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Tsarnaev makes cover of Rolling Stone, draws outrage, boycotts

Posted by David Stewart  July 17, 2013 03:53 PM

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(Courtesy Rolling Stone)

Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, is on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, along with an accompanying profile of the one-time UMass Dartmouth student who went to high school in Cambridge.

Late this morning, both Tedeschi Food Shops and CVS pledged not to carry the Rolling Stone issue in its stores.

On its Facebook page, CVS wrote:"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.

And from Tedeschi's Facebook page: "Tedeschi Food Shops supports the need to share the news with everyone, but cannot support actions that serve to glorify the evil actions of anyone. With that being said, we will not be carrying this issue of Rolling Stone. Music and terrorism don't mix!

By this afternoon, the editors of Rolling Stone issued a statement about the controversial magazine cover and profile:

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.

Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.

Earlier today, both Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino commented on the magazine cover. Menino said in a statement that the cover "rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment. He went on to write:

To respond to you in anger is to feed into your obvious marketing strategy... The survivors of the Boston attacks deserve Rolling Stone cover stories, though I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them.

A Fox 25 report on Twitter indicated that Governor Patrick was disappointed in the cover, too:

The magazine's cover story, "Jahar's World," reveals that Tsaranev played down his Muslim faith in high school, once told a friend that terrorist attacks could be justified, and may have been willing to surrender during a standoff in Watertown on April 19 because of a plea from a former wrestling coach.

Tsarnaev, who went to high school at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, is accused of working with his brother, Tamerlan, to explode two bombs near the finish of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street on April 15. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a shootout with police in Cambridge the night of April 18.

Richard Donohue, an MBTA transit officer who was injured in the April 18 shootout, issued a statement about the Rolling Stone cover:

"The City of Boston and the surrounding communities have faced many challenges since the bombings at the marathon finish line. The new cover of Rolling Stone has garnered much attention due to its sensationalized depiction of one of the alleged bombers. 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 writer of the profile is contributing Rolling Stone editor Janet Reitman. According to an online post about the Tsarnaev profile:

Reitman spent the last two months interviewing dozens of sources – childhood and high school friends, teachers, neighbors and law enforcement agents, many of whom spoke for the first time about the case – to deliver a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster.

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