Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Difference Between Freedom of the Press and the Tact and Class to not Glorify a Terrorist.

I am all for freedom of the press. I don't think people should be restricted in their opinions or what they want to write, HOWEVER I think that Rolling Stone could have used a little more common sense in the wake of something so tragic. You want the article inside? Great. You want to use that picture? Go nuts, but does that monster deserve the cover? No way in fucking hell.

The cover of Rolling Stone is a coveted and earned honor. To date the most controversial covers have been usually full of nude and strategically posed celebrities. Charles Manson has been the only criminal who made the cover, well before social media shoved it down our throats every 3 seconds on someone's newsfeed. (Well, Roman Polanski could also be counted as a criminal, but he was certainly not a terrorist)

The people of Boston and overall the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are expressing hurt and outrage that 3 months after the tragic events at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Rolling Stone is seeming to glorify a terrorist. That the are showing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as a heart throb teenager and making it look as though he was not in fact responsible for his actions. That he was this all his family's fault. Because at 19 he clearly had no control over his actions and mindset, right? Bullshit.

I get it Rolling Stone, I get that you wanted to write an article to find answers to questions that have been plaguing the people of Boston for 3 months. How did this happen? Why did this happen? What could have caused a 19 year old to built a weapon designed for mass murder and mayhem? We want those answers too, but we have not once attempted to empathize or sympathize with a man who killed 4 innocent people and maimed over 250 others.

As a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, having grown up exactly 17.31 miles from the Boston Marathon finish line, I have always known people who have run. People who went to watch. People who had family and friends run. One of my best friends sister's crossed the finish line within minutes of the bomb going off (thankfully she was uninjured). My little cousin was there with friends from college watching and thankfully decided at the last minutes to NOT watch at the finish line but farther down the route.

Sure, people around the country and even the world saw the events as they unfolded on the news. Sure they felt awful and the outpouring of support was amazing. The people of Massachusetts banded together in such a way that the term "Boston Strong" became a nationwide moniker for how we handled the turmoil around us.

Everyone saw the horrific pictures of people like Jeff Bauman being wheeled through the clouds of smoke, the arteries in his now missing legs being tenderly held by his rescuer Carlos Arredondo as they raced to get him medical attention. Everyone saw the AP photos and video footage that peppered every media outlet in the aftermath.

What the rest of the country didn't see was what the people of Massachusetts saw daily.

My sister lives in Watertown, the town that was on lock down and ultimately where this little fucker was caught hiding in a boat in David Henneberry's backyard. She had armed tactical officers knock on her door. The streets were lined with armored vehicles slowly cruising down it. They were not allowed to leave their homes. She heard the gunshots a couple streets over from where she lives.

I sat on the edge of my seat watching as things unfolded, listening to the police scanners and calling my sister to make sure she was ok and no where near what was happening. She WAS near. Safely in her home yes, but near enough to hear the gun battle that ensued between Rolling Stone's cover boy and the Watertown and State Police.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is not a rockstar and should not be treated as such. He should not be given the privilege of what so many actual musicians and celebrities aspire for by getting the cover of Rolling Stone. He should not be made a martyr for young extremists the world over. He is a terrorist. His face should adorn a post office wanted poster not be plastered all over pop culture as an icon on newsstands across the globe.

There is a difference between freedom of the press and having the tact and class to not glorify a terrorist.

You want a cover photo? Try one of these 20 options I so graciously put together for you:

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