Rolling Stone magazine defended its latest issue cover featuring Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after sparking a massive backlash and a series of debates.
The front page was condemned by several prominent figures of the rock world, such as David Draiman, Dave Navarro and Tommy Lee. The magazine editors recently posted an explanation behind their decision, saying it was crucial for them to "examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens."
"Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families," reads the editors' statement. "The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stones long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day.
"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."
As several major store chains have announced that they will not stock the new edition, Boston City Council President Stephen Murphy dubbed the magazine cover "disgusting," saying that "Rolling Stone has marketed Tsarnaev as a hero, a misunderstood teen, a product of two incompatible cultures."
According to the BBC report, over 15,000 outraged comments were posted on the magazine's Facebook page, massively attacking Rolling Stone and deeming it tasteless.