Viewing the Tsarnaev Rolling Stone cover from another angle

[Editor’s Note: Yesterday we reported on the controversial Rolling Stone cover with outrage. Today, in the name of open discussion, Vanyaland staff writer Hilary Hughes is approaching the subject from a different angle, and we encourage and welcome open and respectful debate on the topic.]

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t was announced yesterday that the face of Dzohkhar Tsarnaev, who just last week pled not guilty to the crimes he’s accused of committing that tie him to the Boston Marathon Bombings, would be staring out at readers in between the headlines on the cover of Rolling Stone’s August issue. The reaction from Rolling Stone’s Bostonian readership was overwhelmingly furious: boycotts were called condemning the magazine, stern letters to the editorial staff were hastily written and shame-on-yous! galore splattered across every social network. That moron from Barstool Sports claimed that the magazine sympathized with terrorists. The chief offense in the din that presided over our news feeds last night was that Rolling Stone turned the prime Boston Marathon Bombing suspect into a “dreamboat” with a “glamour shot” that highlighted his “rosebud lips” and “tousled hair.” (These are all descriptions yoinked from a handful of Facebook statuses.) Others called out Rolling Stone for its presumably sympathetic slant towards Tsarnaev because it outlined Janet Reitman’s forthcoming investigative feature with these five “revelations” that humanize Tsarnaev and draw particular attention to the normal-seeming qualities of his life as just another teenager before April 15. Some were fixated on the text that ran in the bottom right-hand corner of the cover: “The Bomber: How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.”

These are all emotional takes — and valid ones! — on the fact that Dzohkhar Tsarnaev is on the cover of Rolling Stone. A logical take on the fact that the cover of Rolling Stone plastered with the face of the Boston Marathon Bomber goes something like this: “It is not outside the realm of possibility that a culturally relevant figure would be on the cover of a consumer magazine.”

That may seem harsh, but I don’t know how the hell to snap you Boston Strong-harping people out of it, so I’ll say it again: There is no logical justification for you being upset about a culturally relevant figure being featured on the cover of a consumer publication.

“But Hil, that’s uncalled for — we’re not part of the Boston Strong bro set!” Then read, for a minute, take in an opinion you don’t agree with, actually read the article that goes along with the cover once it’s eventually published and get back to me, because as of right now, your reaction is a knee-jerk one that conveniently ignores criteria that has been not only reported on prior but at length. Allow me to elaborate.

First of all, check your bias and your stance. Are you a Bostonian/do you live in Boston/do you have a connection to the city? If you’re reading this, you likely do. Hi, friend and compatriot! I am, too. You are going to have a very, very different reaction to seeing this kid’s face on the cover than Rolling Stone readers will in other parts of the country.

“The rest of the world cares about this, too! The rest of the world thinks he’s a monster!” That’s probably true. And the rest of the world has other demons to face at the moment, be it protests in Turkey or George Zimmerman or infinite bullets flying around in Syria and the like. For a bunch of people who are so invested in the Boston Marathon Bombings because it tangentially happened to them, your outrage may stem from the fact that this kid is directly responsible for hurling your city into lockdown, or the fact that you saw blood painting sidewalks you walked down the day before. Hell, maybe you’re sick of seeing his face because it’s been mooning out at you from the pages of the Globe and Herald for weeks now. I understand, and I empathize.

What I don’t understand is why you don’t recognize that his face being on the cover elevates the Boston Marathon Bombing trial to national relevancy and raises awareness about what exactly happened here, and what happened here involved a teenager and his brother making bombs and killing people with them. Rolling Stone calls him a monster on the cover, and agrees with you on that point, but to remain outraged without at least qualifying your stance — I am a Bostonian and this affects me both in an emotional and intellectual way — without even for a millisecond taking into consideration why Rolling Stone opted to go with this cover in the first place is, frankly, naïve.

And that brings me to my second point: It may be painful to confront, but Tsarnaev is a teenager who committed a horrible crime, and people want to know why he did this. And if putting Tsarnaev’s face on the cover of Rolling Stone not only ups the visibility for him, the Marathon and, by association, his victims, but helps start a conversation about why and how this happened, maybe it’ll shed some light and, I don’t know… prevent it from happening again? We’re doomed to repeat history if we don’t study it (Mark Twain, right?), and slapping Tsarnaev’s face on the cover to raise awareness for the story that goes along with it isn’t a crime in and of itself, it’s advertising for the points Reitman’s trying to make. The two are not mutually exclusive. If discussions about mental health and gun control were not only okay but encouraged in the wake of Newtown, and if a look at the influence of video games and popular music was a conversation topic post-Columbine, why are the influential factors at play in Tsarnaev’s life pre-Marathon off-limits?

