The List: 6 Controversial Philadelphia Covers

In the wake of Rolling Stone's Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cover, we searched for recent covers that made waves here. We didn't need to look very far…

1. Philadelphia Daily News, “The Cowardly Penguin,” April 18, 2012

While this cover was strange and turned a lot of heads, Sidney Crosby himself reportedly said, “That’s probably one of the nicer things they’ve said about me here.”  And Flyers fans were certainly not opposed.

Level of Controversy: 1 (out of 5)

2. City Paper, “Biketopia,” June 4, 2009

Along with the usual comments-section back and forth that accompanies the city’s cycling discourse, readers, ahem, chafed at the idea of actually cycling in the nude.

Level of Controversy: 1

3. Philadelphia Magazine, “Murder,” November 2006

This provocative cover was pulled from hotels across the city. Guns and murder do not bring happy tourists to the City of Brotherly Love.

Level of Controversy: 2

4. Daily News, “Top Dog,” Sept. 22, 2010

A lot of Philadelphians found this cover to be in poor taste. It was seen by some as a low blow to the newly named Eagles starting quarterback, and some thought that the DN shouldn’t have gone there.

Level of Controversy: 3


5. Philadelphia Weekly, “A Question of Gender, A Matter of Choice,” Sept. 29, 2010

Readers found this cover highly offensive and bordering on transphobic. Critics deemed the art stereotype-strengthening and unrelated to the otherwise thoughtful article.

Level of Controversy: 3


Oh, and, of course…

6. Philadelphia Magazine, “Being White In Philly,” March, 2013

Our March cover sparked a huge national controversy and launched thousands of op-ed pieces (some in our own pages). Many found it and the associated story offensive, claiming that it perpetuated negative racial stereotypes. The mayor rebuked the piece, Philly Mag defended itself in public forums and everyone had something to say.

Level of Controversy: 5