Thursday, July 18, 2013

7-Eleven joins boycott of Rolling Stone Dzhokhar Tsarnaev issue

7-11 won't be open for business when it comes to the new Rolling Stone issue, the one with a picture of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. The company said on Thursday that none of its company-operated stores will sell the issue.

There are 1,700 company-operated 7-11 stores -- but there are another 5,900 franchised stores. The company rep, speaking to TMZ, said headquarters will urge those franchisees to pull the issue.

The Rolling Stone issue hits newsstands on Friday. It shows Tsarnaev above a bold headline, "The Bomber." The story does not glorify the bomber, but instead features interviews from childhood friends, teachers and law enforcement sources. The magazine promise the story will reveal how a “popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam, and became a monster."

The cover, however, has become a major issue, with CVS, Walgreens, and Stop & Shop all saying on Wednesday that they will not sell the issue. Others taking the same stance include Rite Aid, Roche Bros and Tedeschi Food Shops, a Massachusetts-based convenience store chain.

Politicians also chimed in, with Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick accusing the magazine of giving Tsarnaev “celebrity treatment” with its cover imagery. In a letter written by Menino to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, they called the portrait “ill-conceived, at best."

In response, Rolling Stone issued a statement Wednesday saying the story was part of its “long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful” coverage of the most important current political and cultural issues, adding:
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.

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