NPR : News

TED's 'Explicitely Partisan' Talk, Briefly Barred From Its Site, Now Everywhere

If you haven't seen or heard a TED Talk, they feature interesting or provocative "ideas worth spreading," as the nonprofit's slogan goes. NPR, in fact, has recently launched a TED Radio Hour that features talks ranging from how our brains trick us to what spaghetti sauce has to do with happiness.

But one TED appearance in particular became the talk of the week after it was kept off the TED.com site for being too overtly political.

In March, a tech entrepreneur and one of the early investors in Amazon.com named Nick Hanauer gave a TED talk with an idea he thought was worth spreading — that rich people like him should be paying more in taxes because he believes middle-class consumers, not rich people, are the real job creators. (A National Journal cover story deep dives into the economics behind Hanauer's theories.)

TED Talk curator Chris Anderson refused to post it on TED's website, igniting a cyber-firestorm this week. Anderson explained the decision in a post Thursday:

"The talk tapped into a really important and timely issue. But it framed the issue in a way that was explicitly partisan. And it included a number of arguments that were unconvincing, even to those of us who supported his overall stance. The audience at TED who heard it live (and who are often accused of being overly enthusiastic about left-leaning ideas) gave it, on average, mediocre ratings."

That TED wouldn't post this six-minute politically-themed talk kicked up enough controversy in the blogosphere this week that the "banned" talk was quickly released. TIME Magazine tracked the firestorm:

"The National Journal reported it on Wednesday, inspiring posts on sites ranging from Geekwire to the International Business Times to the Daily Kos. Someone even set up a petition on Change.org to demand that TED post the talk."

It's posted now. The entire text of the short talk, complete with slides, can be seen at The Atlantic. And you can watch it here.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Colson Whitehead On The Importance Of Historical Fiction In Tumultuous Times

Kojo talks with author Colson Whitehead about his new novel "The Underground Railroad" and its resonance at this particular moment in history.

NPR

'Cup Noodles' Turns 45: A Closer Look At The Revolutionary Ramen Creation

Today instant ramen is consumed in at least 80 countries — with culturally specific adaptations. The U.S., for instance, gets shorter noodles, because Americans don't slurp them up like the Japanese.
WAMU 88.5

Rating The United States On Child Care

A majority of parents in the U.S. work outside the home. That means about 12 million children across the country require care. A new report ranks states on cost, quality and availability of child care - and says nobody is getting it right.

NPR

Scientists To Bid A Bittersweet Farewell To Rosetta, The Comet Chaser

To cap its 12-year scientific voyage, the Rosetta spacecraft will take a final plunge Friday. Scientists will signal Rosetta to crash into the surface of a comet — and gather data all the way down.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.