The Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur has described himself as an “independent progressive” whose web-based news shows target the 98 percent of Americans “not in power.”
But just over a year ago, Uygur led a profanity-laced panel discussion of “how to pick up chicks” in which he discussed hitting on a 19-year-old beauty pageant winner when he was 28 and laughed when Young Turks entertainment/political reporter Hasan Piker bragged about being a “total misogynist.”
Piker also told a third panelist, Young Turks sports personality Francis Maxwell, that his Scottish accent was a “built-in f– mechanism.”
The roughly nine-minute video, broadcast as part of the site’s subscription-only “Post Game” program in September 2016, has resurfaced as Uygur has faced scrutiny over blog posts from the early 2000s in which he made numerous graphic and disparaging remarks about women.
Last week, Uygur apologized for the old blog posts, which he called “ugly” and “insensitive,” but insisted that he has reformed since becoming a political progressive more than a decade ago. “If someone said that today, I would heavily criticize them on the show and rightfully so, and I have,” he told TheWrap.
In the 2016 video, though, Uygur raised no audible objections to the more provocative statements by Piker, who is also Uygur’s nephew. “I could go on and on,” Uygur said as the segment concluded. “I love this topic.”
Through a spokesperson, both Uygur and The Young Turks declined to comment for this story.
The video began with Uygur recounting how he “used to hook up” with a future Miss Jamaica pageant winner who was nearly a decade younger than he was.
When Maxwell, who was born in the U.K., suggested acting confidently around women, Piker cut him off. “It’s absolutely inappropriate for you to give people dating advice or how to pick up chicks when you have a built-in f— mechanism on your face that just produces Scottish accents at people,” Piker said. “And they’re like, ‘Oh, my God, he’s not from here, I want to f— him immediately.”
At one point in the video, Piker went confessional. “I used to be fat and still pulled in numbers,” he said, an apparent reference to the number of women with whom he had sex. “I’m being a total misogynist, but I’m being honest.”
He also tried to excuse his comments by noting that the audience for the “Post Game” show “is like, what, 97 percent male.”
According to The Young Turks website, women currently represent only seven of the company’s 26 on-air hosts — less than 27 percent.
Uygur, whom Piker calls his mentor in “relationship stuff,” shared his own advice in the “Post Game” video, which is still available on the site. “If you’re going to talk to girls, just do it. Do it within the first five seconds. Do not hesitate,” he said.
“Bro tip: five-second rule,” Piker added, a reference to a standard piece of advice on “how to get laid” that he offered on his short-lived vlog series “BroTip” on The Young Turks network.
“You start talking to this girl, it finally leads to hooking up and you’re bold enough to grab an ass check and then maybe get some hand play downstairs. What is the next move? You need to get out of there and you need to get out of there fast — hopefully with the girl,” Piker said in one “BroTip” video circa 2013.
“You have to use these five magic words, ‘Let’s get out of here,'” added Piker, whom BuzzFeed declared a “woke bae” earlier this year. “It’s time to separate her from her herd, meaning her crowd of girlfriends who are going to do their best to c—block you because they’re fat and lonely.”
The advice appeared to borrow heavily from Neil Strauss’ 2005 best-seller “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.”