I don’t usually read Rolling Stone, but somebody gave me a used copy of the issue with the controversial cover of Boston terrorist Dzhokhar Tsaernav in the latest issue. I didn’t understand the cover controversy even before I read the article, and after reading it I understand it even less. I even found a heated discussion about the cover on what I thought was my Facebook page, but I can’t find it now and my understanding of Facebook — even two years after I promised I was going to try to figure it out — is so limited that I now have no idea what I was reading.
Anyway, there’s a controversy going on, and I don’t get it. On Hannity’s radio show, even alleged liberal Kirsten Powers said she couldn’t see how anyone would defend that cover. But I defend it. The cover accompanied a news story that tried to figure out how a nice-looking kid could do something so awful. It would be pretty hard to make that case without showing what a nice-looking kid he was. And since that was the major story in the magazine, it made sense to put the photo on the cover.
And it’s a lesson worth having. You can’t count on all evil people to look like Adolf Hitler or Charles Manson. Some of them look like Osama Bin Laden, who judging from his photos you might think is somebody you might want to baptize your baby.
So why are so many people angry about this cover? I don’t get it.