Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s face on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone sparked a backlash against the magazine in social media and in boardrooms around the country.
“THE BOMBER,” the cover reads. “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”
The photo of a tousle-haired, thinly goateed Tsarnaev is one the suspect posted online himself and has been picked up by other outlets.
A groundswell of criticism objecting to its placement on Rolling Stone’s cover emerged Wednesday on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and among leaders in Boston, where the marathon bombings killed three people, wounded more than 200 and led to a frantic manhunt that left a police officer dead.
But some people defended the magazine’s decision, saying it draws attention to the story of a young man who seemed an unlikely terrorist.
Ed Kelly, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, called it “insulting.” Using Tsarnaev’s booking photo might have been one thing, but a photo that shows “the innocence of youth” gives the wrong message, Kelly told CNN.
“He gave up any innocence he had on April 15, when he took the life of an innocent child, two women and then went on to execute a police officer,” Kelly said.
“What he did to a city, a country, we’re never going to forgive him for it,” Kelly said. “We’re not going to cower from it. It disturbs us that our media chooses to celebrate it.”
Three prominent New England-based businesses — CVS pharmacies, Stop & Stop, and Tedeschi Food Shops — heard the public outcry and announced they will not sell that edition, which will be on newsstands soon.