Rolling Stone's Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cover gets parodied

The cover has elicited moral outrage from some, and mere yawns from others

By Prachi Gupta

Published July 17, 2013 10:00PM (EDT)

The cover of the August issue of Rolling Stone, which features Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has predictably elicited some strong reactions: Tedeschi Food Shops in Boston and CVS, headquartered in New England, have banned the edition from their stores, the former saying that the cover serves "to glorify the evil actions" of Tsarnaev. Celebrities and musicians have publicly condemned the image, deeming it offensive and sensationalist.

Others, however, are barely batting an eye, noting that with infamy comes fame. Writes Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams:

Tsarnaev doesn’t have a hit song or a hot TV show, but Rolling Stone also covers news and politics, and Tsarnaev is newsworthy. Just like when, over forty years ago, Rolling Stone put Charles Manson on its cover, looking every bit the longhaired rock god — because that’s what Manson looked like. With news comes notoriety, and a photograph is not automatically glamorization. But the fury over Tsarnaev image shows that it’s not always so clear, and the unease that the fuzzy line between infamy and fame brings.

As with any buzzy magazine cover, the Internet has reacted with parodies.

Some criticize Rolling Stone's editorial judgment:

(credit: Christian Lynch)

While others mock the moral outrage:

(credit: Gawker)

(credit: Joe Mande)

...At least it's not Tsarnaev fanfiction?

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

MORE FROM Prachi GuptaFOLLOW prachiguLIKE Prachi Gupta

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Boston Marathon Bombing Comedy Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Magazine Covers Parody Rolling Stone