It's a favorite liberal parlor game: basking in the belief that they are smarter and more sophisticated than conservatives. Cenk Uygur couldn't have chosen a more inapt moment to play the game than last night. But like a moose to a flame . . .
On his MSNBC show last evening, Uygur had on a co-host of his Young Turks radio show to tout a study claiming to find anatomical differences between conservative and liberal brains. Liberal noggins are allegedly larger in the area that helps process conflicting information. Conservative brains, in contrast, supposedly have larger amygdalas--the area that recognizes threats or fear.
Cenk jumped on the study to claim it explains why conservatives tend to "campaign on fear." Oy, Ugyur. Someone should check the part of his brain dealing with memory. Cenk apparently couldn't recall that Dems spent the last week . . . fear-mongering the Republican budget proposal. Cenk, does Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's immortal "death trap" phrase mean anything to you?
On Cenk Uygur's MSNBC show this evening, Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont who caucuses with the Dems, claimed that rich Americans "have not contributed one nickel to deficit reduction."
Cenk of course failed to challenge Sander's certifiably silly assertion.
When it comes to marijuana, I'm a libertarian. That said, Cenk Uygur has made possibly the worst argument ever in favor of legalizing it. On his MSNBC show this evening, Uygur advocated the decriminalization of marijuana since, 74 years after the feds made loco weed illegal, people continue to smoke it, or as Cenk put it, the War on Drugs is unwinnable.
Yo, Cenk: Cain killed Abel more than 5,000 years ago. Murder has been illegal ever since, and yet people continue to commit it. By that logic, since the War on Homicide is also unwinnable, should we decriminalize murder?
Be sure to view the video after the jump. Not only will you hear Cenk make his nonsensical argument, you'll see Dem Rep. Jared Polis. On the one hand, the congressman went on to make a number of better arguments in favor of decriminalization. On the other, not to be unkind, but the man from Colorado looks like he's been on a few Rocky Mountain highs himself.
Q. When did liberals rip those 'Dissent Is Patriotic' bumper stickers off their Priuses?
A. January 20, 2009
Latest evidence: on his MSNBC show this evening, Cenk Uygur suggested that opposition to President Obama's Libya policy is "unpatriotic." For good measure, Dem congressman Gary Ackerman stated that opposing the president is "cheering for the wrong team."
Do people's politics color their views on the issues, even on life-and-death ones like war? Yeah. Happens on all sides. But for Cenk Uygur to rip Republicans for having supported President Bush on Iraq while criticizing President Obama on Libya is nothing short of grotesque . . . given that Uygur now supports Obama on Libya, while when it came to Iraq and its aftermath he wanted Bush . . . imprisoned for at least ten years.
Adding fuel to the bonfire of Uygur's hypocrisy is his failure to mention that as a senator-cum-presidential-candidate, Obama himself laid out a doctrine condemning precisely the kind of military action without congressional approval in which Obama-as-president now engages.
MSNBC's "panel" on today's hearings about radicalization of Muslim-Americans featured liberals Carl Bernstein and Cenk Uygur – with MSNBC's Richard Lui moderating. With no substantial conservative counterpoints to be offered, the two guests sounded their condemnations of the hearings as "cultural warfare" and bigotry.
Bernstein slammed the House inquiry as a joke and as a "debating society for cultural warfare." Referencing the institution's past for producing McCarthy-ite investigations, he compared the current hearings with the gladiatorial combat of the Roman coliseum.
"Now we have this question which is part of this coliseum-like atmosphere of cultural warfare," Bernstein spat.
Cenk Uygur turned up the invective knob to 11 when it was his turn to speak. He questioned whether Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, is a "real American."
It's certainly not surprising that the New York Times would publish a hit piece on Glenn Beck, but coming hours after CNN's Howard Kurtz spent almost ten minutes bashing the Fox News commentator makes me smell a rat.
