I'll admit I know nothing about photography but I have to say those photos were horrible. The angles were terrible, half the time there was a light in the background that ruined the shot, most were too distant to tell what the costumes were or at least appreciate them. Hope the actual event was better than the pictures portray.
I see the point you're trying to get across and I agree with the fact that nobody should be upset by the story itself. But I think you're misinterpreting most people's anger. From what I can tell, most people aren't upset that the story itself was written and maybe not even that it was a "cover" story but the manner in which Rolling Stone chose to display the story on their cover. Rolling Stone is not Time Magazine or any other form of basic news magazine. They (more frequently than anything else) portray celebrities on their covers, mainly to glamorize to get people hooked to whatever story is written. We can argue what Rolling Stone's intentions were all day. I personally think they knew exactly what they were doing with this cover and expected and wanted every bit of the publicity they are getting. But the way this cover comes off is what offends people. They could have chosen any picture of the Tsarnaev to grace the cover, but the fact that they chose some self portrait that makes him look like a model is why people are so upset. While, the picture illustrates the point of the story of the normal person that he used to be and how Tsarnaev turns into the terrorist he is today, it does way more to scream "Rolling Stone wants publicity" and "glamorize the terrorist". Maybe it's not want Rolling Stone meant to say, but this is an understandable reaction to an "entertainment-based" magazine.
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