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Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity, Campus Audience Decides After Hearing Both Sides of the Argument

February 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — Before the Intelligence Squared debate held at George Washington University, only one in three audience members said they agreed that liberals are stifling intellectual diversity at colleges and universities, but after hearing both sides of the debate, almost three-fifths of the audience was convinced that liberals are stifling intellectual diversity.

The debate, moderated by John Donvan, an author and correspondent for ABC News, will be aired on National Public Radio stations and is available online.

Encouragingly, Both Sides in Debate on Campus Speech End Up Defending Campus Speech

February 25, 2015

At GW last night, nobody was willing to argue that students should be silenced.

Anyone feeling disheartened by the many ways our First Amendment freedoms are under attack may find solace in the outcome of an event last night hosted by Intelligence Squared at George Washington University. Two teams of two debated whether liberals are stifling intellectual diversity on college campuses—and the side arguing for the proposition won in a landslide.

Interestingly, three of the four participants and both debaters arguing the affirmative indentify as liberals.

Fox News Contributor, Professors Face Off in Free Speech Debate

February 25, 2015

Panelists visiting GW debated whether or not liberals suppressed intellectual diversity on college campuses Tuesday.

The debate, hosted by Intelligence Squared, a non-profit group that organizes discussions around the country, engaged about 100 people in the Jack Morton Auditorium. John Donovan, an author and ABC news correspondent, moderated the event.

Audience members were invited to vote on whether they thought liberals discouraged intellectual diversity on college campuses before and after the discussion. When it began, 33 percent said liberals suppressed intellectual diversity, while 21 percent said they disagreed and 46 percent were undecided.

Campus Debate Convinces: Liberals Stifle Intellectual Diversity on Campus

February 25, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a 90-minute campus debate Tuesday over whether liberals stifle intellectual diversity on college campuses, nearly six in 10 members of the audience agreed – they do.

That according to a vote of the audience taken after the “Intelligence Squared Debate” at George Washington University on the topic of whether “liberals are stifling intellectual diversity on campus.”

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, along with Fox Newscontributor and USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers, were able to convince 59 percent of those in attendance that there is a pervasive liberal intolerance of different views on campuses, an atmosphere that hinders free speech and debate.

Amazon and Its Friends

January 26, 2015

During the 2012 campaign, Mitt Romney made an off-the-cuff comment about how “corporations are people.” He was mocked but perhaps was ahead of his time. A few years later, corporations are not only people but our friends.

Forget about same-day delivery of diapers or reconnecting with your high school girlfriend or publishing those novels without the aid of an editor or bookstore. The greatest achievement of Silicon Valley has been the marketing of Silicon Valley. Google, Apple, Facebook — they all assert they exist for your benefit, their only goal to amuse and enlighten and help you. To be, in short, your best buddy.

The tech world’s devotion to its customers was put to a vote this month in Manhattan, at one of the Intelligence Squared series of debates. The evening’s topic: “Amazon is the reader’s friend.”

For those nostalgic for last year’s clash between Amazon and Hachette, the debate — expertly moderated by the ABC news correspondent John Donvan — replayed the brawl. The self-published novelist Joe Konrath and the Vox editor Matthew Yglesias argued in favor of the proposition; the novelist Scott Turow and the former New Republic editor Franklin Foer argued against.

Is Amazon a Hero or Monster?

January 16, 2015

A passionate New York debate interrogates Amazon’s dominance in the book market—is it delivering well-priced books efficiently, or a greedy, rapacious behemoth?

What is the true nature of Amazon.com—the online retailing colossus that, like a massive corporate python, has swallowed up the book industry virtually whole?

In terms of cognitive dissonance, it would be difficult to match Thursday night’s Intelligence Squared debate on the proposition, “Amazon Is The Reader’s Friend.”

Is Amazon the Reader’s Friend? – Liveblog

January 15, 2015

I took a wrong turn on the subway and reached Brooklyn before I realized I was a long way from the Kaufman Center in Manhattan. I arrived late at the Intelligence Squared debate on the resolution “Amazon is the Reader’s Friend.”

We are now into questions from the audience. It’s been a fantastic discussion, organized in classic debate style with some innovations introduced by the steady, savvy moderator, John Donvan.

