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Rolling Stone Magazine Responds to Latest Cover Featuring Marathon Bombing Suspect

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(WGGB) — Outrage is growing against a magazine that is no stranger to controversy. Rolling Stone is under fire for a cover story that hasn’t even hit news stands yet.

The August issue of the magazine features the face of surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and a tell-all article that looks into the life of the 19-year-old and the people who knew him before he was arrested and charged on terrorism-related charges.

The cover, which was revealed online, uses a photo that was taken by Tsarnaev himself and posted on social media.

It’s the image that has many people irate. Tsarnaev looking more like a rock star than what many people believe him to be.

“He’s a terrorist. Whether hes a local grown terrorist or one from Europe or the Middle East, he is still a terrorist,” says Tom Kirley of Ludlow.

The publishers of Rolling Stone are feeling the heat for what many are feeling is the glorification of someone suspected of causing so much pain.

Tamiko Torrence from North Carolina adds, “I think it’s a disgrace. He don’t need that coverage. To me, it’s like, are they glorifying him? Yes, to me, that’s what it’s doing. He don’t need no coverage at all. Put him to the back burner.”

Kirley notes, “Why would they put him on the cover of Rolling Stone? He’s already had his pictures on enough newspapers. Glorifying what he did…I mean the poor victims are the ones that have to look at that and everyday, they look at that. It’s a reminder whether they lost a limb or loved one.”

Some are willing to look past the cover to get to the words that tell the story.

“[Do you think the cover of this magazine glorifies Tsarnaev?] Yea, it glorifies him and I don’t think they should glorify him, but I think it’s okay that they have a story because that’s education and without education, you will be lost,” says Jason Brown of Springfield.

Melissa Hopping of Southwick notes, “I don’t know that it’s glorifying him. I think it’s just bringing attention. Hey, this guy is here and he is a big deal in society at the moment and we need to make sure that everyone knows that.

But now, the backlash to the magazine’s choice of the cover photo is growing, prompting many to call for a boycott of Rolling Stone.

Wednesday afternoon, Rolling Stone Magazine issued a statement, signed by the magazine’s editors, on their Facebook page:

“Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.”

The issue will go on sale August 3.

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