May 21, 2003

MEDIA MELTDOWN: I tie together all the journalistic scandals, and connect them with the FCC's discussion of media consolidation, over at

UPDATE: Well, almost all of them. I left out Chris Hedges. Media Minded has a link to audio of the speech, so you can listen and make up your own mind. Here's MM's take:

Think I'm kidding about the Chomskyite content? Listen for yourself. I did, and not once did he even mention the kids who were getting their diplomas that day. There wasn't even a "as you go out into the world" bit at the end of his rant. It was just pure bile directed at the Bush administration. No wonder he was loudly and heartily booed, and nearly yanked off the stage.

I'm not saying Hedges doesn't have the right to say what he believes. But I have to wonder about whether it was appropriate to vent his spleen in such a manner at a graduation ceremony. Furthermore, any claims of "objectivity" Hedges may make in his role as a journalist can now be easily dismissed, and all of his reporting from Iraq now comes into question.

What was he thinking?

Was he thinking? What strikes me, on listening to it, is the preachiness, the pompous and sanctimonious tone of his voice, and the way he mangles Reinhold Niebuhr as he recycles old soundbites and factoids as if he were saying something profound. He recycles the looting lies, too. He sounds like a talk-radio caricature of a liberal, and he's flat-out racist in his dismissal of Arab prospects for democratic self-government. "Iraq was a cesspool for the British. . . it will be a cesspool for us as well."

Yep. Racist. The Moose says so.

ANOTHER UPDATE: John Tabin has a roundup of commencement stories from around the nation. Seems like there's a trend here. He adds:

Administrators justify these speeches-- and condemn the walk-outs and boos that they are now drawing-- by saying that its their job to "challenge" students-- but by an amazing coincidence, these "challenging" speakers sure tend to reflect the bias of the administration. Funny how that works.