GROUND ZERO….Ezra Klein says Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is winning the PR war against America:
To state what’s implicit in my earlier commentary on the Amedinejad interview a bit more clearly, we’re letting Ahmadinejad win this game. America’s dodging his invitations to talk, growing hysterical over his requests to lay a wreath at Ground Zero, and interviewing him in a way that makes our press look like White House puppets. This makes us look bad, not him.
Now, I agree that we ought to talk to Iran, we ought to let Ahmadinejad speak at Columbia, and Scott Pelley probably went overboard in his 60 Minutes interview last night. We should be trying to back off the war fever, not whip it up.
Still, I guess I’m curious about something. Am I the only liberal who believes all that stuff but is still pretty queasy about letting this lunatic engage in some wreath-laying crocodile tears at Ground Zero? There’s a difference between being unafraid to let someone speak and being unwilling to let him use the most venerated site in the country for a crass PR stunt, isn’t there? Hell, a lot of us complain when Rudy Giuliani does this, let alone a guy who denies the Holocaust and has made a career out of chanting “Death to America.” Am I off base here?
UPDATE: So far comments are running approximately 100% against me. Hmmm.
UPDATE 2: But Becks agrees with me!