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Ted Turner Speaks, Preaches Optimism

 Jason Cunningham / Entertainment Editor

The man known as “Captain Outrageous” seemed to make a lot of sense to the students and faculty of Central Connecticut State University.

Business mogul Ted Turner received a generally positive response from the audience of almost 300 who came to see him speak last Tuesday at Alumni Hall. 

The man responsible for founding CNN, the United Nations Foundation and the Goodwill Games spread his message of environmental protection, world peace and his philosophies on the role of the media in our world during his conversational lecture at CCSU. 

“I was Time’s Man of the Year and they let me go,” joked Turner with the audience. 

He answered question after question, as Ned Lamont, who introduced the speaker, helped moderate the curious audience members who formed a line behind the microphone in the center isle. 

Questions ranged from topics of his personal history, his contributions to society and the worlds of business and media, and his views about the future of man’s existence. 

“If humanity’s struggle for existence was a baseball game, we’d be about in the seventh inning and down by two runs,” Turner said. “But the game’s not over with.” 

The topic of global warming was repeatedly addressed, Turner advised the audience to invest and consider careers in clean, renewable energy, often times repeating the advise jokingly to the audience. 

“We’ve got to change over our energy system from a fossil fuel based system to clean, renewable, locally produced energy. It’ll help bring us out of this recession,” Turner said. 

He also focused on the importance of world communication through the media, stating that we’re more connected now as a world than ever. He also expressed dissatisfactions with his old network, CNN. 

“I liked CNN better when I was running it… They cut back on international coverage, which I think is a mistake…When I was running CNN we tried to play down personalities rather than play them up… I think the news should come first, not the personality,” Turner said. 

Turner touched on politics quite a few times, often poking fun at the Bush administration and praising President Obama for his intelligence and ability to deal with difficult situations. In addition, he discussed his adverse feelings towards war, addressing the war in Iraq as a waste of time. 

“Wars cost a lot, you don’t get anything done. You know, when you go and bomb the libraries and the schools, and then you’ve got to go rebuild them… And it’s not good for tourism… Who wants to go to a war zone,” he said. 

Though most of the questions he received learned towards dark topics, including nuclear threat and human suffering, Turner remained optimistic throughout.

“You’ve gotta have hope…I can’t prove anything, except that, that we’re trying. There was a little song, sung by a little girl that most people didn’t hear, but I heard it on the radio years ago…The little girl’s song said, ‘if you take all the good in the world, and subtract all the hate and the pain, there’d still be some good leftover, and that’s what gives us hope,” Turner said. 

Hope aside, Turner acknowledged that humanity’s future is everyone’s responsibility, preaching that awareness is key to fixing the problems of the world. 

“I believe that social responsibility goes along with being in business… I have a strong sense of social responsibility and I’ve made lots of money,” Turner said.