HANNITY

'Hannity' special: Commencement 2015: Best and worst advice

Panel weighs in on the speeches on 'Hannity'

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 29, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to this special edition of "Hannity."  Tonight, it's that time of year once again as college graduates get ready to enter the real world -- well, they're given some advice by their chosen speakers, those that deliver commencement addresses. Some of the advice is great. Some of it's shocking.

For the hour, we're going to examine both. But first to kick things off, here is some of the best advice given to graduates so far this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those of how are graduating this afternoon with high honors, awards and distinctions, I say, well done. And as I like to tell the C students, you too, can be president.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, ACTOR: Life's not fair. It never was. It isn't now and it won't ever be. Do not fall into the trap, the entitlement trap of feeling like you're a victim. You are not.

TIM COOK, APPLE CEO: History rarely yields to one person. But think and never forget what happens when it does.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

HANNITY: Here now for the hour is the author of The New York Times best- seller "The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech," USA Today columnist, FOX News contributor Kirsten Powers, FOX News political analyst Juan Williams, comedian Tom Shillue, and the author of the upcoming book, out next week, "Adios, America: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole"...

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: ... the one and only Ann Coulter. You like the title. Is that it? You haven't read the book yet!

(CROSSTALK)

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX POLITICAL ANALYST: That title, that'll will stop you.  I think, you know, one second they say in the book, store where you look, you say, What is that about? Holy smokes!

HANNITY: And she's already created quite a stir, which we won't talk about now.

All right, the first question I have to ask is this. Why are conservatives far outnumbered by liberals in terms of giving commencement addresses, Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: I don't know. Maybe because academia is overwhelmingly run by liberals. And you know, I actually -- I talk about this a lot in my book, about how there's a group that tracks the commencement speeches, and since 2000, they've had twice as many commencement speeches canceled, almost all of them conservatives. And fewer invitations go to conservatives in the first place.

So the fact that they're getting canceled for the conservatives when they're not even being invited in the first place shows just you what a disparate...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Why is that? Your son is a conservative. He's a good conservative!

WILLIAMS: Let me tell you something...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Thank goodness he didn't, you know, inherit your liberal genes!

WILLIAMS: Oh, please. Let me just say this to you. I am a living weathervane on this topic because I used to get a lot of invitations to deliver commencement addresses, so I have done a large number.

HANNITY: How many have you done?

WILLIAMS: Oh, I would guess I've done over -- close to three dozen...

HANNITY: OK.

WILLIAMS: ... you know, like 36, right? OK. But FOX News and the controversies I got into, especially when I got...

HANNITY: NPR.

WILLIAMS: ... fired by NPR...

HANNITY: Right.

WILLIAMS: ... shut it down.

HANNITY: None.

WILLIAMS: No. So I -- like, I just did -- this year, I did Franklin Pierce, which is where Andy Card, former Bush White House chief of staff, is president now. So I'll get something like that. But for the most part...

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: ... exactly what Kirsten said.

HANNITY: Juan, Liberty University, and it was the worst speech I ever gave, the only time I ever used a teleprompter in my life. That was dumb!

WILLIAMS: Why did you have to use a teleprompter?

HANNITY: Because I was on the middle of my book tour. I didn't have time to really, you know, put one together.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: The worst speech I gave!

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Did you ever do a commencement speech?

ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, "ADIOS AMERICA": No. And I'm so relieved. I kept thinking, you know, if I were a liberal, having researched and written my own 10 New York Times best-sellers, I wouldn't have time to write any books, I'd be accepting so many awards.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTER: I'd be at the Kennedy Center. I'd be giving commencement speeches. I'd be on a postage stamp. And the commencement speeches -- I was looking through them, and I won't complain about the topic being obvious and dull, but I will say the commencement speeches -- oh, my gosh, they're boring! Thank heaven I don't have to give any commencement speeches!

HANNITY: Wait a minute. Does Matthew McConaughey not impress you?

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: No, I love him. No, that was great. And I also...

HANNITY: That surprised me.

COULTER: ... wanted to mention, other than the group that sang "It's hard out here for a pimp," I think McConaughey is the only person to mention -- to thank God in his Oscar acceptance speech, though I'm not an expert on the Oscars since I never watch them, but I believe I am correct.

TOM SHILLUE, COMEDIAN: I think there's too many conservatives speaking at commencements -- this was -- what was it, 6 to 1?

