a) a version of One without Bono simply has to be better than a version with Bono. and nobody has to die at all.
b) U2 are nothing comparable to Trent Reznor. NIN, though certainly having some kind of success, are hardly a stadium band. they did not tour the way U2 did. they don't show up anywhere they are allowed to. to cover U2 is like shooting a fish in a bowl - you can't fail to get a degree of attention. even if its just by occasional u2 fans. but to cover a song which is at best the border of the mainstream and as far away from the usual catalogue as Hurt is from Ring Of Fire is at least an experiment.
you see the difference between Hurt and One, don't you?
"Have you tried... not being a mutant?"