When it comes to the college protests, pay attention to the money trail as well as what’s happening to commencement ceremonies – especially at Dickinson

May 6 – With pro-Palestinian protests cropping up all over the country on various college campuses, the discussion should also be looking at the potential money going into the protests. 

Politico reported recently that some of the group’s behind the demonstrations receive financial backing from Biden donors, including names like Bill Gates, George Soros and David Rockefeller Jr. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “Like this is freaking new information here. We’ve all known this all along here. So when you see these protests and you see a good portion of the people that are being arrested here, they’re not even students. Don’t be played like you were played in 2020. I think it’s very important that you pay close attention to where the money is flowing from? Whose agenda is going on here? Do we need to sow chaos to try to see another four years through for Joe Biden?”

There continued to be more arrests on college campuses all over the country this weekend. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “Sadly, I think you’re seeing commencement canceled at some big universities, USC being one. University of Michigan over the weekend, their commencement was disrupted by protesters during the ceremony. You’ve seen that also pop up now on a few campuses. Not clear where this is going. I mean, I’ve been saying the last couple of weeks is the silver lining, that schools are about to recess for the summer. So all these kids presumably, would be going home.”

Reporting yesterday showed some of these student encampments apparently plan to be there throughout the summer. 

Barkdoll pointed out, “There were like you saw at GW over the weekend that the administrators are just sending police in to sweep these people out. They’re saying that the encampment was illegal from square one. They were in a prohibited area, so they were trespassing. They were interrupting ingress and egress of other students going to and from classes and that’s where it gets into illegal territory. Yes, they have a right to protest but no, they don’t have a right to break the law and trespass and harass other people. Very much remains to be seen where this goes.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “We see it right here locally. Dickinson, oh, they’ve been managing their little encampment well. Well, no, they haven’t. Because now this tiny group of students has managed to get the commencement speaker canceled, Michael Smerconish. He’s a good friend of the president of the college. He has connections to Philadelphia, certainly connections to Pennsylvania. Where’s the diversity of perspective? Where is it? We had Clarence Page in 2022 when my daughter graduated, Chicago Tribune editor. Fine. A Pulitzer Prize winner. Fine. But his speech leaned very left. There were quite a few comments in there that I found offensive. He certainly didn’t have any problems making fun of conservatives or giving them a more sarcastic tone when he would reference them. Mostly though, of course, these guys come in to encourage the students to talk about the future. That’s what Michael Smerconish would have done as well. This is why I say it doesn’t matter that it’s only 10% of the student body or 20% of the student body. They are conducting mob rule. My daughter certainly experienced it in the student body when she was in her years at Dickinson. They had to sort of hide their identities as conservatives, the Republican student group. They didn’t want their names made public.”

Ryan suggested, “Well then don’t go there.” 

Jansen said, “Well, okay, fine, but I’m just saying, where do you go? There’s maybe five colleges in the whole country where you’re not going to be treated to some version of this, but canceling the commencement speaker, what do you think about that in Dickinson?”

“I think it’s awful,” Barkdoll said, “I think the president of the college is a former federal judge, by the way, and he was considered to be an excellent federal judge, conservative jurist, and he left the bench to become the president at Dickinson. He’s also an alumnus at Dickinson which is an important point. I think he had effectively managed this encampment protest issue the last few weeks, but very disappointed that he apparently authorized this not only canceling the commencement speaker, he also withdrew the honorary doctorate degree they were going to award to Michael Smerconish.” 

About a week ago, an editorial appeared in the student newspaper at Dickinson where the author found a book Smerconish had written 20 years ago. 

Barkdoll said the book “was an analysis of flaws in TSA security on 9/11. One of Smerconish’s arguments was that you had 19 terrorist hijackers that killed over 3000 Americans, and they had a common thread. They were young men of Arab descent. Smerconish wrote in his book that due to existing department of transportation policies, those 19 people were not able to be secondarily screened, because there was this policy that prohibited screening of people based on their ethnicity or their national origin. I think Smerconish correctly was saying wait a minute, from a police and investigatory standpoint, if we know we had 19 young Arab American men that pulled off this terrorist plot, why shouldn’t police and TSA be able to give that group of people additional screening going forward to prevent something like this again?”

The editorial in the Dickinsonian suggested those few paragraphs out of that book were racist and go against fairness and justice. 

Barkdoll said, “That then started apparently a bigger conversation on the campus. If you look at President Jones’s statement over the weekend, he’s saying that students and faculty were on board to cancel Smerconish. So I just think it’s incredibly unfortunate.”

Smerconish is on Sirius Radio 15 hours a week and he’s on CNN for at least an hour every week. 

Barkdoll said, “So 16 hours a week for decades. Think about the thousands and thousands of hours of tape that that would create. They went back and found a few paragraphs out of a book from 20 years ago as the justification to cancel him. By the way, all the proceeds from that book went to the Pennsylvania Garden of Reflection, which the surviving wife of one of the pilots that was killed on 9/11 started. So he didn’t profit a dime from any of this. I’ll be curious to see what comes out of this. Dickinson has not announced who their new commencement speaker will be. That’s going to be sometime next week. But I think this is just a reflection sadly of where things are in the country right now.”

Jansen said, “Do you think he’s afraid? I think he’s afraid, the president of the college and whoever is afraid because of what’s happened. This is horrendous. How in the world do we say the biggest threat in this country is white supremacists when we see an internationally funded Tides Foundation, among others, and of course supporters of President Biden funding this kind of thing, based on an internationally far left Marxist point of view of oppressor versus oppressed? Look at the disruption this is causing, look at the intimidation this is causing. FBI, Department Homeland Security, maybe you should turn your attention to some of these ideologies and what they could be causing because it seems like this is where we might be heading for another Summer of Love. Based on this. This intimidation of this president of Dickinson, I’m disgusted and dismayed as my daughter is an alumni of there. Yeah, I was annoyed at some of the comments by Clarence Page. I’m sure maybe a couple comments might have been annoying to a few liberal leftists. It’s a college campus. You’re supposed to have a diversity of ideas and thoughts.”

Barkdoll added, “If these students and faculty really looked at Michael Smerconish, he is not some raging leftist or right wing commentator. His whole brand is stuck in the middle. He’s considered so moderate if you watch his CNN programming, or watch or listen to his radio program, it’s very moderate. His whole mantra is getting perspectives from all sides. I’m sure that’s what his speech would have been. He was not going to go in there with some far left or far right agenda. I would argue in today’s world that’s probably the kind of commencement speaker you want to have. But I have a feeling internally and I’ll bet President Jones really had to stress over this because it sounds like they know each other and he probably, the president, was afraid of what the protest or results might be of bringing this guy on to campus after those editorials started to run in the student newspaper.”