Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Bombing suspect on magazine cover

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the August 1 issue of Rolling Stone (AP /Wenner Media)

A Rolling Stone cover story on Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may not have hit the stands yet but is already generating controversy, with at least two retailers announcing that they will not carry the issue.

The cover of the magazine's August 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 CVS pharmacy chain, based about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Boston in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and a Rockland, Massachusetts-based convenience store chain, Tedeschi Food Shops, both said they will not carry the magazine.

"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," the chain said on its Facebook page. "Music and terrorism don't mix!"

One of the marathon runners, Lauren Gabler, who works in IT consulting in Washington and was running her fourth Boston Marathon this year, said she at first thought the Rolling Stone photo was of a model or rock star and was surprised when she realised it was Tsarnaev.

"The cover almost tricks you into what you're looking at," she said.

Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty in the bombings.

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