Last night, Rolling Stone announced that its August 1, 2013 issue will feature a cover story about Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by contributing editor Janet Reitman, an excellent investigative reporter who's spent the last two months working on the piece.
This decision immediately ignited a firestorm of controversy, with critics accusing the venerable music-and-news magazine, a publication that's splashed both Charles Manson and Jar Jar Binks on its front, of glorifying a "terrorist." Among the detractors: CVS.
The national pharmacy chain will not stock the issue, according to a statement posted on the company's Facebook page:
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.
Also joining the boycott is Tedeschi Food Shops, a chain of New England-based convenience stores that posted the following statement to 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!
There's also a Facebook page devoted to boycotting the magazine. Created only 18 hours ago, the profile currently has more than 58,000 likes.
Update: Rolling Stone has just released a statement regarding the cover choice:
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
Update, 3:40 pm: Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino has issued a letter to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner:
Update 4:15 pm: A Barnes & Noble spokesperson confirms the company will stocking the issue.
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