Brazil's President is, if you believe pundits on Twitter, a worse form of Donald Trump. He has spoken highly of a former Brazilian coup, does not support gay rights, and wants more people to own guns. He has expressed authoritarian sentiments and other sins.
I saw a good number of people I tend to pay attention to who were appalled at Nikki Haley saying anything nice about the guy. I had not really paid attention. Brazil pretends to be on the advanced end of developing nation status, but if you scratch the surface you'd see how much of that is fake. Just go to Rio and try not to die or have part of the Olympic village fall on top of you.
Jair Bolsonaro is "far right" and the media means that as a pejorative.
Turns out he favors the private sector and wants to get rid of government owned industry.
He favors expansive gun rights as a way to combat crime and let people protect themselves. This has led to massive media backlash in the United States.
He favors conservative social policy including a rollback of the LGBT agenda in Brazil. Again, this has led to massive media backlash in the United States.
Most damning in the eyes of many in western media, he favors abandoning restrictions on private property that could threaten Amazonian forest growth, i.e. he's bad for climate change.
The media has focused a lot on Bolsonaro talking favorably about Brazil's American backed military dictatorship that ruthlessly exterminated communists and other dissident groups from the 1960's into the early 1980's. They suggest Bolsonaro might bring it back.
So far, the only thing Bolsonaro seems to be doing is keeping his campaign promises to fight corruption, roll back progressive social policies his socialist predecessor supported, and expand gun rights. But the American commentariat can do nothing but see everything through the lens of Trump and if you hate Trump, you must hate Bolsonaro apparently.
Lest we forget, Bolsonaro got elected democratically by the people of Brazil who saw their elected leadership turn the government into a kleptocracy that led to the former President's impeachment for corruption and also for failing to root out corruption at the state owned oil company.
What's really going on here, however, is the progressive media is working overtime to try to define any right-of-center politician as "far right". They're moving the Overton window, so to speak, whereby any candidate who favors socially conservative policies, free enterprise, and gun rights is too far right to be acceptable.
Bolsonaro is no threat to democracy. He may become one. But right now he is not. He is, however, a threat to the established liberal order and American elites are defensive about that because Trump.