The Sniveling Apologizers at MSNBC Don’t Represent Progressives

First, let me be clear that this is not intended for the hosts on MSNBC. It’s management that’s the issue. The way Phil Griffin has his hosts trot out for one apology after another is revolting. At least, he included himself in the genuflecting to the right-wing last time around. The whole display is pathetic.

Let’s also be clear about another thing. Phil Griffin, who happens to be the head of MSNBC, is not a liberal or progressive. I worked at MSNBC, I talked to Phil Griffin many times, I know Phil Griffin. He is not remotely progressive. All he cares about is success in his own career. He even basically admitted in this recent interview that he would head a conservative network if it made more money. The idea that he represents progressives as he keeps groveling to conservatives is absurd and sickening.

First of all, the last two apologies were not at all necessary. Melissa Harris Perry called Mitt Romney’s black grandson gorgeous (go back and check the tape). Yes, it would have been nice if someone on the set said, “God bless their hearts for being open minded in adopting someone outside of their race.” This is about as minor an infraction as I could imagine. Instead we got a tearful apology that was hard to watch and hard to stomach.

Now, there was a tweet sent out about how some right-wingers might not like a biracial ad by Cheerios. Gee, I wonder why they might think that. Maybe it’s because some right-wingers already had hateful things to say about that ad (yes, they don’t represent all conservatives, but once again, this is the most minor infraction in television history). The MSNBC employee didn’t make up that reaction — it already existed online. How many times has Bill O’Reilly characterized all liberals as saying something based on what some readers in the Daily Kos or The Huffington Post comments section said? Only about a million times.

Maybe that person at MSNBC who sent the tweet got the idea from a recent ad that caused outrage on Fox News because it included a Muslim woman and her husband who is in the U.S. military. They said this ad was only blocks from the site of 9/11! That is 100 percent bigoted response from the right-wing to an ad that involves two people from different backgrounds. Bingo.

Maybe they would have gotten the idea that Republicans don’t like biracial couples because of a poll in the Republican primaries in the South where 21 percent of GOP primary voters in Alabama and 29 percent of the Mississippi GOP primary voters said that interracial marriage should be illegal.

Can anyone in America say with a straight face it is unclear which party in America is more racist? One of the parties had this thing called the Southern Strategy, where they decided being racist toward blacks would get more white voters in the South. Care to guess which party that was? If you’re still unclear on that or completely ignorant, maybethe last two RNC chairs could help you because they both apologized for their party’s blatantly racist strategy.

Hey, anyone know whether Roger Ailes has ever apologized for running a station that argues we should take away voter rights in a way that disproportionately affects minorities? That’s happening right now and only a million times more important than any tweet. You can turn on Fox News almost any day and see some fictional story about voter fraud, the whole purpose of which is to limit voting by the poor, the elderly, college students and minorities. Any apologies about that?

How about an apology for the fear mongering and race baiting about the New Black Panther Party? How about an apology for white Santa? And white Jesus? How about an apology for a guest on Fox Business talking about executing his political opponents? Oh, maybe he was joking. What do you think would happen if Ed Schultz joked about executing some Christian fundamentalists? They would fire everyone at 30 Rock and schedule an implosion of the building by lunchtime.

And oh yeah, anyone remember who worked for Richard Nixon when they came up with the Southern Strategy? That’s right, Roger frickin’ Ailes. Has he ever apologized for that?

MSNBC doesn’t get it. Fox News and the right-wing are using this to set up a false equivalency. Yes, the Republicans race bait. Yes, Karl Rove did a push poll in South Carolina in 2000 asking if people would change their vote if they knew John McCain had an illegitimate black daughter (he doesn’t). Wait, who does Karl Rove work for again? Yes, Bill O’Reilly is amazed when he goes into a black restaurant and they act like regular human beings. Yes, the Republican Party got 2% of the black vote in the last election because of their obviously hostile stance against African-Americans. But wait someone at MSNBC tweeted something mildly inappropriate.

If MSNBC cared about not presenting liberals as sniveling cowards, they would never go through these debasing apologies one after another. But they don’t care about that because the guy who runs the network doesn’t give a damn about how progressives look, because he isn’t one of them.

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Cenk Uygur’s Speech at The Conference to Restore the Republic 4/20/13 TRANSCRIPT

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TRANSCRIPT provided by Juebong Khwarg

First I view this as two issues here that I wanna discuss a little bit in my time. One is, are corporations people, and then two is amendment the right way to go. Let me just settle the first one in a minute.

