Michael Moore, darling of the American left, is also a big hit in Islamic fundamentalist quarters. We already knew that Osama likes him, now, we learn that Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also a big fan.
Following his infamous speech to the United Nations, Ahmadinejad held a few receptions for Iranians and Iranian-Americans as well as the media. His translator while he was in this country wrote an account of Ahmadinejad's itinerary:
The following morning, Mr. Ahmadinejad held a 7:30 a.m. breakfast meeting, again at his hotel, with American academics and journalists. Earlier, he had expressed some interest in having Michael Moore attend, and although attempts were made to reach him (even by myself, since I was asked), they were unsuccessful. I was seated between Gary Sick (of Columbia University) and Jon Lee Anderson (of The New Yorker), and three hot issues were covered: nuclear power, Israel and the Holocaust.
Mr. Ahmadinejad didn’t seem to tire of repeating the responses he had given over and over. The participants were polite and respectful, and if they held any misgivings about breaking bread with someone seemingly reviled by a large number of their fellow New Yorkers as not only perfidious but extremely dangerous, they didn’t show it. Anderson Cooper of CNN posed the softest if not most pro-Iran question of the morning when he asked about the country’s rather under-publicized but valiant efforts at fighting the Afghan opium trade. I realized later that the question must have been intended to help land the unscheduled short interview that Mr. Cooper conducted for CNN that night.
As he left the breakfast, Mr. Ahmadinejad once again thanked me for my U.N. performance and said that he had heard from all over the world—specifying Senegal, which he had visited on his way to New York—that the speech was really beautiful.