Rolling Stone decided to make a profile of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the cover story of their next issue, but their choice of cover photo has more than few people baffled and upset. (update: It's also prompted a growing number of retail chains to boycott the entire issue) The layout, which is being described as "shocking" and "offensive," resembles any number of rock star images that have graced the magazine over the years... and that's exactly the problem. Many people feel that the photo the editors chose makes Tsarnaev look like a smoldering teen heartthrob and not the accused murderer and terrorist that he is.
A few people have pointed out that the magazine has featured plenty of villains and criminals on its covers in the past, including Charles Manson in 1970. And the magazine (like other publications) only has a few photos of the man to choose from, which is why we've actually seen this image in several other places before, including The New York Times (and this website.) But the combination of Tsarnaev's casual, glamorous appearance with the famously "cool" magazine's attitude just isn't sitting well with most people.