HANNITY: Yes.

SHILLUE: The top 100 universities was 6 to 1. But that's a better -- that's more conservatives than there are on campus. What is...

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Especially in the faculty lounge.

SHILLUE: Yes. it's not representative. You want to be representative, it would be even fewer. And what do conservatives want to speak on campuses for anyway? I mean, they can go charge high fees and speak at corporate events instead. They do a lot better.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: But I think the one thing -- I don't think, especially at these big universities, I think the last thing the students want is a long speech. What do you really want to tell them? They just finished partying. They're probably all hung over. They don't really care what you have to say. They want to get their degree and go to the next party.

But with that said, there is an inherent bias here. And there's also a negative tone that I've seen emerge, America's grim and things aren't going well, which I kind of agree with since Obama's our president.

WILLIAMS: Yes, I would say that comes a lot from the conservatives.

HANNITY: Well, it is. You know, if I was one of the 93 million Americans out of work or one of the...

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: ... oh, kids, you're never going to get a job! You're going to live in your parents' basement. Adios. No, Sean, you can't give that speech. That's not...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: "Adios America," that's a new book, by the way.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Oh, your book. Yes. No, no, to these kids, and I think that's a depressing message. Don't forget, Sean, you're also talking to parents and grandparents. It's a real moment for them, and they do want to hear something from the speaker.

POWERS: Well, and also, I think that they -- they should be exposed -- this is a radical idea now on campuses. They should be exposed to people who think differently than they do and actually be able to see -- you know, if you have somebody like Condoleezza Rice being protested, who can't come and speak, she's not coming to speak about the Iraq war. She's giving a commencement address, and we should be able -- I opposed the Iraq war, but we should be able to hear from people who might have other insights to share with us, even though we disagreed with them on something. And I think that's the problem.

HANNITY: No, I...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: You know, and Sean, could I say -- I think we've all said, you know, surprise, surprise, David Horowitz has been writing how left-wing college campuses are for 30 years, all of his ex-Weatherman buddies are all tenured faculty!

And I just -- I have a limit for perpetual outrage about these things, and I think we need to take the next step, which is to say, What do conservatives do about it? For one thing, why do they sit quietly? Why don't parents walk out when they're getting another, you know, racism rap from Michelle Obama? Go to brunch early. Pick up your degree at another point.

And as soon as Republicans took Congress, something I've been pushing for six months, and they still haven't listened to me -- is I want Congress...

HANNITY: They're not listening to me, either.

COULTER: I want our Republicans to hold hearings on the cost of college educations. I want them to have tobacco-style hearings, invite all the presidents of the universities in, explain to us why cost of -- why college tuition has gone up 1,000 percent since 1978. Nothing else has gone up like that.

Explain your salaries. Some of these college presidents are making a million dollars a year. And I would also demand they come with facts and figures...

HANNITY: Look at the amen corner you're creating over here. Juan Williams and Kirsten saying amen to Ann Coulter!

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: ... Republicans like Rick Santorum, who say, Oh, what a snobbish altitude. Why does everyone need to go to college? The working man might not want to go to college. And I just think, you know, you should help young people set high bars for themselves, and I think an education matters. And he said, Oh, but there are liberal professors out there. No, they're not always liberal professors and...

SHILLUE: Only 10 to 1.

(LAUGHTER)

WILLIAMS: (INAUDIBLE) people who are smart, believe me.

SHILLUE: I like Peter Teal (ph). He's got the fellowship. He gives you $100,000 to not go to school. He finds the top students and he says, I will pay you not to go to college, and you can get to work right now. And the results are fantastic.

COULTER: You know, it's a great idea because what you are paying...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You sound anti-capitalist.

COULTER: No, no, no, no.

HANNITY: It's supply and demand.

COULTER: It's not supply and demand...

HANNITY: Sure it is!

COULTER: ... it's being subsidized by the taxpayer.

HANNITY: OK.

COULTER: The United States taxpayer is guaranteeing those loans...

HANNITY: If you're talking about...

COULTER: That has got to stop! The middle class would love this because tuition prices...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: ... and they won't be, and who -- who's on the hook for it?

HANNITY: All right, hang on a second.

COULTER: The taxpayer!

HANNITY: If it's a private school, they ought to be able to charge...

COULTER: Taxpayer...

