Top 33 Progressive News Shows on YouTube [2020 Edition]

David Pakman takes a cooler and calmer approach to left-wing political commentary than a lot of other hosts. He is not the firebrand that Kulinski and Cenk are, or as hard lined as Brooks. Instead, he offers measured responses and rarely lets his emotions get the best of him. Although this led to him being called a Hillary shill in 2016 and still fuels a lot of criticism towards him.

Pakman’s operation is a professional, well-oiled machine. He is an excellent presenter with interesting commentary. He’s just not as left as a lot of people want him to be. Recently, Pakman has done a superb job covering Trump’s Coronavirus press conferences. On the other hand, he was pushing boner pills on his show recently and that shit is wack.

Thom Hartmann Program

Thom Hartmann is a 10-year radio-hosting vet. He also has a presence on TV, including a show on RT America. According to Wikipedia, “While the show carries the RT bug, it is entirely owned by Hartmann’s company, which has contractual editorial control over the program.” He is the most popular progressive radio host in the nation and is live daily from 12 – 3 PM ET. Multiple videos uploaded daily and an aura of legitimacy make Hartmann an excellent choice for opinion news on almost any medium.

Though I am not a regular listener, what I have heard from Hartman has been insightful.

The Humanist Report

Mike Figueredo’s show has taken off since I first featured him on my original list several years ago. He is a fun personality who doesn’t hold back when talking about candidates or issues. He does a great job creating content that is critical of the media while educating his audience. An all-around solid show that especially shines when shitting on MSM. Mike’s show is definitely worth checking out.

The Progressive Voice

The Progressive Voice is a newer show hosted by Sahil Habibi. For a Youtube news nerd like myself, the show is gold. He dives into topics like Dave Rubin being awful, Hasan Piker and Destiny beefing, and Steven Crowder dodging debates with Sam Seder. He never hesitates to walk right into drama. 

His production value and general presentation could improve, but hopefully he’ll get popular enough to reinvest some of that sweet Youtube money back into the show. His Twitter is bizarre… and I’ll leave it at that. I hope he grows out of some of his immature tendencies, but right now, that’s kind of part of the fun.

The show is definitely worth checking out if you know your Youtube political personalities and you like drama. His Twitch is especially fun.

The Rational National

My last edition of this blog received several comments asking me to feature the Rational National on my next list. So, here he is! 

Truth be told, I don’t know much about David Doel. The name of his show put me off every time I saw it, for years. But now, I’ve seen him featured on other shows and I’ve realized he’s not the right winger his show’s name suggests he is. That is, he’s not a “nationalist”. 

Doel is a smart guy and a great presenter. His channel is definitely worth adding to your daily news rotation.

Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire Radio is a part of the TYT Network and features a few familiar faces. The show had its inception on radio in 2004. According to their YouTube description, they started with a goal of, “exposing Wall Street thugs, environmental criminality, corporate media failure, and political back stories that you will rarely find from any other source.” The Ring of Fire includes Mike Papantonio, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the Majority Report’s Sam Seder. 

It is an excellent show with worthwhile commentary and an aura of legitimacy (Probably because of the combination of law degrees and Boomers)

Redacted Tonight

I don’t watch much from Lee Camp’s Redacted Tonight, which can be seen on the RT Network or on YouTube and probably a bunch of other places too. The show is well put together and is as professional as any other show on this list. Camp is a true professional, though the RT bug always makes me second guess things the same way I would if it said MSNBC or CNN. 

But, I suggest checking the show out for yourself.

The Jimmy Dore Show

I gave up on Jimmy Dore a long time ago, despite being an early donor to his show. At times, he can be right on the money. Other times, he lets his self described “dumb comedian” side show a little too much. Seder and him famously had a debate that did not go very well for Dore. I don’t always agree with Dore, but he can still be super entertaining and funny.

Roland Martin Unfiltered

Roland Martin Unfiltered is a daily show hosted by former CNN contributor, Roland Martin. The show covers all things news and politics and serves as an important platform for black activism and news. They pump out a ton of great content and interesting conversations. 

