”Fluffed and buffed.”
Those were the words that Massachusetts State Police officer Sgt. Sean Murphy used to describe the picture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone.
It made him mad. So mad that he acted on the anger. So mad that he risked his job to show the world the side of Tsarnaev he saw on April 19.
Tsarnaev looked nothing like the boy on the cover of the magazine, with long curls surrounding his adolescent face in a soft yellow light. In Murphy’s photos, Tsarnaev’s curls are matted with blood — his own and possibly his dead brother’s — and the distinct red light of a sniper’s rifle is in the middle of his forehead and he exits the boat parked in the drive of a Watertown, Mass., home. For releasing the photos taken on the night that the teen accused of setting off bombs that killed three and injured 263 in the marathon and murdering an MIT police officer, Murphy was placed on restricted desk duty.
But he told friends and family that he’s OK with that.
There’s been an uproar and a regional boycott of Rolling Stone magazine following its cover story “The Bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster.”
The magazine released a statement following the backlash over the Tsarnaev cover.
“Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families,” editors said in a statement. “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.”
Boston isn’t buying it, though.
In a letter to the Rolling Stone publisher, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino insisted the magazine write stories “on the brave and strong survivors” of the bombings and the emergency and medical personnel who assisted in the hours after the attacks.
“The survivors of the Boston attacks deserve Rolling Stone cover stories, though I no longer feel that Rolling Stone deserves them,” Menino wrote.
So what did our readers think of the cover? We asked them on our online poll question, which can be found each week at www.timeswv.com. Last week, we asked: “There has been public outrage over the Rolling Stone cover which features Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev looking like a rock star. What are your thoughts?”
And here’s what you had to say:
* Don’t judge a magazine by its cover. It’s important to engage a younger audience in a story of national importance — 7.37 percent
* Outrage equals increased magazine sales — 11.58 percent
* Making an accused murderer and terrorist look glamorous is shameful — 81.05 percent
Rolling Stone isn’t done with its provocative covers, though. Sex sells. But controversy sells more.
This week, let’s talk about a recent report on bullying in West Virginia and its concentration on the middle schools level. What do you think schools should do to combat the issue?
Log on. Vote. Email me ore respond online.
”Fluffed and buffed.”
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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