Cenk Uygur Is Losing His Grip On Reality?

A good show from @KyleKulinski on Cenk Uygur getting his panties in a twist over New Atheists (well, Sam Harris really). Kyle’s show is a ‘TheYoungTurks Partner’, and I’ve seen Kyle raise this issue with Cenk before. In an earlier show I thought Kyle had some details wrong and gave Cenk too much benefit of the doubt. So it’s significant that Kyle gets what the problem is with Cenk, though I don’t know he’s aware of the full nature of the problem.

So, the main point Kyle brings up here is that in criticising someone for making sweeping generalisations about people, Cenk Uygur makes a super sweeping generalisation by including New Atheists in his critique of Lindsey Graham. Yes, that’s Lindsey Graham. The Republican. The Conservative. Yes, Cenk Uygur lumps New Atheists – that’s the liberal bunch of atheists that criticise religion for its conservative oppressive elements and scriptures – with conservative Republicans. You have to keep repeating it to yourself, not because it’s a difficult idea to understand, but because it’s so stupid you wonder why someone could be so wrong.

Sam Harris time and again promotes support of liberal Muslims, acknowledges the variety of Islamic interpretation, goes out of his way to say, ‘not all Muslims’, but still Cenk has to make these dumb accusations; ironically, while Cenk is also telling us how much he opposes Islam too – but, you know, when he criticises Islam that’s not making sweeping generalisations, and doesn’t target all Muslims, because Cenk says so. No matter that Harris is explicit and specific in what he is criticising: Islam.

Wow. Cenk is becoming ideologically obsessed with New Atheists – oh, sorry, sweeping generalisation on my part, because of course he has a problem with Sam Harris specifically. Why? Cenk let himself be sold on the Reza Aslan bullshit, has taken on the ‘Sam Harris is an imperialist neocon’, without reading much at all of Harris. Since then he’s been schooled on his errors, by so many people that had been fans of Cenk and TYT.

Cenk has since been all defensive, to the point of getting really aggressive in his rhetoric.

Cenk really does misrepresent Harris – just as many pseudo-liberals do. He keeps repeating this nuclear first strike nonsense. He rejects flat out that Harris is talking hypothetically, as we’ll see below in one of Cenk’s most ridiculous outbursts.

The criticisms of Cenk by Cenk fans has been spot on.

James MacDonald produced this piece, The curious Case of Cenk Uygur, in which he links to the incredible outburst episode from Cenk, and to the three hour discussion between Cenk and Sam Harris. The message is one of clear regret from a TYT fan that Cenk is so out of touch.

Lalo Dagach made a video on the problem with Cenk regarding the Harris and Maher stuff. Cenk Uygur lies about Sam Harris and Bill Maher (by a TYT fan)

Now some people are jumping on Ben Aleck for calling them racist, and “Islam’s not a race!” – Just calm down, dude, you know he meant bigoted. You know there’s not much of a distinction. So, don’t nit-pick stupid stuff like that.”

As Lalo points out, Afleck was pretty clear that he meant racist. Lao also covers Cenk’s other point, that “there’s not much of a distinction” between bigoted and racist charges.

But also, note how Cenk there defends Afleck, as if he’s made a slip of the tongue. And yet when criticising Harris he’ll cling onto every literal word of Harris in an interview, and even if Harris later corrects himself (which Afleck never has) that’s not good enough for Cenk.

Really, you should listen to Lalo’s video.

James Kirk Wall takes down Cenk in Cenk Uygur’s imaginary war with Bill Maher and Sam Harris, and in plain terms tells Cenk to take the stick out of his ass.

You want more bullshit from Cenk? Get this, from The Noble Savage channel, The Young Turks vs Sam Harris – The Evidence. Again, listen to it all, but here’s a significant point:

Bill Maher challenges Ben Afleck, by asking if all of a billion Muslims DO NOT hold the unsavoury views discussed (and Maher has the figure corrected to 1.5 billion). Cenk Uyghur then states that Bill Maher DOES say all a billion Muslims DO hold those views:

Bingo, right there. That’s the biggest problem in this whole thing. Bill Maher saying, no, over a billion Muslims. All of them. Not a small minority, not even a significant minority, no, he said that’s just not true, all of them hold those opinions [the unsavoury opinions held by many Muslims as just pointed out by Harris]

Yes, Maher is saying SOME Muslims surely do hold these views, but Cenk says Mahers says over a billion Muslims hold those views, ALL of them. Cenk slips in a caveat, with, “He might not have literally said all”, but really does make the greater general claim.

