NEW YORK -- Boston Mayor Thomas Tenino blasted Rolling Stone magazine and several stores decided not to carry its latest issue, which features Boston bombing suspect Dzohkar Tsarnaev, on the cover.
Tsarnaev dominates the cover along with a headline touting a report on the terror attack earlier this year.
The magazine's Facebook page showed an image of the cover along with a message promising a "deeply reported account" of the bombing suspect's life and "five revelations" about Tsarnaev.
The social media post quickly picked up thousands of comments, many of them negative, criticizing Rolling Stone for the decision to feature Tsarnaev on the cover.
According to the Boston Globe, Boston Mayor Thomas Tenino issued a letter to magazine publisher Jann Wenner Wednesday, calling the cover "ill-conceived at best" and saying the focus should have been on the survivors and those who came to their aid.
The cover "reaffirms a terrible message that destruction gains fame for killers and their 'causes,'" he said. "There may be valuable journalism behind your sensational treatment, though we can't know because almost all you released is the cover."
The cover also prompted the Twitter hashtag #boycottrollingstone with thousands venting their frustrations about the cover on social media.
Several retailers, including CVS and Walgreens, announced Wednesday that they will not carry the issue.
Rolling Stone, however, is no stranger to controversy. Its covers, over more than four decades of publication, have helped to establish the magazine's racy appeal.
In June 1970, Rolling Stone featured Charles Manson on its cover. The prison interview with Manson won a National Magazine award and was one of Rolling Stone's biggest selling issues.
Rolling Stone released a statement about the controversial Tsarnaev cover Wednesday afternoon NBC news reported.
"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."