The number of liberal commencement speakers at America’s top colleges dwarfs the number of conservative speakers. The ratio, 7-1 this year, has never been higher, according to Young America’s Foundation (YAF), which made a list of speakers invited to the top 100 colleges and universities in the U.S. this spring. Of the total, YAF identified 71 of the speakers as liberal or left-leaning. Only 10 speakers this year are conservative or right-leaning.
The list of commencement speakers includes prominent politicians and media figures. A total of sixteen Obama administration officials including DOE Secretary Steven Chu, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, and HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius will appear. Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett is also on the list. The Examiner‘s Paul Bedard notes that this represents more invitations in one year than all the Bush administration officials (a mere 14) who were invited to offer commencement addresses in Bush’s eight years in office.
The list also features a significant number of liberal journalists. Fareed Zakaria will be speaking at both Harvard and Duke. Barbara Walters got an invite from Yale, and Katie Couric will speak at UVA. Other journalists on the list this year include Brian Williams, Ted Koppel, Christiane Amanpour, Cokie Roberts, and Soledad O’Brien. No doubt all of these journalists would argue they are neutral, not liberal. And yet, anyone who has watched them over the years knows better.
The list of conservatives invited to speak at commencements is also illuminating. Among them are Obama- endorsing Colin Powell and former Democrat turned Republican Gov. Nathan Deal (who received two invitations). The left is always good at rewarding those who work for the progressive cause. You see it at the Oscars every winter and now at commencements every spring.