Add to this the increased pressure Beck has come up against from MSNBC personalities since Keith Olbermann surprisingly left America's most liberal television news network in January, and one has to wonder what Times author David Carr had in mind with his Monday piece "The Fading Power of Beck’s Alarms":
Wouldn't blame you for doubting this, so fantastical is the proposition. But Cenk Uygur has claimed that given the chance, unborn babies would oppose restrictions on their mothers' right to abort them.
Cenk made his grotesque suggestion in the course of discussing an Ohio bill that would forbid abortions as soon as a baby's heartbeat can be detected. Proponents plan to let a nine-week old unborn baby symbolically testify.
Four of MSNBC's extended prime time hosts on Tuesday cherry-picked something Mike Huckabee said on Steve Malzberg's radio show in order to depict the possible Republican presidential candidate as a birther.
Before getting to their highly unprofessional snippets, implications, and conclusions, here's what the former Arkansas governor actually said Monday (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
James Taranto could be the best columnist around. Every day at his Best of the Web at the Wall Street Journal online, Taranto turns out an original, often unconventional, conservative take on the news, regularly managing to leaven the message with humor.
Rush today rightly extolled Taranto's column of yesterday, in which he made the point that there is a vast, inherent difference between private and public sector unions. In the former case, unions are negotiating against corporate interests. In the latter, unions are, by definition, organizing against the interests of the public itself.
Surely even Cenk Uygur understands this. So when Cenk suggests, as he did on his MSNBC show this evening, that without unions public employees would be "at the mercy" of "corporate executives," it seems fair to accuse him of . . . fraud.
In an interview with AlterNet's Don Hazen on Tuesday, MSNBC host Cenk Uygur slammed Fox News and bragged how he would take them on in the ratings: "For so long, they have controlled the national conversation....I want to drain them of that power. I want to put them back in the cave they came from....I also plan to beat them in the ratings and make them fear me."
Uygur, who also hosts the left-wing webcast The Young Yurks, has been filling in as anchor for the 6PM ET hour on MSNBC following the departure of Countdown host Keith Olbermann and the reshuffling of the cable news channel's prime time lineup. He is currently in negotiations with MSNBC for a permanent show. Despite Uygur's boasting, as of February 7, FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier was bringing in over 2.1 million viewers, MSNBC Live at 6PM ET had an audience just under 600,000.
It was 16 degrees warmer in my upstate New York town this morning than it was in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. If any further portent of the apocalypse is necessary, consider that on his MSNBC show this evening, Cenk Uygur compared Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan . . . and clearly came down on the side of Ronaldus Maximus.
The subject was Egypt. Uygur played the clip of Reagan's immortal "tear down this wall," and contrasted it with Obama's wan words on the need for "orderly transition" in Egypt.
Do a media company's political activities affect the way its subsidiaries report the news? The folks at MSNBC sure think so. That channel's hosts have insisted ad nauseum that Fox News parent company News Corporation's political actives compromise the ability of Fox to report the news fairly and accurately.
But MSNBC has, as I have noted before, shilled for policies that would enrich its parent company, General Electric, under the guise of "environmental awareness." Today the Washington Post exposed yet another such conflict, reporting that GE took $16 billion in loans from the Federal Reserve during 2008 and 2009.
While most of the country took a collective gasp over the verdict in the trial of al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Ghailani, Cenk Uygur spun the disconcerting outcome as a success story for the Obama administration.
Anchoring the 3:00 P.M. EDT hour of MSNBC's live news coverage today, the liberal host of "The Young Turks" boldly and bizarrely proclaimed "our justice system worked."
After accusing congressional Republicans of being "scared of terrorists," implying that terrorists who want to kill us aren't worth fussing over, Uygur dismissed the notion that acquitting Ghailani on more than 280 charges exposed the shortcomings of trying suspected terrorists in civilian courts.
"So what?" bellowed an incredulous Uygur. "We just gave this guy, who we believe helped to kill 224 people, a fair trial."
MSNBC apparently doesn't have viewers in Oklahoma. If it does, Cenk Uygur just alienated about 70 percent of them.
At the close of the 3 p.m. EST hour today, the MSNBC substitute anchor mocked the Sooner State for passing into law a constitutional amendment that forbids state courts from using the principles of Islamic sharia law in court proceedings.
