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Rolling Stone Hit for Rock Star Treatment of Boston Bomber

Rolling Stone magazine is drawing heat for its latest cover photo.

Rolling Stone magazine is drawing heat for its latest cover photo.

Rolling Stone magazine, which has struggled with questions about its relevance in the Internet age, has found a way to get everyone’s attention, but not in a good way. It put a flattering photo of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover.

The move ignited a firestorm of criticism on social media sites this morning (July 17). Critics claim it glorifies Tsarnaev.

Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show immortalized the meaning of the Rolling Stone cover in a 1973 song that parodied rock star lifestyles.

We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills
But the thrill we’ve never known
Is the thrill that’ll get ya when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone


You get the picture. But thousands of critics didn’t get it. Why did Rolling Stone use a self-taken photo of Tsarnaev that makes him look like a young Bob Dylan?

The story, titled “The Bomber,” is a profile of the bomber’s descent into radical Islam. A subhead reads: “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”

As it turns out, the selfie photo was used by Boston police during the manhunt for Tsarnaev, after he and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev planted bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and 264 were injured.

The magazine’s cover caption reads: “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”

The uproar is big enough to make Rolling Stone a trending topic on Twitter. So we gotta ask, is this good journalism or bad journalism? Vote! Let and let us know your thoughts.

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