Arguing for the resolution are author Joe Konrath and journalist Matthew Yglesias. Arguing against are author Scott Turow and Franklin Foer, former editor of The New Republic. Here’s what’s happening…

EDWARDS: Bad questions hinder productive debates, conversations

April 23, 2014

“Millennials Don’t Stand a Chance” was the title and winning motion of the April 16 episode of Intelligence Squared, a NPR debate podcast. After an hour of debate, the side arguing against millennials, people born from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, won citing the generations tendencies for optimism and narcissism as being the twin roots of their downfall.

The mismatch problem: Why college football scholarships are not enough

April 22, 2014

Have you ever had a moment when you heard an argument that made you examine a long-held belief?

I had a moment like that recently when listening to an NPR Intelligence Squared podcast on college admissions. Intelligence Squared is a high-quality product, as the debate is civil, fact-heavy, and performed with great skill. In other words, it's everything that cable news is not, sort of like reading the best of the college football internet as opposed to relying on Holtz and May to analyze team strength.

What Millennials Want From The Fashion World

April 15, 2014

Millennials haven’t been dealt a very good hand in life: many have graduated into one of the worst recessions in decades, many have piling amounts of student debt, and many suffer a routine malaise and dissatisfaction with their current status in life.

This bad lot leads many people to believe that millennials are, in fact, doomed, which was the proposition in consideration at last week’s Intelligence Squared debate here in New York City, “Millennials Don’t Stand A Chance.” Four debators participated in the discussion, and the side for the proposition–the side that believed millennial’s don’t stand a chance–ended up winning the debate.

Millennials Stand No Chance, Says One Panel And Auditorium

April 13, 2014

Earlier this week, over the course of two hours, a panel of four speakers and an auditorium of voters at the Kaufman Music Center in New Yok City decided that we millennials stand no chance.

Why I'm Not Buying Football Season Tickets

March 14, 2013

Last May, a group called Intelligence Squared sponsored a debate on whether to ban college football. A portion of the discussion concerned the nature of our “social contract” with higher education, and by extension college sports. New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell’s comment explained the logic to ban college football best: “Nowhere in that social contract does it say that it’s okay to promote and encourage young men to hit themselves over and over again in the head in the name of entertainment.”

Saturday's Child: Why We Should Ban College Football....

May 18, 2012

Everyone who loves college football and the young men who play the game needs to watch this exchange. For the proposition Ban College Football were Buzz Bissinger, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and Malcolm Gladwell, a well-known, distinguished author currently writing for the New Yorker Magazine. Opposing the proposition that college football be banned were Tim Green, an NFL great who played defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons—recruited out of Syracuse University. Joining Green in opposition to banning college football was Jason Whitlock who played his college football at Ball State as an offensive lineman—now a national columnist for Fox Sports.

Should College Football Be Banned?

May 11, 2012

Ban college football? Blasphemy! Except that’s exactly what more than half of the (fortunately non-policy-making) audience voted to do earlier this week at the Intelligence Squared debate at NYU.

Ban College Football

May 10, 2012

As part of the Intelligence Squared debate series, I teamed with up Buzz Bissinger (of “Friday Night LIghts” fame) in support of the proposition that college football should be banned...

Should College Football Be Banned?

May 09, 2012

Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lighters and former defensive end for the Atlantic Falcons Tim Greene debate the dangers of college football including concussions and it’s lack of academic purpose.

Intelligence Squared U.S. New York Audience Decides to “Ban College Football”

May 09, 2012

Last night, Intelligence Squared U.S. continued its spring 2012 season with a victory for the motion “Ban College Football.” In the final tally, Malcolm Gladwell and Buzz Bissinger won the Oxford-style debate by convincing 37% of the audience to change their minds and oppose the motion. After the debate, 53% of audience members agreed that college football has no place in an academic environment, up from 16% pre-debate.

