This is an interesting phenomenon to me. A young man (Ulugbek Kodirov) was arrested about a year ago for plotting to kill President Obama, and was just sentenced to 15+ years in prison. He was a jihadist, involved with al Qaida and Muslim Brotherhood online sites, and had acquired a full-auto machine gun and four grenades (from undercover US agents) to kill the President. The jihadist aspects are clear enough in this Guardian article (though they never use that word).
The Huffington Post article is much more sympathetic — you have to work your way deeper into the article to pick up his beliefs and motivation.
An Uzbek man who came to America pursuing an Ivy League medical degree but wound up working seven days a week at a mall kiosk in Alabama…
Later, they describe this mall as “massive” as if that were somehow relevant, and that the fellow had “poor English skills” and quoted that “he’s a victim to a degree of social media.” The tone is clear: America failed this man. The HuffPo article actually uses “jihadist” toward the end of the article (and follow the first mention of Islam by a statement that local Muslims helped the case). By this time in the article, you’re favorably inclined toward the poor fellow, who “is not some big, bad terrorist” (a quote in the piece). No, of course he’s not. Unless he had succeeded…
The Huffington Post commenters had to struggle with this — it’s a threat to Barack Obama, but implicating jihadists is uncomfortable. As of this writing, 100% of the comments (that address this at all) blame Fox News (spelled several different “creative” ways), “conservative propaganda,” “baggers,” “Southerners,” and anyone they can other than jihadism. Multiple commenters cited the Obama administration’s rushed-out report showing that radical right-wing extremism. As they described this threat at the time: people interested in the Constitution and gun rights, returning military, et cetera) were a great danger to the country. Left wing terrorists, not so much — they were treated with sympathy, as I wrote about here.
So the commenters this morning stated that “Southerners” are far more dangerous than “jihadists” and suggested that this fellow’s case is a reason that Fox News should be forced off the air. Was Kodirov a Fox News watcher? It seems unlikely, and the articles make clear that his radicalization came from jihadist web sites. That seems to matter not at all to the three pages of commenters I just read.
Somehow, they’ve blamed Sarah Palin for a left-wing illegal immigrant jihadist attempting to kill an American president.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle