As you might have expected, Rolling Stone magazine is receiving widespread criticism for its latest cover featuring Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokar Tsarnaev.
“The survivors of the Boston attacks deserve Rolling Stone cover stories, though I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them,” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino wrote in a letter to RS editor, Jann Wenner, CNN reports.
The cover photo, with Tsarnaev’s tousled mane of dark hair and brooding look, had more than a few observers saying Rolling Stone was fueling Jim Morrison rock-god fires:
National drugstore chains Walgreens and CVS have announced they won’t carry the issue in their stores. Together the pharmacies have more than 15,000 locations nationwide, reports NBC News.
“As a company with deep roots in New England and a strong presence in Boston, we believe this is the right decision out of respect for the victims of the attack and their loved ones,” noted a statement from CVS, which is headquartered in nearby Woonsocket, R.I.
Richard “Dic” Donohue, a transit officer injured in a shootout with the bombing suspects, said he appreciates “our country’s protection of free speech afforded to us by the Constitution” and is confident that Boston would remain strong even after the issue hits the stands.
But he added this: “My family and I were personally affected by these individuals’ actions. I cannot and do not condone the cover of the magazine, which is thoughtless at best.”
The mag did issue a statement that leads the online version of the cover story:
Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens. –THE EDITORS
Rolling Stone has always thrived on provoking strong reactions from its photos and writing; it won an award for its cover story on Charles Manson in 1970, so an apology and/or “stop the presses” order would seem unlikely.
And to be fair, the “selfie” photo of Tsarnaev has been in hot circulation for quite a while…and published on the front page of the New York Times:
It all appears to make no difference to MLB pitcher Brad Ziegler:
Or to Disturbed vocalist David Draiman (Warning: rough language ahead):
Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee is economic with his displeasure:
Pop outfit OneRepublic and country musician John Rich weighed in similarly:
TV host Carson Daly had this to say:
Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne’s kids, Kelly and Jack, were none too pleased (Warning: more rough language ahead):
There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to boycotting Rolling Stone over the cover:
Here’s a video report on the controversy from USA Today: