I don’t think there is anything that I hate more than sanctimoniousness and there was plenty of it on display when Lee Bollinger’s sandbagged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday. As the NY Times reported, “Mr. Bollinger praised himself and Columbia for showing they believed in freedom of speech by inviting the Iranian president, then continued his attack.” Bollinger was also praised by the ultra-right media, starting with Rush Limbaugh:
Rah-rah, way to go! I apologize for being critical of you, Mr. Bollinger. I really do. But, on the other hand, where’s this been for five years?
One can only wonder whether Columbia University’s moral compass has been broken in years past since its aversion to evil dictators seems to be rather selective.
Oh, and guess what - heir to the 21-year dictator of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov, described as bizarre, brutal and self-obsessed, president Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov, was speaking at Columbia on the same day - and completely avoided Bollinger's ire.