The Young Turks
|The Young Turks|
|Also known as||TYT|
|Created by||Cenk Uygur|
|Directed by||Jesus Godoy|
|Presented by||Cenk Uygur (2002–present)|
Ben Mankiewicz (2002–2007; contributor thereafter)
Jill Pike (2002–2007)
Ana Kasparian (2008–present)
John Iadarola (2012–present)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||16|
|Executive producer(s)||Ana Kasparian|
|Production location(s)||Wilshire Boulevard, California|
|Running time||120 minutes (main program)|
Varied (post-game show)
|Original network||Sirius Satellite Radio (2002–2009, 2009–2010, 2017–present)|
Air America (2006–2008)
Current TV (2011–2013)
Pluto TV (2014–present)
YouTube TV (2018–present)
480i (SDTV; 2005–2011),
1080i (HDTV; 2011–present)
|Original release||February 14, 2002 –|
The Young Turks (TYT) is a left-wing, progressive news and opinion show on YouTube that additionally appears on selected TV channels in the United States. TYT serves as the flagship program of the TYT Network, a multi-channel network of associated web series focusing on news and current events. TYT covers politics, lifestyle, pop culture, science, sport and other social topics. The program was created by Cenk Uygur, Ben Mankiewicz, and Dave Koller. Currently co-hosted by Uygur, Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola, it is also often accompanied by various other in-studio contributors. The program maintains an anti-establishment stance and provides commentary on topics of varying news genres. The Young Turks began as a radio program that premiered on February 14, 2002, on Sirius Satellite Radio; it was later carried on Air America, before launching a web series component in 2005 on YouTube. In 2018, Regional News Network offered it initially on WMCN, its New Jersey broadcast television station. TYT is the longest-running online news show in the world.
In addition to being carried on the TYT Network and YouTube, it is also currently available on Amazon Prime Direct, iTunes, Hulu,Roku, on Pluto TV through a 24-hour feed and on social media platforms Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It has spawned two spin-off television series, one that aired on Current TV from 2011 to 2013 and a second that debuted on Fusion in 2016 as a limited-run program developed to cover the 2016 United States presidential election. The Young Turks also served as the subject of a documentary, entitled Mad as Hell, which was released in 2014. The network also has a linear channel on YouTube TV. In 2017, TYT sought to expand its media network and hire more staff through various venture capital fundraising efforts such as a $20-million investment by Jeffrey Katzenberg into the company. The growth of the network over the years has made TYT the "largest online news show in the world".
The Young Turks live streams for up to three hours, with its story selection and associated commentary broken up by format. Issues that the show focuses on include national political news, the influence of money in the political process, drug policy, social security, the privatization of public services, climate change, the influence of religion, abortion and reproductive rights, civil rights and issues of injustice towards people of color and sexual minorities, sexual morality, and the influence of corporations, neutrality and establishment political thought on traditional news media. The program maintains a liberal/progressive ideology in its political commentary. Co-creator and host Cenk Uygur describes himself as an "independent progressive" and asserts that the show is aimed at the "98 percent 'not in power'" and what he describes as the 60 percent of Americans who hold progressive views.
The first hour, which is occasionally hosted solo by Uygur but frequently has Ana Kasparian among other co-hosts, focuses on American politics, foreign policy and breaking news headlines. The second hour – which is co-hosted by Uygur and Ana Kasparian – provides social commentary on a wide range of topics, both domestic and foreign. The program also features a post-game show, in which Uygur and Kasparian discuss their personal lives. Uygur has regular bits and on-air interaction with other staff members who create and run the show, including among others Jesús Godoy, Dave Koller, Jayar Jackson and Steve Oh.
Each Friday, The Young Turks features a panel of guests from the worlds of politics, journalism, pop culture, sports and comedy – dubbed the "TYT Power Panel" – that is led by Uygur and John Iadarola in the first hour and Kasparian in the second hour. Along with Iadarola, other fill-in hosts and recurring guests include series co-creator/contributor Ben Mankiewicz, comedian Jimmy Dore, television personality Brian Unger, Hasan Piker, Becca Frucht, Brett Erlich, Wes Clark Jr., Michael Shure, Cara Santa Maria, RJ Eskow, Gina Grad, Samantha Schacher, and Jayde Lovell.
