Paranoid Ted Turner Hypes Global Threats, Promotes Population Reduction

CNN founder freaks out to Fortune Magazine about nuclear war, climate change, overpopulation.

CNN founder Ted Turner has a long history of paranoia when it comes to human extinction and global destruction. He remains a zealous supporter of population reduction.

Ted Turner opened up to Fortune Magazine’s senior editor Patricia Sellers for the magazine’s Dec. 9 issue. During this interview, Turner reiterated his long held view that humanity will face extinction in the 21st century. He also shared the rationale behind CNN’s name and expressed pride in Comedy Central’s ratings.

Turner said that nuclear war could be imminent, “An accident or an earthquake could cross wires and off we go. And that would be the destruction of the world.” He also worried about “global climate change and the environmental destruction of the Earth and our resource base.”

While proposing no solution for the threat of nuclear war, Turner said drastically reducing the human population could reduce environmental destruction and cited infamous population alarmist Paul Ehrlich’s goal of reducing our population from 7 billion to 2.5 billion.

Like other Malthusians before him, Ehrlich has been wrong about population growth because he assumed resources are finite. He incorrectly predicted that the United Kingdom would become a “small group of impoverished islands,” saying that it might “not exist in the year 2000.” According to The Australian columnist Brendan O’Neill, Ehrlich also warned India wouldn’t survive the 1970s.

Turner said population reduction could be achieved if each family only had one child. He said it should be voluntary but “it needs to be encouraged.” He did not say who ought to encourage this behavior. In a disturbing statement in 2009, Turner described China’s draconian one-child policy as encouragement through tax penalties. He was criticized for his “gross ignorance” of human rights in China, according to LifeSiteNews.

In his Fortune interview, Turner said he named the Cable News Network (CNN) as a way of coercing cable channels into carrying his show. “I figured when people called on the phone to their cable system, they’d say. ‘How come you’re not carrying the Cable News Network? You’re the cable company.’”

“The name confused people,” Turner said but he thought it was “pretty clever.” He took pride in his broadcasting company, Turner Broadcasting, and Comedy Central which in his words “has higher ratings than CNN on most days.” 

— Sean Long is Staff Writer at the Media Research Center. Follow Sean Long on Twitter.