Does the Rolling Stone cover of Boston Bomber Jahar Tsarnaev cross the line?


He’s got shaggy hair, a deep gaze and modern shirt — but Rolling Stone‘s latest cover star is no rocker. Headlined “Boston Bomber,” the guy on the front is Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev.

The August 1 issue was unveiled on Rolling Stone‘s Facebook page yesterday. The caption reads, “In our new issue, contributing editor Janet Reitman delivers a deeply reported account of the life of Boston bomber Jahar Tsarnaev.”

As the front cover of the iconic Rolling Stone is generally reserved for the world’s most famous actors and musicians, many believe Jahar’s rockstar treatment is distasteful and inappropriate.

“Being from Boston, I take this personally offensive that this s**t bag is even a thought, never mind given the cover,” wrote one enraged reader in the comment section of the Facebook page. “I don’t care about his religion, race, sex or his poor family. He is bomber #2 in the white hat… That’s the most description I need.”

Others commented that Rolling Stone should reserve cover honors for true heroes from the Boston Marathon bombing.

“Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs, should be on cover,” said a person in a comment that has since been “liked” by nearly 2,000 people.

Multiple others said they are canceling their subscriptions to the magazine because of how inappropriate they find the cover.

Indeed, the idea of portraying Jahar as a celebrity has been a touchy subject ever since his identity was revealed and dozens of teens started commenting on social media about how “cute” he is. Even now, as Jahar has been charged with “using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death” and “malicious destruction of property resulting in death,” there are multiple Twitter accounts devoted to freeing him.

In the eyes of many, the Rolling Stone cover is further undue glorification for a person who has been charged with the deaths of three people.

“I think it’s wrong to make celebrities out of these people,” wrote one reader on Facebook. “Why give the guy the cover of Rolling Stone? TIME gave Charles Manson the cover and all the magazines carried pictures of the Columbine shooters on the covers, too. Don’t make martyrs out of these people.”

What do you think?

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