Sorenson on the Chris Hedges Speech

SF Gate columnist Harley Sorenson has a piece on the Chris Hedges speech: The Rockford files. I love the quote from the campus newspaper that accused Hedges of comparing US foreign policy to “piranhas” (he actually said “pariahs”). Sorenson also points out that heckling public speakers was (is?) a popular tactic of UC Berkeley radicals. Worth a read.

One Response to “Sorenson on the Chris Hedges Speech”

  1. Craig Says:

    Ahhh, more dark comparisons between the Rockford students reaction and Hitler’s regime. Gotta love the persistance of that analogy, at least.

    Granted, some people went over the line by turning off the speaker’s microphone. But all this indignation and sorrow about the lost rights of free speech in a Fascist America continues to stubbornly overlook a very simple reason for the whole incident in the first place.

    This was a College Commencement. Not a anti-Bush or anti-war rally! Students, parents and grandparents were there to celebrate the completion of four (or five, or…etc.) years of Degree study. Nothing more or less. Hedges speech was completely sterile to the event he was invited for. Not one word acknowledging the occasion, let alone even framing his topic around the reason for being there!

    Those in attendance quickly felt offended and insulted by such an insensitive and high-handed attitude projected by the speaker, due to all the above. Thus the visceral reaction. Does that excuse all the actions taken by the audience? Of course not. But all the counter-arguments I’ve read, both here and in the press, never acknowledges the way Hedges equally disrespects his audience by both subject matter and by method of delivery.

    Other notables (i.e., Phil Donahue, Ben & Jerry) have made anti-war/Bush comments in recent Commencement speeches, but got little in response other than a few boos and several people walking out. Not the Jerry Springer-like uprising at Rockford. Why? Well, most likely because it was a small section of a speech framed in the larger context of a commencement address that respected the occasion.

    Sometimes the answers really are that simple.

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