Dallas-based 7-Eleven joins list of retailers banning issue of ‘Rolling Stone’ featuring Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

The list of stores refusing to carry the new issue of Rolling Stone, featuring Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover, continues to grow: This morning Dallas-based 7-Eleven says it too will not allow the issue on its newsstands.

Margaret Chabris, the director of corporate communication at 7-Eleven, says a “special bulletin” is being sent to company-owned and franchisee-operated stores today that will instruct them not to carry the issue. The company, HQ’d out of One Arts Plaza, joins Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and other national chains in refusing to stock the issue, which features the same photo that appeared on the front page of The New York Times in May. (Our Sharon Grigsby objects to the “irresponsible and disrespectful” cover in part because of the headline that accompanies the photo.)

“Our franchises and operations people, particularly in the greater New England area, felt strongly that we should take this position,” Chabris tells The Dallas Morning News Thursday morning. We took a look at it and said, ‘Yes, we’ll support that decision and make that for all the stores we operate.’”

7-Eleven has about 1,700 company-owned-and-operated stores in the U.S. Some 5,900 others are operated by franchisees, who will have the option of selling the issue.

If you do see the issue in a 7-Eleven, Chabris says, “it could be a mistake, or someone didn’t get the communication — or perhaps a franchisee decided they did want to sell it. They’re independent contractors and can decide which products they want to ofer. But I don’t anticipate this to be a problem.”

She can’t recall 7-Eleven banning a magazine in recent memory. But in 1986, the Southland Corp. did ban adult titles — Playboy, for instance, and Penthouse.

“It would be rare,” she says. “We’re doing this in support of people that feel strongly about it, and we want to respond to what they’re concerned about.”

In the online version of the piece, Rolling Stone has posted the following introduction following the firestorm:

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. –THE EDITORS

And as Stephen Colbert points out below, Rolling Stone did once put Charles Manson on its cover … in 1970.

33 thoughts on “Dallas-based 7-Eleven joins list of retailers banning issue of ‘Rolling Stone’ featuring Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

  1. And before some idiot says it….
    This has NOTHING to do with the 1st Amendment or free speech.

  2. It should be left up to the consumer whether they wish to buy this publication or not.

  3. It has been left up to the consumer. There are many different locations you can go or I am sure you can purchase it online directly from Rolling Stone magazine.

  4. The context of the cover is what people find offensive, not the photo itself (which of course was used in the NYT front page). Look at all the cool people listed along the cover: Jay Z, Willie Nelson, Robin Thicke… and look, there’s the guy who murdered an 8-year-old boy and four others. Thanks.

  5. Right you are, Kathy, and it’s certainly up to the stores as to whether or not they wish to sell this rag.

  6. This is free publicity for Rolling Stone magazine. This makes them more relevant than they have been in years. I just hope it backfires on them.

  7. Actually you can. According to the story, stores that are not corporate owned can still sell it. But even if you couldn’t buy it at 7-11, you can buy it somewhere else.

  8. That was my first thought. All these people complaining about it on Twitter and the radio and TV are just selling more copies for them.

  9. Putting the insensitivity of it aside…giving Tsarnaev this kind of exposure will only incentivize other would be terrorists to get their pictures on the front of a national publication.

  10. You’re probably right…front-page exposure has been cited by several terrorist as the reason they decided to maim and kill innocent people.

  11. It’s a win-win for 7-Eleven and Rolling Stone.
    7-Eleven looks like a patriot and hater of evil-doers
    Rolling Stone looks like risk taker and 1st Amendment champion.
    They both gain customers/subscription buyers
    I’m sure both respective company’s PR firms are slapping themselves on the back today….

  12. I wonder how many people ” in the same age group as many of our readers”, are imagining themselves on that cover someday? And the easiest way to get there. Lunacy.

  13. Pingback: Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev 'looks like rock star' in … – The Independent | Singaporenewsjournal.com

  14. Tell that to those who family members were killed by this nut, or the people FOREVER maimed as a result of his and his brother’s ego.

