Pun Virus Spreading at Young Turks

The Young TurksThe Young Turks is a hugely popular internet based news show. It is very good and I like to stay up on what they are talking about. In general, I find them very well informed on issues and their positions are fairly compatible with my own, even if they tend to be a tad more conservative. There are two people on the show who can rightly be called stars Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian.

Uygur is a barrel chested Turk who immigrated to the United States as a kid. He is the kind of guy who, if he were conservative, I would hate. He’s loud mouthed and angry and very, very male. And as it turns out, when he was in college, he was conservative. Somewhere along the line, he grew a brain. But let’s be clear: Uygur would be perfectly at home in the Republican Party of 1970. He is what I call an old Republican: a New Democrat.

He gets a lot of claims to the effect that he is a liberal extremist. This is due to two things. First, the radical departure of the Republican Party for la-la-land over the last 30 years. Second, he states his fairly liberal views loudly and with passion. For a conservative, this is SOP. When a liberal does it, he must be an extremist. Cenk Uygur is not an extremist.

Except in one way: his humor. Uygur has an extreme case of Unfunny Guy Likes to Make Up Groaners syndrome. You don’t have to watch much of The Young Turks to find him making a clearly planned pun at the end of a story. His colleagues duly groan and even tease him for this. And that, of course, is the humor of such puns: “guy makes bad joke” is a classic genre. No one gives him more grief than Ana Kasparian.

Whereas Uygur hosts the political part of the show, Kasparian is the host of the social part of the show—still with a political slant. For example, Uygur did a piece on Israel withholding tax revenue from the Palestinians over the UN statehood issue. Kasparian did a piece on the cop who gave the shoes to a homeless man and all the follow ups. Most of all, however, she complains about Uygur’s terrible puns.

Then yesterday, Ana Kasparian was presenting a story about John McAfee, the founder of the anti-virus company. He’s been avoiding the police since they’ve wanted to talk to him about the murder of his neighbor. (For the record, I doubt he did it; is it surprising that an anti-virus guy would be paranoid?) She covered the whole thing and then added, “I’m also happy that he didn’t have a heart attack or some kind of virus.” And she was every bit as pleased with herself as Cenk generally is.

It’s sad, really. But I recommend watching at least their YouTube Channel.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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