How many people out there, show of hands, believe corporations are human beings. Ok and let the record note zero. That’s why I put on the glasses, right. Just to make sure.

How many people believe that corporations have inalienable rights endowed by their creator? The record note that again we have zero. And I know some are concerned, what if we take away too many rights from them? Woah. Let me gamble, let me try that risk and see how that turns out. I know what we have now, and it is an absolute disaster. That’s part of what I want to talk about here. So I might come back to the corporation issue but let’s address the amendment and if that’s the right way to go.

So I have good news and bad news for you guys. Let me start with the bad news ok? But don’t worry, we’re gonna get to the good news.

First in terms of the current state of our affairs in America, it is an absolute epic disaster. Right now we just voted on a bill where 91% of Americans were in favor of universal background checks on guns and we could not pass it.

Now here’s what people don’t like to hear but is an unfortunate, absolute reality. On the national level, we have lost our democracy. It does not exist. You know we grew up in America, we love America. I love the Steelers. I love subs and pizza and the flag. You know I love every part of it, right. I love Kentucky, I love Louisiana, I love New York, San Francisco, they’re all part of this great country etc. And we all believe, well obviously we live in a democracy except we don’t. It’s over. It’s over.

I was at a meeting of constitutional law professors in New York and I mentioned the idea of a convention. And an esteemed professor of law said, “Disaster”. He said, “We can’t have a convention”. Why? Well then we risk everything. What do we risk? We’ve already lost democracy. You’re not getting it.

Look. The people in this room get it, but so many Americans don’t understand. So for example, social security polls around 87%. Under no circumstances should you cut it. And it’s not a questionable poll. It’s not like, hey are you kind of in favor of social security? Do you kind of like social security? Do you like that your grandparents aren’t starving in the streets? It wasn’t like that. It was should we cut social security under any circumstance? 87% no. Under no circumstance, right. And what happened? We got a Democratic president suggesting cutting social security ‘cause he’d like to help the Republicans along. Alright, 84% don’t cut medicare under any circumstance. Don’t cut it. Don’t cut it. How clear can we be? Don’t cut it. And they wanna cut it. The Republicans and Democrats agree because we don’t have a democracy. They’ve already taken over the government. Why do they want to cut social security and medicare? Come on how easy is this? Who do you work for? You work for the guy who signs your checks.

So I’ve got really bad news for you. None of your representatives represent you. They represent the people who pay them. And the donors pay them, the lobbyists pay them. Yes the Republicans are as dirty and corrupt as it gets, but so are the Democrats.

So let’s talk about two Democrats for a second. How about the guy who promised us change? How’s that working out for us? Now he said, “I’m not gonna play the same old Washington games a little better.” This was in an ad. It was called Billy. I’ll get back to Billy in a second. He said, “I’m going to change the game.” Really? What have you done to change the game? You want to play it a tiny bit better? I mean this bill that we just had wasn’t even in universal background checks. It was a watered down, with riddled with loophole background check. And we couldn’t even pass that. And this was his best effort. No no no. He has no intention of changing a damn thing. This is the system that made him a multi-millionaire. This is the system that made him president. This is the system that gave him all the glory that he now basks in. He has no intention of bringing you change. He loves this system. What he craves most of all is a pat on the back from the establishment. So you’re waiting for a hero? Well we already had a hero who promised us overwhelming change and then gave us nothing.

Now I had a person who was young who came up to me at an airport and said, “I’m not gonna vote in the next election”. I said why? She said after Obama, what is there left to hope for? Now the next guy that comes and puts that sign up that says change, you gonna believe him? No we’re not gonna believe him. Because 9 out of 10, no 99 out of 100 times he’s a liar. He got money to lie to you. They’re playing good cop bad cop with you. Republicans are the bad cop, they come in and punch you in the face, then the Democrats come in and say aw I’m so sorry about my partner. If you just sign this piece of paper that says here I’ll cut social security and you cut medicare and a little more tax cuts for the rich, it’ll all go away. I’ll keep my bad cop away from you. I’ll be the good cop. I’ll even bring you a coffee. Are you alright? And then you sign the piece of paper and all of a sudden there goes your money to someone else.

