Backlash continues over Rolling Stone marathon bombing suspect cover

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July 17, 2013, 10:27 pm
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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Boston) - By now you've seen it: The digital version of the Rolling Stone cover with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,

With his shaggy hair and faraway look, it could be titled The Rocker - instead the headline reads The Bomber.

And as outrage sweeps the region, you won't see it when it hits newsstands at Tedeschi's on Boylston Street at the marathon finish line.

The Massachusetts-based convenience store has been joined in force by a host of other magazine retailers in saying no to the August issue.

"It really hit home for us, for our employees obviously. And we came in this morning and got a lot of feedback from customers, store operators, and employees alike," said Peter Tedeschi, President and CEO.

Want to boycott? Rolling Stone doesn't seem to care, since there are with no plans to pull the issue.

In a statement, the editors said in part, "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."

"Print media tries to push the envelope as far as they can to create some sort of attention for people to buy their magazines, very similar to what they did 40 years ago with Charles Manson, putting very controversial people on the cover," said Emerson College Communications Professor Spencer Kimball.

His concern is this image glorifies Tsarnaev.

"I think what people are most concerned about is that this picture will create an image in people's minds, oh, this is a cool thing to do, I could be on the cover of Rolling Stone if I do something this horrific," Kimball said.

Transit police officer Dic Donohue is one of the survivors.

He said ,"I cannot and do not condone the cover of the magazine, which is thoughtless at best. However, I appreciate our country’s protection of free speech afforded to us by the Constitution. I am confident that our Boston Strong community will remain intrepid and unshaken by the cover of this magazine."

To be fair, we too have used this photo in our coverage as the region continues to heal.

But Karen Brassard is disappointed with the choice to feature the man she calls Suspect Number Two on the cover.

She and her husband Ron both have severe leg injuries from their place along the finish line.

Karen told NECN, "What bothers me is the Richard's and others can't see their loved ones faces. They'll see his face in their market."

A far smaller group of markets, as the boycott continues to grow.

Kimball predicts over the next day or so the backlash will continue to grow. He says he would not be surprised if Rolling Stone does not alter the cover, perhaps putting some sort of plastic wrap over the front.

Tags: Boston, Josh Brogadir, Rolling Stone, Boston Marathon bombings, Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, rolling stone cover, Rolling Stone Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
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