When news broke last week that Columbia University had invited Iranian President Ahmadinejad to speak on campus, the right wing blogosphere and talking heads exploded into self-righteous indignation. "How could they legitimize this tyrant by allowing him to speak?" they cried as the foam around their mouths turned a sick yellow. What these buffoons missed was the opportunity to expose the Iranian despot as the ridiculous little man that he is by not only giving him enough rope to hang himself with his own words (We don't have gays in Iran like you do here...WTF?), but also the stage that would act as his gallows.
Proving that the above isn't so much hyperbole, Columbia President Lee Bollinger introduced Ahmadinejad with a truly righteous ass beating that laid bare the asinine statements and ruthless policies of the Iranian regime. In a short, but potent, speech in full view of the target of his ire, Bollinger called out the regime's more ruthless behavior and dismissed Ahmadinejad's holocaust denial as "simply ridiculous." Now THAT is why we have free speech in this country and why we shouldn't be such pussies that we can't handle a little talk from a deranged tyrant. Rather than pretend he doesn't exist, why not give him the public drubbing he deserves? Thank God for academia.