Cenk Uygur and "The Young Turks"

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The host of Current TV's "The Young Turks," Cenk Uygur, talks about Obama 2012, campaign finance reform, and the impact of the Occupy movement.


Cenk Uygur

Comments [55]

Moonday Letters from NJ

The guest expressed he was reluctant to advocate for a third party because he thought it would just help the other of the two existing parties. I wonder if that reasoning simply ensures that we always end up with same dissatisfaction there is of the current two parties.

It may take a few election cycles during which people vote for third party candidates to get to the point where third parties are viable and can then be elected and affect policy.

I think that could happen in just 2 or 3 elections if there was concerted effort towards promoting greater awareness of and voting for third party candidates.

Apr. 26 2012 12:33 PM
TheThinker1958 from Montreal

tarasburg... living critics against Obama after the elections is just way too much time. I listen Cenk in a daily basis, so me and his followers know that Cenk is not too happy with Obama in many things. What Cenk also says is that Republicans are far much worst.
I think the Republicans use the language found in "1984" from George Orwell and the names used for their campaigns are just the opposite. Their "Jobs bill" has nothing to do with jobs. If they talk about women and health usually means infringing in women's rights.
We need to talk about Obama's compromises with the right so we can put pressure on him to do the right thing (not the Right thing).

Apr. 26 2012 12:09 PM

I agree with a lot of what Cenk says on policy, but his delivery is just annoying. The bottom line is that we need to keep Obama in office. If we want to reelect him, let's root for him. Save your disappointment rants for after the election. COMPROMISE!

Apr. 26 2012 11:58 AM
Gustavius Smith from New York

Everyone forgot that Obama is a politican. The movement got him in office and the movement stopped moving leaving him to govern on his own will. So the movement only has itself to blame for a lack of change. But the movement has a second chance to do it again and now they realize the true scope of their work.

Apr. 26 2012 11:58 AM
Mike from Madison

I don't expect any thing to change until there are Representatives and Senators that are neither Republican nor Democrat. Every time there is a party-line vote I _know_ my needs were not addressed. Both parties view "The American People" as "those who agree with us". They are there have so they can win. There philosophy is "be reasonable - do it _my_ way!"

I'm looking for people who go there to solve the problems and know that they are not the only source of of good ideas.

Until the there are enough _non_partisans in Congress that the partisans cannot hijack legislation for their own purposes, the mess will continue.

Apr. 26 2012 11:47 AM
Tamara from Brooklyn

Oh and one more then Cenk, Do you really think you are helping put Obama in office by disparaging him? I think more constructive criticism opposed to bombast would be more useful. What you are doing on the show today is exactly what the right wants you to do. Namely, disillusioning voters possibly leading to increased apathy and a republican sweep of the election. Oh and Current TV is very similar to Fox news as it is totally fringe. This progressive agenda is divisive among democrats so Obama would do well not to follow your biased advice.

Apr. 26 2012 11:46 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Jg - You have already boxed "progressives" to the “radical left" aka, ex - Bolshevik anarchists running olive communes in the Golan. I see your question as rhetorical.

Apr. 26 2012 11:36 AM

COMPROMISE is key in govt. Something we have forgotten.

Apr. 26 2012 11:35 AM
Amy from Manhattan

What I don't get is why the Democrats are so bad at responding to Republican attacks. When Romney said that yes, Obama had inherited the market crash, but "what he won't tell you" was that his party had the Presidency, House, & Senate, so why didn't he get anything accomplished, why didn't I hear anyone ask if Romney knew about the filibuster, & if he didn't, he didn't know enough about how the federal gov't. works to be president? Why doesn't anyone point out that the president can't get things done if the Senate refuses to confirm *anyone* he nominates to key federal agencies? They do all they can to keep him from getting anything done, & then they say, "See? He hasn't gotten anything done!"

Apr. 26 2012 11:33 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

I had no Progressive expectations from Mr. Obama. So my level of disappointment is far less vehement.

Like any first-term politician, Mr. Obama's goal has been to get re-elected. The election (in this America) is in the Center - not Left, not Right. Therefore, do nothing to alienate the Center. Rahm Emanuel was right - Where else is the Left going to go?

Start thinking more like a politician, people. Support first, positions second. The 2010 Election was an example of what can happen when the 'dis-affected' electorates doesn't show up to cast a vote when the other side is riled-up and vocal.

Apr. 26 2012 11:33 AM
Edward from NJ

If your main issue is campaign finance, you either need a constitutional amendment or a Supreme Court willing to reverse Citizens United. That's one place where the President really matters. Replace George W. Bush with Al Gore and you would never have had that ruling.

Apr. 26 2012 11:33 AM
Tamara from Brooklyn

This is ridiculous. You criticize so much. There was so much crap he had to clean up he didn't have the time or the political support to get your whole progressive agenda solved. And in case you didn't realize this Obama's record has always been center left. He was never going to meet your demands. You should be savvy enough to understand the political landscape that he had to traverse.

Apr. 26 2012 11:33 AM
GW from Queens

What progressives want is to implement FDR's second bill of rights. This is the policy and direction we should unite around and the policy we should push for period.

