I like this image from photog Michael Lee better than the original.

Even though I find it hard for me to believe, some would consider this blog a legitimate media outlet.  As a participating member of “the media” I have to add my voice, as meek as it may be, to cacophonous roar building in Boston over the heinous Rolling Stone cover I’m sure you have already heard about.  Nothing I can say will be earth shattering, or even original, but I feel so strongly about this disgusting display of bad taste that I can’t NOT post something.

When I first saw the cover I thought it had to be a joke.  And then when I realized it wasn’t my emotions went from disbelief to horror to pure, unadulterated anger.  After all this city has been through- all this NATION has been through regarding horrific violence and the glamorization of death, murder, terrorism, horror and hatred- the choice to put this evil individual in the same ranks as musical geniuses like Springsteen, Dylan and the BEATLES is the biggest lapse in judgement ever made in the publishing world.  Yes, let’s make this murderer look like a fucking JONAS BROTHER so that the troubled youth of our country have more of a reason to think that killing people brings stardom and fame.  Let’s show them that blowing up a crowd of people is akin to bringing a crowd to their knees with a beautiful song from a brightly lit stage. Yes, this will be good for the country. Let’s use our power to do that.


Now, on a much, much, MUCH smaller scale I have posted images or words before that offended others but threw up no red flags to me personally before clicking “publish”.  Upon later review, I typically can see that perhaps it wasn’t the smartest thing to share and admit when I’m wrong (or let it slide when I feel others are being a bit too sensitive).  But there is NO way that the art department mocked this up and thought “Yeah, this isn’t offensive- this looks great!” and then sent it to the publishers,  a whole other group of editorial veterans, who then reviewed it and said ” Let’s go to print!”  I mean, seriously??? Are the people running these huge magazines THAT heartless? And have you heard their “explanation” that because this image has been used before many times by the New York Times and other big media outlets that they feel their use of it is no different??? Yes, yes it has been seen a million times over, but they, above all others, should know that it’s about the CONTEXT in which the photo is used, not the quantity in which it has been seen.  I am no Mensa member and even I know that!

The front page of the Times is for news, the front page of Rolling Stone is for STARS.

End. Of. Story.

I absolutely love the response that various stores have given of choosing NOT to sell this issue. And the letter that our own mayor sent to Jan Wenner made me even more proud to call this city home.  No, we are not “hiding our heads in the sand” (thanks for that genius comment TMZ- but really, I can’t expect more from you), we are attempting to protect our own- those hurt and maimed by this horrific act- from seeing their torturer’s face when they go into CVS to fill a prescription, likely for their injuries sustained in the blast.  We are better than you, stronger than you and smarter than you, Rolling Stone.  And because of that, I predict your magazine will implode from it’s own inflated sense of self-righteousness.

Blogs are where it’s at anyways. :)




  1. You are absolutely a legit media outlet!! One of the ONLY three I tune into every single day, I might add.

    Well said, as always. Cannot believe they are celebrating a total lunatic like that. It’s a complete slap in the face to everyone that was affected.

    You go girl!

  2. Here’s my question…. Does Rolling Stone typically release it’s cover days/weeks before the issue is released? I honestly don’t know…but I doubt it. Rolling Stone started out as a music print magazine that is now trying to keep up with an online world. When was the last time you uttered the words “Rolling Stone Magazine”? Now it’s all we’re talking about (I’ve lived in Boston my entire life). CVS, Roche…Boycott, no boycott – we’re discussing the publication again. What’s that saying that any press is good press? I don’t agree, AT ALL, with the cover, releasing it early, etc. I know people personally that were affected by this act of terrorism. The cover is reprehensible. But we’re all talking about Rolling Stone again…

  3. Couldn’t agree more! This is an embarrassment to the field of journalism and a horrible reminder to the victims and their families.

    I read somewhere that instead of glamorizing the people who committed these heinous crimes we should instead focus on the victims. If more media outlets chose to focus on that we just might be able to.

    Instead, whenever these tragedies occur (which unfortunately is fairly often) all we do is talk about the people who committed the crime, in essence putting them up on a pedestal and that is exactly what they wanted. I’d much rather see a cover story focused on the victims’ and survivors’ so we could keep things in perspective. We’d remember the heroes instead of the monsters.

  4. I think it would be easier for people to digest if he had a turban or an Osama beard. RS does excellent social commentary articles and I only read half of this one and it was good. They have some intelligent/brilliant writers. This kid and his ‘rock star’ looks don’t fit the image of terrorist to some folks and I think that is where a lot of the outrage lies. I work at the Pru. It was a horrific day but seeing his face does not bother me…I’m reading people say they should just stick to music but what forum sticks just to one genre…readers crave a little more and again they write excellent stories that are not just about music

  5. Big ugh!! Erin, thank you for being brave enough to write about the awful article
    on a boy who killed our friends, neighbors and fellow Bostonians.
    What was Jenn Werner thinking? This boy is a killer.
    Although, I heard that at the end of the article they closed with
    the word…’monster!’

