I have said that I don’t want to get involved in any of the infighting on the true progressive left, but since The Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur appears to have gone full Maddow on us I see the following not as progressive infighting, but as a full-fledged establishment liberal using his mainstream platform to punch down on an honest progressive journalist whose integrity offends him.
On a recent TYT panel featuring four completely uncritical Russiagate conspiracy theorists furiously agreeing with each other that Donald Trump definitely colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election, Uygur went on a frantic, hyperventilating rant wherein he criticized those on the left who accuse Russiagate conspiracy theorists of participating in a frantic, hyperventilating fact-free McCarthyist feeding frenzy. Cenk then slammed the brakes on the discussion and went out of his way to communicate to his 3.3 million YouTube subscribers that one of his own journalists, TYT’s Michael Tracey, has “got blinders on” when it comes to Russia. Check it out in this quick clip here:
“The people saying — and I know them, they’re not stupid, they’re really really smart — but they’ve got blinders on,” Uygur said of critical thinkers who refuse to accept a complete lack of evidence as evidence. “Look I’ll tell you, one of them, you know him, Michael Tracey. I love the guy, and I hired him, right? Super smart guy, but he’s like this on Russia: I don’t see it! I don’t see it! I don’t see it!”
Here’s a life pro tip for you, Cenk: if you find yourself gushing about how incredibly intelligent someone is while simultaneously saying that their take on things makes no sense to you, that’s a pretty good sign that you should pause and reevaluate your position. Tracey is much smarter than you, and that’s been made evident whenever you’ve been foolish enough to try and argue with him about anything on camera. But then, that’s why you chose to take this dig when Tracey wasn’t there to defend himself, wasn’t it?
If you’ve got sixteen minutes to spare, check out what happened the last time Uygur tried to publicly challenge Tracey’s take on the Russiagate hysteria when he was actually in the room:
Tracey dominated that panel like a silverback gorilla in mating season. Cenk kept having to stop the conversation and explain to the camera why his audience shouldn’t believe anything Tracey was saying, and then he’d get mauled some more. It was a four-person panel, but the entire thing was mostly Uygur getting spanked by Tracey while the other two watched and tried not to get any blood on them. Cenk was made a fool of in front of his audience, and he remembered it, and now he’s tagging Tracey back when he’s not there to smack him down.
And what can Tracey do? He’s very much in the down-power position here; he can’t go on a Twitter rant or make a TYT video explaining why his boss is an establishment tool and a moron. Whenever his truth telling is actively subverted by the man who hired him, he’s going to have to either suck it up or leave. Uygur abused a power imbalance, looked right at the camera, and told his massive audience that they shouldn’t trust Michael Tracey’s commentary on Russiagate when Tracey wasn’t there to defend himself. And it’s not okay. This is one of the many, many ways the establishment wedges honest journalists into the margins, which is why you now have to comb through the fringes of online alternative media in order to find any. It is a disgrace, and Uygur should be ashamed of himself.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: there will never, ever be any hard evidence brought to the public which proves that Donald Trump colluded with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 election. There’d be no need for the Russians to collude with an American political candidate in order to hack the emails of Democratic leaders and thwart Clinton’s presidential run (friendly reminder that there is still zero evidence that they did), and if there was any evidence of this to be found America’s intelligence community would have picked it up on their massive surveillance networks and leaked it to the press months ago. Uygur speaks about the Trump-Russia collusion narrative in a confident, authoritative tone just like his smaller-headed clone Rachel Maddow does, but there is no substance underneath it at all.
That’s all I had to say about that. Leave Michael Tracey alone, dick.
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