Apr. 26 2012 11:31 AM
Carl from Stamford, CT

Cenk: Please tell your "progressive buddies" to suck it up and get on board with Obama. One absolute ingredient of a working democracy is COMPROMISE. No compromise, no democracy. The Republicans have shown what happens when one side simply won't work at all with other side. This election should be about them, not how righteously indignate the left can be. That father who went Obama's inauguration should learn this lesson and pass it on to his kids, rather than crying in his latte.

Apr. 26 2012 11:31 AM
Peter Burton from NY

I was planning to volunteer/contribute/vote for Obama again, but in recent months he's signed anti-transparency and plain old anti-American ethos legislation. First is the JOBS Act, which enables pre-IPO companies to skip the full financial disclosures they were required to make previously. This has been well reported, so I won't elaborate. Also, he signed the bill reforming the patent system which replaces the age-old system in which inventors' inventions were theirs even if someone else came along to patent them (the so-called first use standard) and turned it on its head so that now the first entity to file for a patent owns it, regardless of whether they copied the idea from the actual inventor (the so-called first to file). At the time I read that it was a fix to bail out a well connected Washington law firm off the hook for a $200 million mistake they made failing to file for a big pharma patent extension. Part of the rationalization was that this is the way it's done elsewhere, but it's a hugely destructive change for small American inventors who will now have to spend time and money pursuing patents on everything they invent, let it be poached by big businesses with huge legal staffs and budgets. Why would the President support these measures? Truly disgraceful.

Apr. 26 2012 11:30 AM

I love him. Check out poster I made...

Apr. 26 2012 11:29 AM

Just want to say, "Thanks!" for this wonderful interview.... we need to get out the word.... Neither party is listening to/answering the needs of "the People"....

Apr. 26 2012 11:29 AM
Tam from Brooklyn

Oh, I'm sorry Turk, I didn't know Obama was supposed do be perfect. Give me a break!

Apr. 26 2012 11:29 AM
rob from brooklyn from brooklyn

sorry but i think many people disappointed with Obama were 'utopian' in their thinking to begin with. yes, he's a politician - to get elected in this country you cant be anything else. and he's only president - not king. he can't change the system just because he wants to. he can't single-handedly remove money from politics. if you believe that he can then i suggest you're misguided. part of the real problem is that the usa is more right-wing than we 'progressives' like to believe or accept.

Apr. 26 2012 11:29 AM

@john from office
you are so right. Obama had limitations; we have a 3 branches of gov't. I think he is good a good considering the state of things in this country.

Apr. 26 2012 11:27 AM
bob from flushing

Cable companies need to place Current TV in the same channel cluster as CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc. Instead companies like Verizon have made it difficult (intentionally?) to find.

Apr. 26 2012 11:27 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

This guy is just another demagogue but with a Turkish name. As usual, no specific answers to anything. No specific goals. Nothing. Just change, change, change, go, go, go, but to where? To what? That he does not say!

Apr. 26 2012 11:26 AM
Aaron Wysocki from Pittsburgh

Watch Cenk's show The Young Turks live every weekday at

Apr. 26 2012 11:25 AM
Steve from Brooklyn

Could you please at least acknowledge the political realities of the makeup of Congress during Obama's term. He is not a king. All the criticism of what Obama could/should have done completely discounts needing to get the votes in Congress. Congressional Democrats do not vote in a singular block as do the Republicans. Obama can't do much without the Dems in Congress having his back.

Apr. 26 2012 11:24 AM
JLA from Downtown

Why do the Dems always cave to the GOP, when they get into office but it never works in reverse???

Apr. 26 2012 11:24 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

NOTE: Nobody has answered what exactly "progressives" want NOW!??? Somebody? ANybody? Answers please?

Apr. 26 2012 11:23 AM

Lofty and great ideas. Problem is that the president has his hands tied with a incomptent congress. Perhaps in his final term he can do more.

Apr. 26 2012 11:23 AM

This guy had my full attention until he said, paraphrasing, that he is willing to support Obama again if he would only just repeat the same cynical disingenuous promises made during the previous campaign -- but this time with more passion. Sigh.

Apr. 26 2012 11:22 AM

I think Mr. Uygur shows something distasteful about his character with his being "thrilled" over his old friend's political demise, because Altmire is not liberal enough. I understand if you can't support his politics, but a decent person would at least feel bad about his friend's defeat.

Apr. 26 2012 11:21 AM
john from office

Folks, Obama was elected President, not God. He is part of a Three branch system.

Apr. 26 2012 11:20 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

It's like wishing "hope and change" from Gorbachev. Obama, as an establishment politician, is part of the system, why would he want to "change" it?

Apr. 26 2012 11:19 AM
Hazel Feldman from Manhattan

Please invite Cenk again and again. He's on target, an excellent communicator and refreshing. Great Great introduction to a wonderful guest. Unfortunately, I cannot get his station. Again, invite him back soon. Thanks a lot.