Now one last thing about Democrats. Max Baucus, and this is gonna lead to the good news soon ok. Max Baucus has a one word answer for why he voted against universal background, sorry, background checks, not universal background checks. He said, “Montana”. Now let me tell you the real polling in Montana. 79% of the people of Montana are in favor of a universal background check. So the real one word answer that Max Baucus was looking for and is always looking for is money. That’s the one word answer.

Now how is this the good news? So President Obama is giving a speech at North Carolina and he gets to a point, this was back in 2010, and he says ok, healthcare it’s going great and we’re gonna do reform and I got a great Senator in the Senate leading the effort, Max Baucus. And at the University of North Carolina you get booed. Now how in the world did they know to boo Max Baucus? TV didn’t tell them. TV loves Max Baucus. Bi-partisan Max Baucus, isn’t he great? Well we all know Max Baucus is one of the most corrupt Senators in this country and that’s a tough battle to win.

So, now back to the bad news for a second, ok? Now part of that good news was hey, you learned, you’re here. There’s a lot of you here and there’s a lot that are watching online right now. There’s a lot who watch our show. And how do you find out? Because tv is part of the problem, the mainstream media, the establishment media, the politicians, they don’t represent us. They’re fake, they’re phonies. They’re part of the problem. But people got that memo. Not to toot our own horn here but I really use it as an example. The Young Turks just yesterday crossed a billion views online. So you wanna keep being fake, you wanna have your news actors get out their and read their scripts telling us how great Max Baucus is and how great the Republicans and the Democrats are? And how you should trust the government and you should trust the media? Have at it Hoss. I’m gonna keep kicking your ass day in and day out. They’re just giving me all of the audience. Because if you ask American people, part of the good news is, 90% say our politicians are corrupt. They are corrupt, they’re institutionally corrupt, they do it for the money and we all know it.

So back to the bad news. Now you’re telling me this Congress, this Congress is gonna pass resolution? They’re gonna pass bills fixing up the problem of money in politics. But you see what you’re not understanding is that they don’t think it’s a problem, they think it’s the solution. They’re never gonna pass it. I got bad news for you. They’re never, ever going to pass it. I mean disclose act as the weakest thing we had. Can we pretty please find out who’s bribing you? Can you just tell us who it is, please. We have 59 Senators, of course the Republicans filibustered it. That was the first time around. The second time around, a couple of years later after all the momentum and all the training and all the dogging and all this, 53 Senators. We lost six Senators. You’re not gonna win on the disclose act. You’re not gonna win on any act. Amendment, amendment, amendment. It is the only choice you have.

Yes you’re right, we should unite. You have to unite around an amendment. I don’t wanna unite around some weak sauce bullshit. I’m sorry to be harsh about it but you unite around, what are we doing. Oh hey look it’s a kind of a thing, a resolution that might, oh look hey. It was kind of successful, got 51 Senators and was filibustered. Congratulations, I’ll see you two years from now when you get 49 Senators. No you cannot rely on the federal government. They’re the bad guys. They’re not the good guys. They’re the ones, all of them, got success in this corrupt system by taking extraordinary money and using it not to our advantage, but to the advantage of the people who gave it to them. Are there some exceptions? Bernie Sanders is a lovely human being. Yes there are some exceptions. But Bernie Sanders, god bless him, ain’t gonna win the day, ok.

Now the good news. Wolf-PAC has been fighting on the local level. I went and talked to a state Senator from Maryland and you’re gonna be shocked at what happened. You know what happened? He listened to me. What? In all my years of covering national politics, I have never once heard a Senator say, good point. I changed my mind. Never. Why do you think it’s always empty on CSPAN when they’re always talking? ‘Cause they don’t give a damn. They’re not listening. You think we’re having a debate in this country? We’re not having a debate. The Heritage Foundation came up with a fig leaf so that they can vote in that direction and say, oh no no. It’s ok. I’ve got a think tank. I’ve got a think tank that told me it’s ok. But on the state level we have a shot.

Todd Jagger’s here, he’s our representative in Texas. He went and talked to a state rep and he said I’m with Wolf-PAC. And he says look, you’ve got a tough road to climb but I’ll take a meeting with you. You know why? ‘Cause you’re my constituent. Again, at the national level, you’re my constituent? If you don’t have a paycheck, if you don’t bring in a donation, they’re not gonna meet with you. So he comes in and he meets him and he says alright. He says it’s gonna be a tough road for you guys. I don’t know if a lot of people care about saving the wolves. Todd says, no no no. We’re not here to save the wolves, we’re here to save the republic. And you know what that state rep did? He introduced our resolution in Texas.

