May 29th, 2014
09:00 AM ET

Gladwell: College football an inhumane spectacle

On Thursday, President Barack Obama is holding a 'concussions summit' to discuss the issue of concussion in youth sports. Last year, Fareed spoke with Malcolm Gladwell, longtime ‘New Yorker’ staff writer and best-selling author of ‘The Tipping Point’ and ‘Outliers’ about American college football. In the first part, Gladwell makes the argument that college football is little different from dog fighting. Watch the video for the full exchange.

 

You compare football to dog fighting. Why?

Yes, I did a piece for The New Yorker a couple of years ago where I said it. This was at the time when, remember, Michael Vick, was convicted of dog fighting. And to me, that was such a kind of, and the whole world got up in arms about this. How could he use dogs in a violent manner, in a way that compromised their health and integrity?

And I was just struck at the time by the unbelievable hypocrisy of people in football, for goodness sake, getting up in arms about someone who chose to fight dogs, to pit one dog against each other.

In what way is dog fighting any different from football on a certain level, right? I mean you take a young, vulnerable dog who was made vulnerable because of his allegiance to the owner and you ask him to engage in serious sustained physical combat with another dog under the control of another owner, right?

Well, what's football? We take young boys, essentially, and we have them repeatedly, over the course of the season, smash each other in the head, with known neurological consequences.

And why do they do that? Out of an allegiance to their owners and their coaches and a feeling they're participating in some grand American spectacle.

They're the same thing. And the idea that as a culture we would be absolutely quick and sure about coming to the moral boiling point over the notion that you would do this to dogs and yet completely blind to the notion you would do this to young men is, to my mind, astonishing.

I mean there's a certain point where I just said, you know, we have to say enough is enough.

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Topics: GPS Show • Sports • Uncategorized
October 27th, 2013
12:15 AM ET

Gladwell: Why we've got David and Goliath wrong

Fareed speaks with Malcolm Gladwell, longtime ‘New Yorker’ staff writer and best-selling author of ‘The Tipping Point’ and ‘Outliers’ about why we have it wrong about one of the bible’s most famous stories. Watch the full interview this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

David and Goliath. Of course, one of the most famous stories in the world. But you retell it. Explain why you thought it was important to retell. What is the real story of David and Goliath?

Well, I think we have exaggerated the extent to which David is an underdog in that situation. And I think that feeds into a very dangerous line of thinking, which suggests the only way that the weak can ever triumph is by some improbable miracle.

In fact, and this an insanely fun thing to do when I was doing my book, if you talk to endocrinologists, the rabbis, Israeli Defense Force people – I mean anyone who's thought about the David and Goliath story – they will tell you, first of all, that the sling that David has in his hand is not a child's toy. It’s one of the most devastating weapons in ancient warfare.

David had superior technology. I mean, once he decided to break the rules, he's the guy in charge. And then there's Goliath. There's all of these hints in the biblical story in Samuel that Goliath is not what he appears to be.

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Topics: GPS Show
July 20th, 2013
01:24 AM ET

Gladwell: Why college football is like dog fighting

Fareed speaks with Malcolm Gladwell, longtime ‘New Yorker’ staff writer and best-selling author of ‘The Tipping Point’ and ‘Outliers’ about American college football – and whether it’s time to stop it altogether. Watch the full interview this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

You compare football to dog fighting. Why?

Yes, I did a piece for The New Yorker a couple of years ago where I said it. This was at the time when, remember, Michael Vick, was convicted of dog fighting. And to me, that was such a kind of, and the whole world got up in arms about this. How could he use dogs in a violent manner, in a way that compromised their health and integrity?

And I was just struck at the time by the unbelievable hypocrisy of people in football, for goodness sake, getting up in arms about someone who chose to fight dogs, to pit one dog against each other.

In what way is dog fighting any different from football on a certain level, right? I mean you take a young, vulnerable dog who was made vulnerable because of his allegiance to the owner and you ask him to engage in serious sustained physical combat with another dog under the control of another owner, right?

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Topics: Sports
Malcolm Gladwell: When technology fails
July 18th, 2011
01:19 PM ET

Malcolm Gladwell: When technology fails

By the end of World War II, the United States military had spent $1.5 billion on the Norden bombsight, a device that promised to be so accurate it was said a plane could drop a bomb in a pickle barrel from 20,000 feet, according to author Malcolm Gladwell.

Speaking Friday on the last day of the TED Global conference, Gladwell said the device, designed by engineer Carl Norden, indeed could allow bombers to hit their targets - but only under perfect conditions, such as a cloudless sky. In the real world, the sight often failed to find its mark.

In a raid on a German chemical plant, only 10% of thousands of bombs hit the target, said Gladwell, author of "The Tipping Point" and other best-sellers.

He posed the question: Why do people place so much faith in technology such as the Norden bombsight to solve problems?

Read more from CNN's Richard Galant

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Topics: Innovation • Technology
May 1st, 2011
04:30 PM ET

Watch GPS May 1, 2011: the Middle East and Malcolm Gladwell

A major reshuffling occurred at the highest levels of the U.S. intelligence community and military this week. General David Petraeus and Leon Panetta will take on new roles as the head of the CIA and the Pentagon respectively. Fareed calls these “excellent appointments” but his take is that no matter who leads, there needs to be major strategic shift in America's approach to international crises.

Next we’re bringing you a panel of experts to discuss the brutal crackdown in Syria, a potentially unified Palestinian front and the fate of the Arab monarchies. Joining Fareed this week are:

Martin Indyk, the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and vice president and director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution.
– Fawaz Gerges, the Director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics
– Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera English’s Cairo-based correspondent who was recently named one of TIME Magazines 100 most influential people in the world.
– Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and former deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush.