Martin is a radio legend and his show has the high production value and caliber of guests to prove it, making it a show that is definitely worth watching.

Chapo Trap House

Chapo Trap House is the coolest new thing in leftist media. To be honest, they don’t do much for me. I may be in the minority on that though, and I’m sorry if you love them! The show is full of satire and trolling and is sometimes serious and educational. If you like the jokes, you’ll probably like the show. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a show with personalities worth knowing. However, they are more known for their Podcast and book, not their Youtube channel.

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Ryan Black is a content creator, marketing professional, and political consultant who writes about Progressive Politics.

3 Comments

  • These are all great choices but there are a couple commentators that I think are also worth pointing out:

    #1. Gleen Greenwald, host of Systems Update on The Intercept. A newer show, but definitely a must watch. Not only is he an amazing journalist, but he also has great commentary on US and International politics, especially Brazil. He has also frequent great guests including Kyle Kulinski from Secular Talk.

    #2. Kim Iversen, host of the Kim Iversen Show. Although she has the occasional odd view on politics that may break with most progressives, I enjoy watching her a lot. Her show has only been around for over a year, but it’s been SUPER FAST growing (at around 250k on YT last I checked). Although her first choice was Tulsi Gabbard throughout most of the 2020 election cycle until after New Hampshire when she switched to Bernie, her videos exemplify class A journalism. An ardent BernieOrBuster/NeverBiden voter, she is especially notable when she comments on controversial and often sensitive foreign policy issues (especially in the Middle East): her videos on Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Uyghur crisis in Xinjiang, and the Petrodollar and its relation to American Imperialism are a must-watch.

    #3. Useful Idiots podcast on The Rolling Stones, hosted by Katie Halper and Matt Taibbi. Both are very well-known among progressives. Especially Katie Halper, who’s now one of the people on the frontlines fighting for Tara Reade’s sexual assault story to be heard.

    #4. The Nomiki Show hosted by Nomiki Konst. Nomiki is a cohost of the Majority Report, but she also recently started her own show. She’s a very razor-sharp focused commentator who always has a strategy for the Not Me Us movement to continue. There is quite frankly no one else I trust more in talking about DNC politics and power structure and electoral strategy.

    #5. I’m not sure how much you are interested in this, but the Grayzone has also been a growing outlet on the left especially on issues of American Imperialism. It’s hosts Benjamin Norton, Max Blumenthal, Anya Parampil and Aaron Maté all bring great knowledge and insight to the conversation despite being accused by some as being overly reactionary in their foreign policy.
    I know there are other shows out there but I can’t really think of them right now off the top of my head 😅

    • Hey thank you so much for these. I considered including Glenn but ultimately didn’t, but now I feel like I should add him. I know of Kim Iverson but I’ve never watched. Just had heard so much negativity. I’ll check her out though. As well as the others you listed. And I totally didn’t know Nomiki had her own show. I’m a fan. A bunch of these will be added to the blog in the coming days.

      • Yeah I understand why Kim may not be everyone’s cup of tea. She does have some odd opinions on things, but I overall view her contributions to left independent media as far more useful than not.

        A great video to start with (this was from quite a while ago but it’s still relevant) is her video on Venezuela, where she breaks down very complex geopolitics behind US foreign policy in that country and its relation to the larger issue of the petrodollar (This one was probably one the most eye-opening videos I’ve ever watched on YouTube):
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a2ednyUDOM&t=16s

        Her Saudi Arabia video series are also a Must-watch; here’s part one of that series:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Od2DEVt7q0&t=36s

        She also a couple months ago travelled to the West Bank as part of a delegation. She came back and did a livestream talking about what she saw, (a very candid and detailed account):
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDJPf_JY-AE&t=2176s

        Those are the 3 videos that came to mind immediately when I thought about her show. I know people often give her crap a lot, especially with regards to some tweets she’s made in the past. But I really hate cancel culture and although there are things that I vehemently disagree with her on, I think it’s still important to give her a chance cuz she’s done a lot of great work and reporting and I try not to have one or two things that bother me about her get in the way of me watching her good stuff.

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