Rolling Stone cover controversy heats up, CVS pulls cover from shelves

(CBS News) Three months after the Boston Marathon bombing, Rolling Stone Magazine's August cover features Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the key suspect in the bombing, depicted in the signature Rolling Stone rock star look. The issue promotes the magazine's "in-depth look into the life of a seemingly normal Boston teen" and is stirring a firestorm of controversy.

The magazine defended the cover on Thursday, issuing a statement that reads: "Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families," Rolling Stone said. "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 tactic is in line with Rolling Stone's tendency to go with provocative covers that often boost sales. Robert Draper, author of "Rolling Stone Magazine: An Uncensored History," points out this is just one more example of the publication doing what it does best: profiting by showcasing contentious articles. But CBS News' Elaine Quijano found many believe this latest display is simply the result of an insensitive and profit-minded decision.

"To put him on the cover is, is weak. And it's shallow, and all they're trying to do is sell magazines," one Boston local said.

Others, like Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen, feel Rolling Stone should have profiled a bombing victim, instead of the suspected terrorist.

"The way you used to get on the cover of Rolling Stone is you got a band together and you made some music. In this case it's a kid who went out there, rejected everything in this country, and murdered and maimed," Cullen told CBS News' Elaine Quijano.

Boston mayor Thomas Menino asked, "Why are [they] glorifying a guy who created mayhem in the city of Boston?"

New England based companies, including CVS, have pulled the latest edition from their shelves, refusing to vend the cover. Others are following suit, as Tsarnaev's trial continues.