The Young Turks is broadcast in a two-to-three hour live stream format, which airs Monday through Fridays at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The program was originally based out of the living room of creator/host Cenk Uygur, but it moved production to a small office in Los Angeles after the show hired a limited staff to produce the program. When the program was given a secondary live show on Current TV in 2011, the network provided a larger studio in Los Angeles to house its television and online broadcasts; production was forced to leave the facility after Current TV was sold to Al Jazeera, prior to the network's conversion into the now-defunct generalized news service Al Jazeera America.
In 2013, The Young Turks' production staff relocated temporarily to new studio quarters at YouTube Space LA in Los Angeles. In October 2013, The Young Turks launched an Indiegogo campaign, aimed at raising $250,000 in order to build a new studio. Fundraising completed with $400,000 being raised. The program moved its production facilities and staff operations to a new studio facilities in Los Angeles later that year, with construction of their new studio being completed in June 2015.
In 2017, TYT sought to expand its media network and hire more staff through various fundraising efforts such as a $20 million investment by Jeffrey Katzenberg into the company. Katzenberg has also been involved in politics. With his active support of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, he was called "one of Hollywood's premier political kingmakers and one of the Democratic Party's top national fundraisers."
The Young Turks was originally developed as a radio talk show that was similar in format to a Los Angeles-based public access television program that Cenk Uygur had hosted, titled The Young Turk. With the help of friend Ben Mankiewicz (with whom he had previously worked), his childhood friend Dave Koller, and Jill Pike, Uygur began The Young Turks as a radio program in February 2002 on Sirius Satellite Radio. On the show's website, the title is explained as deriving from the English-language phrase "Young Turk", meaning a "progressive or insurgent member of an institution, movement, or political party" or a "young person who rebels against authority or societal expectations".
In 2006, the program received attention for its 99-hour "Live on Air Filibuster," conducted during Congressional hearings for the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Hosts including Thom Hartmann and John Amato filled in during the event, to allow the show's regular hosts and contributors to rest or take breaks.
Prior to signing a distribution deal to carry the program on Air America in 2006, the show was broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio, on Sirius Left 143 and later 146, airing weekdays from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Eastern Time; a day-behind rebroadcast of the program aired on Sirius Talk Central 148 weekday afternoons from 12:00 to 2:00 pm. Eastern. Being carried exclusively on Sirius for several years, The Young Turks was the first show to air exclusively on Sirius Left that was not distributed through a syndication network. TYT was also carried by KFH (1330 AM and 98.7 FM, now KNSS (AM) and KNSS-FM) in Wichita, Kansas each weeknight from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Central Time and webcast by RadioPower.org.
On February 2, 2009, TYT was removed from the broadcast schedule of America Left, a progressive talk channel carried on Sirius/XM Channel 167, and replaced by an additional hour of The Bill Press Show. The program returned to Sirius/XM on March 16, 2009. In late 2010, TYT announced through its Facebook page that it would discontinue carrying the program on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio; the last edition of The Young Turks to be carried on the service aired on November 19, 2010. TYT rejoined Sirius/XM in 2017 with the show being run on SiriusXM Progress.
The Young Turks was the first daily streaming online talk show, having begun airing in that format in 2006, with an official website on the internet and a channel hosted on Youtube. The show provides in-depth coverage on politics regarding topics, events and other issues.
In August 2007, Ben Mankiewicz left the show to serve as a contributor for TMZ's syndicated entertainment news program TMZ on TV. At roughly the same time, Jill Pike left to pursue a job in Washington, D.C. Ana Kasparian, then working as an intern for the program, was hired to do pop culture-focused segments. Mankiewicz eventually returned to The Young Turks as a regular correspondent.
During the 2008 elections, the show developed close ties to Brave New Films. The program aired commercials for the independent film production company and featured actors such as Robert Greenwald and Jonathan Kim as guests.
The success of TYT is due to a large extent of their shift from radio to the internet through the broadcast of programming content on online platforms. Uygur and co-host Kasparian applied a populist left branding and programming strategy that made TYT a successful global online organisation, with larger numbers of YouTube subscribers than several other notable news networks like CNN. The presence of TYT on Youtube has given the network a platform to democratise production of content and practices associated with its online distribution through an ability to share, comment and like material on its channel. Through likes and shares of TYT content on many online platforms, audience members have become a "virtual word of mouth" expanding the network's reach to other people with similar views and stimulating the growth of the TYT community.