It seems basic logic is beyond Cenk here.

This video chips in with text overlays pointing out many of the places where Cenk gets it dead wrong. I mean so badly wrong you start to wonder if Cenk actually sat down an paid attention to the Maher episode, or if he’d got the anti-Harris script ready and just made the Maher clips fit his agenda. Fucking terrible stuff.

Later the video shows bits from other TYT shows, including the CJ Werleman crap, where he likens Harris to Mao’s intent to wipe out religion. While you’re listening to that, hold that thought, and then listen to the Cenk outrage ‘New McCarthyism’ show linked to below, where Cenk tells us, Moa-like, he’d like to rid the world of religion, if we’re going to use that sort of rhetoric. The fucking hypocrisy leaps out from the screen.

Oh, and on Cenk’s reading of Harris, he says pretty much there, at about 15:30 into this video, that he’s read pretty damned close to fuck all of Harris, if you’re going to get a fair view of what Harris says rather than what others say he says. Cenk, you fucking moron. Get a grip.

Another thing you pick up on in this video, when Cenk interviews Harris, is the body language of Cenk at times – he’s simply not listening.

Another video from TheNobleSavage: Sam Harris – Cenk Doesn’t Understand How to Stay on Point. Worth watching.

Cenk’s low point was the following video, referred to is some of the sources above: Is Anti-Muslim Bigotry The New McCarthyism?

This starts with an attack on anti-Muslim bigotry, but about 1:50 in the target changes – and it’s all about the hurt that Cenk is feeling because so many liberals have called Cenk out on his bullshit misrepresentation of Harris.

When this get’s going we see the three hosts, but watch Anna. I really feel sorry for her as she has to endure this rant from Cenk. At one point, as she appears to look at the monitor, I imagine she’s thinking, “Oh shit, I’m still on screen. I don’t know, perhaps it’s time to get my CV out there before I’m tarnished with this crap.”

Much of this is a whine because Cenk has been criticised by fans of the show.

This whole Bill Maher, Sam Harris thing, they’re rabid man. Online, every day, they’re relentless. “Oh Cenk, you don’t know, you keep sticking up for the Muslims.” Yeah, OK, guilty as fucking charged.”

Well, there’s no doubt, that in comments that Cenk may receive, and Harris too, there are those that conflate their hatred for Islam and Muslims. Yes, there are bigots. But is it possible Cenk here is yet again making sweeping generalisations, that all commenters that support Harris are therefore bigots. Is it not possible that some of these critics have it right and that Cenk is wrong on this?

But yes, I stick up for Muslim Americans. So, you’re gonna have to come through me. If you wanna say, oh, “the Muslims! the Muslims! They’re the bad guys. You know a Muslim. You support a Muslim.” Yes, I know Muslims, I support Muslims. They’re American ‘cause they’re one hundred percent Americans, and you’re goon have to come through me. You wanna fight on it, we’ll fight on it. You wanna call yourself a liberal? You don’t know what a fucking liberal is. You wanna call yourself a progressive? You’re not remotely progressive.

Cenk is just right off the rails here.

Let’s do what Cenk does. So, Cenk, “They’re American ‘cause they’re one hundred percent Americans” Ha! so all Muslim Americans are loyal Americans? Including the ones that aren’t? What about the ones that support ISIS?!! You’re condoning the support of ISIS Cenk! … and so it goes, if you play Cenk’s stupid game.

No, this video is a direct response to the criticism Cenk has received from liberals, real liberals that criticise Islam, liberals that really do not persecute Muslims, liberals that really do support liberal Muslims and ex-Muslims.

But even supporting Muslims and ex-Muslims isn’t good enough for Cenk. Aayan Irsi Ali? Neocon. Harris is writing a book with the Muslim Maajid Nawaz? How convenient for Harris.

This mind-set that Cenk has himself locked into is right up the same street as Glenn Greenwald and C J Werlemen.