The measure, Question 755, also forbids laws from foreign countries from being used by judges to inform their decisions.
Are you an elected Democrat? Someone who managed to survive the whacking this week, but is still looking forward to early retirement beginning in 2012? We've got the perfect political consulting firm for you: Grayson-Uygur . . .
Sitting in for Ed Schultz this evening, Cenk Uygur embraced Dem loser Alan Grayson's hyper-confrontional campaigning style, while adding a suggestion all his own: Dem arrogance and triumphalism.
Please, Dems, retain this apocryphal firm immediately: we could be headed to the first 435-0 House in history. View video after the jump.
In an attempt to re-litigate the past, MSNBC contributor Cenk Uygur indicted former President George W. Bush for war crimes.
Bellowing today from his regular perch on late afternoon Dylan Ratigan Show, Uygur mischaracterized the 43rd President's position on the waterboarding of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as "go ahead and torture him basically" before demanding that Bush be prosecuted for allegedly violating Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
"Now it seems to me we have a confession here of a war crime and a clear violation of international and United States law," proclaimed Uygur. "President George W. Bush should go to jail for at least 10 years."
The alleged "confession" Uygur referred to is an excerpt from Bush's new memoir, Decision Points, in which the former commander-in-chief reaffirms his decision to condone the use of waterboarding as an enhanced-interrogation technique for suspected terrorists.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman – formerly of Newsweek – joined substitute host Cenk Uygur in mocking Delaware Republican Senate nominee and the Tea Party as Uygur discussed O’Donnell’s recent comments about the words "separation of church and state" not being in the Consititution. After Uygur asked if the views of the Delaware Republican "speak poorly of the people who elected her, namely the Tea Party voters," Fineman agreed with Uygur’s negative view of the Tea Party and went on to trash Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle as he contended that O’Donnell "makes Sharron Angle look like Doris Kearns Goodwin." Fineman:
Yeah, it probably doesn’t help the Tea Party at all. I mean, I suppose you could argue that having Christine O’Donnell around and speaking the way she did today makes Sharron Angle look like Doris Kearns Goodwin or something. But it, you know, that’s the only way she might be useful as a point of contrast. And what’s really killing here, what’s damning here is that the Tea Party is run in the name of rights and freedom. And all of those rights and freedoms are enshrined in the very amendments that she seems totally ignorant of.
Fineman also made no mention of the legitimate debate over the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment and whether the children of illegal immigrants born in America should be considered natural-born American citizens as he mocked conservatives over the Fourteenth Amendment: "And, you know, they’re some of the amendments that they’re also questioning right now because the Fourteenth Amendment basically says that everyone here who’s born here, naturalized here, is a citizen of the United States, and their rights cannot be abridged by any of the states. And yet, the sort of local orientation of the Tea Party, you heard Christine O’Donnell talk about local option. what the local people want to do. You know, that’s something that is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment."
On Sunday’s syndicated Chris Matthews Show, as the group discussed how a budget fight between a Republican Congress and President Obama might play out politically, host Matthews joked about the Chicago saying about bringing a gun if one's opponent has a knife, and putting enemies in the morgue as a metaphor for how Obama might deal with Republicans politically – a saying President Obama also has a history of using:
CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: But Obama knows how to play confrontation politics the Chicago way, and this is the kind of thing that, this is where the rubber meets the road.
MATTHEWS: You mean like Jimmy the Cop, "They come at you with a knife, you go at them with a gun"?
PAGE: You’ve got it. And remember-
MATTHEWS: "They put you in the hospital, you put them in the morgue"? Is that what we’re talking here?
Notably, some MSNBC liberals like Keith Olbermann have a history of accusing Republicans of inciting violence by using metaphors, and just a few weeks ago, Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks filled in on MSNBC’s The Ed Show and went to lengths to accuse Republicans of inciting violence with metaphorical rhetoric, all while ignoring Obama’s own similar history.
