Time has published yet another provocative cover that has some critics asking if the magazine has gone too far.
The latest cover, a special tablet-only edition that was released Thursday for free, shows a first responder at the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday carrying a child who is wounded, bloody and absolutely terrified from the scene.
With the headline “Tragedy in Boston,” the magazine cover serves as the focus for the edition, which explores the investigation and aftermath of the bombing on Monday, which took the lives of three people and injured more than 170.
The photo of the young boy, whose name was not immediately clear, was just one of many horrifying images captured during the bombing. Countless other photos have emerged of bystanders covered in blood, lying on the ground or with limbs blown off. Each photo has provided a story for individual victims of the attack, with the most shocking arguably being Jeff Bauman, the 27-year-old seen being wheeled away from the bombing site with his legs torn off at the shins.
Even Boston freelance photographer Bill Hoenk, who captured photos from the bloody scene for Time, said it was hard at times to see the devastating images which were used for the special edition. Time, however, said his photos “may be the only images recording the scene of the second blast.”
“I was horrified by what I was seeing, but there was some sort of instinct that said, don’t worry about that, just keep shooting, because you’re the only person with a camera around that I could see and it needs to be done,” he said. “So I kept shooting.”
Hoenk recalled seeing an overturned baby carriage, without an infant inside, being trampled by people rushing from the scene and later police carrying the child away.
“I saw the cop lift up the baby. When I look at the photos, I cry. The baby was screaming,” he said. “That’s when I decided that I didn’t want to be there anymore.”
But many are asking if the cover photo of the nameless redheaded boy, whose head is bloodied, presumably from a wound, has gone just too far in the wake of the attack. Yahoo reported critics have called the image “Disgusting. Giving the bad guys what they want. Idiots.” Another wrote: “Media taking it too far.”
Some, though, are not offended by the harrowing images, but rather grateful to understand the horror that took place at the Boston Marathon.
“I, for one, am glad that he was there at all, and find any outrage about the image confusing,” Beth Greenfield of Yahoo Shine wrote. “Was Nick Ut’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo of the naked 9-year-old Vietnamese girl running from the napalm attack on her village too over-the-top? What about the famous 1943 shot of the Warsaw Ghetto, in which a boy of about 10 is shown, hands in the air, after being pulled out of dugouts by Nazis? Tragedies and disasters and terrorist attacks, as we all know too well by this point, happen. And they often affect children. And telling honest, accurate stories through the use of candid photos is simply good, moving journalism.”