Ana Kasparian claims the moral high ground

I never listen to The Young Turks, and this is one reason why. Here co-host Ana Kasparian has what I see as a moral meltdown, claiming that she’s “better than you” if you don’t agree with her political views or if you “attack the powerless”. Now I’m not sure what she’s referring to in particular, but it hardly matters. (Does criticizing Islam, as did Charlie Hebdo, mean “attacking the powerless”? Is any group completely powerless?)

Of course if she’s referring to racism or bigotry, I agree that it’s reprehensible behavior, but what do you accomplish by calling an ideological opponent “garbage” or “a sociopath”? Nothing except that you get to vent—and make a lifelong enemy of the person you insulted.

It is this attitude of moral purity—”yeah, I’m fucking better than you—much better than you. You’re garbage!”—that pollutes much of the Left. We should deal with arguments and behaviors rather than assert what wonderful people we are in comparison.  Cenk Uygur projects the same attitude, which is why I avoid this show like the plague. All it takes is one unhinged display like this (or the one linked to below), to get a quick peek into someone’s real attitudes.

This is, of course, the same woman who, in a rage when Alex Jones showed up at a TYT taping, screamed “Get off the stage, you fat fuck!” And that despite her lectures against fat-shaming (see this video). Despite Jones’s bizarre ideas and politics, nobody deserves to be called a “fat fuck”.  I’m not so sure Kasparian was “better” then.

Am I Left-shaming? So be it. I’m not saying I’m better than Kasparian, just that her behavior is maladaptive, and won’t advance her agenda.

32 Comments

  1. barael
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    It’s a sad thing; a few years back she regularly pushed back against many regressive overreaches and freak-outs. Now witness the zeal of a convert.

  2. Jake Sevins
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I think a lot of popular ideologues aren’t trying to convert their opponents or bringing undecideds to their side; they are merely speaking to people _already_ on their side. Kasparian is telling her fans, “WE are better than they are; YOU are on the right side by listening to me.”

  3. Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    For a ‘young Turk’ Kasparian sounds a bit Armenian!

    • somer
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      She is Armenian, but she’d rather identify with the likes of Cenk Uygur because Armenian isn’t cool for her and she’s a narcissist ! This posing to the converted is so ridiculous. The show is an excellent match with Alan Jones.

      • Helen Hollis
        Posted October 31, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Did you mean to say Alex Jones?

  4. Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    In Europe, we are reminded of various shades and colours of Left thanks to a more fine-grained party landscape. To me, much different types of people are prototypical Left than what is considered Left in the US. I mean, people like Cenk or Ana could be anything, from Christian Democrats (Merkel), to Social Democrat or Liberal. The fit an actual Left the least. I know that this sounds like No True Scotsman, but it really isn’t, since other flavours of Left are not always superior (e.g. Tankies).

    What I mean is that their modus is rather centrist, or leaning conservative, just embedded in a more modern conservatism that assumes LGTB etc as the baseline. Conservatism from a 1990s background, rather than one from the 1950s.

    I think that authoritarianism alone does not describe it adequately, either, as other Leftist flavour are more authoritarian, (e.g. Stalinist) and they are clearly not the type. Kasperian would even look out of place at an event celebrating Rosa Luxemburg. However, I have no trouble imagining them upholding the Comics Code.

    Rather than typical Left, or authoritarian, these people are fairly boring Democrat centrists (slighly right, internationally) who have just an intensly judgmental personality, which both makes them judge all the time, as well as flaunting some generic “good people” values because they project being judged as they judge others.

    I’ve asked around in the recent days and most people don’t believe these people actually have convictions. They are almost rock-bottom standard “social justice warriors” in the original sense.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      I have been thinking for some time now that we in the U.S. could benefit by the splintering of our effective two party system –> 4 or more political parties. There are those on the democratic side that hold some conservative values, and republicans that are decidedly liberal in some ways (but often dare not show it while in office).
      This would force our politicians to reach across party lines more often to advance their shared agenda.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted October 30, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        The two party system that many countries have is a reason for conflict in their societies I think. The ones currently in control of the party portray it as a “big tent” but what it really means is all the others never get a chance to express their position properly and they thus feel like they’re not heard. That makes them frustrated and angry.

        In a system where parties have to form a coalition to govern, a majority have to cooperate to pass legislation, no one gets everything they want, but all groups feel like they were heard.

        Also, when it’s the parties that are cooperating to get each other’s votes (rather than bribing individual politicians), you don’t get the pork barrel politics that poisons so many systems. That particular type of corruption doesn’t exist. It isn’t so easy for lobbyists to influence unfairly either.

        • BJ
          Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

          Very good points. I would also add that with a two party system, every time one party gets into power, they try to do everything the other party would hate and reverse all the things done by the other party. This also leads to divisiveness and unwillingness to compromise. There’s no incentive to compromise on a regular basis because it’s not like your party is likely to end up out of power for an enormous amount of time. And since a two-party system usually results in nearly equal populations in each party’s base, people end up voting against what the other party stands for a lot more often than in other systems (which is also an extension of your point regarding people not truly being represented by their chosen party).

          I imagine having many different parties would make anti-democratic practices like gerrymandering much harder to implement effectively.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted October 31, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

            I agree.

            Most democracies don’t have gerrymandering though because we have independent electoral commissions that set electoral boundaries according to a particular set of rules. However, once you’ve got it, it’s harder to get rid of in a two-party system.