Support by viewers for alternative media outlets like TYT adopting new technology has meant the network was able to overcome being a small sized organisation of the traditional alternative media landscape. The emergence of TYT in the digital era has resulted in fewer operational costs regarding organising and communication. TYT nonetheless has relied on small grassroots financial contributions from its viewers that gave it the ability to emerge as an alternative media organisation that does not advocate for the interests of corporations. The financial contributions TYT received went to renting a studio, and to purchase production equipment and furniture.
On July 30, 2013, The Young Turks launched a TYT Network app on Roku, which features much of the same content that is already available for free through the program's YouTube channel, which has over 4.2 million subscribers and generates 50 million monthly views. The network is among the few online channels to generate more than 1 billion views since launching on YouTube, which does not market a channel on the Roku app store. Young Turks COO Steve Oh acknowledged that making the TYT Network available on Roku was the first part of a strategy to continue the network's growth, regardless of what medium in which its viewers are watching its content, with the intent to figure out a way to monetize its programming through multiple distribution channels, rather than relying on one or two larger channels (such as YouTube or cable television distribution). The network also announced plans to unveil native apps for iOS and Android devices. Oh also noted that the network's representatives were speaking with other media platforms about expanding its programming.
In April 2014, The Young Turks began offering its content on Hulu. With this, it began providing a condensed 30-minute version of the program featuring excerpts from the full two-hour daily show, along with a 30-minute weekly version of its daily pop-culture show PopTrigger, with other shows being added shortly afterward. Oh stated on the Hulu launch that, "as TYT Network has grown from a single show to an entire network, we've consistently found ways to bring our shows to more people[..] We've long admired Hulu as a leader of online video and both parties saw an opportunity to bring digitally-native politics and pop culture talk shows to Hulu's audience." He also stated that the company is pitching shows to cable network, but had no immediate plans to revive a television broadcast as either a relaunched program or a show similar in format to the one it formerly produced for Current TV.
The website's yearly revenue was roughly US$3 million in 2013. According to Cenk Uygur, "about a third of the revenue comes from subscriptions, and the rest comes from YouTube ads." At that time, the company maintained a staff of 30 employees. In 2014, the company received a US$4 million investment from Roemer, Robinson, Melville & Co., LLC, a private equity firm led by Republican former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer. In December 2016, TYT Network launched a crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise US$2 million for the hiring of four further investigative teams. Five months later, the aim was met. In August 2017, it was announced that The Young Turks have raised $20 million in venture-capital from 3L Capital, WndrCo (owned by Jeffrey Katzenberg), Greycroft, and e.ventures. TYT stated it would use the funds to "hire additional management execs and creative talent, as well as enhance its subscription-video offering and expand marketing initiatives". Shawn Colo, managing partner of 3L Capital, joined the TYT Network's board.
TYT operates under a strategy of diversifying its finances that involves the airing of socially responsible advertisements, offering subscriptions for TYT membership, selling its own merchandise and other investments. Among its advertising partners is Aspiration Bank, an organisation involved in "socially conscious and sustainable banking services" and whom TYT presents as different from other banks and their fossil fuel and campaign financing investments. Due to popular demand from viewers, TYT established an online outlet selling its own label branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, that are often designed and voted upon through the input of its audience. Its online subscription membership has two plans, "insider" offering full web content access and discounts, and "activist", offering additional access to its townhalls and political events.
Following the 2016 election, TYT fundraised for small grassroots donations among its members, raising thousands of dollars and created a media division named TYT Investigates devoted to investigative journalism with the aim to hold people with power to account. Operating as a watchdog outfit, TYT Investigates through its investigative journalistic team reports on issues such as inequalities in the economic system, power held by corporations, and other topics sidelined by traditional media like the views of ordinary citizens at political events. For example, TYT journalist Emma Vigland has attended US President Donald Trump's political rallies and interviewed supporters.
In November 2017, TYT fired field reporter Jordan Chariton following sexual assault allegations against him. Chariton vehemently denied the accusations and has stated he's considering legal actions.
