New NPR CEO Said ‘Reverence For The Truth’ May Be ‘Distraction’ In Resurfaced TED Talk


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Jason Cohen Contributor
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National Public Radio’s (NPR) new CEO Katherine Maher said in a resurfaced 2022 TED Talk that seeking “truth” could impede progress and unity.

Maher, who became CEO in March, has come under fire for resurfaced tweets in which she expressed support for President Joe Biden’s campaign in 2020, as well as called former President Donald Trump “racist” in 2018. Maher was the CEO of WikiMedia Foundation until 2021, and she gave a TED Talk in June 2022 about Wikipedia’s implications on “balancing truth and beliefs.” (RELATED: ‘Clearheaded Most Of The Time’: Corporate Media Defends Biden’s Lucidity As Interview Transcript Reveals Memory Lapses)

“Perhaps for our most tricky disagreements, seeking the truth and seeking to convince others of the truth might not be the right place to start,” Maher said during the TED Talk. “In fact, our reverence for the truth might be a distraction that’s getting in the way of finding common ground and getting things done.”


“Now, that is not to say that the truth doesn’t exist, nor is it to say that the truth isn’t important,” she added. “Clearly, the search for the truth has led us to do great things, to learn great things. But, I think if I were to really ask you to think about this, one of the things that we could all acknowledge is that part of the reason we have such glorious chronicles to the human experience and all forms of culture is because we acknowledge there are many different truths.”

Maher went on to explain how “truth” debates may be getting in the way of tackling climate change.

“I think about our lack of urgent action on climate change,” she said. “We’ve known for a very long time now about the negative impacts of man-made carbon in the atmosphere. But, that implications of that data challenge our identities, our industries, our communities in ways that have led and created resistance and even disinformation, and the resulting public debates about the truth of climate change have prevented us from taking specific and concrete actions that could mitigate the harms to us around rising seas, increasingly deadly waves of heat and cold and powerful storm systems.

Editor Uri Berliner worked at NPR for 25 years and alleged in a recent essay published in The Free Press that the outlet was seeking to take down Trump during his presidency by citing Russia-collusion accusations that later were debunked. The outlet suspended Berliner without pay for five days beginning on Friday, and the editor resigned on Wednesday.

Maher had denounced Berliner’s essay on Friday, asserting it was “a criticism of our people on the basis of who we are.”

“I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR that I cite in my Free Press essay,” Berliner wrote in his resignation letter.

NPR did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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