The photo was not conceived, staged and shot by Rolling Stone, as the majority of its covers are. It is an image that has either been provided by a Tsarnaev family member or friend, and this image has been seen on “FREE JAHAR” t-shirts sported by a troubling amount of teenage girls who seem to have taken up his innocence as their cause. As the arraignment’s come and gone rather recently and some writers are focusing their efforts on reporting on the thoughts and feelings and reactions of this group of teenagers, this image is relevant because it is a part of the still-developing narrative and because people are interested by the fact that this kid has some sort of bizarre following.

That in itself is worth exploring. If Rolling Stone had said, “Hey, Dzohkhar, can you swing through our office? Gonna shoot the cover this afternoon, bring a couple of looks!” I would absolutely understand the outrage. That isn’t what happened. Reitman’s story — as the dek implies — focuses, from the sounds of it, on testimonies provided by those who know him in an effort to shed light on why or how this kid decided to get up on April 15 and kill some people. As teenage girls were at the Moakley courthouse in support of Tsarnaev as recently as last week, I think the cover, if anything, brings another side to the Boston Marathon Bombing and its presumed perpetrator by employing a photo of the kid’s past that’s been repurposed as a banner for support while on the same page they refer to him as a “monster.”

It’s a complicated, messy, multidimensional clusterfuck, showing a photo of Tsarnaev back when he was still just a teenager while juxtaposing that with a title he’s earned since becoming Boston’s Public Enemy #1. And that duality — between the Dzhohkhar plastered on the shirt fronts of teenaged supporters and the Dzhokhar that’s grunting “Not Guilty” in a thick Russian accent at his arraignment — isn’t irrelevant. It’s inconvenient, for those who wish that he’d just get his sentence already, but to write off Reitman’s reporting — which, according to Rolling Stone, includes interviews with “dozens of sources, from childhood and high school friends, teachers, neighbors and law enforcement agents” — without understanding that the cover could mirror a point she’s trying to make is taking the cover at (oof, I know) face value.

The cover subjects of Rolling Stone aren’t necessarily good or bad or popular or revolutionary. They’re notorious. When the girls from The Hills were on the cover in 2008 clutching pillows seemingly caught in the middle of a scantily clad pillow fight, people freaked out and threatened to boycott the publication. The same thing happened when Snooki straddled a rocket. This is a music magazine! They’re publishing reality TV bullshit! The magazine is going to hell in a handbasket because they’re writing about this shit instead of music that matters! This is where they’re wrong: Rolling Stone isn’t strictly a music publication and never has been, really. It’s always been a magazine that’s focused on popular culture through the lens of music — John Lennon sported a war helmet seemingly pulled from the Vietnamese brush on its first cover, after all. Its film critic, Peter Travers, is one of the most lauded voices in the world of movies; Matt Taibbi is one of the most prominent political commentators in the country due to his coverage; The exposes and investigative reports, like Reitman’s, that have been published in recent years are compelling reads, though yes, they were usually cover mentions at most and not cover subjects themselves.

This must be a doozy, then, to warrant that kind of exposure and to push the boundaries of convention and expectation for what we perceive to be the norm and criteria for a Rolling Stone cover. But hasn’t the cover of Rolling Stone always done that? Redefine the controversial? And if that’s the case, how is the Tsarnaev cover any different in a highly desensitized world where shock value is no longer a trick but a requirement for getting your point across?

You cannot bash a publication for a piece you haven’t read. I know it’s hard to believe, but — gasp! — people are usually on the cover of magazines because there is an article about them on the inside. And you know what’s crazy? Janet Reitman’s article hasn’t been published yet, either in print or online, and yet people are ready to march into the offices at Wenner Media and tar and feather Jann. I said this earlier, and I’ll say it again: the cover and the piece that go along with it are not mutually exclusive and should be looked at as a whole, and the cover’s egregious or apt nature can’t be written off as such without reading the subsequent feature. If you’re reading a book by its title and can’t get past the dek, I don’t know what to tell you other than you should probably go read BuzzFeed or Barstool or something.