In mid-December 2017, Politico reported that TYT was courting former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather to host a news show. On January 21, 2018, TYT confirmed that it will show The News with Dan Rather, a half-hour "untraditional evening newscast" weekly on Mondays in the time slot before the main Young Turks show.
On May 17, 2018, The Young Turks launched a 24-hour linear channel on YouTube TV which includes all of TYT's current shows and four new shows called The Damage Report, "#NoFilter","The Happy Half Hour" and "Old-School Sports". The channel has since been made available on The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, and Xumo as well.
- In September 2018, the company launched a membership drive, reporting the number of members to be around 27,000.
- As of August 2018, TYT had approximately 27,000 paying subscribers online.
- As of September 2017, the program's YouTube channel averages a daily hit count of 2 million views per day.
- By August 2016, Cenk Uygur reported that number of paid subscribers had increased to more than 23,000.
- By October 2016, the total number of views for the TYT Network's YouTube channel had surpassed 3 billion.
- On April 20, 2013, The Young Turks announced that its YouTube channel had received over 1 billion video views.
In a September 2006 article, U.S. News & World Report contributing writer Paul Bedard described TYT as "the loudly liberal counter to the right-leaning presets on my Sirius Satellite Radio." In 2014, The Independent described it as "the most-watched online news show in the world."
Following uncovered controversial remarks by Uygur regarding women and race, which led to his ousting from the Justice Democrats in late-December 2017, TYT saw the number of page visits to their website begin to decline going into 2018, according to Alexa Internet.
The network is reliant on its multimedia platforms to attract online viewers and its audience are either "young, educated, affluent and politically interested" people who consume news from online sources. As a result of ongoing TYT membership drives, its base of subscribed members has grown numbering 32,000 in 2019. Over 12 million viewers (2019) are subscribed to its multiple online channels. TYT has become one of the largest watched online networks with its videos seen over 8 billion times (2019). TYT's millennial viewership ranks the network first for news and politics across its online platforms.
Awards and nominations
The Young Turks has won and been nominated for numerous Internet content awards, including, but not limited to:
- In 2009, the program won in the Political category at the Podcast Awards, and won for "Best Political News Site" at the Mashable Open Web Awards.
- In 2010, it was nominated for a Streamy Award for "Best News or Political Web Series" and the "Audience Choice Award for Best Web Series".
- In 2011, the program won in the News category at the Third Annual Shorty Awards, and won for "Best News and Political Series" at that year's Webby Awards.
- In 2012, it won in the Best Video Podcast category at the Podcast Awards .
- In 2013, the program was nominated for two Streamy Awards in the Best News and Culture Series and Audience Choice Award for Series of the Year categories.
- In 2015, The Young Turks also won a Streamy Award in the News and Culture category.
- In 2017, TYT won the Shorty Awards Audience Honor for the Best in Overall YouTube Presence.
Other awards won by The Young Turks in the 2010s were "Best Political News Site" and the "People's Voice Webby Award" in all 5 of its categories.
The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur
The first linear television incarnation of the program began as an hour-long show that premiered on Current TV on December 5, 2011. Co-created and hosted by Cenk Uygur (who executive produced the series with original program co-creator Dave Koller, with Jesus Godoy, Jayar Jackson and Mark Register serving as producers), the program was co-presented by Ana Kasparian, with Ben Mankiewicz, Michael Shure, Brian Unger, Wes Clark Jr. and RJ Eskow as contributors and correspondents. It was filmed at studio facilities in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City.
Current TV announced the launch of a separate television broadcast of The Young Turks on September 20, 2011, with the program intending to air Monday through Friday evenings at 7:00 pm. Eastern Time beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011. It was the second news and opinion program to air on Current, alongside Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and was part of a strategy to refocus the network's prime time schedule around progressive talk programming (which was followed by the debut of The War Room with Jennifer Granholm in January 2012). According to the show's website, the show was titled The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur to differentiate itself from the popular web series. For two years, the two separate shows were produced each Monday through Thursday, with a one-hour break between the production airtimes of the television and web shows. In a press release, representatives for Current described TYT as "a group of progressive, outspoken journalists and commentators discussing politics and pop culture" and founder Cenk Uygur as bringing a, "uniquely progressive and topical commentary about politics and pop culture."