Apr. 26 2012 11:18 AM

Give us a scenario: if Obama were to become a progressive -- to actually act with audacity -- what would be the consequences and how will he succeed? I agree completely that he's pro-establishment. Please help us think out the alternative.

Apr. 26 2012 11:18 AM

Thanks for bringing this brave man to your show--I've not heard him as I don't watch TV. Obama is a right-leaning conservative with potential. Why did he not embrace the Occupy movement? Because he does stand for what we stand for...

Does Cenk have a podcast?

Apr. 26 2012 11:18 AM
andy from manhattan

i supported obama throughout the last campaign. this year, i have been endlessly hit up for money and action. i responded that if they had pursued the progressive policies promised in 2008, they would not be needing to ask me for money. then i unsubscribed.

this gentleman needs a much bigger audience, and a big response from the many progressives in the democratic party.

Apr. 26 2012 11:18 AM
Kettle from Jersey City

Can you ask Cenk if he thinks Obama will enact "Change" when he gets a second term?

Apr. 26 2012 11:18 AM
Edward from NJ

Worrying about whether or not the President is "progressive" is sort of irrelevant, a President can only be as liberal or conservative as the Congress will allow.

Apr. 26 2012 11:18 AM
Praveen from DC

Awesome that you have Cenk on the show! Luckily I can access this show online from DC.

Apr. 26 2012 11:18 AM
Charles Townsend from Harlem

I think racial politics is what scares Obama, since progressive policies would benefit disproportionately poor black Americans.

The people who do put real pressure on Obama to effect progressive policies, like Tavis Smiley and Cornel West who address of poverty, are vilified by the mainstream, and at least marginalized as wild-eyed liberal radicals.

Apr. 26 2012 11:17 AM
Jerad from UWS

Cenk brings up "Campaign Finance Reform," I see all these protests against SOPA and PIPA but I think the protesters aren't connecting the dots. None of these things would be happening if we have Campaign Finance Reform.

Apr. 26 2012 11:17 AM

Cenk, is your program's name "The Young Turks" an allusion to the revolutionary monarchy reform group within the Ottoman Empire prior to World War I?

Apr. 26 2012 11:16 AM
Fred Margulies from Margaretville, NY

Who is this guy? We need to hear more from him!

Apr. 26 2012 11:16 AM
Matt C. from Brooklyn

I know I and a lot of other progressives believe/hope/pray the president will come around in his second term, and all the capitulation is simply an effort to get reelected. Cenk, do you believe that will be the case, and if not, why not?

Apr. 26 2012 11:16 AM
Eddie Adams from Torrance, CA

Soros called and he wants his talking points back...

Apr. 26 2012 11:16 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Delightfully delicious discussion.

(But, LOL....none of us "on the Right" care an iota what Bill O'Reilly says or thinks.)

Apr. 26 2012 11:16 AM
alistair from manhattan

Uygur is right. Obama isn't a progressive but no President can be progressive nor left for that matter. The political state of this country is gridlock Except wars...not sure the country can do any better at this point barring evolution of the political system to reflect the population rather than this nonsense of left and right!

Apr. 26 2012 11:15 AM
Jenna from UES

I love Cenk, and agree with Obama not being a progressive. That said, Obama has been an amazing leader for gay rights. I think there is a great misunderstanding about the great progress he has made for us.

Apr. 26 2012 11:15 AM

The two Democratic congressmen defeated in PA primaries: will this guarantee two more Republicans in the next congress?

Apr. 26 2012 11:15 AM

Without an accurate appreciation of the power of the RW, and how it gets even MORE power if it could attain real traction with ordinary people, Cenk and his campaign are doomed.

Certain moves by Obama would often not only be pointless in practice, but would simply provide ammo for the RW. THAT is where the real potential for damage lies.

Apr. 26 2012 11:14 AM
Robert from NYC

Thank you! Finally a sane commentator. Right on.

Apr. 26 2012 11:13 AM
Melanie Teagle from Manhattan

I LOVE this guy!!! I'm not either "young" nor a "turk", but this guy is so right on target, I cannot say enough. Finally, some sense from the left.

Apr. 26 2012 11:13 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

What is the objective of the "progressives" or the radical Left today? The USSR has fallen. The Kibbutz system in Israel has virtually collapsed. Abortion on demand has killed over 50 million would-be Americans who had to be replaced by immigrants. The family system is virtually 50% annihilated. What more damage does the Left intend for us? Gay marriage? Okay, fine, mazal tov. But what else? Is there more damage yet left to be done? Gulags maybe?

Apr. 26 2012 11:12 AM
MC from Manhattan

Perfect Spokesperson for Liberals and progressives! I agree 100% Lets take it to these "conservative" fools and call them out ...

Apr. 26 2012 11:12 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I used to love "The Young Turks" when they were a start up outfit on youtube. Now, they have disappeared on "current tv"

Apr. 26 2012 11:11 AM
Lauren Neefe from Brooklyn

Where have you been all my life, Cenk?

"Obama is not remotely a progressive! Bill O'Reilly is a buffoon!"

Thank you, Cenk! Be so bold!

Apr. 26 2012 11:11 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.