HUNTER COMMENCEMENT DEGRADED BY THE INCLUSION OF INVITED SPEAKER CHRIS MATTHEWS
June 1, 2008
Dear Hunter College Community,
As you may know, MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews has been invited to speak at Hunter’s graduation day ceremony on Wednesday, June 4th. Administrative staff at Hunter looked for a speaker who could address political issues in this election year and decided to invite MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. After agreeing to speak, Olbermann then backed out of his commitment and instead of returning to the drawing board, a Hunter staff member called MSNBC to see who they could send in Olbermann’s place. Matthews was offered and accepted. There was no formal vetting or real consideration given to the selection of this particular graduation speaker.
Mr. Matthews has gained notoriety throughout the country for years of insensitive, sexist comments on his show “Hardball” and his insulting treatment of women—not only, most visibly, Senator Clinton but also his television colleagues who happen to be female. Matthews referred to Clinton as a “she devil,” called her a “strip-teaser” and “witchy.” He has referred to men who support her as “castratos in the eunuch chorus.” He has commented on the physical appearance of women including his CNBC colleague Erin Burnett, calling her “beautiful” and “a knockout” during a discussion of economic news. In an interview with John and Elizabeth Edwards, Matthews asked the former Senator, “Does she bite your balls like this when you go home?” He then went on to ask, “What is this with the equal marriages? Why do people marry their equals? It used to be different. What happened to the Stepford wives? The good old days?” These are but a small sample of Matthews’s on-air sexist comments.
It is, in our view, disgraceful for Hunter College, for all of us who love this institution and most of all for our present and future students who look to Hunter as a bastion of women’s empowerment, to confer this honor on someone whose words in public so contradict the most basic feminist and civic values. Inviting him to be our speaker is asking him to represent Hunter College on this important occasion, and this should never have happened. We are outraged.
We urge President Jennifer Raab to adopt a process in the future that would prevent such mistakes. We hope you’ll join us in this call to improve the process by which the college selects commencement speakers. Write to President Raab to encourage her to establish a more careful, transparent, and democratic process. Her email address is: email@example.com.
Students, Adjunct Faculty, Policy Committee of the
Women and Gender Studies Program
On May 31, 2008 in the middle of the night, Americans, men women young and old of many races and colors, gathered in NYC and got on the bus to Washington, DC. We joined with 1,000 other citizens, representing 33 states in all, to voice our outrage that after months of negotiations–filed lawsuits, appeals, denials, stalling, blocking (what have I left out?), quoting of The Rulz, millions of protest emails and blog posts–a body of 30 Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee members, comprised of elected and non-elected officials, were deciding if and how 2.3 million MI and FL votes cast would count. The DNC RBC Rally was sponsored by CountOurVotes.org and WomenCountPAC.
How the (*&% did we get here? Craig Della Penna at No Quarter gives his rundown of the power play. In the end, the committee’s decision awarded Florida voters all their delegates with one-half vote each, and gave Obama 55 Michigan delegates that he did not specifically win, plus robbed Clinton of four delegates. Clinton’s representatives objected as Obama’s surrogates accepted what didn’t belong to him. Wanna bet that both delegations will be restored completely to full votes for the Convention?
Now on June 5, with Hillary forced to abandon her Presidential bid, we are not “aggrieved” that she lost. We don’t think she did. We are furious at how Hillary and President Clinton were treated by the MSM and the leadership of their own Party.
We will not forget what happened here. We will remember what we stood for, and that for every person who attended, we had thousands behind us. Oh, and I’ll tell you what: those rowdy old ladies know how to give ’em what for!
Dear Lady Boomer NYC,
I wanted you to be one of the first to know: on Saturday, I will hold an event in Washington D.C. to thank everyone who has supported my campaign. Over the course of the last 16 months, I have been privileged and touched to witness the incredible dedication and sacrifice of so many people working for our campaign. Every minute you put into helping us win, every dollar you gave to keep up the fight meant more to me than I can ever possibly tell you.
On Saturday, I will extend my congratulations to Senator Obama and my support for his candidacy. This has been a long and hard-fought campaign, but as I have always said, my differences with Senator Obama are small compared to the differences we have with Senator McCain and the Republicans.
I have said throughout the campaign that I would strongly support Senator Obama if he were the Democratic Party’s nominee, and I intend to deliver on that promise.
When I decided to run for president, I knew exactly why I was getting into this race: to work hard every day for the millions of Americans who need a voice in the White House.
I made you — and everyone who supported me — a promise: to stand up for our shared values and to never back down. I’m going to keep that promise today, tomorrow, and for the rest of my life.
I will be speaking on Saturday about how together we can rally the party behind Senator Obama. The stakes are too high and the task before us too important to do otherwise.
I know as I continue my lifelong work for a stronger America and a better world, I will turn to you for the support, the strength, and the commitment that you have shown me in the past 16 months. And I will always keep faith with the issues and causes that are important to you.
In the past few days, you have shown that support once again with hundreds of thousands of messages to the campaign, and again, I am touched by your thoughtfulness and kindness.
I can never possibly express my gratitude, so let me say simply, thank you.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Clinton’s speech in New York, NY following the final 2008 Presidential Primaries in Montana and South Dakota on June 3, 2008. She won SD by 10 points over rival Obama. Although she won more popular votes, the large blue states, and the swing states, Democratic leaders counteracted the popular vote by pressing Superdelegates to endorse a candidate before the Convention in August.