Zachary Chesser—the 21-year-old Virginia man who posted a graphic “warning” to South Park creators on the Revolution Muslim website last year and subsequently set off weeks of tension between the show and Comedy Central—has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. As you may recall, after Chesser saw an episode of the show that depicted Mohammed wearing a bear suit, he posted a photo of slain Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, and suggested that South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker could end up the same way. The FBI arrested Chesser a couple of months later after he openly told federal agents of his plans to fly overseas and join an Islamic militant group, and he was charged with providing material support to terrorists (including detailed instructions on how to support the jihad in Somalia) as well as communicating threats and soliciting others to commit violence—including posting messages that contained Parker’s and Stone’s home addresses and encouraging readers to “pay them a visit.”
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said, “His actions caused people throughout the country to fear speaking out—even in jest—to avoid being labeled as enemies who deserved to be killed. The fact that a young man from Northern Virginia could support such violence and terror is a sobering reminder of the serious threat that homegrown jihadists pose to this country." So, complain about the shows you dislike all you want; just maybe don’t tell the Internet you’re thinking of killing somebody.