Left to right: Jayar Jackson, Dave Koller, Cenk Uygur
, Ana Kasparian and Jesus Godoy.
The Young Turks is a radio and internet Talk Show
hosted by Cenk Uygur
(pronounced Jenk Yu-gur), who is (as you might expect) Turkish-American (he was born in Istanbul). The name is a play on the Young Turks
of the late Ottoman Empire, and the figurative use of the term for the youngsters challenging the old guard
(in this case, of the liberal establishment), though the other and more infamous face of said Young Turk Party
has meant the name is controversial. Other co-hosts and helpers include Ben Mankiewicz, Jayar Jackson, Jesus Godoy, Dave Koller, Wes Clark Jr, Teresa Strausser, RJ Eskow, and Micheal Shure. Ana Kasparian (who is, somewhat amusinglynote
, Armenian-American) co-hosts during the third hour, which focuses on pop culture instead of politics.
On 21 September 2011, Cenk announced that he would be starting a television version of the show, The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur
, on Current TV later in the year. The TV show will be discontinued as Al Jazeera (new owner of Current) reorganizes the channel into it a new network, but the online show will remain. In 2013, the online show topped 1 billion views on YouTube
.Here is a character sheet for the hosts
, though it's in need of Wiki Magic
. Cenk Uygur
now has his own entry here.
The Young Turks provides examples of:
- Alas, Poor Villain: Andrew Breitbart, though Cenk subverts it by stating just how much of a Jerk Ass he believes Breitbart was.
- All Men Are Perverts: Comes up often when covering some stories.
- All Women Are Lustful: Looks like it.
- Always Chaotic Evil:
- Their view of the Republican Party as a whole.
- Also, the white shirt police officers, who they claim are always the first to antagonize the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
- Lobbyists tend to get this treatment as well.
- This is Jimmy Dore's view of cops in general, because of how frequent Police Brutality has become.
- Jimmy Dore also feels this way about anybody who's religious. In his view, even the moderates (i.e. those who aren't significantly xenophobic) "cover" for the fundamentalists, as he alleges the moderates have never attempted to actively marginalize the fundamentalists.
- Arc Words:
- "Wholly-owned subsidiary."
- "Corporations are not human beings."
- "Off the top rope."
- "Ladies and gentlemen, we got 'em."
- Ascended Extra:
- Rick Strom, initially just a producer that comments when asked, is now the host for TYT Sports.
- John Fugelsang, formerly a Guest Star Party Member, is now the go-to host of "The Point". Others show up to guest-host, like Ana, Cenk and Jimmy Dore, but Fugelsang's the most frequent. In fact, he starting on October 5th, he now has his own show on Current.
- Jimmy Dore, another Guest Star Party Member, has his own mini-show called "The Jimmy Dore Show".
- Michael Shure is now the host for The War Room.
- Asshole Victim: Mark Stroman.
- Awesome McCoolname: Prometheus Maximus Uygur (nicknamed Pro), Cenk's infant son.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss:
- Cenk used to view Rush Limbaugh as the leader of the Republican Party, until leaked documents about Roger Ailes showed up, where it detailed some of the influence Ailes had.
- With the various criticisms TYT gave Bush, you'd think he was the Big Bad, but in the grand scheme of things, they feel that Bush was more of The Brute by comparison.
- Berserk Button:
- Americans who believe Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11 incur an aggressive response by both Cenk and Ben.
- Cenk will also lose it if a religiously motivated decision kills someone. See here.
- Big Bad: The Wall Street bankers, multinational corporations who bought Congress, the Supreme Court, the mainstream news media.....
- Bigger Bad: Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes.
- Bilingual Bonus: Occasionally Cenk will throw out a little Turkish, especially W/Ha Siktir! Usually he translates.
- Black And Black Morality: The common consensus on what the "normal", Republican vs. Democrat (or Tea Party versus Establishment GOP) fights are. Or at best Black and Grey Morality.
- Black and White Morality: They believe this is true to an extent that Cenk himself claimed to be astonished at how often it seems to turn up.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Look at the subtitles on the screen of one of TYT's videos sometime. The translation is extremely bad.