HANNITY: ... whatever they want.

COULTER: Taxpayers, the middle class -- no, no, no, no! No, no, no, not when we're guaranteeing it. No, this is the whole mortgage bubble crisis all over again...

HANNITY: OK, but school loans is a different issue, but...

COULTER: ... done with college tuition.

HANNITY: But if you're talking about...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: No, it's the exact same issue!

HANNITY: It's not the same issue!

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Don't you love it when conservatives fight?

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: The middle class is being lied to! They are told this is an investment in your future. Frankly, what you just said, and although I agree with you, I think it's not true with a lot of these colleges today, not if you're majoring in gender studies or ethic studies!

But Obama, all these Democrats, they're saying this is an investment in your future. You get a college degree -- it is worth spending $200,000 on this because you'll make money. Well, no, you won't! And the taxpayer...

HANNITY: Wait a minute!

COULTER: ... ends up...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: ... majored in anthropology!

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Juan, Juan, Juan -- I want to bring this up...

COULTER: No, it's true!

HANNITY: Hang on.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Hang on! If -- if there's 5,000 or 50,000 people that apply to Harvard or Princeton or one of these schools and they only take a thousand, and it's an honor to get one of those coveted slots and you get in, and they want to charge whatever they want to charge, so you have the prestige of have degree, that's supply and demand.

COULTER: No, it isn't, Sean!

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You're supposed to be a conservative!

COULTER: You don't understand. You don't understand the economics...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: No, you can say the same thing. I will explain this again. If a house is selling for $2 million, if someone wants to pay that, they can pay it. But aha, we're giving you this mortgage. We're going to give you this mortgage so you'll never...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You're supposed to pay that money back.

COULTER: But who's on the hook for it when they don't pay it back?

HANNITY: That's a separate issue.

COULTER: No, it's not a separate issue because...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... because a lot of people...

COULTER: Sean...

HANNITY: I paid back my student loan!

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: In fact, most people pay back their student loans.

COULTER: No, they don't! Hang on! No, because only in the case of mortgages, only in the case of college tuition are those loans guaranteed by whom? The federal government! No other loans...

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: ... because guess what? The American people, as taxpayers, as a political body say, That's a good thing for us, for our economy to have...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: But it isn't. That's a lie!

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: ... totally missing the point!

SHILLUE: Yes, I did but I dropped out of college because I was afraid of the mounting debt, so I ended up going...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: And look what happened. You went on TV...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: All right, we got to...

COULTER: Most kids are going to end up in debt! They -- the value of their college degree -- and do not talk about Harvard, Princeton and Yale.  There are a lot of...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You sound like a liberal!

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: Oh, my God, you so don't understand!

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You sound like a liberal!

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: If she is invited to give a commencement address, run out of the room, kids. Run away. Do not listen to her at a commencement address!

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You know what? We need Ann Coulter to give a commencement address.

WILLIAMS: Oh, my God.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... back on her, walk out on her.

WILLIAMS: Can you imagine if you paid for your child to go to college for four years and Ann Coulter stands up there and tells you what a fool you are...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: I'm saying my speeches are a lot more fun because they're not boring things about, Oh, life's journey.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTER: And half the room lined in cops because I'm like David Duke showing up on a college campus. It's a very exciting event when I give a college speech, and I give a lot of them.

WILLIAMS: Well, it's about you.

COULTER: But you are not allowed...

WILLIAMS: And it should be about the students.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... when you take out -- it's separate and apart.

COULTER: (INAUDIBLE) the whole thing!

HANNITY: It's separate and apart!

COULTER: We're running up another bubble.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Why do you want to control prices of anything unless it's a state-run or -- or -- school?

COULTER: It is controlling the prices! It is the government's -- look, the government can say, We are going to guarantee a student loan for up to a million dollars a semester. Every college in the country...

HANNITY: We got to go.

COULTER: (INAUDIBLE) look at our tuition and say...

HANNITY: Before we go...

(CROSSTALK)

COULTER: ... a million dollars!

HANNITY: I want to put up Denzel Washington because he said something really good, I thought, in his commencement speech. He said, Put God first in everything you do. Everything that I have is by the grace of God. I don't stick with him, but he's always stuck with me. And he also said, You'll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse. He says, I don't care how much money you make, you can't take it with you. It's not how much you have, it's what you'll do with what you have.

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