Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks and former MSNBC host, returns to TV tomorrow night, on Current TV. And he has invited me to be a guest on his first show.
Cenk virtually invented Internet TV news, and completely dominates that medium. Cenk's Young Turks YouTube channel has almost 300,000 subscribers, enjoys 1,000,000 views a day, and has accrued over 600 million views since it started.
Cenk also was a substitute host on MSNBC last year, and he hosted the 6 pm hour on MSNBC from January through June this year. His show rated first among cable news shows with the audience aged 18-34.
His on-the-air signature is a quite simple one: like Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann and Dylan Ratigan, Cenk Uygur is a hard-hitting, unapologetic progressive. He tells it like it is. He doesn't say what you want to hear; he says what you need to hear.
Now, Cenk has decided to take his talents to Current TV. He'll be on weekdays, at 7 pm. Current TV is channel 358 on DirecTV, and channel 215 on the Dish Network. If you have cable TV, you can go to current.com and put in your zip code in the upper right corner, to find out which channel Current TV is for you.
Cenk has been kind enough to invite me on his show several times. One of the most memorable for me was our chat on the air just after the 2010 election, which was reported this way:
Grayson, visibly downbeat about his election results, explained that the reason for his defeat was the inability of Democrats nationally to get out the vote. "If Democrats don't vote," he told Uygur, "Democrats can't win." Explaining that turnout had fallen 20% for Republicans and 60% for Democrats in his district since 2008, he argued that "Democrats are saddened and demoralized by this policy of appeasement" that he believes always leads to defeat where compromise is not an option. Compromise, he continued, was not possible with Republicans because their entire strategy is "no."
"There is no 'center left,'" he continued to argue, such that being a centrist or attempting to ignore extremes was a losing policy. Calling the campaign a "national disaster," Grayson believes his defeat was not a local issue, but a national epidemic of malaise on the left. "Our voters went on strike," he concluded, "and we have to win them back by accomplishing things for ordinary people."
If you want to see someone with a head, a heart and a spine report the news tomorrow night, then you can tune in to Cenk's show. And if you want to help to see someone with a head, a heart, and a spine in Congress next year, then you can support our campaign.
Cenk, as Edward R. Murrow used to say on CBS, "good night, and good luck."
Follow Rep. Alan Grayson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/alangrayson