Respites

A master at work

As a veteran fabricator I’m skilled at exposing liars. I like to think of it as a gift.

Observe.

The subject: Cenk Uygur, recently replaced as host of an MSNBC show few watched. I know of Uygur, but not enough to care one way or the other about his television future.

Claim: Speaking on his “Young Turks” show, Uygur said that, though the ratings for his show had been satisfying MSNBC executives, his “tone” had not. According to his version of events, his departure from the network was the culmination of a protracted struggle with MSNBC management who wanted him to be more buttoned down.

Uygur said that, in April, MSNBC president Phil Griffin called him in for a talk. Griffin allegedly told him that “people in Washington” were concerned with his tone on the show.

So Washington powerbrokers are concerned about a show that, at its height, had 665,000 viewers? Really?

Claim: “‘Outsiders are cool, but we’re the establishment,’” Griffin said, according to Uygur, who said he was also told to book more Republicans on the show. He claimed to have been stunned by the conversation, and said he ignored Griffin’s advice.

Interesting how the alleged villain casts Uygur as an “outsider” — I’m sure he didn’t object.

As for the booking advice, I don’t recall seeing many Republicans on Rachel Maddow’s show.

Claim: Though his ratings increased, Uygur said that, a couple of weeks ago, he was informed that he would not be getting the permanent slot at 6 PM, but was instead offered a smaller contributor role for twice the salary. He said he turned it down because, in his words, he did not want to work at a place “that didn’t want to challenge power.”

Once again, Uygur’s version conveniently adheres to a narrative any progressive would embrace: An outsider who makes the establishment nervous, refusing to be silenced, or bribed, setting out on his own to challenge the powers that be. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Corporate Lackey!

The verdict: Did I mention Uygur was replaced by Al Sharpton, the very embodiment of the company man?

A poorly constructed lie, and hardly original (see Olbermann, Keith). For shame, Cenk Uygur!

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