Is Rolling Stone glamourizing an alleged terrorist?

Thomas Bink
Pulse of Canada
Is Rolling Stone glamourizing an alleged terrorist?

The August edition of Rolling Stone magazine will feature a close-up of alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and it's creating quite a stir south of the border since it was unveiled yesterday.

Outrage on Twitter was swift. National retail chains Walmart, CVS and Walgreens have announced that they will not display or sell the magazine.

The heart of the issue is less about the story within the magazine, but how Rolling Stone has enhanced an image that has been widely circulated to make the accused terrorist look like a rock star.

[ Related: Tsarnaev: Rock star treatment or good journalism? ]

"This is an image of a rock star," University of Pennsylvania communications professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson said. "This is an image of someone who is admired, of someone who has a fan base, of someone we are critiquing as art."

Rolling Stone responded to the controversy with a statement: "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."

If magazine editors intentionally enhanced the cover in order to create buzz for their product, it's certainly not the first time. In 1991, Vanity Fair ran a very naked and very pregnant Demi Moore on its cover. In 2011, Newsweek ran a cover that superimposed Princess Diana next to Princess Kate. And in 2012, TIME ran a cover with a 26-year-old woman breastfeeding her three-year-old boy. Even Rolling Stone has previously published controversial covers of Charles Manson and John Lennon.

So we ask you: Is Rolling Stone's cover of Tsarnaev glamourizing him or just another attempt to draw attention to the magazine?

Have your say in the comments area below.