Hard nosed “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert received an education from the students at Harvard last week.
The popular host and author who was at Harvard giving the annual Class Day speech to graduates became the victim of a bingo game based on his talk. Graduating seniors Max Brodsky and David Ferris had read that Russet uses a modified version of making the world a better place speech at each commencement where he is the featured speaker. The enterprising seniors then looked up the text and printed 50 bingo cards with key words or phrases from the speech in each square and handed them out to classmates. When the students marked off five in a row, they were told to shout bingo! That they did, several times.
Russert admitted to the Washington Post that the “basic theme” of his speeches is the same and said that “I think there is a virtue in consistency.”
There isn’t anything wrong with what Russert did since politicians do it all the time. It does seem intellectually dishonest though to collect a hefty fee while giving the same speech over and over. Is it too much to expect some originality from the speakers?
Maybe we could use a little truth in advertising for speeches and ask for a frequent listener discount if we are forced to endure the same speech over and over. Throw in some airline miles and I’ll listen to almost anything.
Don Irvine is Chairman of Accuracy in Media.