And just like David said, we had a, Todd had a gathering. There was a Tea Party across the street. First there’s progressives, they get together, they talk and everybody’s clapping, cheering, etc. Tea Party guys, I think they were doing a gun rally, they walk by, they hear it, and they say hey what are you guys talking about. Oh you think that the guys are corrupt and its crony capitalism, and it’s not really a free market, and the big companies have crushed the small companies? We totally agree. That’s right. This is the one thing we all agree on.

So the amazing part, I wish I had more time but let me wrap it up this way. Look the amazing part is that it can be done. So you can go through Congress but it ain’t gonna work. It’s not gonna work for the bills. Honestly, if you can get the Congressmen and the Senators to vote that way, bless your heart and I’m a hundred percent behind you. But the state level, it is shocking the degree to which they have listened to us and that they are willing to listen to their constituents.

So the great news is, at the local and state level, we still have a democracy. So let us act while we still have one. Grab your local state reps, state Senators . You can do it with Move to Amend. You could do it with Wolf-PAC. You could do it with Rootstrikers. You can do it with all of us. But this is the time for action.

We can do it. And I know we can do it because there’s been naysayers. And my god have I lived through the naysayers. I remember when we started The Young Turks in my living room and all we had was a mic and we had one piece of equipment to get the show over to New York. And if I told people them we’re gonna be the largest online news show in the world, well I did. And they laughed and laughed and laughed. We are the largest online news network in the world. You keep laughing while I keep doing. And if you had told me when we started that we’d be at a billion views, I would have laughed. Come on. A billion? I mean I would have thrown the biggest party in the world if I felt we had gotten to a hundred million. But we got to a billion because when somebody tells you it’s not doable, you can bet your bottom dollar they haven’t tried to do it.

You try to do it and you will be shocked at how doable it is because the one thing we all agree on is that money has corrupted our politics and we must get it out. Republicans agree, Democrats agree, Libertarians agree. If we all stick together we can do it, we will do it.

I just got a check, five dollar check from Miamisburg, Ohio saying for Christ’s sake, I don’t have much, but I’m gonna give you all I’ve got because if we stay together, we can do it. Thank you.

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Community Blog 11.13.12 – Get to Know Your Community Ambassador

TYT Army!

To those of you with children… You know when you host your kid’s birthday party, you are constantly reminded that there are plenty of other children who behave far worse than yours?

This bears no relevance to me, just thought I’d point that out.


Hello! My name is Kimani Wallace David (pronounced Key-mah-knee, or for those of you who appreciate IPA, it’s [kí.mɒ.ni]), your TYT Community Ambassador!

And I’m pretty damn excited.

Consider this my official self-introduction.

Kimani is a Kenyan name. More specifically, it is a Bantu name from the Kikuyu tribe, though I am not of Kikuyu blood, not that it matters. I turned 23 years old on September 30th, 2012. I know, to many of you I am a little kid. I accept that. I have a lot to learn. That said, I also have a lot to offer.

I was born to a drug-addled mother in San Pablo, California in 1989. I say this not to garner sympathy, but it does serve as a reminder that some of us are born on base (Romney) and others are born in the dugout. Immediately after birth, I was handed over to CPS and subsequently the nightmare of the California foster care system. I was eventually adopted by two very loving, very strict, and very religious parents and moved to a small town called Foresthill, also in California. Now, I live in Los Angeles after living in Santa Cruz, San Jose, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Sacramento, Rocklin, Auburn, and Foresthill. Through this short journey, I learned to question… well, everything.

The first time I was transferred under the foster care system. My foster parents and sister, shown here, eventually adopted me into their family. I was very fortunate.

How I met my mother.

I graduated from the University of California: Santa Cruz (Class of 2012) with a BA in Film and Digital Media Production, a minor in Linguistics, an AS in Behavioral Science, and an AA in Liberal Arts.

My best friend and I on the day I graduated from college.

I’d like to explain my political philosophy and talk about how I came to be with The Young Turks (both as a fan and as an employee).

I consider myself a socialist libertarian. I believe that only pure purpose of government is to provide for the general welfare of the citizenry and to protect the civil rights of said citizenry. That’s it. So, when the government operates outside of those two basic functions, I am fundamentally against any actions taken.