So, it comes down to this: recognize how and why you’re invested in the Dzohkhar Tsarnaev Rolling Stone cover and the article, and frame your reaction within the context of the developing story and the facts we already know. It may surprise you. We know he’s 19. We know he killed people and maimed others. We know that he was found in a boat and that he apparently liked wrestling. These are indisputable facts that have been regurgitated in countless headlines since April 15.

We don’t know why the kid pictured on the cover of Rolling Stone decided to blow up the Boston Marathon, and the feature, from the sounds of it, aims to do just that: figure out why this kid, pictured on the cover, decided to do this. It’s enraged and infuriated and upset millions of readers before its publication, and maybe that’s the point: we should be enraged and infuriated and upset as to why this kid is a relevant news byte in the first place. And we should also feel compelled to figure out why he did it so that it never happens again, and if Reitman’s story sheds light on any of that, maybe the screams and the Facebook rants and the photo snapped of a teenager before he turned into a monster staring out at us from the newsstand won’t seem so disconnected after all.





  1. I can’t believe I just wasted my time showing respect to your opinion by reading this. This is literally the first time that I have written to object to someone’s work online. I work in a creative field myself and I always show respect to others who have the nerve and energy to put their work on display for others to criticize. How dare you accuse people from Boston of not recognizing their own “bias”. As if it is just our personal opinion to object this person as a human being? Right, it’s our fault that we feel this way. The fact that I’m offended by this cover is my fault because I grew up with four people who lost their limbs at the finish line of the marathon. That’s an utterly offensive stance by you.

    As far as Rolling Stone not producing the picture, are you ignoring the fact that they selected it?. The difference between creation and selection is unimportant when the end effect is the same.

    So he is culturally relevant – fair point – but would Rolling Stone run this same cover for a killer whose looks were not so compelling? What about Adam Lanza or Timothy McVeigh or the Colorado movie theater shooters? My mistake, they must not have had the right look. And that is the reason why people are offended. It’s inauthentic and clearly put out there to show sympathy for a killer and sell magazines. Yes, it’s a sad situation when a young person is influenced negatively by others, or left without proper guidance, but that happens every single day in every single town or village in this world.. those are not excuses for someone of his age to brutally murder innocent people. Sympathizing with this behavior is akin to excusing it.

    I suggest you take a moment to reconsider your stance. You’re probably a talented writer but you need to think about the message you’re choosing to represent yourself. You deserve whatever criticism you get for this article.


    1. In no way, shape or form did I say your opinion offended me, but thanks for reading what you wanted to read out of this, I guess? I’m truly very sorry about your friends and what they’ve gone through. I think their story deserves national attention, and I think this one could potentially provide answers that we’re all looking for. And that’s why I defend its very right to exist.

      I’m a Bostonian, a journalist and a Bostonian journalist. April 15 was an awful day. And I want people to read about it so that it doesn’t happen again, even if it means facing acts–and images–they don’t want to see ever again.

  2. “And if that’s the case, how is the Tsarnaev cover any different in a highly desensitized world where shock value is no longer a trick but a requirement for getting your point across?”

    So you’re saying that being edgy for edgy sake is not only the new norm in journalism, but one that’s becoming accepted? If that’s the case then I’m glad I’ve almost altogether stopped getting my news domestically.

  3. The summary of the article says that his story is heartbreaking. The author’s heart breaks for the kid. He sympathizes with him. He’s a terrorist. The author sympathizes with terrorists. Simple as that.

  4. Musicians and actual artist hope their whole careers to get on the cover and into this magazine so that they may be made relevant. Just putting his face up there in that setting is so different then any other publication. No one really cares if they are on the cover of the Globe or Herald, it doesn’t have the same meaning. This is glorifying him, putting him up there with the greats that have graced the cover in the past. This case already was a big enough news story without this article. Are people really that concerned (outside of question of terrorism) with why he did this? That fact is he did do it and left victims and heroes in his wake. So why aren’t we making them relevant? Why aren’t they enough to get the point across to the world? I’m not angry about this cover I’m just disappointed that they couldn’t or wouldn’t have found more positive way to get their point across. Let’s stop making people like him relevant in our world and maybe there will be less of them! What this seems like to me is a play to get the magazine back into cultural relevance…

  5. This longwinded, “well you should consider” op-ed piece lacks honesty. RS hasn’t been culturally relevant in years, which is why each time I find myself impaled with a stack of RS mags at the cashier counter at Hudson News in JFK, I usually gag at most of the front covers.

