July 17th, 2013
04:41 PM ET

Rolling Stone cover of Boston bombing suspect draws outrage and boycotts

Rolling Stone cover of bombing suspect called 'slap' to Boston

Outrage is growing across social media over Rolling Stone magazine's decision to put Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber, on the cover of its latest issue.

The picture is one that Tsarnaev himself posted online and has been published widely by other media outlets in the past. But a groundswell of criticism objecting to its prominent play emerged on platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Roland Stone responded to the criticism with this statement:

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

Prominent businesses have responded to the public cry and has announced that they will not sell the August issue:

  • CVS
  • Tedeschi Food Shops
  • Walgreens
  • Rite Aid

So was this cover in bad taste? Or has the backlash gone overboard?

OutFront tonight: Erik Wemple is the Washington Post's Media Critic.

Filed under: Boston Marathon Explosion • News
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Gwen

    It's important for us to understand how a totally seemingly normal young man is capable of such act. Is there a monster in every one of us? There's nothing wrong with rolling stone's cover choice.

    July 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  2. The Boston bomber is not an artist or a band

    He is a terrorist and an idiot!!! No business to be on the RollingStone cover.How dare you!!!! Ban RollingStone magazine for putting up that picture! He is not a hero nor a god.

    July 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  3. tom dyson

    If the editor of Rolling Stone had been at the finish line in Boston the bomb might have blown his head out of his ass. But obviously he wasn't there.

    July 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  4. Kelly

    Concerning the zimmerman verdict... the situation was a man who wanted to be a cop and a young man who wanted to be a thug. When trayvon acted like a thug he was treated as such. He chose to fight. Zimmerman never threatened Trayvon even though he had a gun. He used it to protect himself. We need to teach people the importance of who and what they choose as role models in their life. This is the real importance of this case.

    July 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Reply

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