Cenk Uygur (pronounced Jenk You-gurr) is profiled by media reporter James Rainey in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times, and it becomes quite clear the exotically-named Young Turks radio host could be the next leftist star at MSNBC. Since his friendship with Dylan Ratigan led to some guest-hosting gigs (in which he bested Ratigan in the ratings), Uygur is now part of the "family" of Bush-hating radicals:
Cable executives hope fill-in hosts can at best hold on to the audiences they inherit. But MSNBC insiders said they believe Uygur did so well because many of those who watch his three-hour weekday Web program, (3 to 6 p.m. PDT) or clips on his YouTube channel jumped to MSNBC when Ratigan was out....
MSNBC President Phil Griffin called Uygur “part of our family” and expects him to get “more and more” air time, though he declined to specify in what time slots.
Inside Cable News guesses it wouldn't be any place in day time (might they dump the Hardball rerun at 7?) Or they could do an MSNBC version of Red Eye in late night? In any case, Cenk wants to be seen on Obama's left:
On Thursday's The Ed Show on MSNBC, substitute host Cenk Uygur -- also of the Young Turks -- blamed conservative opposition to the Ground Zero mosque for acts of violence against Muslims, and charged that the Republican party is the "party of hate." He soon added: "Then there's the vitriolic fight against immigrants, undocumented ones and in Arizona just people who happen to look undocumented. And, of course, there's the grand daddy of all prejudice, fear and hatred stoked up against Muslims in this country. Now, it's gotten so bad that a young man stabbed a cabbie in the neck and face Tuesday after finding out that he was Muslim."
He eventually asked: "What black person, gay guy or girl, immigrant or Muslim-American in their right mind would vote for the Republican party? They might as well hang a sign around their neck saying I hate myself."
Uygur also recited a list of violent events from the past couple of years, while also running clips of conservatives like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Bill O’Reilly in an attempt to prove that they were responsible for inciting specific violent incidents. At one point, he even used edited clips of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann in such a way as to suggest that they had encouraged people to shoot Muslims or other minorities.
After recounting recent episodes of violence against Muslims, he tied in Palin and Bachmann:
Talk about your teachable moments, the Ground Zero mosque controversy has taught us in just what contempt some in the liberal media hold their fellow Americans.
As I noted here, last week on MSNBC, Cenk Uygur accused Americans who oppose the mosque of being "ignorant." Washington Post blogger Joel Achenbach upped the ante, calling Americans "numbskulls, dumb, ill-informed, paranoid, gullible and goofy." This weekend on Fox News Watch, Ellis Henican also used the i-word, saying that when it comes to the mosque, pundits shouldn't be as "ignorant" as other Americans. Jim Pinkerton pounced, pointing out the MSM's preening moral superiority that Henican had illustrated.
Henican had opened the mosque segment by saying that those such as himself who live in lower Manhattan are more receptive to the mosque than people who live farther away, speculating that in Idaho are 99% against it. Later came this exchange . . .
Want to see a textbook example of how the left has tried to frame the debate against extending the Bush tax cuts? Take a look at Cenk Uygur, of "The Young Turks" fame, playing the class warfare/populism card.
On MSNBC's Aug. 17 broadcast of "The Dylan Ratigan Show," Uygur was up in arms over the argument that taxes shouldn't be raised by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. He alluded to Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, who made the case in 2007 that the wealthy should give more to society.
"Look at what Warren Buffett said," Uygur said. "He's talking to 400 wealthy donors and he says, ‘Look, the 400 of us pay a lower part of our income in taxes than the receptionists do, than our cleaning ladies do. For that matter, if you're in the luckiest 1 percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.'"
And Buffett has been a long-time advocate of higher tax rates - something easy to be for when you're one of the richest men in the world. However, Uygur says it's not good enough for Buffett to be charitable. According to Uygur, this "giving" must come in the form of "mandatory" higher taxes.
