“This is about honor, courage and about love for America. And remember this, Mr. President: My son and the others died heroes and it’s better to die the death of a hero than it is to live the life of a coward. If you are responsible for the death of my son, I forgive you, I love you. I also love America.” Charles Woods, father of former US Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods who was murdered in Benghazi terrorist attack, September 11, 2012
Everyone knows controversy sells. Advertising, specifically magazine covers have always pushed the envelope when it comes to provocative covers in order to sell more magazines.
Rolling Stone is no different, and the fact that the entire Internet is in an uproar over their latest cover featuring a rock star style portrait of the Boston Bomber Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev proves it. The editors of the magazine feature a story about Tsarvaev, whom they say graced the cover because of his youth, “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.”
The article also said, “Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families…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.”
Whatever their intent, it worked. As far as publicity, by the time the issue was released on Friday it had already created a huge amount of discussion and headlines devoted to their magazine. Much of the publicity is negative, which is not surprising. The memory of the Boston Marathon bombing is still fresh in many people’s minds, especially those who lost loved ones that day. Boston Mayor, Thomas M. Menino, wrote a letter to the publisher of Rolling Stone, saying in part, “The cover “re-affirms a terrible message that destruction gains fame for killers and their causes.”
While magazines have always graced their covers with images of murderers like Charles Manson, the Columbine killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, and others, one can’t help but wonder why their victims never make the covers, and whether or not these magazines would sell as many issues if they did so.
Unfortunately this is always going to be the case, when our society is fixated on the narrative that the media wants to push. Whether it’s Rolling Stone, TIME or New Yorker, people only talk about these magazines when they’re especially controversial. The media is a tool that shapes what society focuses on. They manipulate the spotlight away from issues that should be in the top news to shift focus onto their own narrative which is perceived as edgy, or ‘serious and thoughtful’ coverage.
I don’t recall so many edgy in depth cover pieces on Brian Terry, our U.S. Border Patrol Guard who was murdered on Dec. 14, 2010, while he was on patrol near the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. Two AK-47 rifles found at the scene were linked to Operation Fast and Furious, in which the U.S. government under Obama and Eric Holder wanted to track firearms sales to violent drug cartels. Some people in this country actually care about this story and are still waiting for hearings on why Eric Holder, the top law enforcement officer of the US as head of the DOJ lied under oath before Congress claiming he didn’t know of the program. Brian Terry’s parents still have had no real answers or have had any justice in the death of their son, yet it’s considered non-news worthy by most of the media.
You would think the death of a man serving our country and being murdered while on duty would be headline news. But liberals and particularly the liberal media have their own definition of what deserves national attention. The plight of what they view as innocent illegal immigrants trumps the real and dangerous issue of border security. According to the media, a murdered border patrol agent, and the lies and deceit which led to his death apparently are not important enough to report about to the public.
While we see the headlines daily of celebrities, politics and sensationalist trials, the media has ignored completely the families of 4 Americans who were murdered in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Many are still waiting for our government to hold subcommittee hearings on what really happened in Benghazi. During the time of nearly a year before September 11, 2012, we still have yet to have answers to the actions and inactions by the Obama administration before, during and still since Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty were murdered while drones watched live, yet no help was sent. The families and many Americans are still waiting for satisfactory answers.
It’s interesting that during the Bush administration, anti-war groups like Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan were headline stories on every nightly broadcast, along with the latest numbers of our dead soldiers. It’s been proven that there are more soldiers many of them Special Ops Forces who have died under Obama’s handling of the wars than under Bush. More have been put in harm’s way, more boots have been on the ground in more countries than under Bush, yet where is Code Pink now?
It’s all in the narrative that the mainstream media decides to push. Whatever they decide is worthy of reporting, they will tell us, especially if it deflects attention from this present administration. So while we lament over the latest shock cover of Rolling Stone, keep in mind that there are families whose sons never graced the cover of any other magazine; families who are still working and waiting for answers and accountability. Some of us are not going to stop in keeping these stories alive because these families deserve to have answers. Their sons died heroes and if it were up to me, they would have been on every magazine cover in the country and stayed there until all questions have been truthfully answered.