An urgent manhunt action-and-death scenario is unfolding in the Boston suburb of Watertown right now. It’s real and dangerous and nuts and anything but entertainment for anyone involved…but of course it’s riveting TV news coverage with the younger of two Russian Chechnyan suspects in Monday’s Boston bombing — 19 year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev — all but certain to be apprehended or perhaps killed within the next few hours (or perhaps minutes). His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed by cops early this morning (or late last night) with an IED strapped to his chest before — get this — being run over by an SUV driven by his younger brother. A 7-Eleven was robbed last night at 10:20 pm. IED bombs were hurled out the window of a stolen/carjacked SUV.
This is real and crazy and intense. A bomb could go off. More bullets could be fired. Don’t pull back and talk about the movie version. Don’t mention that this urgent, high-throttle activity is straight out of a frenzied extended Michael Mann/David Fincher/Chris Nolan/Oliver Stone steadicam action sequence. And by the way, Dzhokhar is almost pronounced like “Joker” except it’s “JOH-karr.” Update: “JOH-karr” has reportedly been found and cornered in Watertown and a stand-off situation is now happening.
And if you’re in the on-air media community and particularly if you’re a CNN or MSNBC or network news reporter or commentator of any kind, do NOT under any circumstance mention the “M” or the “I” word when discussing the reported background of the two fugitive-suspects. It’s irresponsible at this stage. I’ve included two paragraphs from a N.Y. Times report about the activity of the last few hours, and have been listening to two news channels over the last hour and neither the “M” nor the “I” word has not been mentioned, and if I know the news media it will be mentioned only when their hand has been forced. Okay, the word “Islam” might be mentioned but not the “M” word. Of course it’ll be mentioned eventually. Let’s just keep it out of the conversation for the next few hours.
6:38 am update: MSNBC is reporting that there may be some sort of link — possible, unsubstantiated — between the suspects and the Islamic Jihad Union. Also: An accomplice of the two Tsarnaev brothers reportedly left Boston on a train to Connecticut but that train has now been stopped in East Norwalk, Connecticut (next door to my home town of Wilton) and has been surrounded.
You know that air travel over the next week or two is going to be a bitch. “Security theatre” will be back in force.