CVS, Tedeschi Boycott Rolling Stone Over Tsarnaev Cover

Evan Petersen

by Evan Petersen

Published July 17, 2013


Rolling Stone is coming under harsh criticism for the cover of their next issue. CVS Pharmacies, Tedeschi Foods, and even Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino have weighed in on the magazine's decision to put accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover.

The August 3rd issue of Rolling Stone will come out with an image of Tsarnaev on the cover, under which reads the headline "The Bomber" with the subtitle "How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster."

Upon learning of the cover of the forthcoming issue, several businesses have stated that they will refuse to carry the magazine, on the grounds that it's insensitive to victims or glorifies Tsarnaev.

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."

Although Rolling Stone has long published political content as well as music news, Tedeschi's posted this statement on their Facebook: "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!"

The Boston Herald reports that in a letter to the publishers, Mayor Menino said the magazine "rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment."

The article, written by Janet Reitman, addresses and analyzes the life and history of the the bombing suspect. After interviewing hundreds of family members, friends, and others associated with Tsarnaev, Reitman composed an insightful, in-depth profile of the life leading up to the attacks.

Above the story on, the editors published this message:

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

In spite of this statement, the public backlash is palpable. A Boycott Rolling Stone Facebook page already has over 75,000 likes less than 24 hours after its creation and #BoycottRollingStone is currently trending on Twitter.

Stay tuned here at Zumic for any further updates on the story and read Reitman's full article here to decide for yourself.

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