Lee Bollinger’s Jerry Springer moment

A lot of people are wondering why Lee Bollinger, having invited Ahmadinejad to Columbia, then turned around and attacked him. Certainly, in the initial exchange between the two, it was Ahmadinejad who came off sounding more intelligent and reasonable when he politely expressed bewilderment that he would be invited into a forum, only to have his host attack him out of the gate. And Bollinger sounded almost delusional when he later expounded on his deep and abiding commitment to free speech and open forums for communication. This is the man, after all, who is head of an educational institution that bars the ROTC entirely and that allowed his students to chase the Minutemen of the campus stage. Clearly, whatever happened with Ahmadinejad has nothing to do with free speech.

Some might think he was taking to heart the Left wing trope about “speaking truth to power.” But that wasn’t what was happening either. Ahmadinejad, threatening though he might be to his own people, is no threat to Bollinger. That is, Bollinger was not taking a brave and principled stand by attacking a tyrant where he lives.

What I think was really happening was that Bollinger was having a Jerry Springer moment. If you think about it, the whole set-up had every hallmark of the old Jerry Springer show: the outspoken host, the distasteful guest, the cheering and jeering crowd. I’m only surprised that, halfway through, some woman didn’t storm on the stage, call Ahmadinejad a “disgusting slut” and throw a chair at him, to audience applause.

Bollinger has no interest in free speech. He has no interest in world politics. He has no interest in justice, morality, humanity and decency. Instead, he’s looking down the line to a new sinecure when this boondoggle ends, and it’s one that involves a TV studio, a microphone, and some chairs that aren’t bolted to the ground.

UPDATE:  Here’s Ralph Peter’s funny, to-the-point take on Columbia’s open arms welcome to Ahmadinejad, as compared to its mindless ROTC ban.  (H/t IWF)

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Comments

  1. says

    He has no interest in justice, morality, humanity and decency.

    Usually classical liberals figure this out about the Left or their fellow travellers at certain points in time, determined by personal characteristics. For Neo it was later in life with 9/11, after a very long process that was interupted and slowed by personal responsibilities that left little time for political introspection. For Bookworm, it was a slow and steady illumination marked by reading specific novels or hearing radio shows. I am under the impression that 9/11 came after your pivotal moments, Book, whereas Neo only truly decided sometime after 9/11.

    For a classical liberal, the words in bold are a proclamation of death. Same as for a warrior in which is said of him that he “has no honor”.

    There was this myth, you see, propagated by the media and Hollywood that the military exists only to destroy human liberty and dignity. Sometime around the 90s, 80s, and so forth. Almost all the shows sometime around such, even science fiction, had this popular mandate. This was definitely not the 50s or even the 60s. Black Hawk Down was one chip in the myth. Special Forces ODA teams in Afghanistan operating under the motto “De Oppresso Liber” was another chink. And on it goes until the realization that somebody somewhere were telling you a bunch of lies.

    In the end, everyone is alone. Everyone has to decide eventually by themselves, which side is for him and her. Deciding as a group is nice, but there’s always the threat of coercion implicit in group dynamics and leadership myths.

  2. zhombre says

    Well spoken, Ralph Peters! The elitist frauds in academia, media and the arts are nothing but a swarm of self skinning rabbits. And btw, Robert Kaplan writes about Colonel WIlhelm in Mongolia in his excellent book, Imperial Grunts.

  3. Mike Devx says

    I thought Bollinger relied too much on personal attacks in his statement. It’s the kind of thing that conveys emotion rather than facts. I’d rather have seen him issue point-by-point declarations of his objections to Achminejihad (sp). Instead we basically got just an expression of deep disgust, which we can get on any hate-based website for any person any day. It’s not worth much, is my point.

    Back to Columbian leftist idiocy! Consider that they hate George Bush partly because of his devotion to his God and to his Christian principles. However, George Bush runs his government by the Constitution. Achmed baby runs his government as a theocracy, and it maintains COMPLETE 100% religious control over every aspect of its citizens lives. Iran is what leftists fear the U.S. could become. Iran is what leftists think George Bush wants America to be!

    But do they protest Achmed baby? No. Never. Add to that Iran’s execution/murder of gays, their extreme harassment and oppression of women, etc, etc… they violate nearly every principle that leftists hold dear.
    However, leftists love Achmed baby and his Iran. It is beyond belief, how the leftists violate their own principles. The leftists are left standing in their own cesspool as a result.

    I suppose the reason for this is that Achmed baby and his Iran are not white Western men with a white Western heritage of imperialism. I’ve heard a black activist claim that blacks cannot be racist; only whites can be racist. I suppose the same applies to how Iran violates all principles that leftists hold sacred. Only whites can violate principles, it what these leftists might claim.

  4. says

    I suppose the reason for this is that Achmed baby and his Iran are not white Western men with a white Western heritage of imperialism. I’ve heard a black activist claim that blacks cannot be racist; only whites can be racist. I suppose the same applies to how Iran violates all principles that leftists hold sacred. Only whites can violate principles, it what these leftists might claim.

    After all, Mike, these are the new aristocracy. They think they will take power after the time of Nations have passed and their transnational values elevated to their rightful ascendance. Only they, the morally pure and upright, can be considered fit to rule. All others simply are not up to their standards. That’s why the Left has a noblesse oblige to help the poor and disenfranchised, for the Left sees themselves as Divine Rulers.

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