The Iranian president’s outrageous claims about 9/11 were the latest in a game he plays with the media. Hooman Majd on how we miss his real message amid the furor. His new book, The Ayatollah’s Democracy, is available now.
When President Ahmadinejad spoke at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, the Israeli delegation was absent, the U.S. walked out on him, and we were once again willing and unwilling witnesses to the yearly Ahmadinejad show, for the sixth time in five years, no less.
The Ahmadinejad circus actually rolled into town last weekend, and you’d think the media might have figured out by now, one, what questions to ask him, and two, that he isn’t, to use George Bush’s term, the “decider” when it comes to the questions that they do ask him. Over the five days leading up to his speech, Ahmadinejad answered essentially the same few questions posed to him by different television personalities and print journalists, so many times, in fact, that at one point in one TV interview he even prompted the interviewer’s next question, saying “I know that it’s there in your list of questions to ask.”