September 28, 2007

Katrina vanden Heuvel’s Inadvertent Humor Rag

Ah, The Nation, one of America’s foremost political weeklies printed on toilet paper. Is any magazine—other than Soldier of Fortune and Highlights for Children, of course—a better read? We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” collectively think not.

And why should we? With every passing political controversy, The Nation manages to come across as increasingly unhinged. It’s rather amazing, actually: Just when you think the writers at this storied rag can’t get any worse, as if by magic they do.

Here’s a delightful case in point. Jayati Vora, a 2007 graduate of Columbia University and a current intern at The Nation, recently penned “Debating Ahmadinejad at Columbia,” a scintillating “Web”-only exclusive.

The kicker The Nation offers to the piece ably demonstrates its almost preternatural fatuity:

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger's combative remarks tarnish an otherwise illuminating event.

Oh, of course: Surely it was Lee Bollinger’s pugnacious commentary that sullied President Ahmadinejad’s thoughtful lucubrations. Naturally, it was in bad taste for Mr. Bollinger to point out that President Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust-denying supporter of terrorism. How very gauche.

In pure Nation fashion, Ms. Vora pronounces herself horrified, not by the odious remarks of an unstable tyrant, but by the truth-telling of Mr. Bollinger. Allow Ms. Vora to explain:

Matteen Mokalla, an Iranian-American student at SIPA studying the Middle East, spoke of the mood on campus. "Before the talk, the entire campus was electrified," he said. "Everybody was talking about it. When we were standing in line, we joked, 'Is this the line for the Rolling Stones?' Because it felt like that."

But that pride and excitement was tarnished by the opening remarks of Columbia President Lee Bollinger. In his statement, combative and unduly vicious, Bollinger accused his invited guest of being nothing more than a "petty and cruel dictator," of having a "fanatical mindset." He claimed that this exercise was valuable in knowing one's enemies and understanding "the mind of evil."

According to Ms. Vora, Mr. Bollinger committed the grave sin of uttering “Bushisms.”

Coming from a magazine of the Left, this is laughable. After all, these are the folks who consider Christian fundamentalists guilty of possessing “fanatical mindsets.” And here they are defending Ahmadinejad—the president of a country that hangs homosexuals—from the purportedly outrageous slings and arrows of Lee Bollinger.

Some commitment to gay rights! Some commitment to secularism! What do these people stand for expect for tyrants opposed to America?

Naturally, had Lee Bollinger accused George W. Bush of being a “petty and cruel dictator” possessing a “fanatical mindset,” the morons at The Nation would be cheering with glee. But, since he’s only a genocidal, anti-Semitic Muslim fanatic who rules a police state and not the president of the United States, The Nation is willing to give Ahmadinejad a pass.

Posted at September 28, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack