New Media Army


The Young Turks is a YouTube sensation that has been growing at an alarming rate over the past 2-3 years.  This growth has turned The Young Turks into the most watched online news show in the world.   As a trailer for an upcoming documentary about The Young Turks states, “the most watched news anchor in America, is someone you’ve never heard of.”

That would be Cenk Uygur.  What is a Cenk Uygur you ask?

He is the guy who almost single handedly built The Young Turks from the ground up with no infrastructure in place.  By taking advantage of the massive audience that can be reached onYouTube and spreading content via social networking sitesThe Young Turks now have over 400 hundred thousand subscribers and are approaching 1 billion views on YouTube.

This success is no accident.  The mainstream media in American has been broken for well over a decade, and most people who want real news are forced to turn to comedy shows to get it (e.g., The Daily ShowColbert Report).  The Young Turks have changed that for me by utilizing one seemingly simple philosophy: forming opinions that are informed by facts.

Why They Appeal To Me

I remember a few years ago I had a pretty poor understanding of contemporary politics.  That was partly because I didn’t trust the mainstream media and I didn’t have the time to understand what content was factual, what content was biased and what content was purposefully misleading.  All I knew was that I was extremely skeptical of what any major news outlet had to say, and that John Stewart and Stephen Colbert did a great job making fun of them.  And although their comedy was a great way to get real information and their opinions did seem to resonate with my own worldview, it wasn’t good news in the conventional sense.  It was a little disappointing to me that the only news I trusted was comedic in nature.

As soon as I found The Young Turks, that all changed for me.  They seemed to be doing everything that I felt the rest of the media should be doing, and they were doing it so effortlessly.  Instead of making issues like climate changegay marriage, pot legalization, taxes, women’s rights, racial discrimination, religion in politics, money in politics, etc. more divisive by creating an artificial two sided debate, they delivered an informed opinion based off of facts.  They weren’t being explicitly partisan.  They were being explicitly truthful and honest.  To put it simply, they realized that most issues are not two-sided debates.  Climate change isn’t a two-sided debate.  Climate change is real.  Legislating equal rights for all (e.g., gay rights) isn’t a two-sided debate.  Everyone should have equal rights, regardless of sexual orientation.

Of course this approach to news seems rational and logical, but that is not what the mainstream mediagave me.  The mainstream media just gave me a headache.  And the more I watched The Young Turks, and other online news content (which is quickly growing and of far better quality than traditional news media), the more I realized why the mainstream media did such a poor job of communicating the news.  It is because they are puppets of the government, so they don’t challenge the government.  They are not concerned with facts they are concerned with partisanship.  Many of the major news networks are nothing but propaganda machines and it is sickening to watch.

Real news reporting isn’t calling things equal when they are not, real news reporting is opinion based on facts.  As Rachel Maddow stated after the Republican implosion on November 6th, “there are real knowable facts out there”.  If traditional news media and the Republican Party are going to ignore them, they are going to continue to be an embarrassment in the eyes of the world.  If they are going to continue to create problems that don’t exist, if they are going to continue to discriminate against an overwhelming percentage of the populous, they are going to continue to get destroyed.

The Future

Of course, although The Young Turks have been my bright light in the sea of traditional news nonsense, there are a number of other online news sources that are popping up and challenging the old structure of media.  This is a threat that traditional media cannot ignore, unless they want to be swept into irrelevance with the simple passage of time and the progression of more democratizing technologies.  Although it may be too early to tell, new media in general seems to have been the answer to the madness that was American politics over the past ten years.  I can only imagine that in the future The Young Turks, and those that follow in their footsteps will continue to challenge the establishment in a way that our generation has never seen.  Any party that favours the 1% over the 99%, or discriminates against the historically oppressed and marginalized, is against the will of the people.  Thanks to new media, any party that tries to oppose that will, should meet a humiliating defeat.


About Cadell Last
Hello. I'm probably drinking coffee and reading.

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