The Vanillafying of America
Friday afternoon on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” host Christ Matthews raised this question to two guests: Should the leader of Iran be allowed to speak on Columbia University campus in New York next week?”
Radio talk show host Ed Schultz was unequivocal:
Absolutely. I think Columbia University is doing this country a favor by getting this guy on American soil, getting him on the record in an academic environment. Let‘s find out what he thinks about Israel. He‘s made all these outlandish comments about the Holocaust on the other side of the world. Let‘s get him on American soil and get him on the record. The thing I like about it, Chris, is that this just isn‘t a speech. This is going to be a Q&A, an open dialogue. And this puts a little pressure on Columbia, I think, to have a robust debate and deliver the facts to this guy. And let’s see where it all goes. We can’t be afraid of debate and conversation in this country. And the Bush administration is trying to go to war with this guy. Let’s find out what he really thinks. I think it’s a great opportunity.
Ron Christie, former special assistant to President Bush—sneering and uppity—was adamant about the need to muzzle the Iranian president because Columbia would be legitimizing his radical views. The debate immediately turned into a shouting match with the gleeful Chris Matthews as the ringmaster. (At the end of this story is a hyperlink to this “Hardball” discussion.)
I cannot get over the vast army of people that were outraged at Columbia University President Lee Bollinger inviting the president of Iran to address the faculty and students. Vicious criticism came from all quarters—students, faculty, politicians and the media. (See the hyperlink to “Columbia Still Reeling… “ from yesterday’s New York Times.)