I think free speech is the greatest thing about the USA. It’s what makes this country a true democracy and it’s the benchmark of any country claiming that they are a democracy. Holding free and fair elections is only part of being a democracy. The other part is free speech and freedom of information.

So it’s really cool to see Ahmadinejad speaking at Columbia University – and it’s even cooler to see Columbia’s president, Lee Bollinger, exercising his own right to free speech by telling Dinny exactly what he thinks of him.

The WSJ got it very wrong today when they said “Columbia is a selective institution in its choice of students as well as speakers; its choices confer distinction on those whom it selects.”. Columbia is conferring distinction on the principle of free speech and freedom of information. Dinny is just a tool they’re using to demonstrate that even in extreme cases, freedom of speech does more good than harm.