Friday, July 19, 2013

The Rolling Stone Cover and the Adam Gold/John Rich Twitter War

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Anyone remember this cover?
  • Anyone old enough to remember this cover?
The controversy over Rolling Stone's cover featuring Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev continues to grow. Yesterday, Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Sean Murphy, enraged by the cover, released photos of a bloody Tsarnaev being apprehended by police. In a statement accompanying the photos, Murphy said, "This guy is evil. This is the real Boston bomber. Not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine."

But would those photos have conveyed the gist of the Rolling Stone story — that Tsarnaev seemed like a normal kid, but became a terrorist?

Witnessing the entire brouhaha, a couple of things stand out. First off, I don't recall a similar uproar when Charles Manson was on the cover of Life (shown to the right) and Rolling Stone 40-some years ago. (Granted, I was 10 years old at the time.) Second, there seems to be this misconception floating around that Rolling Stone is a celebrity magazine that doesn't cover hard news, when in fact it's been doing hardcore investigative reporting for decades — stories that have often been featured on the cover. Remember this story just a few years ago that led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal?

And closer to home, there was a Twitter war between Nashville Scene writer Adam Gold and country artist John Rich, leading Rich to suggest that Gold should have his ass kicked merely for defending the article and cover. No matter where you stand on the issue, you should check it out on our music blog, Nashville Cream, where the conversation is chronicled in screen-capped highlights.

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