Rolling Stone’s Jihadist Rock Star

ALeqM5gsldNJXyGqlSpCHNp_nq4Cr-tSvAIn a shameless display of the Left’s romance with the murderous enemies of America, Rolling Stone magazine has put a picture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of its August issue, being released to newsstands today. An outcry of national proportions has ensued, best expressed by bombing survivor James “Bim” Costello, 30, of Malden, MA, who needed several pigskin grafts, and has three friends who lost legs in the atrocity. “I think whoever wrote the article should have their legs blown off by someone, struggle through treatment and then see who they would choose to put on the cover,” he said.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was equally reviled by the decision. “Why are we glorifying a guy who created mayhem in the city of Boston?” he fumed. “Why would we want to heroize this guy? He’s a terrorist. We don’t want him in our neighborhoods. We don’t want him on magazines. We don’t want him anywhere.” Menino also sent a letter to Rolling Stone publisher Jan Wenner, castigating the decision to give Tsarnaev “celebrity treatment,” further noting such treatment “reaffirms a terrible message that destruction gains fame for killers and their ’causes.'”

At least five retailers, including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Stop & Shop, the Roche Bros grocery chain, and Tedeschi Food Shops, a Massachusetts-based convenience store chain, have announced they will not be selling the issue. A statement released by CVS, which operates in 7,300 locations nationwide, illuminated the prevailing sentiment. “CVS/pharmacy has decided not to sell the current issue of Rolling Stone featuring a cover photo of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect,” it said. “As a company with deep roots in New England and a strong presence in Boston, we believe this is the right decision out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones.”

Outrage was also expressed on social media sites. “This cover makes him look like some kind of cool rock god… it’s horrible” said one Twitter user. “Why give the guy the cover of Rolling Stone?” asked another. “Kill an 8-year-old, land on the cover of Rolling Stone,” tweeted Brian Ries, senior editor at Newsweek. “TIME gave Charles Manson the cover and all the magazines carried pictures of the Columbine shooters on the covers, too. Don’t make martyrs out of these people,” said another enraged user. All of them reflect the reality that the Twitter feed, “#Boycott Rolling Stone” is becoming an increasingly popular topic on the service.

At the magazine’s Facebook page, where more than 5,400 people left comments in the first 12 hours the cover was posted online, the overall sentiment was equally incendiary. “Whoever subscribes to this worthless rag should cancel their subscriptions TODAY!!! This is unacceptable!!” said one. “I shared this on my news feed, but not in support of your magazine, I shared it to show people how low you have gone by putting this terrorist on your cover. Rolling Stone, go and read all the shares of your picture, there are a lot of angry people that you would make such a disgusting choice,” said another. “Very un-American. F**k you Rolling Stone. I thought it was supposed to be an honor to be on your cover?” read yet another disgusted reader.

The last comment cuts to the heart of the issue. For decades, getting one’s picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone was considered the ultimate affirmation of rock stardom. So much so, the phenomenon was immortalized in a song “Cover of the Rolling Stone,” written by Shel Silverstein and performed by Dr. Hook. It is virtually inconceivable that Rolling Stone publisher Jan Wenner would be oblivious to the obvious connection most people would make with regard to giving a jihadist bomber the “star treatment.”

More likely it was precisely the point. For some time, Tsarnaev has been the subject of conspicuous fascination, and not just by deranged college co-eds. For the Left, Tsarnaev is exotic and, most importantly, at war with America, which leftists also despise. This is why, since the time Tsarnaev’s identity was uncovered, the Left has been consumed with offering bogus motivations for the atrocity, such as the Iraq War, poverty and the sorrows of being an immigrant — the point of which is to use our crimes to account for his crimes. Most of these grievances, of course, leftists share. In all of this soul-searching and sympathy, it is no surprise that they have to some extent fallen in love with Tsarnaev in the process.

Sales are down for the Rolling Stone and continue to plummet, and no doubt openly flaunting their worship of Tsarnaev was a gambit the magazine’s editorial board had hoped would pay off. In the first half of 2010, the magazine suffered a 26.9 percent decline in newsstand sales, compared to an overall drop of 5.6 percent for the industry, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. In a list of magazines sorted by their paid circulation in the United States, it currently ranks 53rd, with an overall circulation of 1.47 million, of which 1.34 million are subscriptions. The risk, however, has not been worth it. One independent Facebook page alone, “Boycott Rolling Stone Magazine for their latest cover,” had garnered more than 155,000 “likes” by the time of this writing. Many on the page are urging subscribers to drop their subscriptions.

