Top 33 Progressive News Shows on YouTube [2020 Edition]

This is the third edition of the Top Progressive News Shows on Youtube article, and my first update in over two years.

After a decade following Progressive news shows on YouTube, I feel like I have a solid understanding of the offerings of the online left. 

But, if you’re just starting to watch or listen to Progressive News shows, at a time with more options than ever and a lot of time to spend on YouTube, it may be hard to find that perfect show for you.

The range of shows is wide, but all of the shows on this list share two characteristics. (1) They create content that reflects progressive values, and (2) they do it on a regular basis.

Give the channels on this list a chance if you haven’t already. I don’t love them all, but in one way or another, all of these shows speak to progressive audiences. Let me know which shows are your favorites and your thoughts on the list in the comments below.

The Young Turks

Cenk Uygur, Ana Kasparian, and John Iadarola lead the charge for the most popular and longest-running online news show in the world. The TYT team is unabashedly progressive and leans heavily towards Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. 

But, the opinions about the show are polarizing. You’ll regularly find the show being bashed in comments sections for not taking a harder stances against Warren’s foreign policy positions, for the false notion that they deny the Armenian Genocide, or for vague ideas about them selling-out in one way or another. All of that aside, Cenk and the TYT audience are responsible, in part, for developing the Justice Democrats which brought us Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omaar, Rashida Talib and the progressive wave that has engulfed the Democratic party. That movement has galvanized money in politics as a top-level issue and has significantly damaged the reputation and influence of PACs and corporate interests that dominate our political discourse. No matter your stance on TYT, their work towards building a progressive revolution in the United States is undeniable. 

The TYT Network features a lot of content. Check out the Main Show, The Damage Report with John Iadarola, No Filter with Ana Kasparian, and The Conversation, which provides an invaluable resource for progressive candidates at all levels to reach progressive voters.

Secular Talk

Kyle Kulinski is a really smart dude and his show has a rabid fanbase. Though his channel name suggests a focus on atheist/secular/agnostic/religious topics, he deals with the full spectrum of political discourse. Considered one of the left’s top debaters, he is a regular at Politicon where he battles right-wing grifters and crazies every year.

Kyle was a co-founder of Justice Democrats and is a must-know name on the left. He puts out a ton of daily content and should be near the top of any left-leaning media diet. Right now he is pissing a lot of people off because he said he’s not voting for Biden, and he welcomes the blame. Kyle is a badass.

The Majority Report

Sam Seder has been in the entertainment business for a long time. Based out of New Jersey/New York, Sam and the Majority Report team offer smug, dickish commentary that is second to none in terms of comedy and entertainment. Not to mention, Sam and his guests are a wealth of information about politics, the pressing issues of now, and of the past.

If you’ve never seen Sam debate a Libertarian, you aren’t really living. The daily multi-hour Livestream is an early afternoon ritual for me and many others on the left. The Majority Report is consistently a top tier show for news, commentary, education, and open debate.

TMBS

Michael Brooks is Sam Seder’s counterpart on the Majority Report. His personal show, The Michael Brooks show, offers a Leftist perspective on current events and takes regular deep dives into important topics that don’t get the media attention they deserve. Brooks is particularly knowledgeable/interested in topics related to South America, the CIA, and crushing alt-right and IDW dweebs. He is, bar none, the funniest person on the left.

David Pakman

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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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