“You got it!”
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tweeted on Tuesday that he has “visited” the massively popular far-left podcast Chapo Trap House, a few months after sharing a mind meld with one of its co-hosts.
Ahmadinejad, who completed his second term as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2013, is well remembered for his genocidal rhetoric, his eschatological, anti-American verbosity, his merciless squashing of dissent in his own country, and his casual Holocaust denial. Less known is how much he cares about inequality in America.
In October — on the 52nd anniversary for the foundation of the Black Panther Party — Ahmadinejad tweeted that the Panthers’ objective of “feeding the hungry” did not “sit well” with the United States government, referring to the 1989 shooting of one of the party’s founders, activist Huey Percy Newton. Ahmadinejad even quoted Tupac’s “Changes.”
” It’s time to fight back that’s what Huey said. Two shots in the dark, now Huey’s dead”
— Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (@Ahmadinejad1956) 15 October 2018
The former president’s post intrigued Texas Virgil, one of the co-hosts of Chapo Trap House, a snarky, pro-socialism podcast branded as a cure for the politically ”orphaned and alienated.”
“Sir, do you follow back?” Texas asked Ahmadinejad.
sir do you follow back
— Yes, Virgil, there is a Santa Claus (@virgiltexas) 15 October 2018
The overture led to more mutual curiosity, as the courting ritual continued.
heck, pretty much just whatever’s on my mind. news, views, and observations about those little things in life. just hit that follow button to check out my posts
— Yes, Virgil, there is a Santa Claus (@virgiltexas) 17 October 2018
Then on Tuesday, after being prompted by a number of followers to go on the podcast, Ahmadinejad announced cryptically: “I have visited #ChapoTrapHouse.”
What the visit actually entailed is unclear. But Chapo fans cheered nonetheless.
In the years since Ahmadinejad left office, he has acquired a semi-ironic fandom among Westerners, much due to his profuse (and bizarre) Twitter usage, which ranges from sending 9/11 condolences, to warning President Donald Trump about the Zionist conspiracy, to praying for his favorite American college football teams.
But seeing how smoothly he has been accepted by lovers of justice as an innocuous (if not downright adorable) Twitter troll should remind everyone that though liberals (rightly) love bashing Trump for his relationships with dictators, the left is just as capable of rehabilitating murderous despots (Chavez, much?).
To be fair, even some Chapo fans are growing uneasy with Ahmadinejad’s popularity. In October a conversation took place on the podcast’s subreddit on whether the joke has gone too far.
“Seriously, reading his Twitter is like taking shrooms without the fun hallucinations but with all the weird shit you think about becoming real before your eyes,” wrote user Ceannairceach, before the conversation turned to explore the taxonomic differences between Maoists and Trotskyites. (Really.)