    Let’s call it like it is, Hughes. Rolling Stone is banking on the shock and awe tactic, sensationalism at its worst. This journalist hackery is pathetic. The publishing biz, especially with magazines, is a disaster. A sinking titanic of an industry. The only revenue streaming is through advertising and even then, they have tightened their fiscal belts. That’s the reason why magazines are ALL, primarily, run by huge corporations– Their profits are firmly based off of just laying off staff, which is only a short-term solution.

    Here is the Rolling Stone cover from another angle, in one sentence. Rolling Stone wants to drip hot candle wax all over the american public to sell copies! Kinda kinky, but pathetic. That’s it! Nothing more to it.

    And it’s not a matter of being Boston Strong or empathizing with the victims. As Bob Schieffer puts it so poetically, “What message are you sending here?” This is taken out of context, but the essence still applies. If I want to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, all I have to do is commit a national bludgeoning of innocent civilians, and then Rolling Stone will pardon me by blaming my parents. I think when you take someone else’s life, that’s not a matter of bad parenting, its a matter of being a psychopath.

    From the tone of this article, I get the vibe your from Brooklyn, which would explain plenty of this BS.

    It’s been years since I happily purchased an issue of Rolling Stone. Quite frankly, I hope the magazine goes tats up after this freak show, because it is a freak show.

    I’ll close with one thought I hope anyone with your logic will mull over. If you were a Boston Marathon victim, after having been fit with one (or maybe two) prosthetic limbs, and you are seeking therapy for PTSD as a result of this horrific event, why should we subject these victims for the whole month of July to be confronted with the face of this man on newsstands across the country? Answer that Hughes.

    1. I’m a born and raised Bostonian–Winchester, to be precise. My little brother was stuck on Boylston Street for hours without a phone on April 15 and I’d never been more scared in my life. (His name, ironically enough, is Jimmy.)

      The message this feature is sending is that this teenager was very, very fucked up, and that even the nice kids can have very, very dark underbellies–and that the face of terrorism can look familiar. If you’re too blind by your own agenda to see that, I’m not surprised that you’d get hung up on my Boston Strong jab as opposed to actually reading what Reitman has to say.

      And I think it’s incredibly insulting to imply that Marathon victims would be set back by seeing his face when it’s been all over every single newspaper in Boston since April. It is a face they are now familiar with. To single Rolling Stone out for putting it on their cover when the Herald’s plastered his face across the cover countless times is laughable.

      1. Typical Brooklynite. You always claim how you’re the victim. I’m not empathizing with you or your brother (great, nobody was hurt in YOUR family). Think outside of your family tree, to the people that are DIRECTLY affected for the rest of their lives, and there are many.

        And to your “incredibly insulting” quibble. How is that insulting. PTSD is real. Tragic events occur and to the marathoner’s afflicted with chronic disfigurements, similar to war veterans, it’s not only accepted, but is also natural to develop negative associations to sounds, images and locations related to an event. It’s a miracle if victims are able to sleep throughout the night. Don’t be so ignorant, it might help your journalism perspective, which I hold in question.

        What familiar with his face do you speak of??? These victims are not familiar with his face the way most people are familiar with, oh, say, McDonalds or Justin Bieber, which are seemingly innocuous entities and don’t carry a death-toll . You’re a journalist, familiar is an AWFUL adjective. The closest thing I can think of is, with your perspective in mind, a rape victim being familiar with her/his rapist. Would that victim be okay (or familiar) with seeing the offender’s face on a daily basis? Don’t kid yourself, I don’t excuse the Herald either. You just happen to write a provocative unbecoming op-ed I chose to respond to as a general plea for what this country is lacking, which is integrity and perspective.

        Also, Wenner Media IS Incorporated, which is basically the same as a Corporation. C’mon! Wenner Media Incorporated is NOT a small business, at least not with net worth of 60 mill. Jeez. Do something your colleagues refuse to do, RESEARCH! Thanks for responding though Hughes, it takes balls.

        1. I think it’s insulting to imply that the Marathon victims will not overcome the image of this guy’s face. And I did NOT claim to be a victim. You’re clearly reading what you want to read, and quite frankly, I’ll keep doing my job and you can keep questioning my “journalism perspective” (I believe you meant “journalistic”) instead of actually reading this for what it is: another perspective to a very complicated, multi-dimensional, messy ordeal.

