In perhaps the worst, most distasteful PR move of this year, Rolling Stone magazine decided to run an issue featuring Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – who, with his now-deceased brother, killed three people and injured nearly 300 using a homemade explosive in April – on the cover.
Rolling Stone’s editors have already said that they are committed to “serious and thoughtful coverage” of important political and cultural issues, arguing that Tsarnaev’s age makes him a prime candidate. From Facebook:
“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 EDITORS”
I think it’s pretty obvious why the definitive music magazine put him on the cover. Controversy = sales.
The tactic works, but there’s just no way to show that the face of a murderer can appear quite normal and non-threatening without also allowing future terroristic criminals to not only believe, but know that their face can one day be on the cover of a trendy and established magazine.
…A magazine that went from rock stars to the Backstreet Boys to True Blood and Bieber to some “handsome” Russian hipster who isn’t a member of Vampire Weekend but a ruthless monster who doesn’t deserve a single moment of glorification.
Would a victim or emergency responder not have been a better option?