  5. BJ
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Kasparian has been this way for many years now. She also has a habit of lying about people she doesn’t like when she can’t come up with substantive criticisms.

    “…her behavior is maladaptive, and won’t advance her agenda.”

    That depends on what she’s trying to achieve. I have a feeling Kasparian has several ongoing goals to which her behavior is highly adaptive. Consider the following: (1) preserving a job on one of the most sanctimonious left-wing online shows; (2) raising audience numbers by roping in viewers who are far more concerned with feeling self-righteous rather than being effective advocates for their causes; (3) fueling her own sense of self-importance and rage; (4) caring more about her reputation as a righteous crusader who fulminates against the right than treating those who disagree with her as if they’re human beings of equal value; (5) signalling how much she cares.

    I imagine Ana Kasparian is the type of person who thinks there’s no point speaking to people who disagree with her as if they’re anything but scum because if they’re that evil, their minds will never be changed anyway. And when I say she sees anyone “on the right” in this way, I mean anyone to the right of her in any area.

    Regarding the fat-shaming, this is a pattern we see again and again from people like her: all the things that are very, very bad things when other people do them are acceptable (and even encouraged) when done to their enemies. Racism is bad, unless you’re calling a minority who doesn’t toe the line an “Uncle Tom” or similar, sexism is bad unless you’re mocking a conservative woman for her life choices or similar, fat-shaming is bad unless you’re talking about a fat Republican, etc.

    • Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Her eye-batting and immediate shift of gaze away from the camera after her tirade indicates it was a conscious performance. So, yeah, her behavior is adaptive in that it gives her audience what it craves.

      At the interpersonal social level, such behavior would be maladaptive. And in the grande scheme, this arrogant superiority of the regressive left is alienating most of the general public.

  6. Jeff Rankin
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    From “if you’re putting people down, attacking people…you’re a sociopath” to “I’m better than you…you’re garbage” in less than a minute. Impressive.

    • Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      It’s Okay When We Do It.

    • Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      I love the self referential nature of “if you get a rise out of attacking people, you are miserable”.

  7. Posted October 30, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Polite people who disagree with bad behaviour call it “inappropriate”. I’ve seen the first swallow and I predict more will emerge in the next month or so attacking it as “scientist” or “privileged” or something.

    When “inappropriate” becomes inappropriate I’m gonna use “maladaptive” instead: that’ll really wind people up. But then again, that might be maladaptive – and certainly inappropriate.

  8. Michael Fisher
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Below is the original 10 minute TYT video from August 2016.
    I’ve cued it up to the point where she starts her speech @ 6:08.

    Roll it back if the context is of interest to you. [I haven’t watched it yet to see if context changes anything – I probably won’t watch though for I can’t bear the show]:

    • Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      The male presenter uses the word “dick” several times. That’s a gendered insult. I’m surprised she didn’t call him out for it.

  9. GBJames
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    My irony alarm began shrieking as I listened to Ana Kasparian’s comments in that clip.

  10. ladyatheist
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    It sounds like she’s responding to the comments section of their youtube channel.

    If getting a rise out of attacking people makes you a bad person, then, um….

  11. nicky
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    There is a song by the (‘mixed’) South African group ‘Freshly Ground’ called ‘Pot Belly’:
    “Even though I have; Fat thighs; Flabby arms; A potbelly still gives good loving”, a quite sympathetic song.
    Can one get closer than that to a “fat fuck”? 😆

  12. Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    She would be the archetypal poster child for what Steven Pinker refers to as “The Left Pole”. Every other political thought that doesn’t fall into line with her thinking is “far right”. She’s a mouth-frothing, delusional fanatic.

  13. Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Subscribed to TYT when I first came across them years ago, as the first videos I seen seemed fairly rational and representing liberal views.
    It didn’t take long to notice the highly illiberal undertone to the show. Then there are the flat out rants, like the one above, that show their true colors.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Similar experience here. They seemed too gullible and too hysterical.

  14. darrelle
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I know nothing about Kasparian or TYT. I’ve never watched them, never read anything by them. I’ve know idea of the larger context. But as far as this short clip goes, except for the tirade at the end I am OK with what she says.

    I am assuming by the comments of others, and Jerry, who have some familiarity with her and TYT that she tends to lump everybody that doesn’t agree precisely with her into the categories she mentions in this short clip. I am very familiar with this type of behavior and agree with Jerry’s take on it. There is, however, a “seed of truth” to it, in my opinion. I’m positive that I am much more selective than Kasparian about who I’d place in the “basket of deplorables,” but there are people / behaviors that I’ve got no problem throwing in that basket.

  15. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I abjure such sanctimonious diatribes — and fat-shaming! — in general. But, I dunno, “fat fuck” is such a punchy, two-syllable alliteration, and seems so comme il faut for Alex Jones, I can almost forgive that one. 🙂

    • Craw
      Posted October 30, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Presented as impeaching the witness’s credibility.

  16. DeadHeadFred
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    i tried watching tyt myself but cenk and ana’s typical leftist self-righteousness is bugging the hell out of me. they spew the same crap. if it’s right-wing, religious, or conservative, or another point-of-view, these two idiots have to rip into it.

  17. roadworker
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Whether or not this behaviour advances her agenda, depends on what that agenda is. If it is to virtue signal and get some fuck-yeahs from the audience, perhaps it works wonderfully.

  18. Posted October 30, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Inebriated one up senseless banter in a bar, fuck you, no fuck you!… she doesn’t look drunk? Drunk on leftism?


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