To those who think strong negative responses to this cover are overreactions:
I’ll get over it when I stop remembering the day April when bombs went off on either side of me and the Boston area held its breath for a week, then shut down completely, waiting for the capture of the bombers. While I like everyone else (maybe even more than most) am interested to find out more about what led this young man down his seemingly unexpected path, I think the choice to put his image on the cover shows an unbelievable, offensive, and dangerous lack of judgement. The article? Controversial and sensationalist, to be sure, but it’s inevitable and it would be hard to come up with complete justification against its publishing. In this day and age of information overload, an image is more powerful than anything. This cover is actively creating a lasting persona when the press seemed to have generally shied away from doing so recently. Because of this, his name and face will gain a representative power that only the media can give them. Yes, we’ve grown to recognize the faces of many terrorists and violent murderers from other magazines, but Rolling Stone should realize they are making him a part of pop culture because of their image as publication. It’s not that I don’t think this story should be released. I’m not mad because I think he’s a monster…I even have some empathy for him even though I came all too close to dying at his hands. I’m upset because they are turning his image and his name into an icon and promoting his infamy when it seemed possible for his image and name to fade out of celebrity. It’s too late for Rolling Stone to recall the damage they have invoked, but I hope that everyone can acknowledge how and why this cover was a mistake and retain respect for all those affected by the situation.