Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

Bad Advice for Rolling Stone

Janet Reitman’s cover story is very thorough and fascinating. It's just unnecessary in a magazine that’s supposedly about music.

by
Hannah Sternberg

Bio

July 18, 2013 - 10:00 am
Page 1 of 3  Next ->   View as Single Page
Jim-Morrison1

Jim Morrison

Why the heck is Rolling Stone writing a cover story about Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? Short answer: to make money.

On its face it’s a self-defeating tactic, since their controversial cover, portraying Tsarvaev as a glamorous figure in a shot compared by some to famous pictures of Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison, has managed to get the issue boycotted by CVS, Walgreens, and several other major retailers. Somehow I think Rolling Stone will muddle through, though. One of the benefits of doing something massively controversial is that a lot of people will pay attention to you, write about you, and link back to you. (Like this post.)

So instead of talking about the cover story, which is due to get ample attention on its own, I wanted to look at Rolling Stone‘s defense of it:

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.

This is going to sound like bad advice, but Rolling Stone: no one reads you for “serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day.” They read you because they like rock and roll, and they like being cool.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Rolling Stone missed the boat. The story should have been accompanied by offering T-shirts for sale, with the face on it and underneath, the caption "Dzho" This would sell well in many places. Those inclined to Later Verse enthusiasm would see it as an excellent sartorial accessory to proclaim their state of mind. Now wouldn't that be interesting and useful?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm more interested in the contents of the article. Does the author try to portray Tsarnaev accurately and dispassionately, or does he/she try to make him fit the politically-correct, morally-relativistic, therapeutic-society Narrative? Or maybe give him the gonzo-journalism treatment?

Having asked that, no, I'm not going to read the article. I've been following Tsarnaev's case since the beginning. I know enough about him already.

Like Hollywood, in the age of the Internet, RS is coming to the conversation WAY too late.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So Pretty Boy Tsaranev got his face on 'the cover of the Rolling Stone' - just like Dr. Hook sang all those years ago. The minute I saw that photo I thought - Oh Stuff, the Islamophobic victims of Stockholm syndrome (That's what Islamophobia really is) will be all over that one. Poor baby. Between the Federales and the Massachusetts legal system he has no chance of getting The Chair. Next: Amnesty for Tsaranev tee shirts.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rolling Stone has not been exclusively about music for about four decades. Why on earth is a story like this (subject, I mean) a surprise? It's not to anyone who has read Rolling Stone beyond its first few issues.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Huh. Is Rolling Stone still being published? I thought the last aging remnant of its hippy-dippy readers all died of drug overdoses in the '80s.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At least every third Rolling Stone has a cover story about leftist politics of the worst, paranoid sort. This is outrageous and insensitive, but no surprise.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not too long from now Barry Soetoro will be expose for the fraud that he is. Many of his identification documents are fraudulent and when one connects the dots the scandal of the century will finally break unto the media scene. When that happens are we going to see the major magazines and newspapers that are left putting this Fraud and Chief and his family all over their covers. I hope there is an outcry when this fraud is exposed and these outlets place his picture in a "positive" way on their front pages. This scandal will be bigger than any we have ever had and it is coming soon.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some weird covers:

Issue 21 - Drugs in the Army
Issue 30? - American Revolution 1969 (picture of a cop in riot gear standing over a bloody-faced hippy)
Issue 61 - Special Report: Charles Manson, the incredible story of the most dangerous man alive (head shot of Manson)
Issue 102 - Nark, a tale of terror (head shot of narcotics agend Van Raam)
Issue 106 - Tickle Your Fancy, the fine art of sensual massage (nude woman's breast)
Issue 162 - Inside: Special edition of the midnight rambler (angry cartoon Nixon goosing Lady Liberty)
Issue 440 - Billy Idol mostly nude

But apart from those, I don't see any really controversial covers until Tsarnaev comes along.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't think Rolling Stone has ever been just a music magazine. It's had art, political, and social content for years. Biographies. Photo layouts. Movie write-ups. All kinds of stuff. Anything "hip" people can be induced to buy a magazine in order to read about.

Maybe that's what Rolling Stone is - Life Magazine for hipsters.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Agreed. If it turns out the article is "fascinating and thorough" (I'm not going to find out myself) then they did the right thing in running it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You could never imagine the photo used for the Manson cover hanging on the bedroom wall of a 13-year-old girl.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All