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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). Other co-hosts and helpers include John Iadarola, Ben Mankiewicz, Jayar Jackson, Jesus Godoy, Dave Koller, Wes Clark Jr, Teresa Strausser, RJ Eskow, and Micheal Shure. Ana Kasparian (who is, somewhat amusingly, Armenian-American) is the most prominent female co-host, with other prominent cohosts being Brooke Thomas and Aida Rodriguez.

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 Current TV show lasted until Current TV was sold in 2013. The Young Turks has since rededicated itself as the 'home of progressives' with spinoff shows on the network including The Damage Report (hosted by John Iadorola with occassional co-hosts Brooke Thomas and Brett Erlich) and No Filter (hosted by Ana Kasparian).

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:

  • Aerith and Bob: Cenk Uygur, Ben Mankiewicz, Dave Koller, Rick Strom, Jesus Godoy and... Steve Oh.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Comes up often when covering some stories.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Looks like it.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Their view of Republicans and conservatives as a whole.
    • Also, the white shirt police officers are always the first to antagonize the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
    • Lobbyists tend to get this treatment as well.
    • Not always true - Cenk has some respect for conservatives who aren't in the pay of big business.
  • Arc Words: "Wholly-owned subsidiary."
    • "Corporations are not human beings."
    • "Off the top rope."
    • "Ladies and gentlemen, we got 'em."
  • 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 details exactly how the Republicans followed Ailes' lead.
    • 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: Ignorant Americans who believe Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11 incur an aggressive response by both Cenk and Ben. Irresponsible journalism that refuses to question the rich and powerful can, under certain circumstances, cause Ana to go on a tirade.
  • Big Bad: Not a person, but an entity - the Wall Street bankers, multinational corporations who bought Congress, the Supreme Court and the mainstream news media.
  • Bigger Bad Finally, Rupert Murdoch, another major symptom of mega-influential corporations and the owner of Wall Street.
    • In regards to the media, that would be Roger Ailes, head of Fox News and the manager of the Republican Party.
  • Big Good: Cenk himself.
  • Biggus Dickus: Mitt Romney, apparently.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Occasionally Cenk will throw out a little Turkish, especially W/Ha Siktir! Usually he translates.
  • Black and White Morality: Cenk himself is astonished how much this trope can be Truth in Television, particularly in regards to corporate corruption and the subsidiaries thereof.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: Look at the subtitles on the screen of one of TYT's videos sometime. The translation is extremely bad.
  • Butt Monkey: Among others, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Michael Steele, Glenn Beck, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani, Meghan McCain, Kellyanne Conway, Ben Shapiro, 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 womens' bracket.

 Ana:"Maybe we could have a special Olympics for him."

  • Catch Phrase: "I denounce and reject you" or "I denounce and reject myself."
  • The Chamberlain: Subverted. This was Cenk's initial view of Barack Obama, but as time went by, particularly with videos like this, it's clear Cenk and Wes especially view Obama as less of an appeaser and more of a complicit conservative disguised as a Democrat.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Count 'em.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Most high-profile corporate CEOs, like the Koch brothers.
  • Dirty Coward: Their view of the establishment Democrats as a whole.
  • Dueling Shows: Cenk actually confirmed that TYT Networks' separate Spin Offs are competing to get the most views, subscriptions and likes.
  • Egregious: Not the show itself; Cenk is one of the few mainstream newscasters who uses this word fairly often. Ana has also used the 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: 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 and Ron Paul at different points.
  • Epic Fail: Texas outlawed marriage. Cenk was amused.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A good portion of the guys aren't bad-looking themselves.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ben and Cenk explain that the Democrats are starting to learn that Obama is not on their side, up to losing their trust in him, because Obama's agreeing to everything with the Republicans, no matter how little he gets in return and regardless of the disastrous results thereof.
  • Equal Opportunity Evil: Led 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-Bad Band: There are several groups they've portrayed as this throughout their run:
    • The Bush administration:
    • Fox News:
      • Big Bad: Rupert Murdoch, whose influence is felt throughout America, Britain and Australia.
      • Dragon-in-Chief: Roger Ailes. Murdoch might be the Bigger Bad, but Ailes had more power over Fox News day-to-day.
      • The Dragon: Bill O Reilly. The highest-ranking host seen as second in command at Fox only behind Ailes. Since his departure in 2017, either Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson might fill the role.
      • The Brute: Sean Hannity. Most explicit and persistent criticism of their liberal/progressive ideology.
      • The Evil Genius: Ann Coulter. Who they usually refuse to talk about because they think she uses calculated ploys for attention.
      • The Dark Chick: Glenn Beck. Also Michelle Malkin and Greta Van Susteren, or Laura Ingraham. Beck was seen by them as the most unstable, emotional, and eccentric odd one out by advertisers, but his contract with Fox ended sometime in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • 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. Recently they added Steve Oh, an Asian executive director who occasionally joins the debate.
  • Foreshadowing?: Ever noticed how 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 announces that he's recently left MSNBC.
  • Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Just ask Cenk.
  • Godwin's Law/Hitler Ate Sugar: Cenk is not a fan.
  • Hatedom: Oh, boy.
    • There used to be a particular Hatedom for Ben.
  • Heel Face Turn: The Tea Party
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A notorious rich man spend 8 million dollars to fund dozens of smear ads against Democrats. Guess why he went bankrupt.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Often, but they justify it by claiming that those they disagree with aren't people, just fanatics that will always represent, defend and protect their bosses. They may be 'people', but they're not "humane".
  • Jerkass: Ben in this video
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: The show makes fun of right-wing religious hypocrisy all the time. However, Cenk isn't above pointing out that Jesus himself was a Socialist. To be fair, this was in response to a Republican claiming that Socialism was "unbiblical" during a speech.
  • 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 conservatives.
  • Man Behind the Man: 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.
    • FOX News for Donald Trump. It's often noted how Trump receives advice from Sean Hannity, and is a regular viewer of Fox and Friends.

