Well this makes TED Conference organizers look like cowards. They invited Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer to speak, which he did, about how the super wealthy are not actually the job creators that rich people trumpet themselves to be. "I can say with confidence that rich people don't create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small," he told the crowd, adding, "an ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than a capitalist like me."
Hanuaer got a standing ovation from the crowd (a crowd that itself tends to skew to the upper class). What did TED do next? They're now refusing to release Hanauer's video because it's too "politically controversial." You know, it's too risky to admit that the middle class are the driving force of America's economy.
"If it was too political, why have me do it in the first place?" Hanauer tells GeekWire. "They knew months in advance what I would speak about and I gave the talk word for word. My arguments threaten an economic orthodoxy and political structure that many powerful people have a huge stake in defending. They will not go easily."
Fuck you, TED. But at the same time, thank you, TED. When an art museum censors a show because it's too controversial, the show makes headlines, and then everyone knows about controversial artists like Robert Mapplethorpe—and their art becomes more influential. Now lots more people know who Nick Hanuaer is, thanks to TED, and his message will become more influential. You can read his full speech here.
UPDATE: TED head Chris Anderson has posted the video on YouTube and has his own version of events. Anderson says Hanauer's talk wasn't banned—it just wasn't good enough to be chosen—and he accuses Hanauer off blowing up the controversy. More is here.