CNN’s Fareed Zakaria described “conservative voices” as a “besieged minority”, slamming apparent liberals for trying to silence their political views.
Dozens of students staged a walk-out when US Vice-President Mike Pence addressed a ceremony at the University of Notre Dame in South Ben, Indiana.
A student activist group, We Stand For, said the protest was against his policies which, they say, marginalised people for their religion, race or sexual orientation.
In his address, Mr Pence decried the “increasing intolerance and suppression” of free speech that he said was sweeping US university campuses.
In the unusual outburst on CNN, which was at the centre of Mr Trump’s ‘fake news’ rants, Zakaria said: “Liberals think they are tolerant, but often they are not.
“This is not just about tolerance for its own sake. The truth is, no-one has a monopoly on right or virtue.
“Listening to other contradictory views will teach us all something and sharpen our own views.
“One of the greatest dangers in life – in business or government – is to get trapped in a bubble of group thinking and never ask, ‘What if I’m wrong?’.”
While students left the address, Mr Pence praised Notre Dame students as a “vanguard of freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas”, something other schools did not match.
The protester’s actions were met with a mixture of boos and applause from students who did not participate.
Zakaria added: “Conservative voices and views, already a besieged minority, are being silenced entirely.
“The campus thought police have gone after series conservative thinkers like Heather McDonald and Charles Murray, as well as firebrands like Milo Yiannopoulous and Ann Coulter.
“There is, as we all know, a kind of anti-intellectualism on the right these days – the denial of facts, of reason and of science.
“There is also is an anti-intellectualism on the left – an attitude that says, ‘We are so pure, so morally superior and we cannot bear to hear an idea with which we disagree.”