Drug Stores Nix Rolling Stone

rolling stoneYou’re not going to find the newest issue on the shelves of your local drug stores.

CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens have said they will not stock the issue, which features a large photo of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. The feature story on Tsarnaev looks into “how a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam, and became a monster.”

Many people are up in arms about the magazine’s move. This morning, I saw someone post about it on Facebook who refused to name the magazine because she was so sick over the cover story. Some say it’s idolizing some who may have committed a heinous crime on American soil (you’ll note me using the terms “may have” or “suspected” as at this time he has been charged but not convicted). Do I think the magazine is idolizing him? No. This is the same picture that other media outlets have run. Maybe people think it’s OK for them to run it because they’re more “legitimate” news sources than Rolling Stone?

CVS posted the following statement on its 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.

In a note at the beginning of the online version of the article, Rolling Stone’s editors show their sympathy for those affected by the bombing.

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.

I may be in the minority on this, but I don’t have a problem with the article. Rolling Stone isn’t just a music magazine – it runs journalistic pieces. And, as a journalist, I can tell you that this is one of the best written in-depth articles I’ve read in a while. It takes a good look at Tsarnaev, a boy who was called a good kid with “no cracks at all”, and how he became a “monster”.

Should it have been the magazine’s cover story? I’m not sure. I’m not a regular Rolling Stone reader, so I don’t know how they treated cases like this in the past (though  I was told suspected criminals like this never made the cover), but I do think it’s a story that needs to be covered. It’s news.

What do you think? Do you side with Rolling Stone or the stores who won’t carry its new issue?

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Hi! I’m a wife to a wonderful husband, mom to a beautiful and active (to put it lightly) kiddo, and fur-mom to 3 crazy cats. I’m a former journalist. I quit my full time job two years ago. Now, I am a freelance writer and a virtual assistant for several bloggers!

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  1. casey says:

    I have no problem with them writing an article on him. Although, I have never known Rolling Stne to be about news, per se, but I digress. My issue is with their glamorization and sexualization of him on their cover. All this does is encourage evil. I don’t need some terrorist in training thinking he is going to go out like a rock star after harming innocents under the guise of whatever sick belief he holds. If it were truly investigative journalism then the content of the article would’ve sufficed without a glossy, sexy picture. Yuck.

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