Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Ahmadinejad Meets His Media Match

The presidents of Iran and Columbia University colluded today to call attention to themselves with an unprecedented mockery of free thought and speech.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered his usual lies, half-truths and evasions in the name of a frank exchange of ideas, which should have come as no surprise to those who invited him.

His host, Lee Bollinger, introduced him as “a petty and cruel dictator” with an indictment that must have set a new record for trying to have it both ways--offering a platform to a loathsome figure while bashing him to score points with those who opposed the idea.

The result was a dismal parody of academic freedom shedding little light on anything but the lengths to which politicians, on and off campuses, will go to preen for TV cameras.

There were few moments of diversion. Bollinger, a lawyer, showed he could use some remedial English by praising Columbia’s “fulsome freedom of inquiry,” apparently unaware that, while the adjective may mean “abundant,” it is primarily defined as “unctuously offensive.” Then again, that might have been apt for today’s doings.

Ahmadinejad startled the crowd by claiming “we don't have homosexuals like in your country." But anyone who has been watching how he dresses should have no trouble believing that. On his next visit, they should invite him for a makeover on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

1 comment:

cognitorex said...

A cascade of casual happy laughter was the result, on video replays, when Ahmadinejad uttered his "We don't have homosexuals ..." line.

Akin to Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter, Ahmadinejad is easily seen as a cartoon character.

Listening to him one might well have been watching an episode of 'South Park', hence the gaiety latent in the laughter.