Set them [Muslims] aside, make sure we profile them, we watch them, we go into their mosques, we go into their universities, we go into their college groups; and if we need be, torture them; if need be do first strikes against them. If need be, according to Sam Harris’s book, “I’m just being hypothetical. You know, I’m just posing. I mean, what if we did a nuclear first strike on them. I mean, after all, the are Muslims.” If you believe that you are not remotely progressive. You are a foaming at the mouth neoconservative; and yes, you are discriminating against those people. You don’t like? “Oh, no, [mock tears] you called me racist, bigoted, you said I discriminate.” I’m sorry, I called you what you fucking are. So stop pretending you’re liberals. You’re not. You’re not. You agree with the Dick Cheneys of this world. That’s what you are. So, a lot of people gonna get angry at me, including in our audience? Sad day for you. I’m here to say, when you come for them, you’re gonna have to go through us. Because we stick up for all Americans. .. we stand up for all Americans. If you wanna say Islam is wrong, I’m a million percent with you. I want to get rid of all religion on the planet. That’s how serious I am in being against religion. If you want to say, “This group of people, you should treat them differently,” you’re fucking wrong, and I’ll fight you to the death on it.

The first part of that, the setting aside, profiling, …, nuclear first strike – that conflates so many different points, some actually hypothetical. So, does Cenk label all philosophers as murdering neocons whenever they discuss the hypothetical trolley problem. It’s just stupid. And each of the points Cenk piles into one false perspective here has a specific context in which Harris is making a specific point. What Cenk says here in no way bears any resemblance to what Harris says.

To say that someone like Harris, or New Atheists generally, or the many people who agree with Harris, are neoconservative, agreeing with the Dick Cheneys, that is just the most fucking stupid shit I’ve heard.

And Cenk, it seems, when it comes to Islam and religions generally, is just as anti-Islam as Harris. Where does this shit come from that Harris would persecute Muslims? It comes from Cenk listening to what others have been saying about Harris, rather than reading Harris. By the time it gets to the Aslan and Harris interviews he has gotten around to reading some Harris, though we’re not sure what – seems like just a few bits and pieces. But it’s too late. He’s dug his hole and he just keeps on digging.

This is a fucking disgrace. As others have said, how can you trust TYT when this sort of bullshit is an example of balanced reporting.

I still try to watch TYT; but it’s hard to stay focused when you know that the main man has such a hard on for Harris.

18 thoughts on “Cenk Uygur Is Losing His Grip On Reality?

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  2. Cenk is a racist (or an ethnocentrist might be a better word). His identity is bound up with his Muslim/Arabic ancestry (did you not notice the racist name The Young Turks?).

    Western atheists are willing to draw a hard line in the sand against Islam and Muslims. Cenk is on the other side of that line, standing with his Muslim buddies. It’s an identity thing. He won’t tolerate any hardline attitude against Islam/Muslims.

    1. Young Turks is also a political term you dolt, it’s supposed to be a play on words since he is a rebel in the political world and he is from Turkey.

  3. And because it’s an identity argument, there is no logical or reasoned arguments that can be made in favour of it. Identity arguments are EMOTIONAL arguments i.e. Cenk will stand with my Muslim buddies because they are his family and friends.

    Hence, someone making an identity argument abandons reason/logic and instead resorts to demonising the guy in the out-group i.e. Sam Harris and the new atheists.

    There is no reasoning with an identity argument. It’s an emotional attachment. It’s a tribal thing.

  4. Hi Michael, welcome.

    I think there’s an element of truth in what you say, but I really don’t think he’s racist or particularly ethnocentric. But from what he’s said sometimes about his family members that are Muslims he clearly sees the many generalised attacks on Muslims as a bigoted. Which is fair enough. You can

    His problem seems entirely down to an emotive position he has built up. He fails to allow nuance from people he’s arguing against and yet let so much pass as nuance from those he supports. He accuses Harris of generalisation while generalising himself in his remarks about Islam, but with Harris we’re supposed to see that as bigotry, while from Cenk we’re nit meant to take it so generally.

    No. I think he’s a good guy who isn’t particularly smart, has backed a few too many duds, like Aslan and Werleman, and just keeps digging that hole deeper.

