Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I am a Nut Job Scores at Prestigious Columbia University

So did anyone come out smelling like roses yesterday? I noticed that the Nut Job's remarks about homosexuals are getting a lot of coverage, although I would have to say that his assertion that Iran has no homosexuals is probably correct. The regime murders them all.

I haven't seen much reaction on the "progressive" bloggers front yet to that little gem. Strange that, since defending gays is one of their strong suits. They must be terribly conflicted. However, it's early yet, so we'll have to wait and see.

I also noticed that some commenters on some blogs are praising Columbia's President Lee Bollinger for accusing Nut Job of being a wretched slime bucket. Well, good for President Bollinger, but I'm sorry to say I do not agree. Columbia does not deserve praise for giving this monster a platform and the institution has been sorely stained for having allowed it.

The Jerusalem Post, quite naturally, has a lengthy article about the event, from which come these pertinent passages (emphasis is mine):
Ahmadinejad rose, also to applause, and after quoting from the Koran said Bollinger's opening was "an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience." He accused Bollinger of giving in to the media and politicians.


The dean of Columbia Law School, David Schizer, has been expressing opposition to the decision to invite Ahmadinejad.

On Sunday, Schizer joined Jewish groups and others in criticizing the invitation.

"Although we believe in free and open debate at Columbia and should never suppress points of view, we are also committed to academic standards," Schizer said in a statement. "A high-quality academic discussion depends on intellectual honesty but, unfortunately, Mr. Ahmadinejad has proven himself, time and again, to be uninterested in whether his words are true."

The best comment I have read to date, though, comes from The Belmont Club blog comments. None other than Wretchard himself sums it up quite nicely.

"The principle here is very simple. Ahmadinejad is a thug like Al Capone. Columbia is, whatever else you may think it, a well-regarded institution of higher learning; a place which has generated it's fair share of Nobel Prize winners, etc.

When Al Capone speaks at Columbia, Al Capone always wins. Capone can provide no prestige for Columbia that Columbia doesn't already have. But Capone's association with Columbia, however slight, will always benefit Capone.

This is why, for example, Presidents shouldn't associate with known criminals, except in a diplomatic capacity. The former confers a legitimacy on the latter. It doesn't do the cause of virtue any good to say "the president of Columbia debated Al Capone". But Al Capone can always claim to his advantage, "I wunze debated the Presdunt of Columbine, you know that fancy school in New York?"

What a shame that the people back in Iran will likely never hear a word about what actually happened on this platform at Columbia University. If they do hear anything, it will no doubt be in the same vein as Nut Job's Holocaust denial screeds.

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