I hate this cover

Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 10.50.30 AMI really do.

Not merely because it depicts a kid who killed people, but because it depicts a kid who killed people in an unmistakably glowing light. Just look at the damn thing. He could be a movie star. A rocker. A hip-hop guy emerging on the scene. He looks young and cool and fresh and inspired.

Bullshit.

I’m all for covering stories. I’m all for writing 10,000-word profiles on killers; on trying to unravel who they were and how they traveled from birth to murder. It’s a riveting saga, and one that should be told.

That said, we (in the media) can’t just do whatever the fuck we want, citing, “Journalistic freedom” as justification. The power of the pen comes with responsibility; comes with needed judgement and wisdom and a willingness (at times) not to run something. Just because Rolling Stone decided to run a piece on Boston doesn’t mean it has to place this demon on its cover, looking like Brad Pitt.

Print is sorta dead, and I’m probably one of Rolling Stone’s 83 paid subscribers. But, somewhere out there, kids exist who are angry and vengeful and seeking attention. They want to do something big; something bold; something that will result with them blowing up lots of shit, then disappearing in a blaze of glory.

This sort of cover doesn’t say, “What an awful tragedy.”

It says, “Shit, yeah!”

8 thoughts on “I hate this cover”

  1. I think you’ve missed the point while also making it.

    Not having read (and likely not going to, because let’s face it: it’s Rolling Stone) the piece – and going solely by the cover and the blurb, it seems that what you hate about this, that “…it depicts a kid who killed people in an unmistakably glowing light. Just look at the damn thing. He could be a movie star. A rocker. A hip-hop guy emerging on the scene. He looks young and cool and fresh and inspired” is exactly the story they want to tell. How did a seemingly bright person turn into an alleged cold-blooded killer?

    I think your anger toward this would be more on target if, following the trial (and likely conviction), RS published this picture with the caption, “Come on, he’s not such a bad guy….”

    1. Lets face it, it’s Rolling Stone? Understood that it is viewed as a music rag however the reporting done in Rolling Stone on issues of national affairs, the economy, the environment, and human interest stories such as this is, in my opinion, top notch.

    2. Couldn’t Rolling Stone have made their point and told their story without putting the photo on the cover? At the beginning of the article INSIDE the magazine, perhaps? Of course they could. They chose to do this precisely because they thought it would get them publicity. They have got to be positively giddy right now regarding the reaction.

  2. disagree with you (and Walgreens, etc.) this photo has been published before, as I am sure you now know. it is not something RS came up with to “glamorize” him. do you object to the cover because he is young and has long hair and nice features? is that why people see him as a “rock star”? wow. talk about profiling. I guarantee if he were ugly and/or crazy/ threatening-looking (like, say, Charles Manson up close), no one would object to this cover.
    and isn’t that the point? how a young, seemingly normal kid goes so wrong?

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