YAF Survey Highlights Unreported Bias of Left Wing Commencement Speakers

Left wing activists dominated commencement addresses once again for the 15th consecutive year at top schools across the country, according to a survey released through the Young America’s Foundation (YAF). The various speakers took the opportunity to promote a variety of “recycled messages” on issues like gun rights, “greedy” oil companies, surveillance practices and the War in Iraq, Jason Mattera, a YAF spokesman noted in an interview. However, the question of global warming stood out as the dominate theme, he said. Former Vice-President Al Gore took his message to Carnegie Mellon University where he urged graduates to help the U.S. reassume its rightful position as a world leader by confronting the challenges associated with global warming.“Because of the current global strategy of taking as much of the carbon out of the ground as quickly as possible, burning it inefficiently and leaving it as a poisonous, dangerous residue in our atmosphere, we now face unprecedented challenges in science, engineering and public policy,” Gore told audience members. Former Clinton administration officials were well represented at the graduation ceremonies, the YAF report shows. Former Clinton Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin spoke at the University of Miami while Vernon Jordan, an advisor to the former president, spoke at American University. President Clinton delivered the UCLA commencement. “We don’t object to having liberal speakers per se,” Mattera said. “But it’s the same schools year in and year out that don’t bring in alternative conservative voices.” An article appearing in U.S. News and World Report (http://www.usnews.com/blogs/paper-trail/2008/6/12/most-commencement-speeches-remain-apolitical.html)earlier this month suggested that most commencement addresses were “apolitical” in nature this year since only one major presidential candidate took part. Even so, many of the speakers who did appear on campus presented listeners with a decidedly left of center point of view, Mattera contends. “We already know that these universities falsely advertise what students are going to learn and instead deliver a hard core leftists message,” he said. “We wanted to expose how the schools talk a great game about diversity but fail miserably when it comes to the application of that principle.In those rare instances a speaker with conservative appeal does make an on campus appearance the “leftist faculties throw temper tantrums,” Mattera observed.For example, when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was invited to speak at the University of Georgia several professors attempted to have the invitation rescinded, according to the YAF report. “You’ll notice conservatives do not do the same when liberal speakers come to campus,” he said. “It’s fine to have an interesting liberal voice as a commencement speaker and we are not looking for some perfect 50-50 split. But we would like to see more parity from the same institutions that constantly tout diversity.” A complete copy of the YAF report is available at www.yaf.org.