J500 Media and the Environment

Irish Eyes Are…Closed. by TreyW

I bleed blue and gold. As college football season approaches, I conveniently work Kelly Green into my outfit on a daily basis. Yes, anyone who’s seen my embarrassing collection of Notre Dame trademarked items knows it…I’m a domer. However, recent national press forced me to hide my colors for the first time in years.

Obama at Notre Dame commencement

Obama at Notre Dame commencement

News coverage of Pro-Choice President Barack Obama’s May commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame shed such a negative light on an institution I have been so proud to be a part of for years that I found myself closing my Irish eyes and burying my head in the sand. As I watched political “experts” throw their two cents into the kerfuffle, I could not help but think that objectivity in modern journalism was truly dead.

Silent Protest

Silent Protest

“Why,” I thought “does everyone else get to have an opinion about the graduation ceremony of a handful of kids out of millions this year?” Where were the voices that truly mattered in this situation? I understand the outrage of those in the Catholic community. You can not detach Notre Dame from its roots. But why did I have to watch Pat Buchanan tell me what I should believe as a Catholic and a part of the Notre Dame community rather than someone from the 97% of graduating seniors and 73% of students overall who supported Obama’s invitation?

The only refreshing journalism I found throughout the ordeal was from fellow citizen journalists on Facebook (not all of whom shared my opinion) who had legitimate a stake in the situation. Perhaps as an alum, I can’t understand the opinions of those I see as outsiders. Perhaps I’m the one who needs to be open minded about what others might think. Did anyone else watching that coverage even care?

*Trey Williams*


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hi Trey,

Notre Dame’s commencement was a case study of Church v. state, and of everyone needing to comment on it.

I agree that the students were the least regarded group in this whole situation. News and commentary were completely absorbed by the issues of abortion, politics and the Church. The same rang true for Catholic radio to the point that I stopped listening. I wasn’t even aware that there was a second “Obama-free” ceremony lead by Priests for Life. Talk about the media excluding key players and the “other” story.

-Monica Delaorra

Comment by monicadela


I was hoping to hyperlink to the above comment, but cannot. Here’s the link regarding the additional ceremony: http://www.lifenews.com/state4129.html

-Monica Delaorra

Comment by monicadela


There were actually multiple alternative ceremonies. A group of about 20 seniors boycotted graduation as part of a protest by their organization Reponse ND. Of the coverage that I saw that included students, these were prominently displayed. It seems to me that the news wanted to focus on the more radical reponses to the issue rather than those who shrugged it off.

You’re very much right that it became a church vs state issue. What was most disappointing to me is that no where close to a majority of the graduating senior or students saw it that way. They recognized that his abortion stance was a small part of his overall portfolio.

It’s funny. My first thought when I heard about this is “If you have to adhere to every Catholic doctrine in order to get a degree from Notre Dame, I guess someone should come by to pick mine up soon.”

*Trey Williams*

Comment by TreyW

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