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As seen on GPS today: Gladwell's college rankings, Bernanke's favorite word and more
Word cloud representation of Ben Bernanke's press conference
May 1st, 2011
07:00 AM ET

As seen on GPS today: Gladwell's college rankings, Bernanke's favorite word and more

Want to dig deeper in to today's GPS show? The links below should help:

- Fareed talked about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's historic press conference and how many times he used the world "inflation." You can see the word cloud we created for today's show above.

- Read Malcolm Gladwell's article on why he considers college rankings "absurd" right here (behind a paywall).

- Want to make your alma mater #1 in the nation? Well then devise your own college rankings here. (Warning: works for law schools only.)

- Then compare your rankings with U.S. News' set and see how they stack up.

- See more of the economic rap battles at Econstories.tv and watch the full ten minute long video on Keynes vs. Hayak (as featured in today's Last Look) here.

To stay connected, follow Fareed on Facebook and Twitter.

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Topics: Economy • Education
March 28th, 2011
02:21 AM ET

GPS March 27, 2011: the Middle East and Malcolm Gladwell

This week Fareed shared anchor duties with The Situation Room's Gloria Borger. They brought you the latest on what's going on in world, including the Middle East unrest.

Fareed offered his take on the role of technology in revolution.  Can we really call these "Facebook revolutions" spreading throughout the Middle East? Fareed looked at the just how important technology has been in breaking the state's monopoly on information.

Malcolm Gladwell had his own take on all of this. The New York Times best selling author and New Yorker staff writer sat down with Fareed and argued that the revolution will not be tweeted.

Then, just what in the world is al Qaeda doing launching a women's magazine?

And a last look at some hand signals that might land you in hot water.

Read the transcript here.

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Topics: Economy • GPS Episodes • GPS Show • Middle East • Technology
March 27th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

As seen on GPS today: Fareed on Libya and Gladwell on social media

Here's more information on what our TV guests referred to today:

Fareed's Take on Libya in Time magazine:

"I share the view that with all that is happening in the Arab world, the U.S. and other nations could not abandon the Libyan opposition as it faced a massacre. But I believed helping that opposition was a wiser course than direct military intervention."

Malcolm Gladwell's take on social media and revolution:

"Some of this grandiosity is to be expected. Innovators tend to be solipsists. They often want to cram every stray fact and experience into their new model.

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Topics: GPS Show • Internet • Middle East
December 27th, 2009
11:00 PM ET

GPS December 27, 2009: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Malcolm Gladwell

An exclusive interview with the president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev (Originally aired in September) and a new interview with the always fascinating writer, Malcolm Gladwell.

Read the full transcript here.

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Topics: Best of GPS • Culture • Current Events • Economy • Europe • GPS Episodes • GPS Show • Russia
August 23rd, 2009
11:00 PM ET

Watch GPS August 23, 2009: Interviews With Wen Jiabao, Malcolm Gladwell

Today, an encore. I want to show you again an interview that I think is among the most important I've ever done.

Wen Jiabao is one of the most powerful men on earth. He is the premier, the prime minister of China. And I spoke with him last fall.

It was his first television interview in five years, and he has not granted another one since. In fact, he has rarely spoken to any American journalist, so this was an unusual opportunity.

This interview has been nominated for an Emmy, something we're quite proud of here at GPS.

Read the full transcript here.

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Topics: GPS Episodes • GPS Show
April 26th, 2009
05:42 PM ET

GPS April 26, 2009: Malcolm Gladwell on whether Obama is a polarizing president

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.

President Obama stormed into office with a big election victory, support from both Democrats and Republicans, and assurances that his would be a real bipartisan presidency. But according to one survey, at this point, the man with a mandate has the most polarized support of any president in the past four decades. The numbers come from the Pew Research Center.

You see, the Democrats really like the president. But the more remarkable fact is just how much Republicans dislike the president. So, Obama's support is more polarized than George W. Bush's, than Jimmy Carter's, than Richard Nixon's, at least at this point in their presidency.

But the really amazing fact from Pew, which was underreported, is how few Americans identify themselves as Republicans. For the last 18 months, that number has hovered around 24 percent - the lowest in about three decades. So, we have a shrinking Republican Party, a hardcore base, that is united in its opposition to Obama.

Now, some of you might think this is good. Let the Democrats lead, get things done. Fine. But in the long run it's not so good. This is a two-party system. It is the model of a modern democracy. Many other nations have tried to replicate it.

Right now what we have is a one-and-a-half party system. And with his first 100 days behind him, Obama has captured completely the vital center of the country.

He is extremely popular. At least that's my view.

Now, today on GPS, you'll hear what other people think. We have a terrific panel of historians: Jon Meacham, Walter Isaacson and Peggy Noonan. Then we'll check in with Niall Ferguson on whether the bright spots in the economy are here to stay. And the fascinating best- selling author, Malcolm Gladwell, on how greatness is achieved.

Stay with us.

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October 26th, 2013
03:20 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: Anger at the U.S., and rethinking David vs Goliath

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

On GPS this Sunday: France and Germany are angry about revelations of U.S. phone-tapping, while Saudi Arabia seems disappointed by U.S. policies in the Middle East. What can Washington do? Fareed speaks with a panel of experts including Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass, Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, journalist Karen Elliott House and former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani.

“I mean, the French have security concerns about jihadists in their territory. The Germans do, too. Mohamed Atta came from Hamburg,” Stephens says. “So there are legitimate reasons why the National Security Agency would be monitoring, or at least covering meta data, for a lot of the calls that are placed throughout the European Union.”

Plus, rethinking the Bible: Malcolm Gladwell explains why the David and Goliath story was about an underdog ... except that the real underdog may have been Goliath.

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