July 17, 2013

Today the output of our country’s tedious outrage machine relates to the above Rolling Stone cover about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (also spelled Jahar). It glamorizes him. It turns him . . . actually, there’s no point in summarizing the objections. Why not just skim Twitter for 1.5 seconds and find multiple representative samples:

Counterpoints:

*Presumably the protesters would have a tabloid treatment in which Rolling Stone would place horns on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Perhaps that would have made this nonsense go away.

*This is good journalism, as the photo depicts the same Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that The Post and the New York Times — and others — depicted in deeply reported pieces. That is, a regular, good guy with friends, interests and activities — a “joker,” even.

*Showing this alleged bomber in his full humanity makes him appear even more menacing.

*Some are saying that Rolling Stone is exploiting this image — this story — for commercial gain. Well, Rolling Stone is a magazine. It exploits all its stories for commercial gain, some more effectively than others.

RELATED: Tsarnaev just latest in controversial magazine covers

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.