          And thank you, I know it takes balls. You know what else does? Opening your eyes and truly listening to an opinion that conflicts with your own. Try it some time.

  6. Hey Hillary – I respect your willingness to present another point of view on this, when everyone is jumping down Rolling Stone’s throat. But I think your piece – and Rolling Stone’s response to the controversy – gloss over the central problem a lot of people have with this, and that is the nature of the shot they chose for the cover. It’s not the article itself that has people upset, it’s the soft-core picture that RS chose for the cover, which is hard to see in any other way than as glamorizing its subject. I don’t have a problem with magazines putting bad people on their covers; Time has had Hitler on its cover, and named Ayatollah Khomeini its Man of the Year. But I do have a problem with an image like this one, that so clearly makes Tsarnaev, who is accused of a heinous crime, look like the musicians and celebrities that regularly grace RS’s covers. That’s what most people have a problem with. Both your piece and Rolling Stone’s response conflate criticism of the cover image with criticism of the article. I do not have a problem with RS running an article about this particular person. It’s this particular cover image, which is so clearly intended by RS to be ‘provocative,’ that I and a lot of other people object to. And there’s nothing illogical about that objection.

    1. I absolutely see your point and why you feel that way. I think that the photo is the most relevant, appropriate choice given the scope of the article, its focus, its intent and the people involved who were interviewed for the story. This was a photo taken before the bombing, and it’s a story that tries to piece together details from life pre-April 15 in search of answers. It’s an offensive image, absolutely: but it’s a fitting choice, and I wish that “Why?!” was a sincere question that people were asking in response.

      Thank you for the thoughtful, respectful reply, by the way. And thank you for reading!

  7. Pfffftttttttt! SOMEONE loves to hear themselves talk! “And thank you, I know it takes balls. You know what else does? Opening your eyes and truly listening to an opinion that conflicts with your own. Try it some time.” Taking your own snarky advice might be a good thing for you to try sometime, too. Acting as though those of us who disagree with you are just unwilling to see it from a different perspective or are too blinded by our experience is what’s laughable. I see what you’re saying, I totally understand and comprehend, and I still wholeheartedly disagree. Also this is a internationally run story, people from all over the world are offended and outraged and think it’s in bad taste. So to imply that the only people really upset by it are people from and with ties to Boston is ignorant. This whole “my brother was there/I’m from Boston so I get it” line is a lot like racists who say they couldn’t possibly be racist cause they “have a black friend.” HA! Sure maybe he’s culturally relevant and culturally relevant people get on the covers of magazines. But that is an absolutely LAME excuse for choosing to put a terrorist on the cover. Choose someone else who is culturally relevant. There’s lots of them out there. I agree that the article and the cover are are both part of a whole, but what you see before you read the article is the cover, that is undeniable. The cover with the Jonas brother look-alike and the header implying that we should sympathize. That is what they chose and it’s tacky and insensitive and IMo wrong. Your lack of empathy is evident, not because you are defending the magazine but because you are scoffing at those of us who do not.

    1. The dude called me out incorrectly for being “from Brooklyn” and proceeded to be completely and totally childish. Bringing up my local connection was an ANSWER to this, but hey, Josie, thanks for reading. And if I were scoffing at you, why the hell would I, at length, attempt to provide the rational point-of-view from someone inside the industry?

      I’d be happy to continue this conversation via email. Especially the part where you compare me to a racist person. Claaaaaassy.

    2. “Acting as though those of us who disagree with you are just unwilling to see it from a different perspective or are too blinded by our experience is what’s laughable. ”

      You’re giving me such a great reason to think otherwise! Well done gal.

  8. “There is no logical justification for you being upset about a culturally relevant figure being featured on the cover of a consumer publication.”

    If this was Time magazine, that would be absolutely true. This is not Time Magazine. A magazine who has not featured a “cultural relevant” cover such as this since November 2012, when President Obama was elected. Which means they also skipped featuring people such as the CT shooter, Bradley Manning and Snowden in cases one think would be equally as important to feature on their front page, were the cover picture truly emblematic of the central story inside the issue. Before that, it’s November 2011 when they feature a piece on Steve Jobs after his death that they feature someone that is not a musician, television or movie performer. So this myth that they often feature culturally relevant (in the case of this current controversy newsworthy and relevant) is just that, a myth. They are not know for featuring these stories on their covers like they have in this controversy and trying to defend them as doing any thing other than that just isn’t backed up by the evidence of their actual covers.