  15. Freedom of the press? Absolutely. Freedom of stores and buyers to say “no”. Fantastic. Thank you 7-11!

  16. Yes, no doubt Lee Harvey Oswald never graced the cover of a magazine. Or Stalin. Or Hitler. Or any other person who has done awful things. (sarcasm font) Perhaps people should be paying more attention to the story itself, and its possible lessons, than to the cover of a magazine. Putting him on the cover doesn’t condone what he did or glorify it, but perhaps the article can help readers to better understand what happened and why it happened…so that we can better prevent it from happening again.

  17. I would say that the energy exerted in perpetuating this story is a waste. Multiple news sources have used this photo in promos and during stories, but where’s the uproar? Now it’s on the cover of a publication that skews left and – somehow – it’s triggered the nerves of so many who are just looking for a reason to be upset by something.

    If we’d have left well-enough alone, the cover wouldn’t be plastered all over the place like it is now. I understand why RS put him on the cover, as they are trying to delve into what made a seemingly bright and gregarious young man turn so quickly.

    All the b****ing and complaining isn’t helping anything. Like I said, a massive overreaction.

  18. I think the interesting thing about the picture, is how innocent he looks, one wonders what happened to transform this kid into a terrorist.

  19. According to a Rolling Stone’s spokesman on the Today show this morning, that is exactly what the story is about…how a seemingly normal American kid can become a terrorist.

  20. Andrew, people just like to moan and complain – they don’t want to actually read a story which may lead to some form of intellectual enlightenment. Besides…Rolling Stone is evil.

  21. To answer your question…zero.

    “I’m going to perform a terroristic act to get my picture on the cover of a magazine”….said no terrorist ever.

  22. Lyrics from Doctor Hook

    Ha, ha, ha, I don’t believe it
    Da, da, ah, ooh, don’t touch me
    Hey, Ray!
    Hey, Sugar!
    Tell them who we are …

    Well, we’re big rock singers
    We’ve got golden fingers
    And we’re loved everywhere we go (that sounds like us)
    We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
    For ten-thousand dollars a show (right)
    We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills
    But the thrill we’ve never known
    Is the thrill that’ll get ya when you get your picture
    On the cover of the Rolling Stone

    (Rolling Stone) Wanna see my picture on the cover
    (Stone)Wanna buy five copies for my mother (yeah)
    (Stone)Wanna see my smilin’ face
    On the cover of the Rolling Stone (that’s a very, very, good idea)

    I got a freaky ole lady name a cocaine Katy
    Who embroideries on my jeans
    I got my poor old grey haired daddy
    Drivin’ my limousine
    Now, it’s all designed to blow our minds
    But our minds won’t really be blown
    Like the blow that’ll get ya when you get your picture
    On the cover of the Rolling Stone

    (Rolling Stone) Wanna see our pictures on the cover
    (Stone) Wanna buy five copies for our mothers (yeah)
    (Stone) Wanna see my smilin’ face
    On the cover of the Rolling Stone

    (Hey, I know how, rock and roll!)

    [Freaky Guitar Break]

    (Ah, that’s beautiful)

    We got a lot of little teenage blue-eyed groupies
    Who do anything we say
    We got a genuine Indian Guru
    Who’s teaching us a better way
    We got all the friends that money can buy
    So we never have to be alone
    And we keep getting richer but we can’t get our picture
    On the cover of the Rolling Stone

    (Rolling Stone) Wanna see my picture on the cover
    (Stone) Wanna buy five copies for my mother (I want one!)
    (Stone) Wanna see my smilin’ face
    On the cover of the Rolling Stone
    On the cover of the Rolling Stone

    (Man, I don’t know why we ain’t on the cover, Baby)
    (We’re beautiful people)
    (I ain’t kiddin’, why, we would make a beautiful cover
    (Fresh shot, right up front, man)
    (I can see it now, we’ll be up on the front)
    (Smilin’, man … ahh, beautiful!)

    Songwriter(s): Shel Silverstein
    Copyright: Evil Eye Music Inc.


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