The Dzokhar Tsarnaev Rolling Stone Controversy Is Kanye West's Fault

Last week, Rolling Stone's decision to feature Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its August 1, 2013 cover caused such a major brouhaha that Mayor of Boston denounced the magazine in a statement and a string of retailers declined to stock the issue. But the Marathon Bombing suspect wasn't the editors' first choice for the cover. Know who was? That's right, Yeezy!

A reliable source tells us that Rolling Stone had a Kanye West profile planned for the August 1, 2013 cover. This would have only been the third print Yeezus-era Kanye interview, after Jon Caramanica's instantly classic New York Times Q&A and W Magazine's June feature. But for whatever reason, West apparently pulled out of the story. So the digitally illustrated Dzhokhar Tsarnaev profile photo was the magazine's back-up plan for the cover, tied to Janet Reitman's 11,000-word opus.

This isn't unusual—magazine covers reshuffle all the time. But given the response to the biweekly publication's decision to feature Jahar so prominently, it's an interesting footnote that the magazine not only hadn't set out to make a statement about the modern terrorist, but that if Kanye West hadn't reneged, none of last week's drama would've happened.

A Wenner Media spokeswoman, reached by email, declined to comment.

[Kanye West photo by Getty Images; Dzokhar Tsarnaev cover via Rolling Stone]

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