Free Speech

Well there is a big fuss going on about the President of Iran’s visit to New York. He wanted to lay a wreath at Ground Zero but that has been nixed citing “security and logistical problems.” I suspect this is completely because they are worried about people protesting him and what he has to say. The other big deal is that he has been invited to speak at Columbia University.

People, including the Jewish Defense Organization and some elected officials, object to his being treated as an “honored guest” anywhere in the City. Now granted the man is a font of evil and absurd statements (no Holocaust? Is he kidding?) And is very critical of the US, Israel, Jews in general and on and on. I can’t imagine he’s said much I agree with if anything. And does he really not understand that New Yorkers would be upset at him being at Ground Zero? I mean seriously look at how easily he and his countrymen take offense of stuff we do.

But all that being said, isn’t exposing people to other views a big part of the role of the university in society? And can we really claim to have free speech if we only like “the good guys” talk in public? And if you really didn’t want what he says to get broadcasted wouldn’t you more logically protest the news media for quoting him and repeating every ridiculous thing he says? I mean after all if the man speaks to a couple of hundred students is that really so bad? But the newspapers and TV/radio stations will repeat it all endlessly for millions upon millions to read and hear. Who is doing more to spread his lies? Columbia or the news media!
Yeah but we have freedom of the press. OK sure. But what about freedom of speech for Mr. Ahmadinejad?

Let me put it another way – how would the protesters feel if one of their own was treated the same way in Iran? Golden Rule anyone?

2 Responses to “Free Speech”

  1. n1zyy says:

    I think we’re embarrassing ourselves by not letting him come. I’m sure he’d cause offense, but refusing him entry not only makes us look silly, but it also gives him more room to criticize us.

    The news media is just too much of a lost cause to protest, I think. Fully half the news I see is about celebrity speeding tickets or pandas giving birth or other stuff that is not news in any way.

    That said, I’m kind of creeped out about him at Ground Zero. I know Iran wasn’t behind it (NOR WAS IRAQ), but Ahmadinejad doesn’t seem like the type of guy that would truly sympathize with us.

  2. cmvp says:

    I remember on the stock market when Boing Stock was $75.00 a share and it was on its way down and what’s his name from IRAN came on and said in the year 2000 he was going to buy some Boing planes etc. I believed him and did not sell my stock and it plumgated. Then 911 happened and I knew he knew b/c he warned watch and see. Yes he was behind the 911.

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