The magazine has been around for more than fifty years, but that doesn’t mean some folks aren’t thinking about the idea to boycott Rolling Stone. The topic is trending on Twitter right now because the owner of the magazine has run afoul of some folks over where he’s getting some of his money. It’s causing a stir and leading to a call to see the magazine canceled. Whether it’s warranted or not, full publications are at risk if there’s something out there that makes the magazine look bad and that’s the case with Rolling Stone right now.
The issue at hand, causing boycott Rolling Stone to trend, has to do with Jay Penske, the Founder, and CEO of Penske Media Corporation which currently owns the magazine. He’s coming under fire for taking a $200 million dollar investment/loan from a Saudi fund. This money isn’t part of a new round for Penske, it happened back in 2018. But it is coming to light recently after the independent blog The Hill Reporter, published a lengthy article about the magazine and its current owners. The post is entitled, “The Demise of Rolling Stone: How A Legendary Magazine Sold Out to Trump and the Saudis”.
Check out some of the tweets calling for to boycott Rolling Stone under the hashtag #boycottRollingStone
The details from this report are helping to stir the boycott Rolling Stone call and in the article one of the key pieces mentioned is how a venture fund backed by the Saudi government helped infuse the parent company with a huge investment a couple of years ago. This loan wasn’t explained at the time, nor need it have been I suppose, but suggested a close working relationship between the foreign government and the media company.
Penske Media company doesn’t just own Rolling Stone but also has a controlling interest in other entertainment publications like Variety and Deadline to name a couple. There have been no calls for action against those outlets like there is with the boycott Rolling Stone push, but there’s always time, I suppose. These things tend to happen quickly.
One of the reasons this article post and the subsequent backlash against the Rolling Stone / Saudi government relationship has to do with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi back in 2018 which took place at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. It’s been alleged that this murder was sanctioned by the Saudi government, calling into question America’s dealings with the country as a whole.
While the boycott Rolling Stone case is ramping up on the back of the Saudi cash infusion for the company, it probably doesn’t help them (in the eyes of the internet warriors) that Penske and company were major contributors to the GOP and specifically Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign. While these aren’t directly cited in all of the calls for the boycott, some do see the Trump family and Saudis as linked in this way.
Whether this campaign ultimately spells the end for the magazine and boycott Rolling Stone gains real traction remains to be seen. Right now the hashtag is gaining some traction on Twitter and this is the kind of story that tends to stick around for some time.