On Tuesday, former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur uttered some of the wackiest media analysis you’ll ever hear when, on his Youtube show, he declared: “In American media conservatives dominated almost exclusively before Keith Olbermann turned MSNBC a more progressive direction.”
But then actor Russell Brand, determined not to be upstaged by The Young Turks host, upped the crazy ante as he proclaimed that MSNBC is “extremely conservative.”
The following exchange was aired on the August 19 edition of The Young Turks:
CENK UYGUR: In American media conservatives dominated almost exclusively before Keith Olbermann turned MSNBC in a more progressive direction. I think, in a lot of ways, they still dominate. So to that point what’s your sense in the American media versus the British media and you know conservatives here say “Oh it’s liberal.” Is that the sense you have? Or is it the exact opposite?
RUSSELL BRAND: No. I think the reason that people say that the media is liberal is to preemptively prevent true liberalism emerging. I think if you say “Oh the media is so liberal and pro-homosexuals and pro-lefties” then there is a kind of nervousness about promoting ideas of equality and unity and togetherness. The media is an extremely conservative institution. I’ve been on that MSNBC before, it is an extremely conservative idea. The way the arguments are framed allows debate in a tiny, tiny circumference.
Nobody is saying “Hey don’t vote for Republican or Democratic parties, instead devolve power so that the ordinary people have power over their own lives. Take the money out of politics, otherwise you have a political system that only represents corporations. The democratic process, as is, is redundant.” All of us quibble about superficial ideas. “Oh this guy passed this bill.” And no one is saying “Oh it’s not great that there is additional health care.” But I think we need to be more ambitious in what our understanding of change is.
UYGUR: Wait a minute now! I was saying “get money out of politics” and I was on MSNBC. And Dylan Ratigan was saying “get money out of politics” and he was on MSNBC. Oh wait a minute. What happened to both of us? Oh we’re not on MSNBC any more.