The Herald Bulletin

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July 17, 2013

Marathon bombing suspect on Rolling Stone cover

BOSTON — A Rolling Stone cover story featuring a glamorous photo of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is generating controversy, with several retailers including CVS and Walgreens announcing Wednesday that they will not carry the issue.

The cover of the magazine's Aug. 1 edition is a photo in which Tsarnaev looks more like one of the rock stars that usually grace it than a suspect in the April 15 bombings at the marathon finish line that killed three and wounded more than 260. A preview on the magazine's website says the story by contributing editor Janet Reitman traces how "a bright kid with a charming future became a monster."

Rolling Stone editors said in a statement that the story falls within the traditions of journalism and the magazine's commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage.

"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 statement said.

The cover was ill-conceived at best and reaffirms a message that destruction gains fame for killers, Boston Mayor Tom Menino wrote in a letter to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner.

"Among those we lost, those who survived, and those who help carry them forward, there are artists and musicians and dancers and writers. They have dreams and plans," he wrote. "They struggle and strive. The survivors of the Boston attacks deserve Rolling Stone cover stories, although I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them."

Three retailers based within 50 miles of the site of the bombings, including Rhode Island-based CVS and convenience stores Tedeschi Food Shops and Cumberland Farms in Massachusetts, said they will not carry the magazine. Walgreens, headquartered in Illinois, joined them in opting out of selling the issue.

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