Sunday, September 23, 2007

Big Sign that Lee Bollinger Loves the Spotlight: The Ahmadinejad Columbia Visit

NEW YORK, Sept. 23 — With Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad slated to speak at Columbia University on Monday, the university's campus is already buzzing with Ahmadinejad-related activity on the eve of the speech.

Walking to campus from my apartment just a few blocks north at about 8:35 p.m. tonight, I counted two satellite trucks parked on Broadway and a crowd of students circled around a TV stand-up report in front of Columbia's main gates. Walking by the crowd as I entered the gate to cross campus, I spotted the one and only Geraldo Rivera interviewing students.

Walking across campus from Broadway to the law school, across Amsterdam Avenue, I observed College Walk, the university's Main Street, all but plastered in fliers related to the visit, mostly in opposition and offering details about the planned protest. Almost every fence post along the western half of the walkway had a flier taped to it, and a carpet of fliers taped to the walk itself connected Broadway and Amsterdam.

One flier read something to the effect of, "Bollinger, too bad Ben-Laden wasn't available. You could have asked him provocative questions too."

Stay tuned. More to follow. Big Signs will be live-blogging (at least parts of) the day Monday.

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