  6. I can’t agree with you more. On 9/11 I had a very wise teacher (a WWII vet and amazing man) tell us that people who commit acts such as these should never have their name mentioned again. Their names and images should be erased from the history books and never spoken of. Their actions should not bring on notoriety, they should bring shame; though this seems extreme I feel that it would be a much better way to handle these terrible acts than immortalizing these monsters on every news outlet. It is things like this that continue to fuel the fire in the troubled people of the world. Props to everyone who is speaking out against what Rolling Stone has done!

  7. William Greider. Matt Taibbi–Rolling Stone has long covered politics and other non-musical issues in a major, substantive way. Do your homework before you comment.

  8. Thanks for sharing. I didnt see this cover and now that I did, I am horrified. This is the most disgusting magazine publication I have ever seen. Shame on rolling stones. Shame shame. Im so sorry to all those people affected that have to see this. It hurts my heart.

  9. As a fan and regular reader of your blog, I’ve read a lot of your rants. This one I happen to agree with. But we’re you this outraged with the Trayvonne Martin? This was a relevant news story as well, right?

  10. I agree with really, really. Rolling Stone has never been an all music rag. Remember that saying, keep your friends close and your enemeies closer? We have to learn from such hoorific events. Everyone was glued to the TV for days when it was happening. Now we can’t write and read about it. I thought we had that liberty here in the US.

  11. Really & James – Erin’s point wasn’t that RS never writes about politics, etc. It is a pop culture magazine, which of course encompasses politics, etc. But it is first and foremost pop culture publication. Her point is that the cover portrays him in more of a rock star light than her and many others feel is right. And to my point earlier, has now become the story…when the article itself should be. RS is not the NY Times or any of the other news first publications, to suggest they are comparable is to ignore the context and spirit of each of them. Let’s not argue just to argue. The point is it is offensive to Erin. That is understandable. It may not be offensive to you, but if you really don’t understand why it is to so many, then you have put your head in the sand.

  12. I think (and this is just me… don’t freak out) that you would have a LOT more credibility in the comments section of your site if your mom and husband didn’t constantly jump in to explain your intent / defend you. If you can’t do those things for yourself on your own site, then maybe just stick to less controversial topics. You seem really immature and tattle tale-y for someone who wants to have a legitimate media voice.

  13. Let me assure you as an outsider looking in…yes you should be outraged. This individual does not deserve to be published on the cover of “Rolling Stone” . Shame on them for offending every freedom loving individual who was there that day. It’s like their good sense took a summer vaca.

  14. I think freedom of the press is certainly valid, I just think the objection is to the photo which portrays a “rock star image”. It certainly was a poor choice on the part of Rolling Stone, but it puts them in the conversation front and center, which is a publishing accomplishment. It is a disappointment but I still feel lucky we can have this conversation.

  15. Like you I was deeply offended by the cover, but after much thought I have looked at this a different way. One of society’s problem is never looking at the guy next door. Just looking the other way. Unfortunately we see time and time again how these people get away with MURDER!…..we need to get a good look at these people and realize they do look just like everyone else. But with one HUGE difference. Rolling Stone just wants us to not look away at the NORMAL guy next door.

  16. Sorry I am late to the game! Erin – Bravo for stating how you feel. For all those blow hards that are arguing, it is an opinion that is all. It is a commentary not a legal issue. And I am personally offended by “Kim”. I think it is wonderful that your mom and hubby chime in. I don’t think you come off tattle taley at all. Those of us who read you religiously know you can speak for yourself. And I have always thought of EoS as a blog on fashion, style and interior design with a smidge of reality mixed in. It is fine to disagree, but I have never understood why people have to make it a personal attack on Erin.

  17. This is what magazines do when they are increasingly irrelevant and circling the drain. Great post Erin. Someone has to draw a line in the sand for decency and sensitivity to/compassion for the surviving victims of this outrage. Yes we have a free press in this country, but the public is free to reject its excesses and call it out when it crosses the line where freedom and responsibility intersect. That cover is morally bankrupt.

  18. come on. everyone knows covers go through numerous, rigorous meetings with one goal only- to sell magazines. this choice was purposeful and grossly offensive to the integrity and intelligence of millions of readers. the strong article would be just as strong with a cover shot of a victim or a hero. the message that he is a “regular” person could have been very well conveyed with a shot of the masses of regular faces , including his, out for the day of the marathon. instead, he appears like a celebrity. disgusting and they should cop to their intent….to create hype and to sell magazines. it back fired with me. will just have to miss out on the article. cover repulses me.

Comments are closed.