Rolling Stone stirs controversy with alleged Boston bomber cover

Rolling Stone is drawing criticism for the cover of its upcoming issue, which depicts the alleged Boston Marathon bomber in what some observers are calling a rock ‘n’ roll glamour shot.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the magazine’s Aug. 1 issue next to a headline that reads, “The Bomber: How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.”

In a post on its website Tuesday evening, Rolling Stone said writer Janet Reitman had spent two months interviewing “dozens of sources -- childhood and high school friends, teachers, neighbors and law enforcement agents, many of whom spoke for the first time about the case -- to deliver” her story, reportedly due to hit newsstands Friday.

Yet some critics are saying that the photo of Tsarnaev -- a so-called selfie that’s been used previously by other media outlets, including the New York Times -- casts the bombing suspect in an inappropriately flattering light.


PHOTOS: Boston Marathon Bombings and the aftermath

“Rolling Stone is suppose[d] to be about music not giving glory to someone who injured and killed innocent people for no reason,” wrote one commenter on the magazine’s website, while another said, “Cancel my subscription.” On Facebook, a post describing Reitman’s article had attracted almost 12,000 comments by mid-morning Wednesday.

Higher-profile people are playing pundit, too.

Late Tuesday, Albert Brooks tweeted, “Maybe I’m old fashioned but putting the Boston bomber on the cover of Rolling Stone is a terrible idea.”


And country star John Rich said on Twitter, “You always think as an artist ‘If I ever get on the Rolling Stone I’ll know I’ve made it!’ That was until they started promoting terrorists.”


Harvard University announces Nas fellowship

Watch David Bowie’s video for ‘Valentine’s Day’

Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200

Twitter: @mikaelwood

Get our daily Entertainment newsletter