Carol Platt Liebau: Columbia, The Propaganda Tool

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Columbia, The Propaganda Tool

This piece indicates that, predictably, Ahmadinejad is using his speech at Columbia as a propaganda tool. His invitation to speak there is being spun as a hunger on the part of Americans for "correct and clear information about global developments," which he, presumably, will provide.

Congratulations to Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger -- he's just allowed his university to be used as a propaganda tool by one of the world's most despicable regimes.

Perhaps one of the "tough questions" he might ask Ahmadinejad is this: Will Ahmadinejad encourage one of Iran's universities to permit President Bush to deliver a speech there, offering "correct and clear information about global developments"? I wouldn't hold my breath.


Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

You're quite right, it is most unlikely that any Iranian university will invite Mr. Bush to speak. That's because Iran, unlike us (well, most of us), doesn't cherish freedom of speech.

You are surprised that the Iranians are spinning the story? Do you think that they are a bunch of media-ignorant fools? Of COURSE they're going to spin it as hard as they can. They won't show the parts where the Americans nail him to the wall; they'll show soundbites of him lecturing authoritatively and students listening closely. What do you expect? And do you really think that this kind of thing will be a radical departure for Iranian television? Do you really think that they don't already broadcase propaganda 24/7/365?

What you overlook is that other television stations all over the world WILL show the parts where Mr. Ahmadinejad gets nailed to the wall. They'll show what they've never had a chance to show before: how easily his claims disintegrate under close questioning.

The whole thing will be a huge propaganda victory for the USA. That's because truth is on our side. What are you afraid of?

2:07 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

I just did a little background research on the Columbia University World Leaders Forum, which is the official venue under which Mr. Ahmadinejad will be speaking. That forum was founded in 2003, and will also be hosting today Mr. Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, President of Turkmenistan and Mr. Bingu wa Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi. Do you approve of the government of Turkmenistan? The government of Malawi? Do you think that Columbia University should not be giving these people platforms at which to speak?

In the past, the World Leaders Forum has hosted Mr. Ivo Sanader, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia; Mr. Michael Somare, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea; Mr. Evo Morales, President of Bolivia; and Ms Mary Robinson, past President of Ireland. Do you approve of all these leaders and all these countries? Do you think that Columbia University should not have hosted these world leaders?

8:26 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Well, Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia is over and, lo, the world has not collapsed into iniquity. Mr. Bollinger, President of Columbia University, who has been excoriated by the right for supposedly pandering to terrorism, used his introduction to call Mr. Ahmadinejad a 'cruel and petty dictator' and 'astonishingly uneducated'. So much for that right-wing lie.

Students and faculty jeered at some of Mr. Ahmadinedad's statements, and the questions asked him were pointed and skeptical. There had been insinuations that left-wing faculty have brainwashed the students. So much for that right-wing lie.

Outside the auditorium, thousands of protesters demonstrated against Mr. Ahmadinedad. We saw complaints in this blog about the supposedly warm welcome that Columbia University was extending to Mr. Ahmadinedad. So much for that right-wing lie.

The whole thing turned out pretty well. Mr. Ahmadinedad dodged all the tough questions, proving that he has no answers to them. The students and faculty of Columbia were civil and fair, but they weren't fooled. Mr. Ahmadinedad's falsehoods were exposed for all to see. All in all, it was a demonstration of the value of the First Amendment to political thinking in a democracy. Despite the outraged protests of those who do not honor our Constitution, America is now more knowledgeable about Iran's leader.

4:13 PM  

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