Subbing for Ed Schultz on MSNBC this evening, Cenk Uygur suggested that the roughly 70% of Americans who oppose the Ground Zero mosque are "ignorant." Uygur was debating the mosque matter with Republican strategist and former Newt staffer David Winston. Winston suggested that the people behind the mosque could, in light of the overwhelming oppposition of Americans to the plan, show sensitivity by agreeing to site it elsewhere.
That provoked Cenk's snide insult, which, as you'll see, actually revealed his own lack of knowledge on the subject . . .
MSNBC's Cenk Uygur railed against the Tea Party on Friday, attacking their members as the "cancerof the Republican Party." The liberal radio host was completing his final day as guest anchor of the 3pm hour of News Live.
During each show's program he would offer three short commentaries railing against conservatism or President Obama for not being liberal enough.
Uygur, the host of the liberal Young Turks radio show, asserted that the Tea Party will "kill" Republicans after 2010, allowing that the midterms might result in a "slight bump up for the GOP." In contrast, the Cook Report currently predicts a 32 to 42 seat pickup for the Republicans in the House.
MSNBC News Live guest host Cenk Uygur on Wednesday railed against opposition to gay marriage, asserting that conservatives "fought against women's rights and they lost. They fought against civil rights for blacks and they lost." He also touted the supposed moral superiority of liberals, lecturing, "This country is fundamentally progressive." [MP3 audio here.]
To bolster this case, Uygur quoted Marting Luther King: "'Cause as a very smart man once said in the middle of another civil rights battle, 'The arc of history bends towards justice.'" Yet, liberals hardly have a spotless record when it comes to human rights.
In 1972, Jane Fonda famously parroted communist propaganda while sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. Many progressives have also fawned over the communist murderer Che Guevara.
Does the host of the leftwing "The Young Turks" internet talk show, Cenk Uygur, realize that he has provided some really good reasons to defeat Harry Reid in November? I'm sure that wasn't his intent when Uygur went into some detail on the sad state of the Las Vegas economy which sure wasn't helped when President Obama openly discouraged businesses from making trips there last year despite the fact that he had no problem visiting that city recently for fundraising purposes. Here is Cenk Uygur explaining the decline of the Las Vegas economy which simultaneously provides reasons why the Democrat Senate Majority Leader from Nevada needs to be defeated.
The state of Nevada is in massive economic trouble. No, no. It's not a big deal. I told you about it on the program. Yeah, I said what is going down first? I said Vegas is going down first. The heart of Nevada's troubles? Vegas and its outlying areas. The highest growth in unemployment in the country. 14.2% now. When you look at houses that are underwater, again the worst in the country. 6% of the houses are underwater in just these last 6 months. Facing foreclosure. See, 6% of the market, not bad. But just in the last 6 months. That's colossal! It's in a death spiral. They're starting to shut down casino projects.
On Friday's Dylan Ratigan show on MSNBC, host Dylan Ratigan reported on Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann attempting to form a congressional tea party caucus and proceeded to rant: "...the tea partiers were nowhere when it came to ending the mass extraction in Wall Street, so I think they're actually full of crap." [Audio available here]
Ratigan then wondered: "...for a movement, however, that prides itself on having no formal ties to the federal government, forget the aspect of being full of crap when it comes to the banking system, why are the Republican Party members and tea party members so receptive to getting together?" He posed that question to his guests, left-wing talk show host Cenk Uygur and former Bill Clinton speechwriter Michael Waldman.
Uygur couldn't agree more with Ratigan's assessment: "You took the words right out of my mouth. She [Bachmann] is so full of crap. I mean, she might be the queen of crap." He then proclaimed: "All she's ever done is protected the bankers....I guess the tea party movement, in essence, is actually about protecting the richest people in America. Wow, what a populist movement you have there."
Waldman took the conversation even lower, as he argued: "The Republicans would like to benefit from the...neurotic energy of the tea party. But they don't really want them in the front parlor. They don't want everybody to identify their extremism with the Republican Party, just the way the Democrats didn't want the Weathermen determining the face...At the front of the house." The Weathermen, or Weather Underground, was a anti-war domestic terrorist organization during the Vietnam war era. Barack Obama associate Bill Ayers was a member.