”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.”
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region
Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.
COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community
There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.
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- Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated