Why is Rolling Stone treating the Boston bomber like a rock star?

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Update: The comments are piling up at Rollingstone.com. Read the cover story here.

Rolling Stone has been slipping toward irrelevance in recent years, but occasionally, the iconic magazine pulls a stunt to get people talking again.

Case in point: Putting Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover.

Negative response has been swift on Twitter. One Massachusetts convenience-store chain reportedly won’t carry the magazine. Even celebrities are getting in on the criticism. (You go, Kelly Osbourne!)

Part of the uproar has to do with the way Tsarnaev is portrayed on the cover. The photo looks like a classic shot of Frank Zappa or Jim Morrison or something, glorifying Tsarnaev as some sort of rock star — and potentially encouraging others to murder for fame.

What do you think: Is Rolling Stone wrong? Does the media have a responsibility here? Predictably, the magazine is defending itself.

Michael Deeds is the Idaho Statesman’s entertainment columnist and Scene magazine editor. His column runs Fridays and Sundays. He appears on the 6 p.m. broadcast of "Today's 6 News" on Thursdays and hosts a music show, "The Other Studio," from 9-10 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.

Posted in Words & Deeds