'Rolling Stone' Cover Featuring Alleged Boston Bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev Ignites Firestorm
The powers that be at Rolling Stone probably thought they were doing something tres edgy when they decided to make accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev the cover boy for their August issue.
The image, a much-circulated social media shot once shared on the Internet by the Tsarnaev himself, immediately generated a firestorm of controversy, with a number of furious critics decrying the magazine's apparent glorification of the alleged murderer. It does not help that the image was run with the tagline "How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster." Accountability, anyone?
It's not like Rolling Stone didn't have its pick of non-terrorist celebrities to feature on the cover: The new issue features stories on Willie Nelson, Jay-Z, Robin Thicke, and Gary Clark Jr. But apparently editors were hoping to draw attention to contributing editor Janet Reitman's story on Tsarnaev, which was culled from interviews with his friends, teachers, neighbors, and law enforcement agents. And that they did — but not perhaps to the ends they'd hoped.
"As a longtime resident of Boston ... I have to ask you, what the f**k is wrong with your editor?! Why on earth would you put this scumbag on the cover?" wrote one furious reader on the magazine's official Facebook page, which has been flooded with angry messages since early Wednesday morning. "I will NEVER buy a Rolling Stone ever again. Disgraceful," wrote another.
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UPDATE: Tedeschi Food Shops and CVS are the first companies to refuse to carry the new issue of Rolling Stone. CVS/pharmacy has decided not to sell the current issue of Rolling Stone featuring a cover photo of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect.
"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," company representatives for CVS stated.