 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."

  • Ms. Fanservice: Most people tend to see Ana as this.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: This is the mildest way of explaining how TYT views the Republican Party as a whole. Establishment Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi also are portrayed as this when their decisions stand in the way of progressive policies.
  • Only in Florida: Often. To the point where Cenk is surprised if a strange occurrence didn't happen in Florida.
  • Rape Is Okay When Its 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.
  • 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. At present, it's 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. 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.
      • Reality Bytes Back, celebrity news by Misty Kingma and Jacki Bray. Currently on hold in favor of twenTYTwelve.
      • The WMB Show, where Wesley Clark, Michael Shure and Ben Mankiewicz voice their own personal segments on news. On hiatus since Wes was Put on a Bus.
      • 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.
    • No Filter, where Ana Kasparian monologue/rants about various politicians and commentators and their recent actions.
    • The Damage Report, where John Iadarola and/or his co-hosts (often Brooke Thomas, Jayar Jackson or Brett Erlich) discuss current events in a style similar to the main show.
  • Strawman News Media: Cenk invokes with Fox News, as well as the majority of the other major news outlets.
  • 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.
  • The Bus Came Back: Jill Pike
  • 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.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Check back with Cenk's Berserk Button.

 Cenk:"USA Today you SUCK BALLS!"

  • 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.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Mocked in the video about the new logo for the Democratic Party.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: Cenk will claim that this is often intentional. The press wants to distract the masses from the real issues.
  • Xanatos Gambit: TYT believes that entire corporations have completely bought Congress; their lobbyists donate money to electoral campaigns and often serve as major advisers for their politicians, who convince said politicians to deregulate corporations and cut their taxes, while placing the burden on the middle and working classes of America. In exchange for that, the politicians get a large sum of money once they leave politics for good, and even become lobbyists themselves. With the Supreme Court also under corporate payroll, they've made it so that corporations are legally allowed to essentially bribe politicians without repercussions, while making laws that continue to shift the burden on the middle class. Meanwhile, the mainstream media news would distract the public from the real facts, while simultaneously feeding into political propaganda machines to persuade the audiences to take sides in a divide and conquer scenario. Alternatively, the news media may want to portray themselves as "Centrist" or "equal" as possible, in order to form the illusion of bipartisan agreement (CNN, NBC et al, as well as Fox News for the first bit).
    • Through a manipulation of politics, ideology, paranoia and discrimination, represented by talk show hosts and news anchors, the corporations' politicians are able to sway a good amount of voters on their side, while making sure that they screw over the people at the same time, discreetly or otherwise. With America's rigid two-party governmental system, the corporations won't allow any independent, third-party alternatives, leaving it as practically an oligarchy or plutocracy. With every Republican actively antagonizing the middle class and most Democrats pretending to be populist, bipartisan, and progressive—while in reality supporting some of the same "voodoo economics" theories as Republicans—the corporations have effectively controlled and influenced politics without much opposition or regression. The only real way to end this is to amend the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Courts rulings that say "corporations are people" and "money equals free speech", which would immediately hurt corporations' ability to buy Congress, and in the long run permanently cripple it, since the Court would no longer be able to overturn campaign finance laws on that technicality. But good luck trying to get 2/3 of each house to pass it and 38 state legislatures to ratify it in less than two years (any longer and the corporate machine will certainly have had the time to destroy everyone who supported it, killing momentum), much less finding a politician that won't eventually get bought by the corporations.[1]

Notes

  1. The sad irony of all this is that a number of politicians in Washington have gone on record to say that they really hate hitting up corporate lobbyists for money, because they feel they have much better things to do with their time (like working for the people who actually vote for them), and also they're ego-driven people who like to be in control just as you'd expect from Type A personalities. The big reason they do it is because, in the absence of public financing of campaigns, if they don't, their opponents in the next election most certainly will, and said politician would find themselves unemployed (and unemployable) come the following January.
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