Is Huntsman a Champion of Balance or Partisanship?

In 2004, Governor Huntsman flew Sean Hannity out to speak to UVSC, purportedly in order to provide “balance” to a speech by Michael Moore.

How noble of the Utah governor to be so concerned with balance in our state. I applaud this concern. And in that spirit of balance, I would call to our governor’s attention the fact that Vice-President Dick Cheney will be speaking at the upcoming BYU commencement. Surprising as it is for this institution which claims to stand for integrity to have as their guest of honor a man whose term in office has been rife with lies, abuse of power, and corruption, this gives Governor Huntsman a fantastic opportunity to display his concern for balance. A group of BYU students, disturbed by their school’s outrageous choice for commencement speaker, have invited Ralph Nader to speak at an alternative commencement. I would invite Huntsman to provide a venue for this balancing commencement, to fly Nader out and do everything he did for Hannity to make the Nader visit happen.

Or was his supposed concern for balance just a sham through which he could further the conservative indoctrination of Utah?

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7 Responses to “Is Huntsman a Champion of Balance or Partisanship?”

  1. Bradley Ross Says:

    What has Huntsman got to do with it? UVSC is an institution of the state. BYU is not.

    Hearing a diversity of opinions is good. Presumably toward that end, BYU has already invited Harry Reid to speak on campus. According to one report I read, they invited Reid before they invited Cheney.

  2. Derek Staffanson Says:

    I figured this excuse would be brought up. It is irrelevant. It is is beyond the purview for the governor to be interfering in the events of a public university, as he did for Hannity at UVSC. He did so as a private citizen. There is no reason he could not, as a private citizen who is also LDS, take care of all the arrangements for Nader to speak at BYU, as he did for Hannity at UVSC.

  3. Bradley Ross Says:

    The governor is the head of state. UVSC is part of the government. I’m not getting the part where you explain that working with UVSC is out of the governor’s purview.

    But leave aside the governor for a moment. I provided an example of how BYU has already taken care of your “balance” concern. Is this what you’re calling irrelevant? If so, would you elaborate?

  4. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Actually, I’m not concerned about the balance of BYU’s presentation or speakers. I’ve little respect for or interest in BYU. Aside from the fact that having a speaker of such dubious character at the university supported by my faith makes my faith look bad, I could care less who speaks at BYU or what political viewpoint they hold. My observation isn’t about BYU, but about Huntsman.

    What I said was irrelevant is the fact that BYU is a private institution. Huntsman may be governor, but he is not king. He has certain responsibilities, and micromanaging the minutia of who speaks at a given state academic institution is not one of them. I doubt even members board of regents would find that to be their responsibility, and their duties are much more closely tied to higher ed than is the governor. He stepped in as a private citizen of means and influence. He could do the exact same thing to assist the students who want an alternative at a private institution like BYU–were he truly interested in balance.

  5. Bradley Ross Says:

    If the governor was acting as a private citizen, how can you fault him for seeking to advance positions with which he agrees? Are you saying that private citizens are not permitted to be hold and advocate political opinions? Why would Huntsman seek to pay for a speaker (like Nader) which whom he doesn’t agree? It seems your arguments in internally inconsistent.

    Aren’t you, on this blog, seeking to provide “balance” to a conservative tilt you see among the members of your own faith? Does that mean it would be fair to sarcastically call you “noble” as you have done with the governor?

  6. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Had Huntsman stated that his intent was to continue to promote the Conservative agenda, that would have been one thing. But he instead couched his motive as an attempt to provide balance to Michael Moore–a ludicrous proposition from the start, as Utah is already dominated by conservative perspectives. A solitary visit by an alternative voice wasn’t about to topple that domination. My post was merely an effort to point out the dishonesty of Huntsman’s justification.

    I have never stated that my blog was an effort to provide balance. I don’t care whether there is a balance of views or not. I merely seek to promote and explain perspectives which I find to be more consistent with LDS values and principles than those on the Right.

  7. Kim Says:

    you wrote, “I merely seek to promote and explain perspectives which I find to be more consistent with LDS values and principles than those on the Right.”

    I think you need to visit the church’s website.
    according to the prophet, we are pro-life! no if, ands, or buts.

    just because the term in its self isn’t a perfect solution to all the sin, problems and trials that arise in life dose not make you more consistent in your values or principles then the prophet.

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