On January 2, 2013, Current TV was sold to Qatar-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera Media Network, which announced plans to reorganize the channel as Al Jazeera America, focusing on world news and investigative content with a more neutral tone; with the move, the channel would discontinue its talk programming slate, including The Young Turks with Cenk Ugyur, which ended its run on Current TV on August 15, 2013, shortly before the network's relaunch.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Uygur commented that with the discontinuance of the television broadcast, he was relieved to move on and focus on his web show and the TYT Network site, stating that he had been "exhausted from doing the two shows at once" and that he was glad to put his energies there, as he believes that the future of media will gravitate towards online content. Uygur also noted that he talked with Al Jazeera after the company bought Current, reaching a mutual agreement not to continue with the television broadcast due to the change in ideological tone that Al Jazeera America would maintain. However, members of The Young Turks' on-air contributing staff, such as Michael Shure (who served as a political and general assignment contributor), Cara Santa Maria (part of TechKnow) and Ben Mankiewicz (who worked as a movie critic), regularly appeared on Al Jazeera America. The Young Turks also maintain a partnership with Al Jazeera's digital channel AJ+, in an arrangement first announced in March 2015.
The Young Turks on Fusion
The Young Turks returned to television with a weekly, hour-long program on Fusion, The Young Turks on Fusion, which premiered on September 12, 2016 for a twelve-week limited run. Hosted by Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola, the program – which was broadcast from college campuses around the United States, in a live-audience format modelled after ESPN's College GameDay – focused on coverage of the 2016 United States presidential campaign. The show also featured Cenk Uygur, Jimmy Dore, Ben Mankiewicz, Hannah Cranston, Hasan Piker and Kim Horcher as contributors, as well as Fusion reporters and celebrity guest hosts.
The Young Turks has spawned a multi-channel network of associated web series and shows, known as the TYT Network.
Some of the programs produced for the service are produced in-house, among which include:
- Aggressive Progressives – a weekly political talk and satire show that debuted in August 2016; it is co-hosted by Ron Placone, Graham Elwood, and Steve Oh. It was co-hosted by Jimmy Dore from August 2016 until Dore's departure from the TYT Network in April 2019. It is streamed each Thursday to TYT Network members, with select segments being made available to all viewers each Saturday on The Young Turks's official YouTube channel.
- TYT Sports – a sports commentary program that debuted in 2011; originally hosted by Cenk Uygur, Jayar Jackson and Ben Mankiewicz, Rick Strom took over as co-host in 2013 and was replaced in 2014 by Jason Rubin and Francis Maxwell.
- ‘’Old School’’ - a more laid-back show hosted by Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz discussing every-day topics and telling stories
- Styleogue – a fashion and lifestyle program that debuted in 2014, which is dedicated to affordable fashion.
- Rebel HQ – an "on-the-road" political commentary and interview program formerly hosted by reporter Jordan Chariton, which was created to cover the 2016 United States presidential campaign. The channel is now primarily hosted by Emma Vigeland and with other segments and interviews hosted by Cenk Uygur and Mark Thompson. Formerly TYT Politics
- TYT Interviews – an interview series conducted by Cenk Uygur, and occasionally by other hosts.
- TYT Investigates – the investigative reporting division of The Young Turks hosted by Michael Tracey, Ryan Grim, David Sirota, Eric Byler, Dylan Ratigan, Ken Klippenstein, and other reporters.
- The Damage Report – morning show hosted by John Iadarola focused the most critical issues facing the U.S. today
- #NoFilter – analysis and commentary from TYT host Ana Kasparian
- The Happy Half Hour – hosted by Brett Erlich, it's a more upbeat and lighter look at the "not bad" news of the week
- Old-School Sports – TYT Sports host Rick Strom & BlackSportsOnline Owner Robert Littal revisits and analyzes classic games and rivalries.
- Murder with Friends - Grace Baldridge invites guests to talk about some of history's most notorious murderers.
Other shows are not produced in-house:
- The Majority Report – a news and politics show hosted by Sam Seder, which is a video broadcast of Seder's daily online radio program.
- The Richard Fowler Show – a weekly political talk show hosted by Richard A. Fowler.
- Secular Talk – a daily political talk show hosted by Kyle Kulinski, which is also broadcast on the Secular Talk Radio and BlogTalkRadio online networks.
