April 19, 2013

Ruslan Tsarni didn’t invite the media to swarm around his Montgomery Village home this morning. They did so because they learned that Tsarni’s nephews, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, and his now-deceased brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings. And they were rewarded for having made the scene.

Because Tsarni came out of his home to give some statements and answer some questions, in a fashion suggesting that he could provide some sage counsel to other folks who face the media on a regular basis:

*Tsarni was forceful, sticking with facts about his family, his nephews and his heritage. “We’re Muslims, we’re Chechens, we’re ethnic Chechens.”

*Tsarni eschewed spin, calling his nephews “losers.”

*Tsarni was open, answering just about all discernible questions from the media throng at the front of his home. Asked about how his nephews came to their views, he responded, “Somebody radicalized them, but it’s not my brother … who spent his life bringing bread to their table, fixing cars.”

*Tsarni was emotional, offering a wonderful tribute to the United States of America. “I respect this country, I love this country. This country, which gives chance to everybody else to be treated as a human being, and just to be human being, to feel yourself human being — that’s what I feel about this country.”

*Tsarni was righteous, saying that if he’d known about the activities of his nephews, he’d be the “first one to bring them into responsibility.”

*Tsarni was careful not to give out too much information. When asked about his profession, he responded, “I work, I work.”

And, after all that, Tsarni told the media to get the heck out of here, in so many words: “From now on, I dearly ask you to respect our property.”

That performance will be sewn into the rotation of TV news from here on out. Later, on MSNBC, Tom Ridge spoke highly of the message of “promise and hope” sent by Tsarni.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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