They irritate me more often than not, but this one’s fairly well down the middle and genuinely funny in the section on Bollinger. You’ll be glad to know, incidentally, that since his takedown of Ahmadinejad on Monday, some of Columbia’s finest have had a change of heart about speaking truth to power and now consider it rude to utter inconvenient facts in the presence of an invited guest. Compare and contrast the masturbatory glee over Colbert’s performance before Bush last year with the reaction to this mild rebuke to an enemy of the United States — which was telegraphed beforehand by Bollinger, let’s remember, so that Ahmadinejad knew exactly what he was getting into. Quote:

“It’s odd to invite someone and then deal with the objections to inviting him by insulting him before he gets to talk,” a professor of political science at Columbia, Richard Betts, said during an interview in his office yesterday. “He’s having it both ways in a sense, honoring the principle of free speech by not choosing speakers on the basis of how nice they are, but being sharp to him before he speaks.”…

“We all know who Ahmadinejad is and what his capabilities are. But where was the courtesy? If Mr. Bollinger knew a bit about the Iranian culture and custom of hospitality, he would have acted differently,” a professor of Middle East politics, Mehdi Noorbaksh, wrote on Gulf 2000.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Iranian-backed forces are responsible for 70% of U.S. casualties in Iraq.