Propaganda Watch–Homegrown part 1

Cactus houseplant. Photo by Sloman.

Lately I’ve been reminded that the propaganda is not just from foreign entities. It’s also coming at us from all sides of the political spectrum from our fellow Americans. This weekend I thought I’d take a look at a couple different homegrown avenues.

Cenk Uygur and The Young Turks are a definite media presence. With over four million YouTube subscribers and over three hundred thousand Twitter followers, he is absolutely getting his message out. But who is he?

Uygur was born in Turkey but at age eight his family moved and he became an American. He started out his political as a socially conservative commentator in the 1990s. He wrote about being pro-life and anti-feminism. And, while he states he made the transition from conservative to progressive because of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he founded The Young Turks as a left-leaning media outlet in 2002. While he was a founder of the Justice Democrats, he was removed from prominence in that organization when people noticed his blog posts from the early 2000s making derogatory statements about women and their flawed sex drives. He has also, until very recently, denied the Armenian genocide and denied the Turkish government ever did anything wrong.

So here we are in 2019 and he is the major voice and face behind The Young Turks online station and the self-determined voice of the True Left. He calls himself a “Progressive Independent” and says the Democrats are “paid to lose.” It’s far-fetched theories like that which make me see him as the Alex Jones of the left.

Other comments have included referring to Joe Biden as a “Republican” at aroud 5:10 in the following clip (the reason being is he is taking money to not support Medicare for All):

There’s also this video, where they put the idea out there that Pelosi and other House Democrats are limiting the scope of the impeachment hearings to the Ukrane issue because “some of them want Trump to win:

On October 9th when Turkey was invading Syria, most of the people discussing the issue were somber, knowing how many lives would be lost. Not Uygur and his co-host. They started out the broadcast laughing, talking about what a good mood they were in. Their theory of why Trump pulled out is because Erdogan was mad he didn’t get to hang out with Trump at the U.N. General Assembly. So to appease Erdogan, Trump pulled out of Syria. No mention of Trump properties in Turkey, no mention of other financial deals. Nope. Just a “sorry we didn’t get to hang out. Have Syria,” move. They then go on to discuss how Turkey does need a buffer because they consider some Kurds to be terrorists and have to protect their country. Uygur does state he thinks Trump should have exited differently, but he thinks its a great idea to give our “ally” Northern Syria:

One claim Uygur made in that video among others, is that the “mainstream media” only takes their talking points that were handed to them by the White House. To most people it’s silly to think places like CNN and MSNBC are reporting what Trump wants them to say. To his devotees, like the Alex Jones fans, they see him as the bringer of the great and secret truth.

Uygur’s stated goal is to defeat the Corporate Democrats and replace them with “real” progressives. Whether that’s his end goal, or just to destroy the Democratic party, I can’t say. I will say that he’s someone to keep an eye on. Jones was seen as a laughable part of the fringe…until he wasn’t. Hopefully we can learn with the mistakes made with him and not make them with Uygur.

Stay tuned for part 2, which will look at some propaganda from the other side of the spectrum.

THIS IS AN OPEN THREAD. Take care, and have a good Saturday.

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