In a self-serving statement, Rolling Stone defended its decision. “Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families,” it 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 magazine further insisted “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.”

All of which could have been accomplished without putting Tsarnaev on the cover in the all-too-familiar celebrity pose, along with the headline “The Bomber” in large lettering, followed by the sub-heading, “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”

Unsurprisingly the magazine’s choice had its defenders. “The problem here isn’t the cover itself, or the image: it’s the reaction,” wrote‘s Tyler Coates. Author Tony Castro contended the publication “is obviously still doing what it has–trailblazing.” After conceding the cover was “a big turnoff for many,” he defended it, even if it had been touched up for publication. “Was it touched up? Probably, but likely no more than the mug of New England Patriots’ star quarterback Tom Brady on all those sports magazine covers and his Uggs ads,” he wrote. “If you’re going to buy covers with touch-ups of your heroes, you better also expect touch-ups of your villains.” The Atlantic Wire’s Eric Levenson contends “the brouhaha over the cover photo ignores the main reason Rolling Stone used that selfie in the first place; the piece is excellent,” he writes.

Levenson is disingenuous at best, and the Daily Caller’s Matt K. Lewis explains exactly why. “The disparity between the number of people who see a cover versus the number of people who read a story is staggering,” he writes. “What is more, even the words splashed on the cover are easily overcome by the image. Anyone who knows anything about optics and public relations knows this to be true.”

It is virtually impossible to believe that one of promotional advertising’s oldest adages, “image is everything,” is lost on the editors of Rolling Stone. It is certainly not lost on the clueless cadre of dimwitted young “fangirls” caught up in the “Free Jahar” movement that has had thousands of them swooning over the alleged mass murderer. Such swooning includes blogs with pictures similar to the one published by Rolling Stone. Since several stories about this odious phenomenon were published in May, along with explanations about the psychological motivations that animate it, namely the twisted desire for fame above everything else, the idea that Rolling Stone is surprised by the outrage its cover engenders strains credulity. Moreover, by publishing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s picture on the cover, Rolling Stone feeds into the exact same need for fame that has driven some of the nation’s worst mass murderers.

As for the magazine’s professed desire to “gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens,” spare us all such pious nonsense. First and foremost, a carefully planned and executed terrorist attack that wounded 264 people, many of whom had limbs blown off, and killed three, including an 8-year-old boy, is not a “tragedy.” It is a cold-blooded atrocity, the “complete understanding” of which can be reduced to two words: radical Islam. Furthermore, the article itself, entitled “Jahar’s World,” is a long, detailed effort that comes across as an attempt to elicit some level of empathy for Dzhokhar. It is a function of the left’s ceaseless efforts to cast sociopaths (especially liberal-aligned sociopaths) as sympathetic, relatable figures with “dysfunctional childhoods” and “broken homes,” shifting the proximate cause of their evil acts to “society” or “the system.”

Conspicuously missing from the article? Any details about the victims of the bombings. Jen Regan, fiancé of Marc Fucarile, who is still hospitalized as a result of the attack, offers some much-need perspective in that regard.

For over 3 months now, Marc has had to wake up every day in a hospital dealing with pain, dozens of surgeries and intensive rehab therapy. Our entire family has been focused on Marc’s recovery while we anxiously await when he can return home. The new Rolling Stone cover is disgusting. It sensationalizes Marc’s pain as well all the other victims and survivors. It is an insult to the families and people impacted that day. We know that the people of Boston are better than this and will continue to rise above this meaningless story and keep the focus where it belongs on the victims, survivors and their families who face a lifetime of challenges. We look forward to welcoming Marc home soon and thank everyone for their continued support.

The victims are the real face of this atrocity. That Rolling Stone chooses to ignore such an obvious reality in favor of giving an Islamic jihadist the so-called “rock star treatment” is a utter disgrace.

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  • Profit

    A liberal trying to understand Islamic terrorism is like a monkey learning how to read. Yet, a liberal’s brain is wired very similarly to that of a Mohammaden’s, so it’s no wonder why they’ve always had an alliance with each other.

