Last Updated on March 4, 2020
Cenk Uygur, the leader of the Young Turks YouTube channel, received just over 5 per cent of the vote, less than 5,000 votes total in his California congressional run, and will not be on the November ballot.
Uygur ran as a progressive Democrat in California’s 25th district, recently vacated by the scandalized Katie Hill, and was briefly endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) before Sanders retracted the endorsement after learning about Uygur’s history of bizarre and sexual comments.
Among them are his 2013 comments, in which Uygur claims that if he were in a position of power, he would legalize bestiality so long as humans “are pleasuring the animal.”
“Here comes the controversial part I shouldn’t say,” said Uygur. “I believe that if I were the benevolent dictator of the world, I would legalize bestiality where you are giving, you are pleasuring the animal.”
BREAKING: #Cenk2020 calls for legalizing BESTIALITY where you "are pleasuring the animal" in 2013. (Warning: Explicit Video)
— M. Mendoza Ferrer (@m_mendozaferrer) November 26, 2019
Uygur lost to Christy Smith, who won over 28,000 votes and 34 per cent of those cast. Smith will face Republican Mike Garcia in the November election.
Despite this electoral defeat and history of bizarre comments, Uygur continues to be a force on YouTube, a platform on which he is not only allowed to exist but is partnered with.
Google and YouTube included The Young Turks as part of its $300 million journalism initiative for a short series of videos, that are unlisted, in what YouTube and The Young Turks call the “Journalism Tactics Academy.”
Google is funding a project by far-left outlet The Young Turks called TYT Academy that aims to focus on the “creation of digital-first local news.”
YouTube, operating under Google’s $300 million Google News Initiative, is paying TYT a sum in the “mid six-figures range,” according to Axios.
TYT has a long and controversial history on YouTube, frequently being made the butt of jokes for what many people see as their public image of naked partisanship, low-grade journalism, and Armenian genocide denial.
TYT also tends to cast itself as a staunch opponent of corporate money in the political system, a stance which seems dubious at best given the recent Google investment.
Seemingly ignoring his own race, Uygur appeared to panic last night as it became apparent Sanders would not win Super Tuesday.
After Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign in 2016, Uygur pledged to wage “war” against the Democrat Party, saying he would ensure that progressive candidates would win across the country in 2018 and 2020.