Rolling Stones is getting all the heat, criticism, and outrage they could ever hope for by making a rock star out of Boston Bombing murderer Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The domestic terrorist is profiled in the magazine’s lead story in this week’s issue, and is featured on the cover in a photo reminiscent of Bob Dylan or Jim Morrison: a glam shot with long, curly hair, mustache, and goatee, looking directly at the camera.
Glorifying murderers, shooters, and bombers is nothing new for Rolling Stone. In 1970, the magazine published a cover spotlighting murderer Charles Manson along with an interview, for which they won a National Magazine award. Those anticipating the magazine’s release have mixed opinions, however, and many are negative. Some tweets have been suggesting a boycott for the tastelessness of setting up a mass murder as a rock star.
“I think it’s wrong to make celebrities out of these people. 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,” said one tweet, according to USA today.
The magazine, for their part, advertises the article with the caption: “The Bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”
Among the issues touched on in the article include the internal struggle of his older brother and accomplice, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who in 2008 told his mother that “two people” were inside of him. He mentioned a friend told him to get psychiatric help, but his mother instead pushed him deeper into Islam to help cure his inner demons and gain mental stability.
What type of message does it send when a man attacks a city terrorist style and ends up in a sexy pose on the cover of Rolling Stone? “If they want to become famous, kill somebody,” Northeastern University criminologist Jack Leven told MyFoxBoston.com.
The fervor and disgust at the magazine’s take on the murderer is of course entirely calculated, and Rolling Stone has not responded to the media about their cover decision.
“Way to glorify a madman,” tweeted one angry person. Indeed, what better way to sell issues?