On December 21, Chuck Todd – the host of NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ – asked former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff whether the threats emanating from as yet undetermined parties over the distribution of the Hollywood movie ‘The Interview’ should be considered a form of terrorism.
Todd: Does it matter whether we call this terrorism or not?
Chertoff: Well I think it does matter, Chuck, because it puts it in perspective. There are a couple of things that I think are different from what we’ve seen before. First, it was a destructive attack, it wasn’t just a fact or information that could affect one’s credit score. This actually damaged and destroyed infrastructure in a major company. The second thing is this is the first time we’ve seen an act of terrorism that attempts to coerce behavior. That is the essence of terrorism. And the threat here that ‘We’re going to commit physical acts of violence if the movie is not pulled out of movie theaters’ which is the kind of thing the Danes experienced when there were cartoons about Mohammed that offended some extremists.