His name is Vladimir Arutyunyan; he was captured by Georgian police after a shootout in which he killed a policeman and was himself wounded. On May 10, when President Bush was giving a speech in Tbilisi, he threw a hand grenade at the stage. It landed within 25 yards or so, but failed to go off. After Arutyunyan was arrested, police found more hand grenades and unspecified chemicals in his apartment.
What I find rather weird about this is the almost total lack of coverage of his assassination attempt and subsequent capture in the American press. As best I can tell from a Google Search, the Washington Times is the only American newspaper that has even noted Arutyunyan’s arrest. How is it possible that American journalists have so little interest in an attempt to assassinate our President?
The only parallel I can think of is the ho-hum attitude that journalists showed toward Saddam Hussein’s attempt to assassinate former President George H. W. Bush–which was, in my view, more than ample reason to oust Saddam from power. Coverage of the disclosure of that attempt was so sparse that I would guess many Americans have no idea that Saddam tried to murder the former President.
Maybe the current political climate is making me paranoid, but I cannot imagine that our news services would be equally indifferent to an attempt to assassinate a Democratic President.
CORRECTION: Seth Lipsky, editor of the New York Sun, writes:
Per that post by john, I believe the Sun has printed at least three stories about the arrest of that would be assassin in Georgia. I think arutyunian is the way the ap is spelling it.
Seth is right; a Google search on the above spelling shows that the AP’s story has run in a number of papers. The basic point, though, is still right: this story has gotten amazingly little interest or coverage, with the exception of a few outlets like the Sun.