The Times West Virginian


July 28, 2013

Why make accused terrorist look glamorous?

”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 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.

Misty Poe

Managing Editor


Text Only
  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

  • County honors men who gave all in helping their community

    The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
    Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
    The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.

    July 16, 2014

  • State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less

    The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
    Let’s not do that again.

    July 15, 2014

  • Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past

    Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
    The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
    Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.

    July 13, 2014

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