Erin Strecker
July 17, 2013 AT 03:00 PM EDT

An iconic photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono this is not.

Rolling Stone has drawn major criticism after revealing this week’s magazine cover to be none other than accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. On its website, Rolling Stone (who didn’t immediately respond to EW’s request for comment) says the accompanying story is a “deeply reported account of the life and times of Boston bomber [Dzhokhar] Tsarnaev. [Writer Janet] Reitman spent the last two months interviewing dozens of sources – childhood and high school friends, teachers, neighbors and law enforcement agents, many of whom spoke for the first time about the case – to deliver a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster.”

A monster with a music magazine cover photo that many bands would, err, kill for. Many are saying the photo glamorizes him as some kind of rock star to be idolized, with a pin-up ready soft-lighting picture that many on Twitter are comparing to an old photo of Rolling Stone regular Bob Dylan. The Today show weighed in on the controversy this morning, pointing out that the cover bares a striking resemblance to an old Rolling Stone cover of Jim Morrison. Savannah Guthrie pointed out that there is a bit of a precedent for Rolling Stone toying with controversial political images: The magazine had Charles Manson on the cover in 1970.
Do you think the cover is in poor taste?

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