The law students at Northwestern University are in a tizzy about their announced commencement speaker, Jerry Springer. Apparently he's not classy enough to address the future document reviewers of our nation's enormous law firms. ("Just wait until they're first-years and they have to listen to a partner extemporizing about how the caddies at the club don't know how to mix a good martini," our editor chimes in.) "Any message Springer delivers will seem incomplete, however, without a few flying chairs and a bald bouncer," according to an editorial yesterday in the Daily Northwestern.
Um, we object! Given that such events would make the ceremony the most exciting graduation ever (not to mention a viral video hit), we're throwing our support behind the talk-show host. Sure, his show isn't the most highbrow in the history of television, but the man is an alum, and a politically savvy one at that. "As always, I am honored to have been asked, flattered that the students invited me," Springer told the AP. "And as for those who didn't want me, it just shows they have good taste." Way to joke it off, Jerr (can we call you Jerr?), but really, it's flat-out snobbery. Does the same paper not remember touting Springer's $230,000 donation for a "high-tech facility for students with disabilities"? Man, what a generous lowlife. Further evidence of his merit: The guy inspired an opera! We should be thanking the former news anchor for his cultural gifts.
Look, we're not saying Springer's a saint, but he's hardly the devil either. And this is law school, not a theological seminary. We'd actually have been totally psyched to have someone bring a little humor to the stage. (We had a stump-speechy John McCain when we graduated from Northwestern and have always envied our Harvard friend who enjoyed the inspirational words of Mr. Will Ferrell.) So, say it with us now: Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! How's that for a closing argument? —Lori Fradkin