Media defends Rolling Stone for publishing Boston Bomber photo, Officer suspended for releasing Boston Bomber photo

Massachusetts Police Sgt. Sean Murphy is a tactical photographer and has photographed the funerals of the officers who died as a result of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Murphy became enraged after the Rolling Stone published their most recent issue with an article on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (the bomber) and put a glamour shot of him on the cover. Murphy reacted by sending out photos from the police standoff with suspected terrorist, Tsarnaev. Murphy has since been suspended for doing so. Murphy also had this to say:

[“As a professional law-enforcement officer of 25 years, I believe that the image that was portrayed by Rolling Stone magazine was an insult to any person who has every worn a uniform of any color or any police organization or military branch, and the family members who have ever lost a loved one serving in the line of duty. The truth is that glamorizing the face of terror is not just insulting to the family members of those killed in the line of duty, it also could be an incentive to those who may be unstable to do something to get their face on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

“I hope that the people who see these images will know that this was real. It was as real as it gets. This may have played out as a television show, but this was not a television show. Officer Dick Donohue almost gave his life. Officer Sean Collier did give his life. These were real people, with real lives, with real families. And to have this cover dropped into Boston was hurtful to their memories and their families. I know from first-hand conversations that thisRolling Stone cover has kept many of them up—again. It’s irritated the wounds that will never heal—again. There is nothing glamorous in bringing more pain to a grieving family.

“Photography is very simple, it’s very basic. It brings us back to the cave. An image like this on the cover of Rolling Stone, we see it instantly as being wrong. What Rolling Stone did was wrong. This guy is evil. This is the real Boston bomber. Not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stonemagazine.”]

Here is one of the pictures:

For many the Rolling Stone still remains controversial. Many musicians have spoke out against the magazines decision like OneRepublic tweeting:

“Wow. @RollingStone decided to put the Boston bomber on its cover. So now he’s a rockstar?? I’m sure the victims are loving that. #Pathetic

CVS and Walgreens have banned the issue of the magazine from being sold on their shelves.

There have also been those in the mainstream media who have defended the Rolling Stone. The Washington Post is one such example calling the public reaction: “a baseless explosion of public outrage.”

The Rolling Stone’s editor made a tweet defending the cover saying, “I guess we should have drawn a d*** on Dzhokhar’s face or something?” He later deleted it and apologized calling his tweet “inappropriate and disrespectful.” Apparently in a recent poll 71% of Americans polled thought Rolling Stone did this as a publicity stunt.

For many, it’s not solely about the cover photo but rather the articles depiction of the bomber as though hes a cool punk rock type kid who may have made a small mistake.

The bottom line is that the kid committed what he believed to be an act of Islam and did so to provoke terror in America, as such, he is a terrorist. The Rolling Stone no doubt showed poor decision making in publishing the photo/article at an attempt to try and humanize a murderer. However, we  must still keep in mind that those at the Rolling Stone still have a right to free speech; no matter how shocking their speech may be we must not try to silence them. CVS and Walgreens are wrong for trying to.


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