    If you can’t see the logical justification for people being angry at a magazine named after one of the biggest rock groups of all time, who’s bread and butter has always been their music coverage first and their hard news stories, to the average American, likely 4th or 5th on the list, you need to go review the defintion of logic.

    People are upset because everything about this speaks to context. And trying to distort Rolling Stone’s context of this cover into something it’s not only devalues any argument your are trying to make. The logical argument is set up directly from the way Rolling Stone has represented itself month after month on the newsstands. They could have handled this story the same way they’ve handled all of their other news stories that deal in hard reporting. By relying on the content of the article itself and the strength of the writer. In this case, they couldn’t even give the writer of this piece that much respect.

    And that’s probably the most disturbing thing of this whole issue.

    1. this, a thousand times this.

      i am not “outraged” by the cover, or losing any sleep over it, but the arguments people are making for it are just absurd.
      -well, time magazine once had hitler on the cover! so fucking what? this isn’t time magazine.
      -rolling stone once had charles manson on the cover! …yes, 40 years ago, when they had an exclusive interview. still not a relevant comparison to type of story, or the magazine rolling stone is today or has been for some time.
      -rolling stone once employed the likes of hunter s. thompson! so? i’m sure some famous chefs once worked at shitty fast food chains.
      and the worst, really, is condescending comments like these:
      ” I know it’s hard to believe, but — gasp! — people are usually on the cover of magazines because there is an article about them on the inside.”
      do you know who they put on the cover when marilyn manson did a piece on columbine for rolling stone? was it marilyn manson? the columbine shooters? i’ll give you a hint: no. can you guess who it was? probably someone, by this argument who was related to this tragedy in some way, right? maybe a survivor? a family member? an empty bloody classroom? tired of guessing?
      the answer is jar jar binks.

      so please, let’s just call a spade a spade and admit that rolling stone put this guy on the cover to start a buzz and sell copies, because they knew it would work, poor choice or no. let’s just stop making up all these other excuses for a magazine that sadly hasn’t been relevant for some time, and one that they can’t even seem to give away these days.

  9. I think you bring up some valid points and I think what could be a very insightful article is now lost behind an image that was intended to be at least a bit edgy if not outright provocative. As I think someone said here, Rolling Stone CHOSE that image. They could have chose his mug shot if they wanted to feature him on the cover and I think the reaction might have been different. I also think, given Rolling Stones normally leftist slant, that people might be assuming that the story is painting him as a sympathetic figure. I obviously haven’t read it yet but I wouldn’t be surprised given the byline.

    I do wonder how people defending the cover would react if next month Rolling Stone had a picture of casual George Zimmerman on the cover with the line The Shooter: How a popular, promising neighborhood watchman, feeling threatened by a black youth stood his ground. I think you could understand if black people were upset/offended (not to mention white liberals who would be apoplectic.)

  10. Okay, there are two things I need to get off my chest about the Rolling Stone cover.

    1. When I think about any of the victims of the bombing, any of their families, or any of the people who were there helping the injured, walking into a CVS or a Stop & Shop to pick something up, and them seeing that face on the magazine cover looking back at them, on a cover usually reserved for the likes of movie stars and pop stars, it makes my heart sick. It really does. Nobody who suffered at the hands of this monster or his brother should have to be accosted with his image while they’re buying some groceries or medicine or just trying to go about their lives. Nobody should have to question why it is that HE is the one getting the attention, HE is the one glamorized on a magazine cover, while someone they know or maybe even they themselves deal with the pain that they had to go through, seemingly pushed aside and forgotten by the media in favor of the young and handsome rockstar terrorist.

    2. It also makes me sick to my stomach to think of all of the soldiers who have died or been maimed for this country in war, fighting to defend the very freedom that Rolling Stone is flaunting, the freedom to publish whatever the hell they want in the name of the almighty dollar. The freedom that Rolling Stone has, because others have gone into battle and DIED, so that a magazine can glorify someone who goes against the very freedom that those soldiers died for, someone who hates that freedom and hates the people who died so that he could end up on a magazine cover, because the publisher of Rolling Stone chose to not exercise a modicum of common sense or decency, not a single shred of compassion for the victims of the bombing. It honestly makes me sick to think that others have died so that freedom can be abused and our faces can be rubbed in it like dogs having their faces rubbed in their own shit.

  11. Hey everybody. I was at the bombing.

    I don’t care whether he’s on the cover or not.

    So everybody can shut up.


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