On top of numerous boycotts by major national retailers and local Boston businesses, Rolling Stone just got slapped by a Boston Police Sergeant Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer who released less flattering photos of the terrorist to Boston Magazine. Murphy has since been suspended for this actions.
The Rolling Stone cover featuring the suspected Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has, of course, set off a firestorm of controversy across the country. Critics believe that the cover glamorizes Tsarnaev, depicting him as a kind of rock ‘n roll outlaw rather than a terrorist who has been charged with killing four people and seriously wounding hundreds of others.
Sgt. Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer with the Massachusetts State Police who has photographed the funerals of many officers killed in the line of duty, is furious with the magazine. Murphy, who also acts a liaison to the families of fallen officers, is so angered by the cover–which he says is both dangerous and insulting to the victims of the bombings–that he feels the need to counter the message that it conveys.
While outsiders like Politico and the Washington Post continue wrist-flick and rationalize the impact of a glamour cover shot of a murderer on the victims, families, and city terrorized for three days earlier this year, those directly affected are unified in their disgust.
As far as Rolling Stone, there is no question that the nihilistic outlet was trolling for national controversy with its cover, and got what it wanted. The short-term effect might be a bump in sales, but the long-term will probably be yet another media outlet further marginalizing itself with mainstream America.
Rolling Stone defenders refuse to answer one simple question: Would they defend an apples to apples situation with a cover glamorizing Timothy McVeigh on a copy of a gun magazine?
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