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NY Times Backs Rolling Stone, Decries 'Hysteria' Over Boston Cover

An early copy of Rolling Stone magazine's August 2013 issue is read at an office in Los Angeles on July 17, 2013. Rolling Sto
An early copy of Rolling Stone magazine's August 2013 issue is read at an office in Los Angeles on July 17, 2013. Rolling Stone defended the cover story on Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, which triggered criticism that the magazine was 'glamorizing terrorism' and calls to boycott the publication. At least two national chain stores announced they would not be selling the latest issue of the magazine, known for interviews with rock stars and others. The cover picture -- showing a goateed Tsarnaev, 19, was likened to a famous Rolling Stone cover portrait of the late singer Jim Morrison of 'The Doors.' The accompanying Rolling Stones article, titled 'The Bomber,' was described by the magazine as a 'deeply reported account of the life and times' of Tsarnaev. The 12-page story is based on interviews with dozens of sources that 'deliver a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster,' it said. AFP PHOTO/Michael THURSTON (Photo credit should read Michael THURSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

The New York Times editorial board strongly backed Rolling Stone on Friday, saying that critics of the magazine's decision to put Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover were guilty of "hysteria."

The cover has become the subject of boycotts and political condemnation and has even caused one especially angry man to promise to buy as many copies as he can just so he can burn them.

The Times made clear it did not approve:

Maybe the hysteria about Rolling Stone's August issue is heat-wave induced. That's the only charitable explanation for the stampede of critics who have been accusing Rolling Stone editors of trying to turn Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man accused of the Boston Marathon bombing, into a rock star merely by putting him on the issue's cover. (Never mind the word "monster" right there in big type.)

...Singling out one magazine issue for shunning is over the top, especially since the photo has already appeared in a lot of prominent places, including the front page of this newspaper, without an outcry. As any seasoned reader should know, magazine covers are not endorsements.

Read the full editorial here.

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