Nightly News   |  July 17, 2013

Boston mayor blasts controversial Rolling Stone cover

Several stores have said they will not sell the Rolling Stone magazine featuring alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover, an editorial decision that’s generating strong reactions across America. NBC’s John Yang reports.

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>>> a storm of criticism. " rolling stone " magazine is getting atacked tonight for the man on the cover of " rolling stone ," the accused boston marathon bomber. it started on social media , got louder all day as the picture was distributed. now, it's affecting retail. our report tonight from nbc's john yang .

>> reporter: the floppy-haired face staring up from the cover of the issue of august " rolling stone " looks like he could be the latest teen sensation. it is dzhokhar tsarnaev, the accused boston marathon bomber and the cover is creating controversy.

>> the cover is more like a privilege this guy, after what he said, is sad.

>> they are trying to make him look like a rock star . he's horrible person that did a horrible thing.

>> reporter: boston mayor thomas menino said a cover story about bombing survivors would be more appropriate.

>> we don't want him anywhere.

>> reporter: transit officer richard donahue was seriously wounded in a shootout with tsarnaev and his brother, tamerlan, that was killed n a statement, he called the cover thoughtless at best. tsarnaev used the picture for his twitter profile, the same photo that illustrated a "new york times'" front page profile in may the goal of any cover is to sell magazines but big retailers like drugstore chains cvs, walgreens and rite aid quickly said this issue won't be sold in their stores n a statement, " rolling stone " editors said their hearts go out to the victims. they say the cover story falls within the traditions of journalism and the magazine's commitment to the serious and thoughtful coverage. " rolling stone " has a history of serious journalism like the story that led to the reg cis nation of u.s. afghanistan commander, general stanley mcchrystal n 1970 , charles manson appeared on " rolling stone 's" cover, and other news magazines have had controversial covers, including hitler and osama bin laden on the front of "time."

>> i think that " rolling stone " committed an act of journalism in both publishing this photo and publishing the story that they did.

>> reporter: but the photo is generating strong reactions from so many. john yang , nbc news, chicago.