A rising political commentator, analyzer and ex-pundit, the Turkish-American Cenk Uygur is the main host and creator of The Young Turks on YouTube, who wanted to start a liberal political and entertainment show. Born in Istanbul, his Muslim family emigrated to New Jersey when he was eight, but he switched from Muslim to agnostic later in his life, and he worked as an assistant attorney after graduating from Pennsylvania University. Starting off as a Northeast moderate Republican, Cenk subsequently switched into a liberal/progressive, but he says he retains most of his old stances. His most defining view is that multinational corporations have bribed Congress, manipulating the political system through the media and think tanks in order to shift the spectrum further right-wing, while making money off the backs of the middle and working class; he's quick to call them out on it.Viewing both the Democrats and Republicans as jointly-owned subsidiaries of those same multinational corporations, Cenk is frustrated with the continued capitulation of the Democrats, essentially viewing them as Dirty Cowards, but he gives credit where it's due, particularly towards Alan Grayson, Russ Feingold, Anthony Wiener and Bill Clinton, though he holds Clinton accountable for contributing to the economic recession and allowing corporate control of the media. His view on the Republicans is even harsher, but he still has a soft spot for old-school Republicans like Alan Simpson, who're dead-wrong on the policies, but right on the issues. Cenk believes that the mainstream media deliberately leads to an unwillingness to genuinely and forcefully challenge orthodox political positions and conventional wisdom. He has also argued that modern American political journalism fails to meet its obligation of reporting on the news in an objective manner, preferring a neutral approach to news stories, so as not to be accused of taking sides—even when there's already a clear distinction between fact and fiction.To say that he disliked George W. Bush's administration would be a massive understatement; he likens Bush as a Tyrant Takes the Helm type, with Vice President Cheney as the Man Behind the Man. Although initially positive of Barack Obama, Cenk quickly took an increasingly critical attitude towards Obama's policies, repeatedly stating that Obama's administration is too concerned with conceding to the right on nearly every issue. Increasingly concerned that Obama's policies and initiatives were shifting further to the right, Cenk views that the President makes unnecessary and preemptive tangible and ideological concessions to his opponents. On October 21, 2010, Cenk became an official contributor and substitute anchor to MSNBC, filling in for Dylan Ratigan and Ed Schultz, among others. On January 21 of the following year, Cenk hosted his own segment on the 6 p.m. Eastern slot for MSNBC, after Keith Olbermann parted ways with the network. He earned immense ratings, enough that MSNBC beat CNN andFox News by June, but his contract with MSNBC ended after he turned down an offer that involved more money, but less prominence. According to Cenk, the head of MSNBC told him "people in Washington were concerned about your tone".
Tropes related to Cenk Uygur include:
Always Chaotic Evil: His view of Republicans as a whole, with varying degrees of "chaotic" and "evil".
Big Good: This is what fans of TYT actually view about Cenk himself. That has some credence, actually, since he's the founder, host and CEO of The Young Turks. In addition, he apparently spearheads, if not founded Wolf-Pac.
He painted Obama in this light during the 2008 election, but that definitely changed afterward. Nowadays, he's switched that role to Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, though Cenk went on record to say that the only politician he would ever trust "blankly" would be Russ Feingold.
Al Jazeera, as well, after finding out that they published more pro-war arguments calling for strikes against Syria.
Cassandra Truth: During a show on Current TV, Cenk had Ben, Jennifer Granholm, Michael Shure and Brian Unger discussing about a Republican debate. Halfway through, Cenk was the only one that predicted Obama would "buckle" on the Keystone Pipeline issue. The others didn't think Obama would do so. A day later, Obama backpedaled on a veto threat regarding the Keystone Pipeline.
Chivalrous Pervert: Cenk routinely makes suggestive comments about attractive women and has a top ten list of hottest celebrities, but will stand up for women's rights without hesitation, not to mention being happily married.
Co-Dragons: His view of Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers.
Cenk: "Young, teenager, (African American) US citizen (named Trayvon Martin) gets killed, (and) the country is justifiably outraged. Young, teenager, (Muslim American) US citizen gets killed, (and) no one is outraged. They won't even tell us who killed him. At least we know George Zimmerman killed (Trayvon). They won't tell us why he was killed. Who pressed the button? Why did they press the button? Well, in that story, where (the Guardian journalists) talked about the Kill List, they said President Obama personally authorizes every single drone strike."
Enemy Civil War: His take on the divide between the Tea Party and the Republican establishment.
This is exemplified by the duel for the 2012 Republican nomination. The presumptive frontrunner is Mitt Romney; the rest of the candidates style themselves as the "anti-Romney", with Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum as his most notable opponents.
Full-Circle Revolution: Cenk expressed disapproval over his perception of Obama's continuation of Bush's policies.
Insistent Terminology: Defied. He always refers to himself as a progressive, not a liberal. However, he's consistently distanced himself from actual liberals (whom he views as more left-wing than him) oftentimes due to them practicing in Political Correctness Gone Mad.
The Last DJ: He left MSNBC after they offered him a lucrative contract in exchange for toning down his rhetoric.
Morally Bankrupt Banker: Hates them enough that he views bankers in general as the Big Bad. Specific examples are Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Enron, Exxon Mobil, JP Morgan Chase...
He remains one of those voices, now that Al Gore employed him at Current TV.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Very fond of delivering these, and not just to republicans. His view is that pretty much 90% of Washington simply doesn't care about actual beliefs or principles, and that their votes are simply up for grabs to the highest bidder. He also delivers these to the mainstream media on a regular basis, as he feels that they have completely given up on the principle of actually doing their job of exposing the truth, and simply reprint what the politicians say, and never challenge them, because all they care about anymore is access to Washington. He is actually a firsthand observer of this last one, as he left MSNBC when they essentially told him that Washinton was unhappy with his refusal to "play ball," as he often puts it. The most scathing and memorable of these speeches is his infamous "USA Today, 'US safer, Bush says'" headline rant, AKA "USA Today, you suck balls!"
The Rival: There are several for Cenk: in politics, one of his favorite guests is Ron Paul, despite their polarized political views. On the internet, one of his strongest rivals is Lee Doren, the Right-wing libertarian host of How The World Works(itself a popular Youtube channel) and former employee of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute think tank.
He also had a lot of fun with the fact that Mitt Romney's dressage horse was named "Rafalka". He must have said it over twenty times in four minutes.
Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": As liberal as he is, he's still been known to deny or at least negate the full extent of the Armenian genocide. It also doesn't help that to Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, naming a show after the Young Turks party is something akin to how Jews would feel about a show called The National Socialists.
And yet, his main co-host Ana Kasparian? She's Armenian.