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Rolling Stone cover

So, there seems to be a controversy over the August edition of Rolling Stone, which features Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Some have said it is insensitive to the victims of the bombing and instead, the magazine ought to have featured the victims/heroes on the cover. Others have even gone as far as to suggest the cover is un-American.

Personally, I have no issue with it. I don’t see it as glamorizing Tsarnaev or somehow putting him above or head of the victims; it’s an investigative journalistic piece about the Boston bomber, which offers some valuable insight into how someone seemingly so normal could become a terrorist. Those that say it is un-American are missing the point and importance of this piece.

Moreover, it’s unlikely many have read the accompany article and have merely had a knee-jerk reaction to the cover, which is slightly understandable as it is a visual medium. That said, the article is worth checking out. Find it here.

I mean, honestly, Jahar, as the article is trying to show, seems like such a normal teenager. I could see myself being friends with the guy that his friends affectionately referred to as “Jizz.”

Nevertheless, I’ve had this discussion elsewhere about the fine line between discussing what makes a monster a monster and the purpose therein of humanizing the monster and just feeling dirty about the whole thing; it’s a tough line to walk for sure. But I think it’s very much important to understand how these “monsters” became just that. Only in that sense, then, can we understand and we should want to understand. That’s not disrespecting the victims or the survivors or making light of the act, but again, trying to understand something unbelievable.

Sure, I understand some carriers and readers will want to boycott the magazine now, as that’s their right, but I don’t get it; we seem so eager to toss aside freedom of speech and great investigative journalism – because make no mistake, Janet Reitman’s article is brilliantly done – in America, which seems the most un-American act of all.

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