Joe Mazzella of Danvers, about to enter his first year at Salem State, has given the question a lot of thought. “I think the article itself is particularly insightful,” he said. “It’s a look into the mind of a terrorist. ... It’s what we need to know.” On the other hand, if some are angry about the cover, he’s not surprised. “I understand where people are coming from.”
The bombings have a strong impact here, even for those, like Mazzella, who weren’t personally involved. It happened close to home. Even so, he sees the Rolling Stone cover in perspective. Controversial covers are nothing new at this magazine. “Just yesterday a friend showed me an old issue of the Rolling Stone that had Charles Manson on the cover.”
“I think it’s a disgrace,” said Bill Fouhey of Peabody, a retired teacher. “It’s an obvious ploy to sell magazines. ... They get all this free publicity from an act about as despicable as you can get.”
When the bombing happened, said Fouhey, he first hoped against hope that it was some sort of accident. Instead, “they found pieces of the bomb.” Photos taken prior to the bombing showed the accused killers mingling among the men, women and children they hoped to kill and maim. What justified such an act?
“There is no cause,” said Fouhey. “No reason. There are no victims they could have killed more innocent than children.”
“I don’t think he should be advertised,” said Pam Vanikiotis of Beverly. She understands the aim of the magazine in getting attention for their article. “They want to get people talking.” Even so, she winces at the mention of Tsarnaev on the cover.
“I was upset,” she said of her reaction to the bombing, a feeling that is still fresh and isn’t eased by seeing one of the perpetrators glorified. “Such a big, wonderful thing (the marathon) that happens every year had to be ruined. I can’t comprehend it. And I wonder — what is this world coming to?”