    • John


      • zen


    • Well Done

      It’s been apparent for years now, that not only do the hard left support Islamists, but they do so because they are kindred spirits. Both favor totalitarian, my-way-or-I-kill-you ideology, both will demonize anyone who dares get in their way, and – most important – both despise America. And the Jews. The Moslem Brotherhood were Hitler’s good buddies in the MidEast. Nazis – true, actual, post WW2 Nazis – had two choices of escape – destination South America, or destination MidEast. Look it up!

      • Profit

        Correct. Liberals have become so far-left under Barry, that they are actually full blown Marxists/Communists nowadays. And yes, Hitler had a deep admiration for the religion of peace.

        “You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?”

        • zen

          Christians are too compassionate. Muzzies rock! They the bomb!

        • Drakken

          You forget that Christianity can turn from a weak lamb, into a ferocious lion at the drop of a hat when push comes to shove. The days of being a meek lamb is coming to an end, the days of a vicious lion are now at hand.

      • defcon 4

        If the lieberals think the islam0nazis are willing to share power, I invite them to look at what happened to Iran’s Communists after the Islamic Revolution there.

  • Chez

    I have a brother who I love dearly, who is a flaming liberal and who happens to subscribe to ‘Rolling Stone’. About a year ago, I wrote him, rhetorically asking….

    “It’s no wonder your world-view is what it is, molded by the nightly news, the Sunday Wapo, and magazines like Rolling Stone. Has it ever occurred to you that you’re not getting the whole story?”

    Well, like many of you dealing with liberal siblings, he didn’t appreciate my input. We are effectively estranged and it is a considerable source of regret for me. I vacillate between – on the one hand, castigating myself for not having more patience, open-mindedness, and intellectual dexterity…..and on the other, utter contempt for him when stories such as this emerge from the cesspool that has become our national body-politic.

    Life can be a helluva quandary.

    • Joseph

      Maybe your brother should show some patience as well…..But Christ has said “Who are MY brothers and sisters but those who do the will of My Father in Heaven”>>>So, your brother is not a brother to Christ…I have three who are estranged from Christ and me, but I pray for them….

    • bj affordable

      Wow! Have I just looked into the mirror?

      I too have a brother who is a flaming liberal (screaming leftie). I don’t know if he subscribes to RS, but I know he is in love with those who want to destroy us and our way of life. He also only listens to one side of the story.

      The difference is that I don’t love my brother, for he is a controlling, sanctimonious turd who thinks the world owes him a living just for having been born. Sound familiar? We too are estranged and it does irk me somewhat, however my patience with him has run out.

      Life is indeed a quandary. It is… rather bizarre. Life is never boring.

      • zen

        I wish you joy and patience.

    • Well Done

      My personal experience is that one of the best things you can do is, quite literally, write off any and all family members who have shown to be hostile. If they can spend their “life so far” with you and still be shiite, do them the same courtesy – and do NOT look back.

      • zen

        Probably, in the sense that you can’t ever really depend/rely on them.

  • Softly Bob

    It brings a smile to my face to know that there is still some sanity left. Rolling Stone magazine have shot themselves in the foot.

  • Clare Spark

    Is Rolling Stone a hotbed of anarcho-capitalists? The Yankee Doodle Society website analyzed the history of this type here: “Ron Paul: Anarchist in Chief.” Guest blog by Phillip Smyth.

  • Paul3571

    In the August 1, 2013 edition of Rolling Stone magazine not only is Islamic terrorist and Boston bomber Dzhokar “Jahar” Tsarnaev featured in an article written by Janet Reitman, his mug appears on the front cover for all to adore.

  • cathy

    Mass. cop who released photos of Boston bombing suspect faces hearing
    Published July 19, 2013

  • Ed

    Far Left New York Times Editorial Board posted a predictable,
    disgusting defense of Rolling Stone, and hard up, desperate cougar
    Janet Reitman.
    This is so offensive to Boston and Americans,
    that it should expedite NYT toward their inevitable
    Chapter 7 filing.

  • Skeptic7

    Very telling that the author, editors and publishers do not feel any natural revulsion to this depraved individual. Their moral bearings are in free fall.

  • luckycat76

    Meanwhile, Rolling Stone keeps defending their actions.
    They obviously are unfamiliar with the adage, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

  • liamjq

    A teachable moment would be to take all “the clueless cadre of dimwitted young “fangirls” caught up in the “Free Jahar” movement that has had thousands of them swooning over the alleged mass murderer” and drop them off in in North Sudan or Chechnya to get a feel for their theartthrobs culture….they know how to accomodate naive young cuties in those necks of the woods throw in the rolling stone staff as well and see how long itd take for them to beg for their sworn hated enemy the USMC to come save them ….the ocean to longer isolates the US such stupidity ammounts to dumb criminal negligence

  • Tweety58

    Satan is LAUGHING !!!

