TODAY

TODAY   |  July 18, 2013

Shot officer: Rolling Stone ‘could have picked anybody else’

Officer Richard Donahue, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority officer who was shot during the standoff with the Tsarnaev brothers, and Donny Deutsch of Deutsch, Inc., speak about Rolling Stone magazine’s decision to feature Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> officer richard donahue, who you just saw in the piece, is with us now. sir, good morning to you.

>> good morning, savannah.

>> first and most importantly, how are you feeling? i know you just got out of the hospital last month after being shot in that standoff with the tsarnaev brothers. how are you doing?

>> getting better every day. i can't complain. baby steps and hopefully making a way to a full recovery.

>> your life obviously changed that day in an instant. when you saw this cover, did you have an immediate reaction to it?

>> i saw it late, late, late tuesday night, right before i went to bed. i saw a little bit on facebook and some social media . at first i kind of shrugged it off, and when i woke up in the morning, it started really spreading through everything. i took a closer look, and i made a statement about it later that day.

>> and what do you think about it? obviously, you know the backlash. some people feel it glorifies this alleged bomber. what do you think?

>> well, i hope it doesn't glorify him. they could have picked anybody else. there's a number of people they could have picked for a rock or entertainment magazine besides an alleged bomber. i hope it doesn't glorify him and make it so other people follow in his footsteps?

>> do you feel it does because it's " rolling stone " or because of the picture? what specifically kind of rubs you the wrong way about it?

>> well, the fact that it is " rolling stone " is a bit of a surprise, and just the -- almost the rock star imagery. it looks a little bit like the jim morrison cover. so that was just a surprise.

>> well, richard donahue, it's good to have you here and bring your perspective to this issue. thank you so much for being here.

>> thank you.

>> i want to bring in donny deutsch quickly about this. " rolling stone " in the business of selling magazines. i don't think anyone has an issue about the content of the article itself, but there's something about this cover that really strikes a very emotional cord for so many people.

>> look, everybody, all of us, we all have -- an outrageous feeling about that is justified on every level, but the outrage of it is also set against the back drop -- the very reason they did it, he looks like any kid that would be on the cover of " rolling stone ." this is a kid who five years ago was a popular kid. the message they're trying to stay to us is we need to look within. it scares us. it repulses us, but that's actually the importance of it. the fact that he could have looked like a kid. it's not this distant terrorism, it's within us, and i think journalistically, that's what they're trying to do. does everybody have the right to be outraged? of course we do. but there's an important message in there.

>> do you think they just didn't get it? that may have been their intent, but they underestimated what the reaction would be?

>> no, that was their intent both from a marketing point of view and a journalistic point of view. as i said, this is a youth culture magazine, and what they're trying to say, the very thing we're outraged about, is the same nerve that's wait a second, that looks like a kid that could have ended up a rock star . that's not somebody with a turban. that's a part of our youth culture . that's the frightening part. we're having this discussion, and that's what's great about it.

>> very quickly, do you think this controversy is ultimately good for magazine sales?

>> of course it's good for magazine sales, but more importantly, it's good for the discussion that needs to continue. it's easy for us to walk away from these things two months later, and we're not.