Boston Marathon Bomber Gets the Star Treatment With a Rolling Stone Cover

Controversy erupted over Rolling Stone putting a smoldering picture of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. If you didn’t know better, you’d assume this mop-topped stubbly man was the lead singer of a hot new band.

Rolling Stone is not a regular purveyor of “news” covers – with the exception of their series of Glorious Obama covers. Surely, they would never consider a cover for George Zimmerman – he’s both become a left-wing symbol of murderous racism, and he’s not “dreamy” enough for a glamorous pop-culture magazine.

Rolling Stone tried to manage the controversy label with the words over the picture: “THE BOMBER: How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam, and Became a Monster.”

So there are the words “bomber,” “monster,” and “radical Islam.” But there’s also that usual liberal junk about being “popular” and “promising,” as if anyone in high school is voted “Most Likely To Kill and Maim In a Terrorist Attack.”

The magazine published a preview Tuesday proudly declaring "contributing editor Janet Reitman delivers a deeply reported account of the life and times of Boston bomber Jahar Tsarnaev."

"Reitman spent the last 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 a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster," boasted RS.

According to Boston's CBS affiliate WBZ, after putting the cover at its Facebook page, RS has received thousands of negative comments.

The controversial cover has sparked a new Facebook account calling for a boycott of RS as a result. The page has received almost 40,000 likes.

The reaction on Twitter was swift: How about a cover for Sean Collier, the policeman shot and killed by the Tsarnaev brothers?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis