Watching the hubbaloo over Columbia's invitation to Ahmadinejad, I was unmoved. I have a dim view of Lee Bollinger, the former Skunk Bear now running Columbia, and this invitation seemed to confirm the notion that academia knows no shame.
I figured they'd let Iran's wacky president speak and showcase their "openness" and "tolerance" - which always seems to be plentiful where anti-Americanism (and increasingly anti-Semitism) is concerned, and that would be that.
But then Bollinger decided to do a Murphy Brown on his guest.
For those that don't recall, Murphy Brown was a fictitous journalist famous for her sucker-punch interviews. She'd ask some puffed up Washington type - almost always a conservative - on her show, ask him some soft ball questions, put him at ease, and then go for the jugular.
This was the payoff moment, the money shot of the righteous politically correct sitcom. They made such a big deal of it, they'd often show tape of her launching into her guest later that same show. It was like the highlight reel for liberal political junkies.
The victim was invariably reduced to blubbering incoherence by her brilliantly concieved and flawlessly executed ambush, which I always thought strange. After all, didn't these guests know who this woman was? Wasn't the whole premise of the show that she was the entire "60 Minutes" team rolled into one assertive feminist crusading journalist?
(The answer of course is that these people were conservatives, and thus too stupid to learn much of anything. Other than greed, of course. And racism.)
Bollinger basically did the same thing as Murphy Brown. He invited the Iranian leader to campus, made a big deal about how he would be oh so courteously allowed to speak, and then essentially heckled him.
Gosh, throwing shots at a guest with a friendly audience at your back in a venue you control - how novel!
What makes it funny is that some people are actually calling this boorish behavior praiseworthy. (hat tip: Hated Instapundit) Since when? This is as "brave" as U-M fans throwing beer bottles at the visiting band in Ann Arbor on game day - something Bollinger doubtless knows a thing or two about.
It's rudeness redefined as morality, and it's nothing new for the left.
This wasn't a "rope-a-dope," it was a "sucker punch." One is an admirable use of tactics, the other is a cheap shot - hardly something to praise somebody for.
Academia is about silencing dissent these days. Bollinger deserves even more scorn for his behavior, not less.