Condemn Rolling Stone Magazine for Glamorizing Terrorism


Target: Rolling Stone Publisher, Jann Wenner

Goal: Apologize for glamorizing terrorism by putting Boston bomber on cover

The August issue of Rolling Stone magazine will feature a picture of the Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on its cover. The picture is a well known self-portrait which makes the young man look attractive and desirable. This cover glamorizes terrorism and rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment. It also reaffirms the belief that destruction gains attention and fame for killers and their “causes.”

The magazine released a statement that said: “The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that 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.”

This statement ignores the issue that people have with the cover. Coverage of the bombing is not a problem, but the glamorization of the bomber on the cover of a popular magazine is. No one at Rolling Stone has stepped up and said they may have made a bad choice. In fact, the magazine’s managing editor, Will Dana, waved off any criticism of his decision to put Tsarnaev on the cover. In an interview with NPR, Dana said the story and cover is par for the course for his magazine.

“I am completely comfortable about the decision that we made,” he said.

This isn’t the only time the music magazine has featured a killer on its cover. In 1970, the magazine featured a full cover photo of the notorious Charles Manson. Obviously, Rolling Stone is not considering the influence it may have on its readers and the glamorization of murder it is showing. Rolling Stone needs to know that the public does not approve of its choice to put a bomber on the cover.


Dear Mr. Wenner,

Your decision to put a terrorist on the August 3 cover of your magazine is deplorable. It rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment. It reaffirms a terrible message that destruction gives fame and awareness for the “causes” terrorists try to promote. Tsarneav even said that he approves of the 9/11 attacks. How can you promote someone like that on the cover of your magazine?

I urge you to reconsider your cover. Glamorizing Tsarneav is not the right decision to make for your readers. Many stores have refused to carry the issue, making you lose readership and money. This is not good for your magazine or for America. The nation and the people of Boston especially deserve an apology. Please do not continue to print this cover. It is deplorable.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Rolling Stone via Wikimedia Commons

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