Get on with your lives, already

The Center for the Study of Popular Culture has compiled a list of graduation commencement speakers at major colleges, to parse them for left/right bias. It makes interesting reading.
* George Pataki spoke last year at Yale. In spite of being the only non-liberal on the list for the last decade, I’d have skipped this one. George cannot speak publicly. Period.
* Berkeley gets to listen to Leon Panetta this year. Well, I guess that’s as much as they deserve.
*Cornell, having just debased itself by hiring Cynthia McKinney and John Pilger, continues in that vein and props up James Carville.
*Carnegie Mellon kids get treated to the rich, tomatoey verbal stylings of Mrs John Kerry, Teresa Heinz. You want some fries with that?
*Smith College provides an example to bright and eager young women with their choice of speaker: Madeleine Albright. “Yes, you too can screw up a nation’s foreign policy when you grow up!” (Maddie’s a regular on the commencement speech circuit, having already done Wellesley ’95, Brandeis ’96, Harvard ’97, Berkeley ’00, and Brown and Dartmouth ’01.)
I have a beef with some of CSPC’s designations. They refer to Andy Rooney (Colgate ’96) as ‘C’- Conservative. In whose universe? And their division of conservatives/Republicans and liberals/Democrats doesn’t always work. (Does anyone truly believe that Hillary R. Clinton is not a liberal?). Still, it’s an eye-opener.



  1. erp

    Is anyone old enough to remember when Barbara Bush, the grandmother not the student, was uninvited as a commencement speaker at her almost alma mater, Smith College. The invitation was withdrawn because the female students protested that Mrs. Bush hadn’t done anything one her own, but was just a house wife?
    She was an almost graduate because the Second World War was going on at the time and she preferred to marry her man before he went off to war. Married students weren’t allowed in those days.
    I bring this up because Mrs. Heinz Kerry is speaking at Carnegie Mellon. I don’t think she’s an alumna and she certainly hasn’t done anything on her own other than to marry a very rich guy, inherit all his money when he died and then marry a really stupid looking ex Vietnam vet turned peacenik.
    So why has she been invited and why haven’t the female students in Pittsburgh protested a woman who has no accomplishments other than marrying well being invited to address them like their sisters in Poughkeepsie did?
    You know why. She’s a liberal and her husband is a liberal senator who would like to be a liberal president.
    That liberal bias.

  2. Josh Chafetz

    Worth noting two things:
    (1) While Pataki may be the only non-liberal Class Day speaker Yale has had for the past decade, President Bush spoke at my graduation in ’01. (Yale has a rule that only the President of the United States can speak at graduation. The annual speaker speaks at Class Day, the day before graduation. In ’01, we had Sen. Clinton for Class Day and Pres. Bush at graduation.)
    (2) There may be something of a selection bias. Because an eight-year Democratic administration recently ended, there are a lot of Democrats who held important posts who aren’t as busy now as they were. And a lot of Republicans who would have had a lot of time on their hands a few years ago are now busy running the country. Give it a few years and we may see more Republican graduation speakers.

  3. erp

    Josh – When did you come out of the coma? “Give it a few years and we may see more Republican graduation speakers.” You can’t be serious. Using your logic, graduation speakers would have been predominately Republican during the Clinton years. This article refutes that premise. Face it. Liberals continue to have higher education in their vise-like grip and they aren’t going to let go without a fight.