Alternative Media And Selling Out

horiz-long grey

Note by the Editor: Ironically, about a month ago I started a draft on an article designed to highlight precisely the same points raised by Caitlin on this piece: the first gradual and now accelerating transformation of onetime progressive Cenk Uygur and his “Turks” into a “left-colored”  pro establishment venue. More recently, the rebirth of never-too-bright old presstitute Dan Rather within a new and equally deceptive wrapper provided by TYT clinched the deal, so to speak: Uygur and his TYT had become —as Caitlin calls them—MSNBC’s “ugly little sister”, albeit one dispensing the same old filthy imperial lies perhaps more effectively, to a segment of the media-disenchanted public still fooled by YYT’s reputation as an “outsider” anti-status quo news source. So, there it is. I’ll hold off on this topic for a while since Cailtin has done, as usual, a bang up job and all we need to do is act.—P. Greanville

Last August I made a note of the fact that The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur had retweeted a fan who said that he gets his news from Uygur and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, because “they report the REAL NEWS.” I said at the time that this was Cenk’s way of officially formalizing TYT’s position as MSNBC’s ugly little sister.

Once a relatively reliable outlet for anti-establishment progressive values, TYT has been growing more pro-establishment by the day, joining Rachel Maddow in the relentless promotion of the Russiagate psyop, with Uygur even going so far as to predict ten months ago that the scandal could have President Trump out of office within six months. Since that time no evidence of collusion has been produced and Trump has devolved into a more aggressive anti-Russia hawk than his predecessor, effectively invalidating the entire premise of the scandal.

And now they’ve recruited Dan fucking Rather.

An early cheerleader for the Iraq invasion and the so-called “war on terror”, Rather for decades played a lead role in pacing the American people into accepting the neoliberal neoconservative Orwellian dystopia that America finds itself in today. Much like Uygur he is not the very most toxic media figure in history, but the trust people placed in him allowed for the normalization of the establishment politics which are imperiling our ecosystem, slaughtering innocent human beings all around the world, and grinding Americans into the dirt with crushing economic injustice. These things are consented to by the public instead of violently rejected as they should be due to the daily friendly-faced manipulations of Rather and people like him upon generations of trusting civilians.

And now here he is, an old school mass media propagandist shoring up TYT’s role as MSNBC’s ugly little sister after having been nudged back into semi-relevance by advancing the lie that Trump is remarkably different from his predecessors.

The world does not need another MSNBC. The world needs big, powerful voices screaming at the establishment which is inflicting unforgivable evils upon our species, voices which carry, voices with reach, voices which can actually make a difference. The world needs unapologetically honest voices bringing people the truth, not lulling them to sleep with egoically pleasing lies.

We already have one lying McCarthyite fauxgressive corporate media outlet in MSNBC. We don’t need two.

I totally get it though. Mainstream sells.

Do you know what my most-viewed Medium piece is so far? It’s not one of my outrageously controversial pieces like when I wished John McCain would dieand they talked about me on The View, nor when I suggested that the anti-establishment left and anti-establishment right should get more comfortable with collaborating on specific areas where their interests converge and it monopolized CounterPunch editorials for weeks. Those are nowhere near the top.

No, my most popular article so far is one nobody ever talks about in the anti-establishment circles I move in and one I never expected many people to read, an essay I wrote back in November called “Allowing #MeToo To Go Viral Is The Biggest Mistake The Establishment Ever Made”. It has well over half a million views on Medium alone, and was republished by numerous other outlets and got God knows how many other views from there. Because it advanced a narrative that mainstream Democrats could take interest in.

All of my most popular articles have been like that. They’re not my most controversial pieces, nor my most painstakingly sourced and researched, nor the ones I’m most proud of— they’re the ones which happen to play into either one side or the other of mainstream American narratives. The more mainstream you go, the more people you can appeal to, the more shares and support you get.

So even in my young alternative media career I’ve been handed many clear-cut and undeniable cues that if I want to make it big and start pulling in the big bucks, I’ve got to ride the wave of mainstream politics. So when I see other alt-media figures going full pro-Trump or full pro-Democratic party, I get it. I don’t respect it, but I get it.