Ban College Football? Breaking Down a Debate

May 09, 2012

Two prominent writers argued for banning college football on Tuesday night at New York University’s Skirball Center as part of the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates series. Their opponents were two journalists, who also happened to be former players. Buzz Bissinger (the author of the high school football book “Friday Night Lights”) and Malcolm Gladwell (the best-selling author and New Yorker staff writer who compared football to dogfighting) want to get rid of football on campus. Tim Green (a former N.F.L. defensive end) and Jason Whitlock (a Fox Sports correspondent who played football in college) want it to stay.

Should We Ban College Football?

May 07, 2012

Big money, corruption, and injury have put college football in the spotlight. Tomorrow night, Intelligence Squared will debate the idea of banning college football. Buzz Bissinger, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Friday Night Lights -- and supporter of a ban -- previews the conversation with Tim Green, announcer and former Atlanta Falcons defensive end -- who opposes a ban. Tim Green is also the author of Pinch Hit.

Get Real! Ban College Football?

May 07, 2012

Soledad O'Brien and the Starting Point panel discusses Buzz Bissinger's Wall Street Journal opinion piece, in which he calls for college football to be banned because it "has no academic purpose."

Would Banning College Football Actually Help Academics?

May 07, 2012

Last week, Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger offered his arguments for why college football should be eliminated. The article appears in advance of tomorrow night’s Intelligence Squared debate, in which Bissinger and author Malcolm Gladwell will argue in favor of a ban on college football. They will be opposed by former NFL defensive end Tim Green and sportswriter Jason Whitlock. Bissinger’s piece gets at some serious issues with college football and raises some fantastic questions, but it ultimately misses exactly how important the sport is to academic programs at universities across the nation.

Gender Studies: The End?

October 10, 2011

Intelligence Squared U.S., the five-year-old debate-as-entertainment series that takes place at N.Y.U.'s Skirball Center, recently offered as a topic for discussion the proposition "Men Are Finished."

Zinczenko Vs. Abrams: Are Men Done For?

September 22, 2011

On Tuesday night, the fate of men hung in the balance: The event that evening at NYU was an Intelligence Squared/Slate debate on the bold resolution that Men Are Finished. Representing his gender was famed Men's Health dudeitor David Zinczenko in a shiny aubergine tie that coordinated nicely with the pinky-beige top worn by his debating partner, American Enterprise Institute's Christina Hoff Sommers.

Is Mankind Doomed?

September 22, 2011

Are men going extinct? Maybe so, according to the results of a recent Intelligence Squared debate. Men’s Health editor-in-chief David Zinczenko took the stage on Tuesday night at NYU’s Skirball Center to argue against the idea that “men are finished.” Christina Hoff Sommers, author of The War Against Boys, joined Zinczenko on the defense, while Dan Abrams, author of Man Down and Slate’s Hanna Rosin (who wrote an article last year titled “The End of Men” for The Atlantic) led the attack against the Y chromosome.

Overwhelming Victory for the Motion “Men Are Finished” at Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates

September 21, 2011

Last night at NYU’s Skirball Center audience members gave an overwhelming victory to the team defending the proposition “Men Are Finished.” According to the final votes, Dan Abrams and Hanna Rosin convinced 46% of the audience to change their minds over the course of the evening, winning the Oxford style debate by a landslide.

Debate: Are Men Falling Behind or Women Getting Ahead?

September 21, 2011

Students and locals gathered last night in NYU's Skirball Center to catch the latest Intelligence Squared Debate. This time around, panelists posed the question: Are men truly lagging in such areas as academia and the work force, or are women simply catching up in fields that were previously ruled by men?

Apparently, Men Are Finished

September 21, 2011

In the middle of Tuesday night's Slate/Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, ABC News chief legal analyst Dan Abrams presented this damning piece of evidence: "Between 1995 and 2008, 82 percent of lightning strikes were on men," Even God, Abrams told the packed house at NYU's Skirball Center, has decided that men are finished.

Debate: Are Men Finished?

September 21, 2011

Team members debated whether women have claimed the alpha spot. The age-old debate between men and women continued Tuesday night at New York University's Skirball Center.

Dan Abrams Says Men Will Not Be Able to Survive on the “Fumes Of Sexism” for Much Longer

September 21, 2011

This was just one of the many things Dan Abrams, ABC News legal analyst and author of the book Man Down, said at the Intelligence Squared Debate held at New York University’s Skirball Center that I attended.