally innocent”, despite the CCTV/eye-witness evidence against him… there is a growing concern that their views are rooted in their love of his physical appearance… some of those teens have said words to the effect “no boy that cute can be guilty” hahaha… (I’m not one of the boycotters, and mostly find the words of the female fans kinda funny with their silliness. however I do wonder what will happen if those females end up on jury pools in other cases)

    and some of the boycotters are concerned that Rolling Stone may have increased his female fanbase (some of whom have talked about sending him money to help with the legal bills), by publishing that cover photo

  2. The screw up is the fact that in America one has to risk being boycotted for expressing a point of view that is not palatable.

    Why should it matter whether innocent victims lost their lives or not. That is hardly the point here. No one is disputing that the terrorism was outright nasty and unwarranted but when the media has to fear being boycotted from raising questions then that should be of the highest concern to a free society.

    It’s simple if it doesn’t turn you on don’t buy or read the article, but imagine what type of society we will end up when only those outlets who write or produce content that is within the consensus or pro American?

    Must the media really be a public relations exercise to cajole the wounds and misapprehensions of society or ought it not be a vessel where tough questions are posed as uncomfortable as it may be….?

  3. You are trying to pretend this brouhaha is about journalistic and intellectual freedom. This is total b.s. Who in the world can possibly believe that Rolling Stone’s
    choice of cover was “serious journalism” and not an attempt to
    improve their bottom line? Rolling Stone wanted this controversy or it wouldn’t have picked a pretty-boy image of this killer to put on its cover. It’s possible that ten years from now a photo of Tsarnaev wouldn’t have generated as much criticism, but the Boston massacre just happened. It should be clear to anyone with half a brain there are still lots of raw emotions across the entire US. If Rolling Stone hadn’t considered the poor timing risks in running with this cover, its CEO should be fired. The magazine gambled for a public reaction, and guess what? They got it! And by the way, Mr & Ms Scallywag-Vagabond, the public is just as entitled to have an opinion as any two-bit writer out there who thinks he/she is a journalist just because they’ve got a blog. If Rolling Stone wants to regain some stature, it should man up and apologize. It’s what real men and women do when they screw up.

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