In an early contender for best political Youtube video of the year, Redacted Tonight’s Lee Camp recently shot a beautiful off-the-cuff rant from his home about the relentless attempts of the US power establishment to sabotage him and other alternative media outlets. He talks about how his show is only on the now highly stigmatized RT because it’s literally the only place anti-establishment voices can go to get on television now; every other platform has been cut off, and even with his RT access there are numerous obstacles thrown in the path between Americans and Camp’s online material. He’s been attacked and smeared by multiple mainstream media outlets, he’s been deplatformed from anywhere his voice could gain a large following, he’s been given every incentive imaginable to just tone it down and try advancing a more mainstream-friendly position.

But he doesn’t. And I respect that. And we should all do likewise. The more of us do this, the bigger each of our voices becomes.

Keep being unmitigated, because the more you mitigate your speech to become more digestible to an establishment-hypnotized audience, the more you’re helping that same toxic establishment, until before you know it you’re like Cenk Uygur, barely distinguishable from Rachel Maddow and shamelessly advancing the CIA/CNN narratives you initially set out to fight. Be uncompromising, be loud, and as Camp says at the end of his epic video, keep fighting.

Thanks for reading! My work here is entirely reader-funded so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following me on Twitter, bookmarking my website, checking out my podcast, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, or buying my new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

About the Author
Caitlin Johnstone
is a brave journalist, political junkie, relentless feminist, champion of the 99 percent. And a powerful counter-propaganda tactician. 



Dan Rather telling us how he and Cenk Uygur are now going to turn the tide of shit engulfing the nation.
The most disgusting thing—as usual—is to observe the accolades and ecstatic comments from the legions of liberal morons still hypnotised by the mainstream media (which Uygur and his TYT have become, albeit through the backdoor.)

 Creative Commons License  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

horiz-long grey

[premium_newsticker id=”154171″]


Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report 


Make sure many more people see this. It's literally a matter of life an death. Imperial lies kill! Share widely.
  • 15

6 thoughts on “Alternative Media And Selling Out

  1. One of the best comments on Johnstone’s piece on feminism:

    Humanity rapes.

    Men rape women. The rich rape the poor. Religion rapes the mind. Powerful countries rape weaker countries for their resources. All of humanity rapes the environment. It’s a story as old as mankind. There’s a lot of good people in the world but as a whole, we suck as a species. People with power over others abuse that power for their own benefit. Rape takes many forms beyond forced sex. Many people lie to themselves about the society that mankind has built. They tell themselves that they are better than they really are because even if they aren’t the rapists, they don’t want to take off their rose colored glasses and see the world as it truly is. It’s more than just the ones who are doing the raping. It’s those who ignore that it’s happening all around them. If there is a positive to come from any of this, forcing people to face reality is it

  2. The problem of media in the US and elsewhere is one of class, political power. Who owns the US media? Until the media (including so-called “public” venues like PBS) are controlled by the people and serve the interests of the public there is not going to be any sort of useful or honest news, only rampant presstitution. We cannot expect fair reporting and good explanations of reality from media owned or conrolled, overtlly or under the table by a handful of billionaires and staffed by rabid careerists and opportunists.

  3. The cable TV stations ‘news’ departments of FOX, CNN and WNBC started to resemble closely the program of ‘The Real Housewives” in different cities as well as the shopping mall rag The International Enquirer, beloved by our president. With an unending stream of good looking young women, all very carefully coifed, made up and finely dressed, the petty squabbling, interpersonal warfare and entirely spurious and minimally interesting vituperation against Trump and each other is appalling to say the least. In contrast to men who can discard after some time their animus because it is far too circumstantial and burdensome for them to keep alive, women can retain their resentments for a long time while surviving without resolve. Thus, the never forgotten humiliations in the workplace and elsewhere from insensitive men. For US politics and progress in policies, whether these are injurious to the population or extortionate, there can be no alteration of direction nor any solution except by entirely discarding the real cause of injury. Instead one finds a constant rehashing of the same resentments and delusions in the written and visual media. The media preclude insight, even when fostering a very stale approach to basic rudimentary revolutionary freedoms.

    1. You make painful but terribly astute points about women’s psychology, the lizard brain in all of us, probably, wired for God knows what—surely something better— but definitely wasted in abysmally petty fights and never ending feuds that lead nowhere except a colossal waste of time for all concerned, and, hey, its tedious, folks! Get a life! The self-absorption of these pampered women is repugnant, but these shows present a cumulative case for the overthrow and ultimate destruction of the class they so faithfully represent.

Leave a Reply