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Keller @ Large: Rolling Stone Cover Exploitative And Offensive

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WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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Boston Marathon Bombings

 

BOSTON (CBS) – It looks like there is no one in America without a strong opinion on the Rolling Stone cover photo of one of the alleged Boston Marathon mass murderers.

And no wonder.

Thee wounds are still raw. The anger and horror is still fresh. We aren’t even close to understanding the amount of damage that was done.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

The article accompanying the story is unobjectionable. It gathers available information about the Tsarnaev family and throws in some fresh but relatively uninformative interviews with Dzhokhar’s friends, all of which paints a sorry portrait of a dysfunctional family full of failure, self-pity, and demented hatred.

It’s worth reading, I suppose, if you don’t mind getting sick to your stomach.

But the uproar is all about the photo, a picture we’ve seen often since marathon day, including on the front page of the New York Times. And here’s the problem: it is, as best I can tell, the most flattering photo of this alleged mass murderer that Rolling Stone could find.

The editors are trying to hide behind the fact that they call Dzhokhar a “monster,” but if they had wanted to illustrate that properly they could have used one of many less-flattering pictures.

And the fact is, the very rare exceptions notwithstanding, the cover photo on Rolling Stone is reserved for pop stars the magazine wants to hype. It’s not a news context – the magazine itself put this piece under the heading of “culture.”

Rolling Stone thought it was OK to showcase this creature, barely three months after his crime, as some kind of cultural icon.

But it’s not OK. It’s exploitative and offensive.

And that’s why so many of us are so disgusted by it.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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