The Revolution has been Monetized: How Cenk Uygur Built His Media Empire with Cash from the One Percent



When Bernie Sanders reiterated his endorsement of Cenk Uygur (under the guise of retracting it) - a misogynist running for Congress in California’s 25th district special election - he praised Uygur for being a corruption fighter. In the Sanders alt-Left’s own vernacular, big, corporate money is the definition of corruption. They are big on shunning PACs and bundlers (unless the given super PAC happens to be supporting them).

Uygur’s cohost on his media network The Yong Turks (and its flagship show of the same name), Ana Kasparian, wants to know whether a citizen exposing Uygur with his own words captured on video is a “paid political operative,” hired by the “Democratic establishment” who everyone on the woke universe knows is in the pocket of the one percent.

With the obsession of alt-Left shows like the TYT with policing how everyone not in lockstep with their purported socialist ideology makes a living, it may be worth considering how this ‘woke’ voice of the people built his own “alternative” media empire.

With corporate cash from the one-percent, of course.

Uygur’s very own corporation, The Young Turks (the name itself is a nod to genocide denialism) got its first big cash infusion in 2014, from a venture capital investment firm led by former Republican Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer. The firm, Roemer, Robinson, Melville & Co (RRM), made an initial $4 million investment in TYT with an option to go up to $8 million. Ironically, Roemer and Uygur made common cause from a supposed desire to remove big money from politics (but not, evidently, from political media).

RRM is definitely Uygur’s kind of firm. It features cotton plants on its website, and has no women in leadership role. Only one individual in the organization’s top echelon is non-white. Uygur’s buddy Roemer (heh, heh) also serves as the Chairman Emeritus of Business First Bank, a billion-dollar bank and G2 LNG, an oil and gas company. How’s that for a socialist green new deal?

Uygur’s love affair with one-percenter money didn’t end with RRM, however. After raising another $4.25 million of dark money from undisclosed sources in 2015, TYT scored big in 2017, with a $20 million funding round led by 3L Capital, a venture capital firm founded by media executive Shawn Colo. The managing partner of 3L, Colo has a net worth of $100 million.

Also on the Board of 3L Capital is Elliot Cohen, the founder and CEO of mapping app City Maps. The leisure travel company TripAdvisor acquired CityMaps in 2016, but the details of the deal are unavailable. TripAdvisor itself is currently valued at $4 billion.

The 2017 funding round also included money from WndrCo., a firm created and led by film-producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, net worth $900 million. Katzenberg, who is also a great supporter of what Uygur and his compatriots like to call the Democratic establishment, appears well on his way to making WndrCo. a $2 billion media investment powerhouse.

The evil top one percent of the wealthy in America - the target of the alt-Left’s ire - have a household net worth of $10.4 million or more, and the irredeemable top one-tenth of one percent have a household net worth of $43 million or more. When it comes to personal enrichment, Cenk Uygur clearly prefers the company - and certainly the money - of the ultra rich.

As I have said before, I’m a capitalist neoliberal monster myself, and all I see here is investment firms putting money into what they view as a profitable operation. And profitable it is, given the gullibility of the alt-left who believe a corporate funded media mogul and a socialist with thee houses will be their deliverance.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that many of the alt-Left’s favorite media outlets, including the Huffington Post, are owned by major corporations. Huffington Post was sold to AOL in 2011 for over $300 million, and is currently owned by Verizon. The alt-Left’s gullibility to those who suckle on corporate cash while pretending to revile it certainly didn’t start with Cenk Uygur and TYT.

Still, from someone who’s made their entire career feasting on the thirst for the blood of the rich on the alt-left, this seems a bit hypocritical.