Cenk Uygur has a message for corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle: He’s coming for them.
Uygur, the outspoken former MSNBC host and internet commentator, debuts his new show, The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur on Current TV at 7 p.m. ET Monday. He’s the latest progressive pundit to join the Current family, and his show will be the lead-in to Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
“It’s not going to be your father’s cable news show,” Uygur told TPM last week. “Our show is going to be very aggressive. If you’re looking for a fun time, in terms of hardcore coverage of the issues, we’re going to be your show.”
So how does Uygur intend to set himself apart from Olbermann, who is literally the centerpiece of Current’s prime-time programming? The Young Turks will be “irreverent” and “free-flowing,” Uygur said, featuring a panel and some conservative guests. The show will be a “gathering place” for progressives, he added, but that doesn’t mean it will only appeal to the far left.
Uygur’s show, like Countdown and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s The War Room after it, will focus primarily on commentary and analysis. Uygur said original reporting in his show is “a work in progress” that will hopefully come after the program gets off the ground. The big stories Uygur intends to focus on are campaign finance reform and broader financial reform.
“Money has corrupted our politics,” Uygur said. “Washington is nearly entirely corrupt. The American people cannot win on any issue. We’ve lost our representative democracy.”
Uygur has done quite well for himself as an independent voice online. Asked why he wanted to team up with a cable company again, he said, “the more platforms, the better.” Uygur will continue to host his online news program during the day.
“The Young Turks” will feature prominent progressive contributors, Uygur said, including Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) co-founder Adam Green. On December 12, Jack Abramoff will be on the program.
To those turned off by traditional cable news shows, Uygur promises to be an alternative. “We’re not going to pull back,” he said. “Mainstream media, it’s a joke; come and watch a program that’s reality.”
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com