    Many leftist ideologues have great intentions. But then do many ideological theists – they really do want to save our souls by sending us to heaven. It’s the mixed up world of ideology where you’re depth of feeling overrides your brain and you begin to spew the hatred that you’ve started out fighting against. It seems some people just can’t beat their own psychological character, even when they think they are doing right.

    I don’t think Cenk is as bad as some of those he seems to have latched onto. But he’s anti-religion, and supports many good causes.

    He could have talked his way out of this, before his recent outbursts. But he’s made a prize fool of himself now.

  5. I think Cenk is highly intelligent, but he is thinking way in advance of most people. He can see there is a coming breakup of Western countries e.g. we most definitely will need to stop all Muslim immigration and enforce very tight controls over Western Muslims, and the teachings of the Koran. The rise of ISIS-inspired terrorism will make these policies inevitable, assuming the West regains its sanity.

    So, Cenk is in the process of sniffing out and smoking out his friends and foes. So, all this talk about nuclear strikes against Muslims is just a proxy for the coming hard-line policies against Western Muslims. Cenk has chosen sides, and he is provoking everyone else to see where they stand. Cenk is no fool.

  6. Cenk is a fool & an inarticulate tryhard, he’s obviously still a Muslim, an Islamist in atheistic clothing & from the italicised rants above, becoming progressively more vociferous with every pronouncement from his pea brained, hurt egocentric Arab male rage. You can not reason with the bile from Cenk & his ilk. Word of warning, its a small leap of faith from this man’s demonstration of verbal hate at those who get the better of him from reasoned argument, to radicalised, jihadist Islamist. I’m sure Cenk is now on the Homeland Security watch list.

    1. I have on numerous occasions written that this bloke is a Muslim Apologists and even asked FBI to look into his finances. Is there any from Turkey.

      1. Hi Eddy,

        He’s a Muslim apologist only in the sense that he objects to the demonisation of all Muslims. He’s also confused about a number of issues, and has been completely sold on the smears of Harris and New Atheists. But the FBI? Are you serious? What evidence do you have to even make such a move?

  7. Hi John Hynds, welcome.

    I don’t think Cenk is a Muslim, and certainly not an Islamist. He does criticise Islam. Even in the videos in which he criticises Harris he says himself he is critical of Islam.

    He has boxed himself in on the topic by attacking Harris in particular, by insisting Harris hates ALL Muslims, when he clearly does not, and by misrepresenting other ideas from Harris. Cenk is a bit slim on philosophy; and his background is the law – a particularly adversarial system where to win is more important than the truth.

    He got into this mess by listening to Reza Aslan and C J Werleman, without actually reading much of Harris other that what other presented.

    1. Thankyou, I’m new to this post, TYT & Cenk Uygur, tho I’ve followed Sam Harris for many years now; this is how I stumbled upon the Ben Afflic rant with Sam & subsequently Cenk’s TYT ‘critique’. I’m surprised that Cenk has a background in law, I would not have considered him to be tertiary educated let alone hold a degree in law. His delivery to camera is so colloquial-hysterical, unless he’s acting up to appear hip & everyman accessible to his demographic… no, he’s just thick! Whatever, he’s neither an accomplished lawyer nor a good actor & certainly has no journalistic credentials. Once again Sam has had to waste his valuable time & insighteful knowledge of Islamism debating a brick wall, ‘brick’ head. Ben Afflicks a brick head too.

  8. Thanks for the great article. I think Cenk is either not a very smart person or he’s got a hidden agenda and lies and exaggerates on purpose. Out of the two options the former seems true to me. I am not quite sure what is the reason of his quite obvious resentment of Sam Harris and others who share Sam’s views, but from what I have been able to see it’s clear to me that it’s a complete waste of time to try talking reasonably to him. It seems as if something has simply blocked his brain, if he’s got one, from understanding simple and logic arguments and he will spew his fearmongering and brainwashing to his audience and share the stage with other bigoted individuals like CJ Werleman or Reza Aslan in doing so. It’s a pity he’s got so many listeners and followers–the damage might actually betoo big to be undone.

    1. Hi Mark, welcome,

      Yes, Cenk is a bit brain blocked. I think from other examples, such as his stalling and earlier denial on the Armenian Genocide, it’s clear that Cenk just keeps digging a bigger whole rather then admitting when he’s wrong.

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