How Rolling Stone Broke My Heart

– Mike Munoz

Usually, finding the latest issue of Rolling Stone in my mailbox is a very exciting occurrence. It means I get a chance to see what new CDs and singles are hot or not, what Peter Travers thinks of the latest Hollywood blockbusters, and most importantly, who’s on the cover. So when I opened my mailbox Tuesday afternoon and saw the latest issue of Rolling Stone, I couldn’t help but be excited. But my excitement quickly turned to disappointment when saw Snooki from MTV’s The Jersey Shore straddling a rocket with cowboy boots on the cover.

First off, you have to understand how hard it is for me to write this post. For as long as I can remember, Rolling Stone has been my Bible.  Their album and movie reviews told me what artists to look out for and which ones to ignore. Their tweets keep me posted on the latest news in the music world. Their feature stories and profiles are what got me interested in journalism in the first place. But in that last couple of weeks, I’ve started to question my faith in the publication.

This wasn’t the first time in recent memory the cover story had caused me to question my loyalty. Last April, the magazine released an issue with the cast of Glee on the cover, and since then has showered the show with non-stop praise. Don’t get me wrong Gleeks – I can appreciate a show that re-popularizes classic songs for a younger audience. But it’s hard to see a cover that has been graced by the likes of John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix be given to a show based on afterschool special clichés and irritating covers of iconic songs.

My disappointment continued to grow when their last issue had a picture of Justin Bieber in a leather jacket on the cover. Now it makes sense that Rolling Stone would want to do a story on one of the biggest names in the pop world right now. But this is not Tiger Beat Magazine, and Justin Bieber should not be a cover story. To make matters worse, one of the other feature stories mentioned on the cover was an in depth look at the history of The Clash. So instead of featuring a cover with one of the most iconic bands in the history of the punk movement, they decided to go with Justin Bieber; a Grammy-less 17 year old who’s fan base consists of primarily 12 year old girls. I have yet to open the issue.

Surely it couldn’t get any worse.

You’d think their next cover story would be on Arcade Fire’s big night at the Grammys, or Radiohead plugging their new album, The King of Limbs. Even a Lady Antebellum cover would have been fine. But Rolling Stone decided to go in a completely different direction and put Snooki on the cover. How can this be? How can one of the most highly regarded magazines in the music industry do a cover story on a woman who is famous for getting smashed and humping anything with (or without) a pulse? Do I even bother to read this issue? Or is it time to start reading Spin instead?

While I admit I will never stop reading Rolling Stone altogether, I’m finding it harder and harder to remain loyal with some of the questionable people being featured on the cover. So this is my plea to the head editors at Rolling Stone magazine. Next time you’re choosing a subject for a cover story, try to pick an artist who has actually won awards and isn’t still going through puberty. And maybe stray away from reality stars that are only famous for having their hooha blurred out a record number of times on national television. After all, this is a music magazine. Right?

2 thoughts on “How Rolling Stone Broke My Heart

  1. Jesse Radonski

    I find it tough to hold any loyalty to such mainstream media publications. In my experience, mainstream has always meant, “reaching out to a broad culture.” I find my tastes to be both pinpointed in what I deem “tasteful” while at the same time still being broad in the form of appreciating much in the music genres of heavy metal to electronic to jazz. My pinpointed taste is what makes me unappreciative of publications like Rolling Stone on a loyalty level. It doesn’t mean they don’t have some great articles though and I would never dismiss them as a reasonable place to get music news.

  2. Eric Diep

    Don’t lose all hope. I see it as a double cover and flip over to Wiz Khalifa. Rollingstone is still loyal to music by covering the fastest rising star in Hip-Hop today.

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