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Internet websites are grappling with an issue as old as the freedom of speech. It's all about online comments — when they're offensive, off the point or so ignorant it distorts the value of carefully researched science. On this archived edition of To the Point, should they be allowed anyway, or censored? Should websites deny anonymity, or should they ban online comments altogether? Also, the mystery of low turkey prices. On today's Talking Point, the glorification of drug cartels, including bloody threats, set to traditional Mexican music. We hear about the increasing popularity across this country of narco corridos.

Banner image: Stuart Pilbrow

Kerry Cavanaugh
Sonya Geis

Making News The Mystery of Low Turkey Prices 8 MIN, 26 SEC

Here's a mystery about holiday economics. Just before Valentine's Day, the price of a dozen long-stemmed roses went up this year from $63 to $81. That's typical. But just before Thanksgiving Day the price of turkey always goes down. That's according to Catherine Rampell of the New York Times.

Catherine Rampell, Washington Post (@crampell)

Main Topic Online Comments: Freedom of Speech or the Bane of the Internet? 34 MIN, 26 SEC

Popular Science wants online comments to encourage learned debate but finds that so many are so wrong they damage the credibility of important research. So they've decided to ban reader comments online. The Huffington Post gets nine million comments a month, but 75% are so vile, mean or obscene they never get posted. We hear why some websites won't allow anonymity any more, while others are banning online comment completely. Does free speech have to be limited to expertise or good manners? Are 100 stupid, cruel or disruptive comments worth one that makes for good reading?

Jacob Ward, Popular Science (@_jacobward_)
Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post
James Fallows, Atlantic (@JamesFallows)
Judith Donath, Harvard University (@judithd)
Mathew Ingram, GigaOM (@mathewi)

Breaking The News

James Fallows

Today's Talking Point Mexican Drug War Culture Migrates North 8 MIN, 58 SEC

Mexico's drug war has claimed tens of thousands of lives and brought gruesome violence to the headlines for years, but it's not just the victims and the villains who have been affected. Drug cartels have become glamorous to young people who celebrate them in fashion and music with vengeful lyrics. A new documentary reveals how Mexico's drug war is affecting popular Chicano culture – on both sides of the border. Israel-born photo-journalist Shaul Schwarz is the director of Narco Cultura.


Shaul Schwarz, photo-journalist and filmmaker


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