The Young Turks, billed as the largest online news and politics show in the world, took their show on the road April 24 and taped it live at the Newseum’s Knight TV Studio before a studio audience.
The award-winning program covers politics, pop culture, economics and social trends and has more than 2 million subscribers and 1.8 billion lifetime views.
Hosts Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz discussed a wide range of topics from U.S. trade to the failed merger of Comcast and Time Warner to the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose spine was broken while in police custody in Baltimore. The show ended with a discussion on Hooters and its male restaurant counterpart called Tallywackers.
Uygur, who began his journalism career as a talk show host at a Washington, D.C., radio station, called his and Mankiewicz’s appearance at the Newseum a homecoming.
Mankiewicz, a journalist and movie critic who hosts “Turner Classic Movies,” was born in Washington. His father, Frank Mankiewicz, who died in 2014, was a press aide to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and was the former president of National Public Radio.
After the show’s live taping, Uygur was joined by Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, and Dylan Ratigan, a New York Times best-selling author, on a panel discussion titled “Do the Media Have Any Real Power?” Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute, moderated the panel.
“Fox News is still enormously influential to its constituency and helps drive the conversation in Washington,” said Isikoff. But “we’re all the media today. Every one of us that has an iPhone or cellphone in our pockets can drive the news cycle as much as any of us in the established media.”
Ratigan agreed, adding that cellphone video of an event as it is actually happening has power and influence much more than a celebrated journalist’s investigative story.
Uygur said it took 13 years to build The Young Turks into a successful, influential model that boasts billions of subscribers and views. The winning strategy: “Tell the audience the truth, and they’ll come to watch, and advertisers will be forced to deal with you.”
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