Bombing suspect on Rolling Stone cover draws controversy

Bombing suspect on Rolling Stone cover draws controversy
Image: Rolling Stone

It's always been the coveted spot of rock stars and pop culture icons - the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, a sign, someone has arrived.

So the announcement that the August 3 edition would feature someone who wasn't famous, but infamous - Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - sparked outrage across the country, especially in Boston.

"Why the heck you going to put an alleged bomber, knowing that he's caught and then all of a sudden try to play him like he's a rock star?" asked one person in Boston.

The photo the magazine used is one the accused Boston Marathon bomber himself posted online.

A list of stores, including national chains CVS, Walgreens and Kmart have already vowed they won't carry the issue.

"They're a magazine. They can do what they want and they can say what they want. They can put whomever they want on the cover," said Mike Contreras with Indy CD and Vinyl.

Contreras said his Indianapolis store doesn't carry Rolling Stone, but if they did, they wouldn't take it off the shelves.

"Rolling Stone is still a music-related magazine, but we don't have to agree with what we sell here as well," said Contreras.

"It's something that, you know, I'm assuming from a business side, will sell plenty of magazines and will probably be a valuable cover later on," said Zach Crookshanks with the store.

Americans, though, have not been so understanding, calling for a boycott of Rolling Stone on Twitter and blasting the magazine on its Facebook page.

Rolling Stone responded on its website, saying its hearts went out to the victims, adding that its cover story falls within the traditions of journalism and the magazine's commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of the day.

This isn't the first time the magazine has featured a controversial figure. Its June 1970 cover featured a photo of serial killer Charles Manson.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty in the April 15 bombings at the marathon finish line that killed three and wounded more than 260.