May 20, 2003

LIE DOWN WITH DOGS (via John Resnick)

Rockford Speaker disrupts RC graduation: A New York Times reporter delivers an antiwar speech that offended many. ( CARRIE WATTERS, May 20,2003, Rockford Register Star)
New York Times reporter Chris Hedges was booed off the stage Saturday at Rockford College's graduation because he gave an antiwar speech.

Two days later, graduates and family members, envisioning a "go out and make your mark" send-off, are still reeling.

Guests wanting to hear the author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter are equally appalled.

And College President Paul Pribbenow is rethinking the wisdom of such controversial topics at future commencements. This is Pribbenow's first graduation.

Hedges began his abbreviated 18-minute speech comparing United States? policy in Iraq to piranhas and a tyranny over the weak. His microphone was unplugged within three minutes.

Voices of protest and the sound of foghorns grew.

Some graduates and audience members turned their backs to the speaker in silent protest. Others rushed up the aisle to vocally protest the remarks, and one student tossed his cap and gown to the stage before leaving.

No one who bothered to read his memoir can be surprised that he gave such a scurrilous speech. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 20, 2003 6:45 PM
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