This story (“Yale tells students to keep Kissinger talk secret . . . ‘Dr. Kissinger’s visit to campus will not be publicized, so we appreciate your confidentiality…'”) reminds me of two things:
– In the 1980s, I once went to a public lecture at Harvard by Kissinger protogé Ted Koppel, who indeed has that deep Ted Koppel voice even when he’s just chatting (as I overheard). Koppel insisted that the contents of his talk not be reported. It was no great loss; he didn’t really have anything newsworthy to say. The talk was fine, he told us some interesting things, just nothing that would’ve made the news or even the campus newspaper. Still, it seemed kinda tacky for a reporter whose shtick was access to the powerful, to not want his own speech to be reported.
– In the 1990s, a colleague of mine in a different dept told us that this professor from another university was coming by to give a lecture. I told my colleague that I’d like to meet with the guy, as I wanted to ask his opinion about a class demonstration I’d been doing related to some of his work. My colleague was like, No, he’s only visiting a select group of faculty in that dept. What a dick (my colleague, that is, not the visiting prof who I’m sure never heard about this bit of screening that was done on his behalf).
The Kissinger story is the best, though. I love that they sent around an email telling people not to tell anybody about it. If they really wanted to make sure that nobody would hear about it, they should’ve just published it in the Annals of Statistics!