As the controversy continues over its decision to put suspected terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover, Rolling Stone magazine announced today the bi-weekly’s next cover will feature notorious sex offender Jerry Sandusky.
A leaked version of early August’s edition features the smiling face of Sandusky along with the title “The Coach: How A Lovable All-American Grandpa Became A Convicted Child Rapist.”
In an exclusive interview, Rolling Stone editor Christian Hoard says the cover is intended to “highlight the rise and fall of a controversial figure” and is not meant to lionize the former Penn State football coach, who was convicted of 45 counts of child abuse last year.
“Just because we put someone on the cover, doesn’t mean we endorse everything they’ve ever done,” Hoard explains. “There’s good and bad in everyone. Hitler liked dogs, for example. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had a super dreamy hairstyle. And Jerry Sandusky founded one of the best children’s charities on the planet.
“Sure he abused some of those kids. But what about all the ones he didn’t abuse? What about all those kids in Pennsylvania who got free candy and tickets to Penn State games, no questions asked? I guess Rolling Stone is the only news source left that gives you both sides of the story.”
How Does It Feel, to Be on Your Own?
Rolling Stone’s Sandusky cover comes on the heels of this month’s controversial choice to feature Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Bombers responsible for four deaths and more than 200 injuries, in a position usually reserved for rock stars.
Despite withering criticism that the cover is disrespectful to the survivors of the attack, and is nothing more than a crass commercial decision to reverse declining readership, Rolling Stone’s editors have stood by their decision. Hoard has been especially defensive, tweeting “I guess we should have drawn a dick on Dzhokhar’s face or something?”
The editors’ commitment to their strategy of generating controversy for financial gain shows no sign of stopping now, with Hoard confirming that the Sandusky cover will run next month.
“Of course we’re gonna run with the Jerry Sandusky stuff,” he explains. “Have you seen our circulation numbers lately? We just had layoffs last month. This isn’t a charity folks, this is a business. Controversy is good for business.”
Meanwhile the anonymous whistleblower who leaked next month’s cover says he doesn’t care if he’s caught.
“I can’t stand working for this magazine anymore,” he explains. “Matt Taibbi is brilliant, but other than than we’re pretty much a washed out version of our former selves.”
The full cover is below: