THE COVER THAT CAUSED FLAMES

WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?

THE COVER THAT CAUSED FLAMES


    A magazine’s decision to put the Boston marathon bombing suspect on its cover has caused a storm of controversy. Retail stores in America have boycotted the magazine for depicting 19-yearold Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a glamorous light. The headline reads “The Bomber”, with the tagline, “How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster”.
    In a letter to the magazine’s publisher, Boston Mayor Thomas M Menino has called the move an “obvious marketing strategy”, saying that the issue “rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment”.
    Boston resident George Aaron Cuddy created Facebook and Twitter accounts for collectively burning the magazine. “I have run the Boston Marathon several times, and was near the finish line that fateful morning as a volunteer. I do not wish to see this terrorist’s face on a newsstand … or have it viewed by friends or family members of the victims,” said Cuddy in an exclusive to Times Life. He adds, “I understand that magazines are in the business to make money but I do not feel that exploitation is the way to go about it. Objective journalism must rise above the desire to stoke the fires of emotion involving the deaths of four people and injuries to hundreds…”
    Mumbai-based rock vocalist Aditya Mehta likens this issue to the Norwegian black metal controversy in the early 1990s, when members and fans of black metal bands set fire to churches, committed murder, and drew the gaze of the international media. The ensuing wide coverage incited more fans in other parts of the world to commit similar crimes. “Kids are attracted to extreme ideologies. Putting a suspected terrorist on the cover of a magazine known for rock and teen idols could send young readers the message that he’s a hero.”
    However, some believe otherwise. Says freelance copywriter Melroy Pinto, “The cover is harmless to an extent, and informative to a greater extent. People have a right to know the truth about the Tsarnaev boy. How else will anyone ever understand what leads a seemingly normal student to indulge in such a vicious act?” TIMES NEWS NETWORK kasmin.fernandes@timesgroup.com 

Some magazine covers that caused controversy in the past
This stark and eyecatching April 1966 cover about ‘the death of the God movement’, angered believers
This June 2013 cover featured the US and Chinese Presidents in a parody of gay cowboy film Brokeback Mountain
Hollywood actress Demi Moore sent shockwaves when she posed nude while seven months pregnant in August 1991
This November 1965 issue came under fire for depicting the blunt and gruesome reality of the Vietnam War