As some of you already know, Chris Anderson, Curator of TED responded yesterday to the social media call for him to post the TED talk by Nick Hanauer. In the video Hanauer questions the widely held beliefs that 1) the wealthy need low taxes to create jobs and 2) that they even are the “job creators” we’ve been told to believe they are. Hanauer says the middle class and their demands for products and services are the real job creators and we agree.
While we totally accept Anderson’s right to determine which videos are of the highest quality and of the most interest to the online TED audience, he confused the issue from the start by labeling the talk as ‘out and out political.’ In his letter to constituents defending his position, he could have had a much stronger position had he acknowledged that labeling this video as partisan is what led to this firestorm and to have taken at least some responsibility for that.
There are lessons for all of us to learn from this. One thing we learned is that when there are controversial issues we hear from a lot of you and we like that! You range from totally supportive of our sending out the blast to questioning if we weren’t adding fuel to a non-controversy and defending TED’s reaction to the petitions calling for them to release the video. We land somewhere in the middle as stated above. YES, TED has the right to manage their material AND they could have avoided most of this had they not labeled, what to us is a nonpartisan talk on economics, as highly partisan.
We will post a longer, more thoughtful response to the policy questions raised in the video within the next couple of days so do check back.