Earlier today, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) said in a statement that if Columbia University President Lee Bollinger “follows through with this hosting of the leader of Iran, I will move in Congress to cut off every single type of Federal Funding to Columbia University.”
Introduced as a “petty and cruel dictator” by Bollinger, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did indeed speak at the Ivy League university, where he outlandishly claimed that there are no gay men or women in Iran.
Appearing on Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto after the speech, Hunter said that he plans to follow through on his threat and will now “initiate legislation, and try to get as many people as can see it my way, to cut off funds to Columbia University.” Watch it:
Hunter is not the only lawmaker looking to punish Columbia and Bollinger for hosting a speaker whom they dislike. The New York Sun reports today that state and city lawmakers in New York are considering punitively withholding public funds from the school as well.
Glenn Greenwald asked:
Is there anyone who fails to see how dangerous and improper this is — not to mention unconstitutional — that government officials threaten and punish universities for hosting speakers whom the officials dislike?
Even President Bush doesn’t think Columbia should be punished for hosting Ahmadinejad, telling Fox News today that “I guess it’s okay with me” and that America is “confident enough to let a person express his views.” Everyone … except a host of right-wingers who cower when faced with the “views” of people they dislike.