Rolling Stone released a statement preceding its cover story on Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after thousands called for a boycott of the magazine and stores pulled it from shelves.
Wrote the magazine's editors:
"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."
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who published a letter to Jann Wenner, felt differently:
“Your August 3 cover rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment. It is ill-conceived, at best, and re-affirms a terrible message that destruction gains fame for killers and their 'causes'."
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick also commented:
"I haven't read it, but I understand the substance of the article is not objectionable, it's apparently pretty good reporting. But the cover is out of taste, I think."
Facebook support for a boycott of the magazine more than doubled in the past few hours, as more than 101,000 have weighed in.