Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Some of My Best Friends Are Deroy Murdock

Move over Rosa Parks and James Meredith! There's a new civil rights trailblazer in town. Meet Deroy Murdock, the first black* speaker on the prestigious National Review Cruise! (OK, it's possible he's not the first, but there wasn't one last year which was the only other year I've tracked it.)

And while all the credit in the world goes to Murdock and the Cruise organizers, I can't help but think that last year's Fire Tom Friedman exposé played a small part. In that post, I pointed out that the speakers were 91% male, 94% white and their average age was 58.

I'm happy to say that progress goes well beyond Deroy Murdock. This year, males only make up 85% of the speakers and whites only 90%. And Ramesh Ponnuru won't be so lonely when the Asian Caucus holds its meetings at this year's cruise, not with John Yoo on board!

And who says all the young kids are busy Occupying Wall Street? The
average age of a 2011 National Review speaker is a frisky 55 -- 3 years younger than last year! It's amazing what happens when you replace octogenarian Phyllis Schafley with America's Sassiest Randian, S.E. Cupp.

Below is a complete speaker list so you can see what progress looks like.

Speaker White? Male? Age
Bernard Lewis White Male 95
James Q. Wilson White Male 80
Cal Thomas White Male 79
John Sunununu White Male 72
Fred Thompson White Male 69
John Derbyshire White Male 66
Tony Blankley White Male 63
Elliot Abrams White Male 63
John Bolton White Male 63
Michael Walsh White Male 62
Victor Davis Hanson White Male 58
Andrew Klaven White Male 57
Mona Cheran White Female!!! 54
Charles Kesler White Male 54
John Fund White Male 54
James Lileks White Male 53
Mark Steyn White Male 52
Ralph Reed White Male 50
Tim Pawlenty White Male 50
Kevin Hassett White Male 49
Jay Nordlinger White Male 48
Charmaine Yoest White Female!!! 48
Greg Gutfeld White Male 47
Deroy Murdock Black!!!!!!!!!!!! Male 47
John Yoo Asian!!! Male 44
Rich Lowry White Male 43
Jonah Goldberg White Male 42
John J. Miller White Male 41
Roman Genn White Male 39
Ramesh Ponnuru Asian!!! Male 36
Kathryn Lopez Hispanic!!! Female!!! 35
S.E. Cupp White Female!!! 32
Tracie Sharp White Female!!! ????
Sally Pipes White Female!!! ????
Andrew McCarthy White Male ???
Jim Geraghty White Male ???
Rob Long White Male ???
Robert Costa White Male ???
Kevin Williamson White Male ???   

* The original post referred to Deroy Murdock as the "first African-American speaker." On October 5, 2012, Mr. Murdock emailed a correction request (a FTF first!), asking that "African-American" be changed to "black."  The post has been updated to reflect Mr. Murdock's wishes.**

** The original correction contained two embarrassing mistakes: Mr. Murdock's first name was wrongly listed as "Delroy" and the last sentence read, "The post has been be updated to reflect Mr. Murdock's wishes" (emphasis added).  Those mistakes have now been corrected thanks, once again, to the diligence of Mr. Murdock.  I apologize to Mr. Murdock, who has been nothing but delightfully gracious  throughout this whole correction ordeal.  So much so that I'm tempted to make another mistake in hopes of hearing from him again . . . 

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