Bradley Jay: ‘Tsarnaev Rolling Stone Cover Still Rankles’?

Most outrages against decency fade into the background within a few days. But some social atrocities are so tremendous we must not let them slip off our radar until the wrong is righted.

To reward Boston Marathon bombing suspect number two with a Rolling Stone cover is such an egregious offense. No journalistic or artistic justification can balance the insult this cover conveys to those impacted by the bombing. To romanticize someone accused of hurting or killing innocent spectators at an international sporting event is unconscionable. I quote Joseph Welch of McCarthy hearings fame when I ask of the decision maker who gave the green light to glorify suspect two, “Have you no sense of decency?”

Every once in a while America collectively decides when something has crossed a line and we rise up as one to “just say no.” I hope you decide this is such a case. We all have to choose our battles, and I pray this issue resonates with you as much as it does with me.

Music journalist Jim Sullivan of Boston Globe fame initially felt much as I do about the cover, but has since evolved to feel it might be justifiable. Many agree with him. I don’t.

For me, there is no getting around the fact that, at the end of the day, the cover is a celebritization of a person because, and only because, he is suspected of terrorism. And that is unacceptable.


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