Thursday, August 29, 2013

ROLLING STONE: A SHOCK TO BOSTON'S SYSTEM


Rolling Stone magazine and Miley Cyrus are a lot alike. They both achieved a great deal
of success early on, became somewhat irrelevant in changing times, then, in need of
some attention, did something really big to shock our system.

Cyrus twerked, tongued, and tickled herself with a foam-rubber finger on live television to
set Twitter on fire and get the attention she desperately needed. As they say in show business
these days, if you're not "trending",  you are not all that important.


Nobody was talking about Rolling Stone magazine very much until July. Once a respected
and a popular magazine, it had fallen out of a favor in the this New Media driven world. So,
their editors made a calculated decision to announce their presence with authority and get
people talking about them once again. With  Boston still recovering, physically and
emotionally, from the marathon bombing, Rolling Stone decided to stick a dagger into the
heart of the city.

The magazine glorified Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by making the surviving Boston bomber a
cover boy. They tried to turn him into a rock star along the lines of Jim Morrison. The
people in Boston were outraged, as were many people throughout the rest of the country.
Rolling Stone got the attention and reaction it wanted. Twitter, Facebook, and every news
outlet railed about it and called for a boycott of the magazine. But you know what happened? Magazine sales doubled and suddenly, Rolling Stone, like Cyrus, was relevant again, even
if it's just for a little while longer.


Less than two months later, Rolling Stone has gone back to the Boston well again. Hot off the
presses on August 30, the magazine features a story about former New England Patriot and
accused murderer, Aaron Hernandez. There is a picture of Hernandez in an unflattering light
with his tattoos, bullets, and blood  spattered (photoshopped) across his chest. The caption
reads, "A gangster in the huddle." If Rolling Stone wanted to get the attention of the readers, specifically the ones in New England, it certainly accomplished their goal.

The article appears to be thorough and well-researched. It is riveting, chilling, and intense,
but there is a good amount of fiction in it. People will read it and automatically convict the
Patriots for looking the other way with Hernandez and accuse former Florida Gators coach
Urban Meyer of covering for his star player when both were in Gainseville. It also states that
Bill  Belichick recommended that Hernandez get a safe house and lay low for a while.


And that's where all credibility of the article ends. I was going to say it was over a few
paragraphs earlier when the authors described Belichick as the "grand wizard of the greatest
show on turf." Anyone who covers the NFL knows that "the greatest show on turf" was
the tag given to the St. Louis Rams during the Kurt Warner-Marshall Faulk era and that
Mike Martz was the architect and "grand wizard" of it. This gaffe is somewhat surprising
considering that one of the authors, Ron Borges, has been around the block as a sports
journalist and knows the NFL.

I don't know, maybe because the magazine has been geared toward covering the music
industry and politics for so long, it figured their target audience wouldn't know the difference.

Except that when New England sports fans read it, they'll know. They most definitely will
know the difference between fact and fiction.

And they when they read that Belichick, "per a close Hernandez associate, had told him
(Hernandez) to lay low, rent a safe house for a while",  they'll know the magazine is full
of crap and  more interested in creating controversy and selling magazines than the truth.


As someone who covered the Patriots nearly every day for two years, I can tell you that
Belichick wouldn't advise Hernandez or any one of his player to rent a safe house. It's
beyond absurd and everyone who has covered the Patriots and every one of Belichick's
current and former players will tell you that it's shameless to put in print.  Belichick is
as cold-blooded as he is intelligent. He has all the emotion of a cadaver in the freezer
and doesn't get close to his players.  He is ruthless and would never tell a player to get
a "safe house."

Never.

All of a sudden, after nearly 40 years coaching in the NFL, Belichick's going to get
stupid and give a thug like Aaron Hernandez advice on how to stay away from other
thugs? Seriously? Not a chance.

Just as funny is the "per a close Hernandez associate" thing. Sure, like anybody associated
with Hernandez has an ounce of credibility. Oh, I bet that associate has a rap sheet longer
than the Great Wall of China, but credibility? LMAO. And that entire article used enough
unnamed associates, sources, and 'reportedly's' to make your head spin. Yeah, real credible.


Articles and books have become a lot like "The Bachelor" and most mindless reality
shows on the air. The truth, or a story in black and white, is often boring. It needs some
color to keep people interested and a little controversy to keep the ratings high. That's what
Rolling Stone did with the article on Hernandez. Just as they did with his picture they
added color and a lot of it. A Gangster In The Huddle? They make Hernandez look like
a natural-born killer out of a Quentin Tarantino movie.

Shading the face of Hernandez a little darker than the rest of his body was a calculated
move by Rolling Stone, as well. It makes him look more ominous and is reminiscent of the controversial Time magazine cover that made O.J. Simpson skin appear darker than it actually
was.


Hey, but I'm sure Rolling Stone will accomplish what they set out to do and that's gain
wild attention and sell more of their product, just as we saw with Miley Cyrus.

I guess that's what it's all about these days. Creating attention and selling a product,
whether it be yourself or a magazine.



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