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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 and Fox 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.
    • In addition, he views Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Clinton in this light during their presidencies, but he's quick to call them out for their bad decisions (internment of Japanese-Americans for Roosevelt; deregulating the markets, allowing corporate control of the media and signing the Defense of Marriage Act into law] for Clinton).
  • Broken Pedestal: MSNBC after the mentioned Wham! Line by its President to him.
  • 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.
  • Catch Phrase: So many.
    • "Of course!"
    • "Elbow from the sky!"
    • "Sad day for you."
    • "How's that X working out for Y?"
    • "I jump in it!"
    • "Down goes X!"
    • "But are they not merciful!"
    • "Let him/her go!"
    • "That's awesome."
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Cenk routinely makes suggestive comments about attractive women and has a top ten list of hottest celebrities, but will stand up for womens' rights without hesitation, not to mention being happily married.
  • Co-Dragons: His view of Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He really, really dislikes these, with the Koch brothers singled out in particular.
  • Defector From Decadence: Inverted; in his own words and his point of view, the Republicans left him when they became extremist to him.
  • Dirty Coward: His view of most Democrats, but he rationalizes it as Obfuscating Stupidity, since he views them in the same complicit light as the Republicans.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He thinks of this about Mitt Romney.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Fanservice
  • Full-Circle Revolution: Cenk expressed disapproval over his perception of Obama's continuation of Bush's policies.
  • General Failure: His view of Don Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary.
  • Girl-On-Girl Is Hot
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: TYT pokes good-natured fun at all languages in general, though Cenk seems to be particularly fascinated with German words.
  • Hot-Blooded: He was far more prone to this behavior back when he was a radio talk show host.
  • Implacable Man: As this arm-wrestling match shows.
  • Large Ham
  • 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...
  • No Pronunciation Guide: His first name is pronounced with a J (Jenk). "C" sounds like "J" in Turkish.
  • Not So Different: Ronald Reagan (claimed to have) left the Democrats for the same reasons Cenk left the Republicans - the parties left them.
  • Pet the Dog: He admits that Bush starting making slightly more reasonable decisions by the end of his final term.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Cenk gushed about Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann n many occasions, for being the first few truly (in his view) progressive voices on television. Between Con(servative) Job of the day and Interviews with Maddow, Cenk finally got his chance to become one of those voices.
    • He remains one of those voices, now that Al Gore employed him at Current TV.
  • 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.
  • Spin-Off: Back when Cenk was in MSNBC, most of his interviews were moved onto TYT Interviews.
  • Wham! Line: Cenk experienced one when the head of MSNBC told him that "We are the establishment."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: A frequent way that he criticizes the Obama administration.
    • Gave a passing one to Mark Udall after his vote in support of the NDAA.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: In 2010, Cenk announced the birth of his son: Prometheus Maximus Uygur.
  • 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. However, his main co-host Ana Kasparian is Armenian, which either gives him N-Word Privileges or is just like having a Jewish person on the aforementioned show.
    • He retracted his denial in 2016, saying that he was going to refrain from commenting on the topic and acknowledging that he doesn't know enough about it.
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