Rolling Stone's decision to put a photo of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev on the cover of its upcoming issue has generated some harsh criticism, with many people taking to the Internet to condemn the magazine for apparently glorifying the alleged terrorist. According to some members of the media, the image -- a self-taken photo that shows the 19-year-old Russian immigrant with tousled hair -- is reminiscent of pictures of rock icons like Bob Dylan and The Doors' Jim Morrison that previously have graced the front of the magazine.
The headline on the cover reads, "The Bomber. How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster." Thousands of people have left comments on Rolling Stone's official Facebook page, most denouncing the magazine for putting Tsarnaev on the cover.
Boston mayor Thomas Menino, meanwhile, sent a pointed letter to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, calling the cover "ill-conceived" and suggesting that it "rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment." The mayor also maintained that the survivors of bombings "deserve Rolling Stone cover stories, though I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them."
In addition, several New England-area stores have vowed to not sell the issue, including CVS, Tedeschi Food Shops, Cumberland Farms and Walgreens.
Rolling Stone's editors released a statement on Wednesday defending their decision to use the Tsarnaev photo.
"Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families," reads the message. "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 editors also point out that because Tsarnaev is "in the same age group as many of our readers," they feel that "makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue."
While the issue doesn't hit stores until Friday, the article, which was written by Janet Reitman can be read at RollingStone.com now. According to Rolling Stone, the journalist spent two months talking to "childhood and high school friends, teachers, neighbors and law enforcement agents" about Tsarnaev and the investigation into the bombing.
Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty last week to 30 counts associated with the bombing. He's is accused of working with his older brother, Tamerlan, to set off a pair of bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 that killed three and injured more than 260 others.
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