Cliff May
The funniest news item last week was also, if you think about it, the scariest: FARS, Iran’s official news agency, ran the headline: “Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama.”

The story, datelined Tehran, cited no source, but a little digging established that it had been lifted word for word from the Onion , which FARS’s cracker-jack government reporters failed to recognize as a satirical publication. Yes indeed, the 21st century will be so much more exciting if these guys get nukes.

What also should have inspired both levity and fear last week: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at the United Nations. “Thousands of years have passed since the children of Adam (peace be upon him) started to settle down in various parts of Earth,” the Iranian president instructed the General Assembly. “The current abysmal situation of the world and the bitter incidents of history are due mainly to the wrong management of the world and the self-proclaimed centers of power who have entrusted themselves to the Devil.”

If that sounds to you like the ramblings of a deranged cult member with ambitions to “manage the world,” you’re obviously not a member of the mainstream media. Most reporters put a respectful and even positive spin on Ahmadinejad’s remarks.

Time magazine, for example, reported that Ahmadinejad “preached an airy, utopian egalitarianism,” employing “the messianic rhetoric that animates political discourse in the Islamic Republic.” Political discourse in the Islamic Republic? Does Time not know that Iran is a police state?

According to the New York Times , Ahmadinejad “stuck largely to spiritual and moral themes,” delivering a “lecture about the need for a fairer world order.” Oh yeah: Old Mahmoud is a very spiritual and moral guy with a keen sense of fairness.

Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.