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Rolling Stone’s Controversial Boston Bomber Issue Doubled Sales

Rolling Stone’s Controversial Boston Bomber Issue Doubled Sales

Outraged retailers may have banned the Rolling Stone cover of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but that didn’t do anything to dampen sales at newsstands.


The controversial cover that some criticized as sexualizing and glorifying the Boston bomber like a rock star went on to sell 13,232 copies at retail stores, representing a 102% spike from average per-issue sales last year, according to the Magazine Information Network. Overall, about 5% of the magazine’s circulation is sold at retail.

Addressing the uproar in July, Rolling Stone defended the decision to feature the photo, which also graced The New York Timesfront page in May, by saying the cover story “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.”

[Images: Flickr users Silecyra, John Martinez Pavliga]]

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