WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Usually, the cover of Rolling Stone magazine is reserved for pop princesses and rock gods, so you may wonder why is Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of the pop culture magazine's August issue?
The choice is enraging many, and lighting up social media.
Even Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino asks, "Why are we glorifying a guy who created mayhem in the city of Boston?"
So, is the magazine giving Tsarnaev the rock star treatment or simply telling a story?
Rolling Stone has long courted controversy with it's covers, from Janet Jackson to John and Yoko to mass murderer Charles Manson. But by choosing the "dreamy," some say "Dylan-esque" photo, is the music magazine romanticizing the 19-year-old charged with killing three and hurting more than 250, or is this simply journalism?
WUSA9 asked Rem Reider, USA Today's Media Editor. "They call him a monster right here on the cover, I don't know about you, but when you call somebody a monster, that's not really glamorizing him to me. It's clear they had a serious reporter spend some serious time with the idea being not to glorify this guy but to try to explain how, if convicted, he became such an evil person, how he could do such a horrendous thing."
The magazine's editors responded, saying the bombing victims are in their thoughts, and their choice "...falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage..... 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."
Rolling Stone has a history of covering serious news in addition to the music scene. Three years ago Gen. Stanley McChrystal lost his job after he made controversial comments about President Obama in an article featured in the magazine.
Still, Twitter and Facebook have lit up with criticism, and the hashtag #boycottRollingStone is now a trending topic. There's such an uproar that CVS, Walgreens and other stores are refusing to sell the issue.
Reider explains, "Even if some of the attention is negative, it generates a lot of buzz."
A cover used to mean you've arrived. Where you go next, can depend on whether you're a celebrity or a suspect. Tsarnaev has pled not guilty to the April bombings.