Nikitas: Harvard’s about-face on Manning fellowship not surprising
Herald Radio contributor Maximos Nikitas weighed in on Harvard’s decision to disinvite Chelsea Manning to visit the school during an appearance on the “Morning Meeting” program with Hillary Chabot and Tom Shattuck.
Q: Harvard has rescinded this visiting fellow invitation for Chelsea Manning. What do you think of that?
A: I’m not really surprised that they rescinded it, but I was more surprised that Manning was allowed to be a fellow. If you look at this year’s lineup, it’s kind of ridiculous. One commentator said it’s like “Dancing with the Stars.” You have (Corey) Lewandowski, (Sean) Spicer, you had Manning. I guess they add some educational value, but she really was a traitor at the end of the day and I think it really was pretty disgraceful, even for Harvard.
Q: Well it’s really interesting. How many people did they run this by? How did this get through?
A: Exactly. Obviously, CIA Director (Mike) Pompeo came out and said that he would no longer speak there because of Manning and canceled his trip. I think it’s very interesting that they would do this without even alerting the people, when other fellows didn’t know. People have testified saying that these leaks actually adversely affected our national security interests and put our soldiers’ lives at risk. So it’s very odd to me that they would see some redeeming quality in her.
Q: In terms of looking back at either 2016 or 2017, who would you think should be there, especially who has the time to be available to them?
A: Well, I think in terms of if you had pundits that were there, someone like Charles Krauthammer would be very interesting . ... You could even have someone who is more like Tucker Carlson or someone like that, if you really did want someone on the right . ... But I think Spicer was a good pick, and I think he can hold his own as we saw on (Jimmy) Kimmel. … It’s interesting that there’s some Republicans that try to be liked by all the liberals and try to still be the cool kids, if you will, by going on the liberal talk shows. I think that’s good because we are often criticized for being kind of downstream of culture.
Q: If we’re talking young Republicans here, what’s got to change?
A: There are certainly some great concerted efforts on the part of Republicans to reach out to younger people, but you don’t really see that that often and I think it is because we just feel kind of detached from pop culture, detached from Hollywood. So I think we in some ways lose our affinity for being more in touch, and that’s a problem.