- The Humanist Report – a progressive political YouTube channel and podcast hosted by political scientist Mike Figueredo that began in 2015.
- The Bill Press Show – a daily talk show hosted by Bill Press, which is broadcast online, over radio and on Free Speech TV that became affiliated with the TYT Network in November 2016.
- Acronym TV – a commentary program focusing on policy and national security issues, hosted by Dennis Trainor Jr.
- Absurdity Today – a news satire program, hosted by Juliana Forlano.
- The Undercurrent – a talk program hosted by Lauren Windsor, which covers a broad variety of in-depth topics, and includes interviews with politicians, media figures and opinion makers, as well as documentaries.
- The Lip TV – a commentary program which maintains a live and unscripted format with a panel of experts on varying subjects of focus.
- Truth Mashup – a weekly Canadian comedy show, co-hosted by Bree Essrig (who formerly co-hosted Pop Trigger) and comedian and media activist Ron Placone.
- ScIQ – a bi-weekly infotainment series hosted by Jayde Lovell, an Australian-born neurophysiologist and director of science PR consulting firm ReAgency, which explores scientific topics.
- Around the Nation with Jeff Waldorf aka TYT Nation – a talk show hosted by Jeff Waldorf.
Programs produced for the TYT Network that are no longer in production include:
- thetopvlog – a series of vlogs by liberal political commentators that TYT helped launch in June 2010.
- twenTYTwelve – a political interview and commentary program, hosted by Michael Shure, that was launched in October 2011 to cover the 2012 United States elections.
- TYT Now – a commentary program that was hosted by columnist Tina Dupuy and Tim Mihalsky, which ran from May to August 2011.
- WMB – a commentary program hosted by Ben Mankiewicz, Michael Shure and Wes Clark Jr., which ran from May to June 2011.
- Reality Bites Back – a reality television-focused review series, hosted by Jacki Bray and Misty Kingma, which ran from May to July 2011.
- ThinkTank – a science and social commentary program that originated in 2011 as TYT University, before relaunching under its current format in 2014; hosted by Hannah Cranston alongside a rotation of guest co-hosts (including original co-host John Iadarola, who diminished his role on ThinkTank during 2017), the program deals with new facts, discoveries and perspectives on the world and people.
- The Point – a current affairs panel show, hosted by Ana Kasparian, that debuted in 2011, but has been on hiatus since January, 2016.
- Pop Trigger – an infotainment show, hosted by Brett Erlich and Grace Baldridge with a rotating slate of guest co-hosts, that provides intelligent conversation on pop culture news. Ran until August. 2018.
- Nerd Alert – a show that focuses on news about technology, gaming, movies and online geek culture; hosted by Kim Horcher, the program spun off from a segment that originated on TYT University. Ran until August, 2018.
- The News with Dan Rather – A weekly 30-minute rundown of current events with commentary hosted by ex-CBS News lead anchor Dan Rather. Filmed in Dan Rather's personal office in New York.
- What the Flick?! – a film review series that began in 2010; it is hosted by Ben Mankiewicz, Christy Lemire, Matt Atchity and Alonso Duralde. Guest critics have included Robert Abele, William Bibbiani, Grae Drake, Tim Grierson, Amy Nicholson, Witney Seibold, Dave White, and April Wolfe. Ran until August, 2018.
Programs no longer produced or owned by the TYT Network, but are still in production:
- The Rubin Report (broke away in August 2015) – a comedy and current events panel show, hosted by Dave Rubin, that premiered in 2013; the program moved to RYOT News in 2015, and later to Ora TV.
- The David Pakman Show – a political and current events radio show, hosted by David Pakman, that began in 2005 and was affiliated with the TYT Network from 2012 to 2015.
- The Jimmy Dore Show – a commentary program hosted by stand-up comedian and political commentator Jimmy Dore that began in 2009 and was affiliated with the TYT Network from 2009 to 2019.
TYT promotes itself as the "Home of Progressives". Uygur has stated that "TYT values journalistic objectivity". TYT commentary generates "hybridized content". This involves TYT referencing news from mainstream sources and providing its own content analysis by connecting it to different narratives and discourses related to the social realities of its audience. The network's commentary has generated counter narratives in relation to traditional policy discussions. TYT places news in its context and connects it to the decision making process. The network uses its platforms for advocacy, such as calling for its audience to participate in the political process and give candidates support. Progressive social policies and liberal values are promoted through commentary by TYT. Examples include TYT calling for gun control and the need to mitigate violence by police during its coverage of the 2018 Parkland school shooting. In similar coverage of shootings, TYT has provided information on gun and crime related homicide numbers and placed into context the laws, police training and additional factors that worsen the situation.
