Rolling Stone announced on Tuesday night that its latest cover story is “a deeply reported account of the life and times of Boston bomber Jahar Tsarnaev,” which delves into “how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster.” Judging from the immediate backlash on social media, the accompanying cover art probably should have hit that “monster” angle a little harder. Tsarnaev’s selfie was plastered on newspapers around the world a few months ago, but no one’s written a song about the rock-star connotations of being featured on the cover of the New York Times.
While the full story hasn’t been posted online yet, according to Rolling Stone’s preview, the biggest revelations include Tamerlan Tsarnaev confessing to his mother that there were “two people” inside him, Jahar telling a friend that 9/11 might have been justified, and FBI negotiators mentioning Tsarnaev’s former wrestling coach while he was holed up in a boat. (An FBI agent mused that it “could have been this name from the past” that convinced him to give himself up.)
However, that’s all sure to be overshadowed by the outrage over a cover that presents the alleged bomber in a manner reminiscent of many floppy-haired teenage heartthrobs. Here’s a sampling of the reaction on Twitter:
The “Free Jahar” movement wasn’t thrilled about the cover either: