TIME Managing Editor Richard Stengel delivered the commencement address at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts today. In his remarks, he discussed the state of the news media, and had a little bit of fun with last year’s Wheaton speaker, incoming “Today” co-anchor Ann Curry:
Before I give a really important speech like this, I like to consult with colleagues of mine in the media. So I Googled Ann Curry and then I called her. And I said I’m going to talk about the media today and I wanted to talk to her about it. And we’re talking for a bit and she was weirdly uninformed about what I wanted to talk about, and I told her so. And she said, ‘Well, I’m Ann Curry from Springfield, Illinois. I’m an insurance claims adjuster.’ Well, imagine my surprise. The wrong Ann Curry.”
That got a laugh from the crowd. Stengel is referring to Curry’s speech last year in which she listed some of the prestigious alumni of Wheaton, except she got the wrong Wheaton — the one in Illinois.
But Stengel had a point in his humorous anecdote:
“So you know what I’m talking about. By the way, she gave a great speech last year. And she is a friend of mine. But what I really want to talk about is what happened there because it’s the difference between information and knowledge. And that is what you’ve really spent the last four years trying to figure out, which is the difference between information and knowledge. There has never been a time in human history where information was more easily accessible than it is now. And you saw what happened last year, because all information is not created equal.”