Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
January 31, 2010

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid (Some More)

Jihadist-Next-door.jpg

Inside

A reader, Marc, writes:

In the week when Domestic Terrorist Scott Roeder is convicted in a civilian court rather than a military tribunal why didn’t they write a cover story about whether you had to be afraid of the Pro-(unborn)Life activist next door. Or whether Christianity is responsible for their terrorist views?

Incidentally, my wife’s reaction was “Great, more fear mongering.”

My take was similar to his wife’s, the facing inside pages having a similar vibe to TIME’s Nidal Hasan “x-ray” cover. The (racially-loaded) message is, “fear your neighbor … who could well be an Islamic time bomb.”

Jihadist-Next-Door-NYT-Mag.jpg
…And the cover

My other take was that the cover pic, which feels chronologically most recent, not only says: I’m so happy I’ve arrived,” but also has the feel — with sadism — of: “I’m coming to get you.”

(photos: Hammami Family)

  • cay

    the NYT is pretending it’s not liberal (again).

  • http://solarray.blogspot.com gmoke

    Red and blue. Which is the Democrat and which is the Republican?

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com Rafael

    It doesn’t have to pretend what it has never been.

  • Gasho

    Another read on this is that you’ve got the “coolest, most gifted student in his class” becoming a terrorist. The tiny captions question what could take such a bright and popular lad and turn him into a terrorist? Just asking this question is interesting. The assumption is that something evil happened to him – someone got to him and brainwashed him, or he had some ‘evil seed’ inside his mind that finally took over and he became evil.
    What if he was so smart that he caught onto what Noam Chompsky has been writing all these years. Maybe he was fed up with the brutal dominance of the industrial/military/corporate complex — and that made him flip out. What if he just couldn’t live “with a Coke and a smile” anymore. “If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention” Isn’t that the bumpersticker? If you’re *really* paying attention, then you’re *really* pissed off. If thousands, nay, millions get *really* pissed off — not all of them are going to be well versed in (and patient enough to practice) non-violence. Some of them are going to throw stones. Some might even run off to join cockeyed groups and carry guns.
    This cover is meant to demonize the radicals that make this (admittedly poor) choice. But does it accidentally raise the “why” question and get us to think about the underlying causes, too?

  • jtfromBC

    The pics show BLUE = GUARDED to RED which is SEVERE. (whats the message here?)
    Homeland Security Advisory System for Feb 2nd 2010
    The United States government’s national threat level is Elevated, or Yellow. For all domestic and international flights, the U.S. threat level is High, or Orange. http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/Copy_of_press_release_0046.shtm

  • Northern Observer

    Poor Noam Chomsky always getting slandered by his fans.
    The art is creepy because what happened was creepy.
    A high achieving seemingly well adjusted American citizen converted to Islam and then choose violent Salafism as an expression of his faith.
    It is terrifying. The creepy smile is just the icing on the cake.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes