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Rolling Stone is coming under fire for its decision to put Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover.

The image depicts Tsarnaev with tousled hair staring into the camera with a somewhat seductive look in his eyes. Many have accused Rolling Stone of glamorizing the terrorism suspect by playing up his looks along side the headline, “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”

Rolling Stone has defended its decision, releasing a statement saying:

“Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day.”

The glossy added: “The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.”

Many are outraged about the magazine’s decision to feature Tsarnaev. Some of the bombing victims called the move “disgusting” and many stores including CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid said they would not sell the issue. Boston mayor Thomas Menino lambasted Rolling Stone’s decision, calling it “ill-conceived” and saying it “rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment.”

While the controversy around the cover continues, the provocative image has kept Rolling Stone’s name in the press, which is a win for the magazine. Though some have vowed not to purchase the issue, I’m sure many others will flock to newsstands to see exactly what all the fuss is about.

What do you think? Did Rolling Stone cross the line? 

  • Deb

    Not surprised. And no, I’ve never seen this sort of article about any terrorist in any major US publication before.

    The rule is, be white passing, attractive and if you commit a crime, you get one or a combo of these: a movie made
    about you (lifetime if you are a white passing woman), a book deal, a flattering magazine cover….and probably more.

    Yep, this society is not demented at all.

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