Less than 48 hours after Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, announced that he had hired a new investigative journalist and a new commentator, the smears from the Democratic establishment against her have begun.
On Wednesday, during a six hour The Young Turks marathon, Uygur announced that he had hired Bernie Sanders supporter Nomiki Konst as the second "watcher on the wall" to join Jordan Chariton in reporting for the network. He also announced that he had hired Shaun King as a commentator. While many progressives cheered the news, some former Clinton surrogates were not so happy.
Last night, a writer for Media Matters for America named Eric Boehlert made this comment on Twitter:
The comment was a response to a retweet of a video made by The Young Turks' Jordan Chariton. In the video, Chariton questions why President Obama sanctioned Russia without providing hard evidence of election hacks. Chariton reminds us of the false information that was spread before the Iraq War. Notably, neither Nomiki Konst nor Shaun King appeared in -- or were at all involved in -- the video. Nevertheless, Boehlert took the opportunity to smear Konst and King, calling them "Kremlin Cheerleaders."
Even ignoring the neo-Red Baiting, the statement is preposterous. The video did not involve Konst or King in any way. Moreover, neither Konst nor King said anything remotely related to Russian hacking in their (short) time on The Young Turks. Still, that didn't keep Boehlert from implying that Konst and King were looking to help Russia.
Quickly, both Konst and King responded to Boehlert's comments. On Twitter, Konst said, "Eric does not do his research. We've had [Michael Isikoff] on every week to discuss Russia. He'd rather attack left than right wing now at [Media Matters]." She continued with this retweet:
King, meanwhile, posted a thorough rebuttal to Boehlert on Facebook. In it, he says, "shame on these pitiful Democratic men for going on a witch hunt for progressives. They hate us. They hate Bernie. They hate all of us who love Bernie and progressive ideas." You can read the rebuttal below:
So far, there has been no further response from Boehlert.
This appears to be the new strategy of the Democratic establishment: to smear pro-Bernie outlets like The Young Turks by attributing the comments of one journalist to everyone involved with the network. We, however, expect to see great things from Konst -- who will be doing real investigative journalism -- and King as they begin their work with The Young Turks.