Liberal speakers dominated this year's college graduation ceremonies, according to a conservative campus watchdog group.
Since this year's graduating class began tossing up their commencement caps, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer addressed the class of 2007 at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.; top-rated TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey urged Howard University's class to maintain their integrity; and former president Bill Clinton told 6,500 University of Michigan graduates that private U.S. citizens have more power today than ever before and Americans have to do their part in solving the world's problems.
At the nation's top 100 colleges – ranked by U.S. News & World Report - there were roughly seven commencement speakers on the “Left” for every one speaker on the “Right,” a survey by Young America's Foundation (YAF) found. Moreover, leftist speakers were "awash with activists," including "anti-war thumpers and global warming pushers," according to YAF. And those in the "Right" category were elected officials or presidential appointees, not conservative activists.
While more liberal media personalities such as Blitzer, NBC's Tim Russert and former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel were invited to speak to the class of 2007, notable conservative media personalities from The Fox News Channel – the most watched cable news network – and popular talk radio shows were absent, the survey pointed out.
"For 14 years, we’ve shown that college administrators are using commencement ceremonies to send their students off with one more predictable leftist lecture," said YAF spokesman Jason Mattera.
Other 2007 commencement speakers in the "Left" category include global warming activist Jared Diamond at California Institute of Technology; West Wing actor Bradley Whitford at Princeton University; former Clinton consultant Benjamin Barber at Texas Christian University; and history professor Leon Litwack at the University of California-Berkeley.
Prominent colleges and universities have also held separate graduation ceremonies for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) students, the survey revealed. Schools holding such functions called "lavender" ceremonies include Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California-Los Angeles.
The dominance of leftist speakers at graduations is not new. The nation's top elite schools, including Yale, Harvard and Dartmouth, have more likely chosen such speakers over the past decade.
"Once again, commencements look like another dose of leftist indoctrination rather than a fresh start for the class of 2007," YAF stated.