Get inside my head for a minute.

A minute example of this is California’s seatbelt law: requiring car manufacturers to have some sort of safety restraint in their product is fine, but requiring the citizen to wear them is outside of the responsibility of the government.

A grander example of this is the USA’s penchant for war and by proxy, corporate imperialism. I feel that we have had one good reason to engage in war on a foreign front, and that reason was Pearl Harbor. I find it utterly shameful that the USA continually perpetuates it’s own collapse by ignoring our domestic issues in favor of attempting to control international interests. Rome wasn’t built in a day, sure, but it didn’t take long for that empire to fall apart.

That said, my world view is still under construction.

In regards to my ethnicity, I do believe that ethnic solidarity is important. I am Kenyan and French Creole by blood; my dad, however, is from Honduras and is what is now termed as ‘Black, not African.’ The appropriate term for his ethnicity is Carib, though that is not the colloquialism nowadays.

My father was a civil engineer.

My mother is of English and German descent (níe Barnes). She is a huge fan of Tea Party politics. No, I am not joking. Her religion is a big part of her life.

Which is weird, because she used to be a borderline flower girl in the late 60s.

The first time I became aware that black people were considered different than white was in second grade, or the summer following. I had just seen the movie Toy Story, and my 7-year old self was incredibly excited. My mother bought me some cowboy boots, a vest, and a hat from a goodwill so I could pretend to be Woody. (I was 7. Times were different. Calm down).

Big fan of Disney back in the day.

Our neighbor ran a daycare, and they would always let me come over and play on their playground equipment. The day after I received my Woody outfit, I was over there in the full garb, running around the swingset like a maniac (which is a little weird – my mom didn’t let us eat much sugar).

One of the older kids, Nico (he was in 5th grade, so 10 or 11) confronted me about my clothes. At this time, I was swinging on the swingset, and he had grabbed the chain as I was going by. He laughed, said something to the effect of “Who are you trying to be?”

Then he told me that blacks couldn’t be cowboys. Cowboy boots were for white people. So I did what any bad 7-year old would do and I kicked him, or at least tried to. I was still on the swing and obviously didn’t think my strategy through. He rewarded my feeble attempt with a fist to my forehead, knocking me off the swing set. He jumped on top of me and kept hitting and kicking me. The neighbors weren’t supervising us, so this went on for a while. I must have been crying loudly, because my mother came outside and saw what was happening. She shrieked and stormed down to the playground, causing Nico to run off. He actually lived down the street by 8 or 9 houses, so I assume he went back there.

I remember the pain, but I also remember being confused. Needless to say, my family had many a problem with his (like father, like son in Nico’s case). I hope he’s learned something by now. At the very least, I hope he’s learned that there were black cowboys indeed.

My life has gone quite well considering how many alternative routes there could have been. I grew up in a lower-middle class home in a mountain town in California of 4,000 people. Foresthill. I was one of five or six kids in the town that wasn’t white.

I became a fan of TYT in 2008, when I was looking for any news media source that wasn’t bullshit. I was taking a sociology class in junior college (the professor of which was the daughter of the Sacramento Kings sign lady for those of you who are really in tune with the NBA) and I had realized that the mainstream media was driven by corporate interests. I wanted no part. During the election cycle, right after McCain had chosen Sarah Palin as his running mate, I discovered TYT. I had been trying, like so many others, to find out who Sarah Palin was.

I found this video and never looked back.

I thought TYT’s perspective appropriately meshed with my own views, and they weren’t malicious about their treatment of Palin. TYT became my main news outlet that day.

When Cenk posted a video asking for someone from the ranks to step up and apply for this position of Community Ambassador, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I moved to the LA area a month after I graduated. I had 300 dollars in my bank account having maneuvered my way through my collegiate experience working for my education with no outside support.

So I was very available for employment. I annoyed the shit out of Aaron until I was able to get an interview with him. He passed me on to Steve Oh, who I learned was NOT the audio guy. For whatever reason, they liked me enough to hire me!

I’m here. For you guys.

I want to be your resource, your insider. I am always available to answer any non-technical questions via [email protected] or via my twitter, @kimaniWdavid. And we can really talk about anything!

Thanks for reading, TYT members. Damn pleased to meet you all!
~Kimani W. David, your TYT Community Ambassador

Enjoy the cuteness of my niece and nephew (I’m unbearable with how cute I think they are):