The whole event got a lot of media coverage and Bollinger was mentioned on the cover of every paper I saw the next day. The whole event has also greatly boosted Bollinger's popularity, who to my knowledge has never been popular among either students or faculty. Eh. Not quite sure how I feel about the whole event. It certainly was not particularly nice to invite Ahmadinejad and then insult him before speaking. I think more than anything I don't really see the point. Ahmadinejad has some fairly cracked out views about Jews, homosexuals, women, well most topics really (my favorite involves his days as Mayor of Tehran when he had billboards of David Beckham shaving banned and encouraged/required people to grow beards), but there are also a lot of people in Iran that agree with his crazy positions. Perhaps it is worth challenging him on those positions, but it won't change his stances, it only makes the Americans who probably would not like any Iranian president feel like he got what he deserved. Also, and I am no expert on Iranian politics, it seems to me that the President of Iran does not have anywhere near as much power as we give him credit for. There is a whole conservative layer of government above the president (let us not forget the ayatollah). Still the more sensationalist American newspapers had a field day with the whole thing playing on some populist issues, which is rather ironic as Ahmadinejad has always been a pretty populist politician...in Iran.
Also the new president of Turkmenistan came to visit. Nobody asked him about what he will do with golden statues of Turkmenistan's last dictator or with all of things he renamed after family members an inanimate objects he was fond of (including his autobiography which I am pretty sure has its own month, but at the very least is what the test for university admission is based on).
Also he can't smile.