- The Bus Came Back: Jill Pike
- Butt Monkey:
- Among others, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Michael Steele, Glenn Beck, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum.
- Internally, Tom Hanc, one of the TYT producers, has become something of a butt monkey for the rest of the crew. This is due apparently to his habit for self-promotion, Ana's competitive nature, and the fact he gets little-to-no air time to defend himself.
- Hanc was supposed to participate in the arm wrestling competition. He broke his own wrist before they announced that a competition would be hosted. Self-elimination Epic Fail. They even put him in the women's bracket.
Ana:"Maybe we could have a special Olympics for him."
- Catch Phrase:
- Conspiracy Theorist: Unashamedly, especially when it comes to corporate and monetary influence in politics.
- Cluster F-Bomb:
- Count 'em.
- Also, Cenk curses a lot here. It seems that his new Berserk Button are completely baseless and dangerous accusations by conservatives.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Hold the opinion that most high-profile corporate CEOs are this, with special mention going to the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch, and Roger Ailes.
- Despair Event Horizon: Frank Luntz appears to have crossed it in this video. Cenk was amused.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Zig zagged here. Ana sticks up for the guy, Cenk makes fun of him for two and a half minutes, agrees that it's bad regardless of gender, expresses doubts regarding whether the man should have really sued, and ends saying he should get over it.
- Dirty Coward: Their view of the Democrats as a whole.
- The Ditz: Ana Kasparian once said she thought McCain was a German name.
- Egregious: Not the show itself; Cenk is one of the few mainstream newscasters who uses this word fairly often.
- Eldritch Abomination: Wall Street itself is considered as an amoral, money-making machine; everyone affiliated with it only cares about making profit.
- Enemy Civil War: Their opinion of the struggles between the Wall Street-backed Republicans and the demagogic Tea Party.
- Specific examples go into the 2011/2012 Republican primaries, where Mitt Romney gets challenged by Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and basically everybody who's not Mitt Romney at different points.
- Epic Fail:
- Texas outlawed marriage. Cenk was amused.
- The Turks themselves have one when they report on a disturbing video of two western men doing horrible things to a Korean woman at a nightclub. When the video was posted, it has been revealed that it was a viral film project and everyone in the video were actors.
- Even Evil Has Standards: As Ana and Cenk explain, members of Stormfront.org thought that Taylor Chapman, the PR professional who went on a unhinged, racist rant on Dunkin Donuts employees, was out of line. Although the members try to deduct that she's a "Jew".
- Evil Versus Evil: Cenk opposes the Muslim Brotherhood on account of him being secular, but he loathes what the Egyptian military has done to Brotherhood protesters.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Led to a Crowning Moment of Funny for Cenk; in a story about a gang of thieves, Cenk pointed out how diverse the robbers were, calling them the All-American robbery team and said that it's "America coming together, to rob your ass."
- Five-Token Band: Let's see, a Turkish host, an Armenian-American female co-host, a black producer, a Mexican director, and a white guy. And occasionally Ben Mankiewicz shows up, who's Jewish. They've since added Steve Oh, an Asian executive director who occasionally joins the debate.
- Foreign Cuss Word: Cenk uses Turkish profanity on a regular basis. He even did so when he was on MSNBC, since it's only English profanity that's forbidden.
- Foreshadowing?: The TYT Interviews stopped updating their videos as regularly as they have to their main channel? Come about a week or so later, and Cenk formally announced that he's recently left MSNBC.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: A devoutly held belief of Cenk's.
- Godwin's Law/Hitler Ate Sugar:
- Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: From time to time, TYT covers some really, really grotesque stories that make them go "How the fuck can a human being do that to another?"
- Head-in-the-Sand Management: Subverted. This was Cenk's initial view of Barack Obama, but as time went by, particularly with videos like this, it's become clear clear Cenk and Wes view Obama as less of an appeaser and more of a complicit conservative disguised as a Democrat.
- Heel-Face Turn: The Tea Party
- Hoist by His Own Petard: A notorious rich man spent 8 million dollars to fund dozens of smear ads against Democrats. Guess why he went bankrupt.