TYT uses traditional and online media platforms regarding political action and mobilisation for citizen engagement with institutional politics. For example, TYT townhalls are hosted in local communities involving a moderator asking questions of the expert panel followed by audience questions, with the events streamed on Youtube and on-demand web access for its subscription membership. Viewers also have the option to send video questions to the network if they are unable to be present at the townhall. TYT townhall events involve detailed commentary by hosts and guests on political topics ranging from personal experiences to abstract notions on issues of concern that serve to connect their audience and lived experiences with politics. During the 2016 US presidential election, TYT hosted townhalls with Senator Bernie Sanders and Green party candidate Jill Stein. In the late 2010s, other TYT townhalls were held with Sanders on the climate change crisis. Several hosts for TYT have expressed support for Sanders.
TYT supports political candidates who are from the same ideological persuasion. Following the 2016 presidential election, Uygur co-founded Justice Democrats, an organisation that seeks to get progressive candidates elected into office. During the US mid-term elections (2018), the network endorsed all candidates from the Justice Democrats (JD). TYT was the first network to give airtime to progressive candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to discuss policies and contrast themselves from electoral opponents on its shows like Rebel HQ, a half an hour interview based program created in 2017. In 2018, TYT also featured other progressive political candidates on Rebel HQ such as Richard Ojeda during his congressional run, gubernatorial candidates Cynthia Nixon who ran in New York State and Christine Hallquist in Vermont to discuss their policies.
As a platform for online and offline civic engagement and political action, Rebel HQ offers information about a candidate, their website and campaign. The show informs viewers on how they can contact politicians, assist progressive candidates affiliated or unaffiliated with the Justice Democrats through donations or to participate by volunteering, canvassing and attending events like rallies in local communities. TYT's online platforms facilitate the encouragement of civic participation with the political system that in 2018 assisted Justice Democrats in getting 7 congressional victories, 25 candidates during the general election and 78 in the primaries. After Ocasio-Cortez became a congresswomen, TYT has continued to cover and defend her from slants by the political and media elite. Other Justice Democrats congressional members like Ro Khanna and Rashida Tlaib have appeared on TYT discussing progressive policies and issues.
In June 2019, during a high-profile Democratic presidential candidate campaign weekend in Iowa, TYT and a group of supporters launched the Progressive Economic Pledge campaign, challenging presidential candidates to sign. The pledge is to support higher wages, Medicare for All, Green New Deal, college for all and the end of private campaign financing.
In mid-November 2019, Uygur filed to run for Congress in California's 25th district, a seat recently vacated by the resignation of Katie Hill, an office also being pursued by former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos. Uygur as a result will take a leave of absence while campaigning but will continue to make appearances as co-host during designated breaks in his campaign schedule, with Kasparian acting as the executive producer and assuming editorial control of the program during this timeframe.
According to Cenk Uygur, the name of the show was chosen because it is a popular colloquialism traditionally meaning a young radical who fights the status quo. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, it stands for "a young progressive or insurgent member of an institution, movement, or political party." The phrase has a history of being used in Western politics. It was used by a rebellious group of Congressmen within the Republican Party, of which Gerald Ford was a prominent member, who had become disenchanted with the course of the Party during the early 1960s as well as other political groups around the world. However, the Young Turks show has been criticized for the name, as the original Young Turks political movement in the Ottoman Empire committed the Armenian Genocide, and that in 1991 Cenk Uygur, leaning towards Conservativism at the time, wrote an article in The Daily Pennsylvanian in which he promoted Armenian Genocide denial. In 2016, he rescinded these statements, arguing: "My mistake at the time was confusing myself for a scholar of history, which I most certainly am not. I don’t want to make the same mistake again, so I am going to refrain from commenting on the topic of the Armenian Genocide, which I do not know nearly enough about."
- "The Young Turks: Rebel Headquarters : News : Politics : Commentary". TYT Network. Archived from the original on May 15, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
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