Gibson awarded the "Nitwit of the Week" to students and faculty at Boston College who opposed honoring Rice

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Introducing a new segment on Fox News' The Big Story, host John Gibson awarded the "Nitwit of the Week" to students and professors of Boston College (BC) who planned to protest Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who on May 22 delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree from the college.

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Introducing a new segment on the May 19 edition of Fox News' The Big Story, host John Gibson awarded the "Nitwit of the Week" to students and professors of Boston College (BC) who planned to protest Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's commencement address there on May 22. Rice also received an honorary degree from the college. Gibson, whose comments were made prior to the graduation ceremony, claimed that "their values seem to be intolerance, closed-mindedness, and the cocksuredness of youth that allows a college student to pass high-minded judgment on a secretary of state." In fact, while Gibson highlighted Rice's role in the war in Afghanistan and the crisis in Darfur, the BC professors who organized the protest -- theology professor David Hollenbach and Theology Department chairman Kenneth Himes -- made clear in a letter that they, and the students and faculty who subsequently joined them, opposed Rice's participation in the commencement at BC because they said that she has embraced two specific positions they believe violate Catholic teaching and Jesuit tradition: the view that "U.S. foreign policy should be based [exclusively] on U.S. national interest" and "the strategic policies that have guided the United States in the tragic war in Iraq."

As Reuters reported on May 18, the BC protesters "say her support for the Iraq war contradicts Catholic teaching." It also appears to run counter to the view of a majority of Americans who oppose the war in Iraq. But rather than explain that the protestors specifically cited Rice's role in the Iraq war and what they said was her view that U.S. foreign policy should be based entirely on U.S. interests, Gibson instead highlighted Rice's role in the widely supported war in Afghanistan and the current crisis in Darfur:

GIBSON: Condoleezza Rice helped free more women in Afghanistan and Iraq than anybody has ever freed in the history of man. She is playing a major role in a solution to the war in Darfur. Condi Rice doesn't represent their values. I should say not, since their values seem to be intolerance, closed-mindedness, and the cocksuredness of youth that allows a college student to pass high-minded judgment on a secretary of state.

Hollenbach stated that 223 of Boston College's roughly 1,000 faculty members signed his petition objecting to Rice's commencement address. According to a New York Times article, "Several hundred graduating students wore white armbands with a circle with a red line through the word 'war,' and many hoisted signs that said 'no honorary degree.' "

From the May 19 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson:

GIBSON: Now it's time for "My Word."

It's Friday, and we are instituting a new service here on The Big Story. We are looking for the person or persons deserving special attention as our "Nitwit of the Week."

Monday, Boston College will have its commencement, and graduates will gather to hear an address from Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the United States secretary of state. She is arguably the highest-ranking African-American woman in the three centuries or so that African-American women have been present here. She is the secretary of state of the most powerful nation on earth. She is discussed regularly as a candidate to be president of the United States.

Yet, 200 or so students at Boston College, along with some professors, will be protesting her presence at the college, protesting especially the school conferring upon her an honorary degree. Why? The students say they object to her presence because she doesn't represent their values. An adjunct professor and part-time novelist named Steve Almond actually quit over her appearance, saying in his resignation letter that he and others object to her because she is a liar. As far as the professor goes, I spoke to him on my radio show until he hung up on me, and the college should consider his resignation good riddance.

When it comes to the students, we have to consider some facts. These are students whose parents have paid upwards of $1,000 a week for them to be in school. They have lived protected and sheltered lives. They didn't suffer an attack on 9-11. They haven't fought the wars that followed. They have virtually no experience in life except for what happened before they left home and what happened when the college professors got hold of them.

Condoleezza Rice helped free more women in Afghanistan and Iraq than anybody has ever freed in the history of man. She is playing a major role in a solution to the war in Darfur. Condi Rice doesn't represent their values. I should say not, since their values seem to be intolerance, closed-mindedness, and the cocksuredness of youth that allows a college student to pass high-minded judgment on a secretary of state.

"Nitwits of the Week" goes to the students and professors of Boston College who will protest Condi Rice on Monday when they should be listening attentively and thinking. They might want to try it sometime -- listening and thinking certainly can't hurt. That's "My Word."

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
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John Gibson
Show/Publication
The Big Story with John Gibson
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