Chris Christie, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Rolling Stone, Demi Moore, Vanity Fair, Time

Rolling Stone; Vanity Fair; Time

They say you should never judge a book by its cover. But in the court of public opinion, several magazines have been guilty as charged.

Time stirred up a hornet's nest this week when, for its latest issue, it featured newly re-elected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the cover with the headline: "The Elephant in the Room."

Critics argue that it mocks the politician's self-admitted weight problems, while others believe it refers to his upcoming battle to win over the Republican Party before the 2016 presidential election.

New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse, for instance, took to Twitter and wrote, "Whether or not one likes Christie, these cheap shots—like Time's new cover—about his weight are decidedly uncool."

However, Time writer Michael Scherer insists the headline refers to Christie's larger-than-life persona.

"It's not just about his physical size; it's about his whole political act," he told CBS 2 New York.

Of course, it is hardly the first magazine cover to push people's buttons. Over the years, publications have constantly spurred controversy by running cover images that have alternately been labeled distasteful, salacious, offensive and—in at least one high-profile instance—racist.

From Rolling Stone featuring accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover to Vanity Fair's skintastic celebration of Demi Moore's pregnancy to The New Yorker's cozy portrait of Bert and Ernie's imagined domestic bliss, there's no shortage of magazine covers that have gotten both tongues and fingers wagging.

Let's take a look back at some of the more hot-button ones...

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