In an email that’s going viral online, The Young Turks (TYT) told subscribers that Democrats had denied them press passes to the Democratic National Convention taking place later this month. The Young Turks is an online news show that focuses on social and progressive issues. Cenk Uygur is the co-creator and host of TYT, which is the longest-running online political talk show in the United States.
Milwaukee — where the convention is being held — has a 225-person limit on people meeting in one place. The convention is now being held mostly online. Joe Biden, other speakers, and the DNC delegates are not attending the convention in person. They will all be attending virtually and Biden will speak from Delaware.
TYT Said in an Email that the DNC Told Them There Wasn’t Enough Room at the Convention
The news about the press pass wasn’t shared by Uygur during an online show or on The Young Turks’ social media accounts. Rather, a number of TYT subscribers have said that they received an email about TYT being denied a press pass. Here’s a screenshot of the email that’s being shared on social media:
The email reads, in part: “Did you hear the news? The Democratic Party has denied us press passes at this year’s Democratic National Convention. It’s fairly stunning for a party that claims to be inclusive to deny us media credentials just because TYT isn’t 100% aligned with their interests. We’re a progressive media outlet dedicated to exposing the truth about what’s happening in this country. We’re also one of the top 5 networks and have a massive, politically-engaged following, beating most cable news shows in total views and engagement. Yet the DNC says there’s not enough room for us at the convention.”
Here’s another version of the email being shared:
It’s also being shared on Reddit:
On social media, some people expressed outrage at the DNC. But others said they were already unhappy with TYT, claiming Uygur has been more centrist-leaning of late. A Facebook page called “Progressive Resistance Media” wrote: “Will this be enough to get Cenk Uyger to wake up out of his centrist-leaning nonsense?”
Some of the emails being shared originated from Brent Welder’s tweet below, but Heavy has also seen it shared from other sources too.
— Brent Welder (@BrentWelder) August 8, 2020
The email did not specify if TYT was only denied an in-person press pass versus a digital press pass, or if “virtual press passes” even exist. It’s not clear how many members of the press received press passes for in-person attendance.
Don Ford, a Democratic strategist, told Heavy that he thinks the email and subsequent outrage expressed online is making a bigger deal out of the press pass denial than is warranted.
To be honest, I’m a little confused by the outrage. Most media agencies started getting trimmed months ago as the convention has slimmed down due to our federal government’s failure to manage COVID outbreaks. Now the convention is down to less than 300 people and there won’t be the social interactions that we might normally have due to the pandemic. I am unsure what kind of access they would get being there in person but I assume by the time the convention actually happens, most if not all the speeches will be given remotely. I’m disappointed as well that we can’t hold an actual convention but in 2020 there is no real event to gain access to that will be any different than what we see online.”
The Convention Is Mostly Virtual This Year & Milwaukee Has Limited In-Person Attendance to 225
Milwaukee’s Mayor Tom Barrett has a 225-person limit for people who are gathered in one location, Chicago Sun-Times reported. This is naturally limiting the number of people who can attend the convention.
The DNC’s website reads: “In order to best protect our host community of Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin, Democrats are following the advice of public health experts and limiting the in-person presence of the convention to only those necessary to orchestrate the event.”
In fact, the entire convention itself has gone virtual, including speakers, delegates, and Joe Biden himself — none of whom will be attending in person.
The Democratic National Convention is August 17-20, but this year is going to be a lot smaller. Even Biden isn’t traveling to Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Democrats are planning to hold a virtual convention “in order to prevent risking the health of our host community as well as the convention’s production teams, security officials, community partners, media and others necessary to orchestrate the event.”
Delegates have also been told not to attend in person, and no other speakers will be attending in person.
In a statement, Joe Solmonese, chief executive of the DNC, said:
While we wish we could move forward with welcoming the world to beautiful Milwaukee in two weeks, we recognize protecting the health of our host community and everyone involved with this convention must be paramount. This convention will look different than any previous convention in history. It will reach more people than ever before, and truly be a convention across America for all Americans, regardless of which party you belong to or who you’ve voted for in previous elections. This ‘unconventional convention’ will launch Joe Biden to victory in November.”
TYT recently announced a sponsorship deal with Netflix. The site gained much of its initial attention in 2005 when it launched a 99-hour live stream during the Supreme Court nomination hearings.