The Young Turks (TYT) is a nightly streaming online news show originally started as a Sirius Satellite Radio podcast in 2002. Now is in its eighth year run on YouTube, TYT is a mix of hard-hitting liberal political commentary, current events and pop culture entertainment. An alternative for viewers exhausted by the horrors of grandma’s post-Wheel of Fortune six o’ clock evening snoregasm, TYT offers a funky mashup of The Colbert Report and PBS NewsHour that nevers disappoints with its cranked brand of info-tainment. Here are five reasons to sift through YouTube’s cyst-popping videos and Rihanna performances to tune into TYT:
1. It features wicked smart host and producer Ana Kasparian
Kasparian is a fascinating, Armenian-American journalist and one of the network’s lead hosts. A self-identified feminist progressive, Ms. Kasparian recently went head-to-head with podcaster Joe Rogan on The Point With Ana Kasparian, her weekly one-on-one solo show, to discuss everything from Donald Trump to public masturbation.
Kasparian escapes tokenized roles of women in media by leading serious segments addressing police brutality, reproductive justice and campaign finance reform. Besides acting as an anchor, she is one of the network’s lead producers and is teacher of journalism for California State University at Northridge. The young media executive was recently featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2016.
2. It takes a bold anti-corporate perspective
The network has been a major supporter of Wolf Pac , a political action committee that is directly funded by the public with aims to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission — the Supreme Court case which removed spending limits in campaign finance.
A recent AlterNet column reports that 78 percent of Americans want to see Citizens United overturned, while The Washington Post highlighted campaign finance as a multi-billion dollar industry. Fair.org reports a negative correlation between fairness and accuracy in reporting among news networks with increased corporate funding.
The show has no corporate sponsors and has its entire operation fully funded by the viewing audience. Their $10 monthly subscription model gives viewers access to behind the scenes extras, election coverage, high-profile interviews with people like presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and full run of their podcast archives.
3. It’s funny as fuck
TYT is a hybrid extravaganza of serious politics and first-rate stoner comedy with featured showcases from comedians llike funnyman Jamie Kennedy and SNL über-alum David Spade. If Face the Nation and the kooky character ensemble of In Living Color had a baby, The Young Turks would be it. Their segment on Ted Cruz’s past efforts to ban dildos was depressingly hilarious. From tales of serial goat rape to the epic fail of Buzzfeed’s “27 Questions Black People Have For Black People”, TYT always has a shit ton to giggle about.
4. It’s news with authenticity and integrity
Not only do the show’s hosts make a charming ensemble, they also discuss their personal lives in TYT Post Game after-show segments. In one of the Post Game segments, two of the show’s hosts talked about their relationships — Kasparian discussed her recent engagement to her boyfriend-turned-fiancé and the pressure she faces as a woman to become a wife and mother. The two then offered dating advice to viewers.
While TYT’s ethic of fair reporting allows the network to fearlessly tackle topics like the corporate media’s alleged blackout of Bernie Sanders, the networks also prides itself on their commitment to truth and authenticity in reporting with demands for fact-checks and transparency from other media outlets. In the midst of the national election primaries, for example, The Young Turks have called for CNN to own up to its high campaign donations to Hillary Clinton, suggesting a pro-Clinton slant from the major news network.
5. Founder and CEO Cenk Uygur, makes a perfect lead
Cenk Uygur is a former criminal prosecutor turned liberal creator of The Young Turks. He is the subject of Mad As Hell, a documentary (available on iTunes) about his life and career, and is a recipient of the Emperor Has No Clothes Award for his work with anti-religion organization Freedom From Religion. He declined a high-paying role as an MSCNBC contributor and its affiliates in 2011.
These days, the maverick broadcaster is active on Twitter and loads his feed with political commentary, breaking new stories, past show content and tweets from earlier this month when he got ousted from an American Airlines flight after an alleged verbal conflict with employees. You can also check out his his Facebook page to keep up-to-date with his upcoming speaking engagements and television appearances.
Chaaz Quigley is an Oak Cliff-based activist in Dallas, Texas who loves Black people and hates Hillary Clinton. He enjoys hot bubble baths, Nina Simone and good weed — at the same time. You can follow him via Twitter @ChaazQuigley