Home » Opinion » Letter to the editor: Commencement speaker Chris Matthews doesn’t represent Ohio State values

Letter to the editor: Commencement speaker Chris Matthews doesn’t represent Ohio State values

Chris Matthews of MSNBC's 'Hardball' laughs with a guest during a commercial break. He is set to speak at OSU's commencement May 4.

Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s ‘Hardball’ laughs during a commercial break. He is set to speak at OSU’s commencement May 4. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Letter to the editor:

During my four years at Ohio State, I have come to fully appreciate open dialogue for understanding many different points of views, whether this is politics, religion, culture, ideas, etc. There is no question in my mind that this is good and we all grow through open dialogue. Open dialogue has become a value I will cherish for the rest of my life and I thank OSU for instilling this value in me.

However, I am deeply disappointed in OSU for selecting Chris Matthews as the commencement speaker for my graduation. It is not because he is a hard line liberal, but rather because he is directly against open dialogue. News organizations like MSNBC and Fox News, while expressing their freedom of speech, do not promote open dialogue in any way. Chris Matthews has only his agenda in mind, whether he is interviewing a Democrat or Republican. He will distort any interview or news story for the benefit of his agenda and belittle those he does not agree with. The same can be said for Bill O’Reilly with Fox News. This is not what higher education stands for, it is not what OSU stands for, and it is not what I stand for.

Commencement will be one of the most exciting days of my life. I will be one of thousands of soon-to-be graduates in attendance celebrating our great accomplishments here. Selecting Chris Matthews as our speaker has not changed that for me, and it should not change that for you. However, I am disappointed OSU has turned against its values of open dialogue to promote biased media trying to manipulate the general public.

Jake Bradley
Fourth-year in public affairs and geography


  1. Yet, you would probably not have taken the time to write this if it was O’Reilly

  2. I for one find that having a hard line liberal speak is right for the university and right for the city of Columbus. This university has become much more progressive in a city that has some of the best human rights laws in the country. Matthews might be a bleeding heart liberal but his interviews are always fair and open and he never cuts the mic’s of his interviewees like some of his compatriots at Fox. I am excited to graduate at the shoe with this speaker!

  3. When we sing of “time and change”, we mean it. When I graduated in ’69, the speakers were VP Spiro Agnew and Bob Hope. Now it’s Chris Matthews. The first had a war to sell, and the second, a zeitgeist.

    As to Mike’s endorsement of a “hard line liberal” whose views reflect the progressive nature of OSU and the metro area, I ask if that is the goal of the university-to promote the political conventions of the day without controversy; without question.

    For me, the better move would have been to have two articulate speakers representing opposite ends of the political spectrum. Keep Matthews. Add Krauthammer. Now that would be exciting.

  4. “Because of time constraints and leadership changes during the past year, the decision was made to use a more streamlined approach to speaker selection for Spring 2014 Commencement,” Amy Murray, university spokeswoman, said in an email. “ For subsequent years, the Office of Academic Affairs is designing a speaker-selection process that includes faculty, staff and students.”

    Streamlined means not permitting anyone an “open dialogue” choice of speakers according to Amy. The students at OSU should be pleased THE university were able to hold classes with the change in leadership and the time constraints from an apparently shorten year and thousands of people there to take up the slack. THE university is able to only do one or two tasks at a time. This year it was picking a leader and finding time. That’s it. Our resources are exhausted…

  5. Comparing Chris “thrill up my leg when Obama speaks” Matthews to Bill O’Reilly is nonsense. O’Reilly has ten times the viewership, has always been a registered independent unlike the confirmed democrat Matthews who used to work in a democrat administration and O’Reilly regularly takes people from both sides to task while focusing on bringing the powerful to account….instead of working to advance one side like Matthews does.
    And Matthews doesn’t have to shut off the other side’s mic…he seldom has the other side on and when he does his mic is turned way up and he shouts them down. Much the same way OSU is silencing one side’s view in their constant stream of lefties…

  6. It would serve the school right if some centrist students would picket the event in some way.

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