That’s the word from the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations by way of JPod at the Corner. Looking for confirmation. Standby.
Update: Columbia was under a lot of pressure to cancel him, especially given their history of comparative hostility to the ROTC. Lee Bollinger issued a statement yesterday assuring everyone he’d personally be asking some tough questions which Ahmadinejad’s already answered a thousand times before in every western interview he’s ever participated in. His intoning about freedom of speech is especially fragrant given the Middle Eastern Studies department’s alleged history of intimidating students who support Israel and going easy on scum who rush the stage to silence speakers they don’t agree with.
Update: Bloomberg’s got it. Plug pulled.
Columbia University said it canceled a planned speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after failing to reach agreement on the format of his scheduled appearance on Sept. 24.
Columbia wasn’t able to “establish a conversation with the Iranian embassy that would ensure to my satisfaction that the specific arrangements of any such program would reflect the academic values that are the hallmark of a university,” university President Lee Bollinger said in a statement.
See for yourself how “the academic values that are the hallmark of a university” were on display the last time an Iranian fascist came to Columbia.
Update: Then again, he is “the Socrates of the third millennium.”
Update: There must be a lot of pushing and shoving going on in Bollinger’s office because Bloomberg has a corrected report now saying the appearance is still on. How in the hell did they get the statement from Bollinger quoted above, then? Or did Columbia change its mind and then change it back again?
Update: They must have cancelled it and then un-cancelled. CBS NY was also reporting that the event had been negged.
Update: The Ground Zero visit, at least, is officially cancelled according to the Iranian mission. I’d advise protesters to be there anyway, in case he has a convenient last-minute change of heart.