- Humans Are Bastards: Often.
- Hypocrite: The gang insists that they don't like discrimination and feel that all cultures are equal, but had a bad habit of going on these long-winded anti-religious rants whenever a story about a religious fundamentalist causing trouble came up. There are multiple agnostics and atheists working for TYT, and they also often complain about how these groups are mistreated and mischaracterized. However, they've made a clear effort to subvert this recently, by making their rants targeted towards fundamentalists who abuse religion rather than religion in general.
- Hypocritical Humor: Intentionally invoked by Cenk here in order to make fun of and draw attention to the claims that Liberals and Al Qaeda are working together that a Fox News correspondent makes.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Cenk is fond of them.
That's Kim Jong Un-acceptable!
- Jerkass: Ben in this video
- Jimmy Dore a little bit after 40 minutes into this episode where he asserts that being "uneducated" and "dumb" are the most likely reasons millennials would vote Republican.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- Cenk and the crew reluctantly admit that serial killer and rogue cop Dorner raises some good points about whistleblowers, but they make it clear that they do NOT condone his actions. On the flip side, some of his opponents might feel the same way at some points.
- They also take the time to praise a Fox News reporter who remains very professional after two women attempt to kiss him when he's in the middle of a live on-scene report here.
- Really, Cenk and co make it a habit to point out any positive points people make, even if they don't like the people making them.
- John Iadorala and co's take on Pat Robertson questioning if Justice Anthony Kennedy's clerks were gay, is that if you personally know any Gay people and come to understand them that you will most likely accept them as a whole.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: What Steve Oh says of Ted Nugent.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: Played with and deconstructed for an argument. The show makes fun of religious conservative Christians all the time. However, Cenk isn't above claiming that Jesus himself was a Socialist in response to a Republican claiming that Socialism was "unbiblical" during a speech. Basically, he also claims God for his side.
- Karma Houdini: Many examples, from murderers (like the father and grandfather who buried their daughter/granddaughter just for talking to boys), to politicians and corporations.
- Large Ham: Cenk. Especially when he's parodying something.
- Man Behind the Man:
- Supposedly, several multinational corporations for nearly every single politician.
- Dick Cheney for George W. Bush, who acted as the Vice President.
- Rahm Emanuel and Timothy Geithner for Barack Obama, the former Chief of Staff and current Secretary of Treasury.
- Charles and David Koch for most freshman House Republicans, including Scott Walker, Rick Snyder and John Kasich.
- Played with for Rush Limbaugh; at the very least, he certainly knows how to intimidate Republican-aligned politicians enough to keep them in line.
- Roger Ailes for every Republican president since Richard Nixon. TYT does a good job in rationalizing why, too.
Cenk:"There's always somebody strong, within the White House, who influences the President more than other people do, and you can always tell by the decisions that are made. By the directions that they go. The way they play politics."
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: According to Cenk.
- The Merch: Mind your business looking up videos on Youtube. Some video by The Young Turks will be likely to show up sooner or later even if you don't look them up. They have tens of thousands of videos covering almost everything.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Somewhat unintentionally. The name of the radio station was meant to invoke the reforming roots of the Young Turk Party, but they're better known for being the World War One Turkish equivalent of the Nazi Party before there was a Nazi party. Unsurprisingly, the subject is still Flame Bait.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: This is the mildest way of explaining how TYT views the Republican Party as a whole.
- Oh, Crap: Cenk and co have a collective one when talking about the growing popularity of Greece's Golden Dawn party, a party of Fascist neo-nazis. They bring up several intelligent points and studies on the dangers of purists and fascism, especially how they often rise in power during times of economic strife and can potentially lead to years of problems.
- Only in Florida: Often. To the point where Cenk is surprised if a strange occurrence didn't happen in Florida.
- The Plan: They have their own, called Wolf-Pac, which is supposed to serve as a counter to the corruptible influence of money in politics by lobbying state legislatures to call a constitutional convention, where the US Constitution could be amended without anyone in the federal government having a say in the process. The theory is that state legislators will often be more responsible to their constituents than members of Congress are, and thus will be more responsive to the idea of getting money out of political campaigns.
