Cenk Uygur, host of the leftist television program The Young Turks, mocked the Texans suffering through a historic winter storm. Uygur suggested that the people who moved from tax-and-spend California to much freer Texas were getting their just desserts. He specifically mocked comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan.
“Only upside of Texas power outages is people like [Joe Rogan], who were so proud to leave CA and move to TX, freezing their asses off,” Uygur tweeted with the mocking hashtag “Freedom.”
“They said they wanted less government. Congrats, mission accomplished! I hope you’re not asking the government to come help you,” the Young Turks host jabbed.
Uygur suggested that Texans’ approach to less government regulation was to blame for the blackouts across the state when in reality the blackouts resulted from the Electronic Reliability Council of Texas’s (ERCOT) failures to prepare for such storms — even though ERCOT had been warned about this danger a decade ago. Rather than shoring up the grid, ERCOT had transitioned to less reliable energy sources like wind, exacerbating the problem.
Uygur rightly received an earful for his remarks on Twitter.
“As a former California resident, CA has mismanaged their grid constantly with regular blackouts so you’re not doing what you think you’re doing here. You just sound like an asshole,” producer and congressional candidate Robby Starbuck responded.
Ian Miles Cheong summarized Uygur’s remark this way: “F**k poor people, as long as Joe Rogan suffers too.”
“Because CA handles extreme weather so well, AND has super low taxes and so much freedom! You’re right, Cenk, what a bad trade,” quipped conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey.
This freak winter storm and the horrific blackouts across the state of Texas do not prove that Californians were wrong to flee to Texas, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic. California locked down far longer than Texas, and businesses enjoy much greater economic opportunity in the Lone Star State.
Cenk Uygur should apologize for mocking Texans’ pain, but this kind of attack tragically fits his brand.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.