Untitled1Born and raised in Maryland, Boston has been my adopted home town for the past 20 years. As a Bostonian and a patriotic American, I was horrified and, frankly, mad as hell when I saw the Rolling Stone Magazine cover earlier this month. Are you kidding me? Really? Seriously? What were they thinking??? The executive team at LEID Products has been kind enough to allow me to express my views on this topic.

Putting the photo of Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, looking like a rock star any kid would want to emulate on the cover of their magazine is distasteful, disgusting, shameful and inexcusable. First things first, let me make it clear – ‘five’ reasons is not nearly enough to cover it.

Let’s just review the fall out of the Boston bombing – three innocent victims killed in the attack, more than 260 injured, and thousands of other people affected: friends and family of victims and survivors, spectators, emergency responders, medical workers, volunteers, and runners.

Untitled2In the aftermath, shortly after the FBI released images, the suspects allegedly killed an MIT police officer, carjacked an SUV, and initiated an exchange of gunfire with the police in Watertown, Massachusetts. During the firefight, an MBTA police officer was injured, but survived, in spite of severe blood loss. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was run over by his brother, Dzhokhar, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was injured, but escaped. An unprecedented manhunt ensued on April 19, with thousands of law enforcement officers searching a 20-block area of Watertown. Yes, I would say there is a pretty high count of reasons the Rolling Stone Magazine got it wrong, to say the least, but I am limited as to the length of this article, so I am going to key in on just five reasons this magazine got it wrong.

Glorifying a Suspected Terrorist – By putting the photo of Boston bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, looking like a rock star any kid would want to emulate on the cover of their magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine has chosen to glorify a suspected terrorist. Do we really want to encourage other potential terrorist to seek this spotlight usually only reserved for celebrities? Even President Obama graced the cover of the November issue, I am sure the President does not appreciate Tsarnaev getting the same star treatment!

Untitled3So Many Better Choices – If Rolling Stone wanted to step into the arena to provide coverage on this tragedy, the better choices for the cover story are countless. Hmmm, let’s see, I would have loved to have seen a photo of one of the survivors, faced with extraordinary challenges of living without one or two of their limbs, but rising above the odds to try to lead a happy normal life. Or, a feature on one of the many ordinary everyday people, who in the face of lethal danger, became extraordinary individuals, racing to the aid of strangers and saving their lives by taking their belts and/or shirts off to create tourniquets to stop the injured from bleeding to death. Or, they could have featured one of the many public safety and healthcare first responders who put their lives on the line that day and, at the drop of a hat, on any given day they will do so again when some idiot like Tsarnaev decides they want to play God with innocent people’s lives.  What about our Police and FBI agents who courageously hunted this monster down? There are just so many better choices for their cover!

Untitled4Encouraging a World of Excuses – Instead of rewarding the “doers” in our society – those individuals who rise above adversity – Rolling Stone chose to take pity on “poor” Tsarnaev.  Rolling Stone’s subtitle on the cover is “How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.” Really? “Popular”? He was popular because he was a drug-dealing, pot-smoking “flunkey” – failing virtually all classes at U-Mass Dartmouth – where he was given a scholarship – yes that’s right, our American tax dollars at work – and the only thing he excelled at, was selling the best weed around. “Failed by his family”? The Bombers parents divorced after he became an adult. Most kids from the 50 percent of divorced American families aren’t cooking up bombs in their kitchens! Personally, I would have rather read the story of one of those first responders or one of the ordinary, but extraordinary, citizens who came from nothing, had divorced parents and a tough childhood, and yet overcame all the odds to be a good, caring, contributing American citizen. Why reward or feel sorry for this “dirt bag” bomber?

Rolling Stone has Slapped the Face of their Readers and their Retail Distribution Network – Rolling Stone has slapped the face of the victims, the survivors, all Bostonians and Americans across the country. Personally, I will NEVER buy another issue of the Rolling Stone Magazine and I was very pleased to see their distribution networks response in refusing to carry or sell that issue. Personally, I think the reaction from our great American retailers like Wal-Mart should have been stronger. Rolling Stone stands by their story, refusing to apologize. If I were CEO of one of those retailers I would boycott Rolling Stone until they formally apologize to the American public for their insensitivity and clear lack of corporate responsibility. Rolling Stone didn’t bother to give a voice to the victims, the people whose trauma was denied, who’ll be trying to repair their broken lives and learn to live minus arms and/or legs, forever viewing the future through the limitations of this traumatic event.

It’s Just Not Morally Right One moment you’re enjoying a beautiful spring day and watching or participating in the historic Boston Marathon. Suddenly, without warning, your life as you know it is snapped away from you – unexpectedly, unnecessarily and unjustifiably. Your life and the lives of those who love you are forever changed. Shame on you Rolling Stone Magazine for rubbing salt on the wounds of victims, survivors, and countless Americans!

In conclusion, yes I know we Americans all have choices and that is what makes our country great. Rolling Stone has the right to stoop to sensationalism, reducing their magazine to levels lower than the tabloids, aiming to bolster sales by appealing to raw emotions and being overtly controversial. That is their right, and I have my right to express exactly how many Americans feel about it. My heart goes out to the victims, survivors, my fellow Bostonians and Americans who stand with me.