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Iowans: Rolling Stone Cover a Publicity Stunt

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The cover reads simply: "The Bomber" -- but inside the newest issue of Rolling Stone, contributing editor Janet Reitman details how alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev fell from being a successful student to a social outcast and a radical.

And while some are curious about the content, the cover was a little too much: it shows Tsarnaev looking like a dark and brooding rock star.

"I just think it's kind of sensationalism," said Cindy Easthom, a Marylander visiting Iowa City.

Some people, like James Jarik, hadn't seen the cover yet, and reacted strongly when shown the image on a smart phone.

"Yeah, what's with that?" Jarik said, backing away. "Oh my God. That just sends negative, weird vibes throughout my energy and it's just like, I don't want that."

Jarik had a friend who ran in the Boston Marathon, and though that friend wasn't hurt in the bombing, the cover still hits home for him. He said it just plays into people's emotions for a profit.

"I feel like the media and our normal consumer life has just destroyed our experience as a soulful being on this planet," he said.

Others agreed -- it's just a publicity stunt.

"So they're using that to try and stay in the loop with everything that's going on to try and make money. But really for me, I don't have positive reactions about it," said Brook Tewabe.

Easthom said the magazine would be better served drawing attention to a larger issue, like gun control.

"It's like they're just trying to use that whole situation to promote the magazine, honestly," she said.

Rolling Stone did defend itself on Wednesday, saying the cover was part of "serious and thoughtful coverage" of important cultural and political issues.
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