- Papa Wolf: Cenk. He's a father, and goes into Tranquil Fury whenever they cover a story that involves stupid parents endangering their children.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Cenk Uygur explained how many Republicans were concerned about losing the Senate race in Missouri rather than being legitimately offended by Todd Akin's rape remarks.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Check back with Cenk's Berserk Button.
Cenk:"USA Today you SUCK BALLS!"
- The Rival: Mitt Romney garnered a lot of these during the 2011/2012 Republican primary - Rick Perry was his most vitriolic opponent, while Newt Gingrich took over as the neo-conservative challenger. The one who gave him the hardest run and was the most competitive to him was Rick Santorum.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Cenk quit his job at MSNBC after they offered him a smaller position in the company at twice his pay despite the fact that he beat Fox News ratings in the young demographic.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Pretty damn cynical, particularly involving American politics.
- Smug Snake: Cenk. Invoked when impersonating rich people (who aren't named Warren Buffet) and Republicans.
- Spin-Off: They still have TYT as their main channel, but they've made several other channels to fill up the other topics of the day.
- TYT Underground are behind-the-scenes videos of what the TYT members are doing just before they actually report the news. Currently run by Jesus Godoy; placed on hold until further notice.
- TYT Shows is a mini-channel that has more detailed commentary and analysis on news, politics and entertainment. Noted for having spin-offs in and of itself.
- TYT Now, hosted by Tina Dupuy and Tim Mihalsky. Discontinued in favor of twenTYTwelve. Ran from May to August 2011.
- Reality Bytes Back, celebrity news by Misty Kingma and Jacki Bray. Discontinued in favor of twenTYTwelve. Ran from May to July 2011.
- The WMB Show, where Wesley Clark, Michael Shure and Ben Mankiewicz voice their own personal segments on news. Discontinued since Wes was Put on a Bus. Ran from May to June 2011.
- Launched and hosted by Michael Shure is a mini-segment called twenTYTwelve, which focuses on covering the primaries, caucuses, debates and conventions for the upcoming election.
- TYT Interviews is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Generally inactive since Cenk left MSNBC.
- TYT Sports is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, frequently hosted by Rick Strom.
- TYT University has user-submitted videos about college, hosted by Ana Kasparian.
- The Top Vlog are official behind-the-scenes footage of TYT, run by Jesus Godoy.
- The Point features user-submitted videos focusing on a specific topic, which the panel discusses and elaborates upon. Its host switches around a lot, but one in particular would be John Fugelsang.
- TYT Nation, where users submit videos on their two-cents about any particular topic. It's their way of [promoting their fans, as they did with John Iadarola.
- What the Flick?! features reviews of films, hosted by Ben Manckiewicz.
- Strawman News Media: Cenk invokes with Fox News, as well as the majority of the other major news outlets.
- Sympathy for the Devil: Cenk and Ana express this for the individual responsible for "The Fappening," the leaking of nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities. They take him to task for his actions and don't condone what he did in the slightest, but the man's life was so pathetic that they felt bad for him as well.
- Take That: And a double-whammy, at that.
Ben:"I'm rooting for a German; that's how much I hate the Heat."
- Another showed up in this video. For a bit of backstory, Ana hosts her own mini-channel called TYT University. Rick is a co-host for TYT Sports. Ana is notorious for her hatred of sports (there was a brief shot of her sleeping during a football game). When Ana took a jab at Rick, Cenk took the time to defend Rick, by pointing out that TYT Sports was rated the number two TYT channel on their website. Especially stings since TYT University has actually been on longer than TYT Sports.
- Tournament Arc: TYT Sports is hosting arm-wrestling matches with the crew, minus Richard Eskow, Wesley Clark, Jimmy Dore, Brian Unger, Tina Dupuy and Jackie Bray.
- First round:
- Note that these are spoilers, but here comes round two:
- Worst News Judgement Ever: Cenk will claim that this is often intentional. The press wants to distract the masses from the real issues.
- Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": Cenk's own behavior on the other Ottoman/early Republican Turkish genocides.
- The Virus: The corrupting influence of money on politics is often compared to this.