    • tagalog

      Hell, GOD is probably laughing.
      Shakespeare’s words from Bottom’s lips: “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

  • John

    I am wondering why did you choose “Jihadist” word… He is not a Jihadist, why are you stereotyping though?

    • Tweety58

      Do you sharpen that darling point on your head with a file or a knife ?

      • John

        Official investigations didn’t show any fact related to Jihadist ideology yet for tsarnaev.

        • Tweety58

          Try his DEAD BROTHER who was up to his NECK in it along with the bi tch who whelped him.

        • liamjq

          you are nothing but a groveling cringing cur and go a long way to explaining the mess the US and West is in…grow up and educate yourself before someone else does it for you with a pressure cooker

        • zen

          Official politicians won’t even say the word “jihadist”.
          Pure cowards.

        • Drakken

          Fell off the shortbus after licking one too many windows didn’t you?

      • John

        by the way, thank you!

    • zen


  • Hank Rearden

    Jeff Bauman.

    He was the guy in the wheelchair being helped by the guy in the cowboy hat. If you find an uncropped picture, you see that there is just bone sticking out of his leg – everything else, his foot, muscles, is gone. He had both legs amputated. He appears to have an incredible attitude.

    Tsarnev is not a “tragedy.” He is a warrior from Hell. He is a jihadist out to wreak as much pain and grief on America as possible. This is the creed of a depraved desert cult based on the moon-god Baal and founded by a psychopath. This is how Islam retains its power over its communicants…by being willing to visit unimaginable cruelty on them.

    Tsarnev should have been executed the day he was captured, preferably by hanging.

    Martin Richard is the 8-year-old blown to pieces that day. He was down there with his mother and sister watching their father finish the marathon. His 7-year-old sister Jane Richard had the lower part of one of her legs blown off. She has had 11 surgeries so far. Their mother Denise Richard had shrapnel driven into her head and remains blind in one eye. Their father Bill Richard has lost his hearing and has shrapnel in his legs. They have another youngster who was uninjured.

    Rolling Stone is sick with self-hatred. What can it have to say on this subject that has any value? The Left hates normality and seeks its destruction. What does Rolling Stone have to say to this family now that Islam has come to them?

  • bj affordable

    Wait until Tsarnaev is on the cover of Time. He’ll be right at home there with the same publication that featured Hitler on its cover.

    We live in strange and disturbing times.

  • James

    Boycotting one issue of RS won’t be enough to send an effective message to its publisher–all this publicity is good for them and is probably exactly what they hoped for. If CVS and all the rest boycott RS for at least 2 years, then the message is far clearer… we will really hurt you for publishing this trash. Boycotting one issue won’t do a thing.

    • Randy

      Boycott “Rolling Stone” forever. They were wrong in 1970 by putting Manson’s pic on the cover and they are wrong now for glorifying the Boston bomber. Boycott forever now.

  • Walter Sieruk

    Not only is that picture in that Rolling Stone magazine in very poor taste but it”s also outrageous. Furthermore what those two jihadists brothers did by planting of those bombs on that sidewalk in Boston was engaging in the murderous violence of Islam’s militant jihadism. That is real non-watered down hard core Islam and not some kind of warped or hijacked Islam as the apologists for the religion claim. Just to cite on one of the many places in the Quran that teach violence and killing is in Sura 47:4. Which instructs “Whenever you encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads until you make a great slaughter among them…” A bomb or two can make a greater “slaughter among them ” then a sword can. Some “peaceful religion”

    • tagalog

      Love that quote about Joker being “fluffed and buffed” for his pic.

  • tagalog

    Rolling Stone LOVES all the furor. Even though some retailers are refusing to sell the mag at this point, it won’t stop them from making a killing from this issue. Just consider the surge in sales when they put Charles Manson, their other mass-murdering hero, on the cover back in 1970.

    Look for a letter endorsing Rolling Stone from Stanley McChrystal.

  • glpage

    I see no real difference between Tsarnaev and Adam Lanza. Maybe to be fair Rolling Stone should publish an issue with a cute photo of Lanza.

  • DebRollin

    Glorifying Terrorists is not popular and shows the agenda and mind set of the Left!