Bootlicking and bravery in Tehran

In Time’s interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the current issue, Scott MacLeod lobs softball queries that invite Ahmadinejad to regurgitate Iranian propaganda about the control of the American media by the government, the American infringement of the rights of the Iraqi people and the necessity for Israel (whose name Ahmadinejad won’t even utter) to disappear. Time’s follow-up question to Ahmadinejad’s reflections on “the Zionist entity” is: “Israel isn’t going to accept any of this.” What a sickening disgrace for an American magazine to lend itself to the murderous propaganda campaign of an avowed enemy.
At the same time, according to this story in today’s Guardian:

Iranian student activists who staged an angry protest against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week have gone into hiding in fear for their lives after his supporters threatened them with revenge.
One student fled after being photographed holding a banner reading, “Fascist president, the polytechnic is not for you”, during Mr Ahmadinejad’s visit to Tehran’s Amir Kabir university. At least three others have gone underground after being seen burning his picture. Vigilantes from the militant Ansar-e Hezbollah group have been searching for them.
In a startling contrast to the acclaim Mr Ahmadinejad has received in numerous recent appearances around Iran, he faced chants of “Death to the dictator” as he addressed a gathering in the university’s sports hall last week. Several hundred students forced their way in to voice anger over a clampdown on universities since he became president last year.

The treatment afforded Ahmadinejad by those brave students also provides a startling contrast to Time’s “exclusive [bootlicking] interview” of Ahmadinejad in Tehran. (Via Captain’s Quarters.)
UPDATE: Charles Johnson has more on Time’s disgrace here and here.


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