Anahit Misak Kasparian (//; born July 7, 1986) is an American progressive political commentator, media host, and journalist. She is the main host and a producer of the online news show The Young Turks, having begun working as a fill-in producer for the show in 2007. She also appeared on the television version of the show that aired on Current TV. She formerly hosted The Point on the TYT Network and currently co-hosts a Jacobin YouTube show, Weekends with Ana Kasparian and Nando Vila.
|Born||July 7, 1986|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||California State University, Northridge (BA, MA)|
|Known for||Political activism|
|Political party||Democratic (2004–present)|
Early life and education
Kasparian is the daughter of Armenian immigrant parents. Her paternal great-grandparents experienced the Armenian genocide first-hand in 1915. She was raised in the Reseda neighborhood of Los Angeles. She grew up speaking Armenian as her first language and started kindergarten without being able to speak a word of English. She has said watching Sesame Street as a child is what helped her to learn English quickly. She danced ballet from the age of 3 to the age of 19 and performed ballet professionally throughout those years. Kasparian graduated from Valley Alternative Magnet High School of Van Nuys in 2004 and California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. She completed her Master of Political Science in 2010.
Kasparian said that seeing journalist Barbara Walters on 20/20 inspired her to get into journalism. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, Journalism (BAJ) from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), she became an assistant producer with CBS Radio news stations in Los Angeles, first with KFWB and then KNX. She said that she was lucky to be hired immediately after graduating, but did not like working for CBS Radio because mainstream media is "not fun" due to the "robotic work environment" where she could not say what she wanted on air or do stories that were important to her. She enrolled in a master's degree program as a "way out" of media. She has also worked with AOL News, YouTube, TidalTv and On Point.
After filling in as host in April 2007, Kasparian became the producer and co-host with Cenk Uygur of the progressive talk radio on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and internet show/TV show The Young Turks. She was at first skeptical of her new work environment as an Armenian saying: "The Young Turks is a strange name," but after working there the name was explained to her as: "it essentially means rebels. People who rebel against societal expectations." She liked working at The Young Turks enough that she decided to stay in media. In fact, she was supposed to leave after two weeks but said she "kind of refused". She was first hired to do marketing but "weaseled" her way into doing on-air segments. Kasparian described what she liked about working at TYT: "What I loved about the show was that it was unscripted. It was raw. It was just completely unfiltered." In a Forbes interview she also stated that she cannot pretend to be a "robot that's always neutral." She needs to state her opinion and sometimes "aggressively so" and TYT allowed her to do that.
She posits that young people are interested in news, but "they see network anchors as simply folks who read tele-prompters." This is why she believes young people are attracted to online media because there are fewer tele-prompters and people are more genuine. Kasparian and her co-host Uygur applied a populist left branding strategy that made TYT a successful global online organisation, with larger numbers of YouTube subscribers than several other notable news networks like CNN. She co-hosted TYT University, a show focused on issues faced by university students that ran from March 15, 2011, to December 31, 2014, where she first hosted with Jayar Jackson and then John Iadarola. TYT University then turned into a show called Think Tank debuting on January 1, 2015, with different hosts and different topics but aimed at the same demographic. The show was hosted by John Iadarola and Hannah Cranston. She was the main host of another TYT Network show, The Point, which was a panel style show with a weekly round up of news stories. Common co-hosts on The Point included political commentator Dave Rubin, science communicator Cara Santa Maria, American actor Hank Chen, and American football player Drew Carter. However, this show came to a close by releasing its last episode on January 5, 2016. She became a part-time journalist and op-ed writer at The Raw Story news outlet in May 2015. Kasparian appeared on "Take Part Live" several times in 2014, sometimes as a guest and sometimes as a co-host. She also is a weekly host on the Jacobin YouTube show Weekends, formerly co-hosted by Michael Brooks until his sudden death in July 2020.
"The Young Turks" naming discussion
The Young Turks name is identical to that of a Turkish political movement responsible for the Armenian genocide. Armenian activists have criticized the program's name and a spokesman for the Armenian National Committee of America has compared it to a hypothetical show broadcasting under the name "The Young Nazis".
In 2016, Kasparian became involved in an exchange over the name with hecklers from the Armenian Youth Federation during an appearance at California State University, Northridge. Kasparian's appearance at a 2017 event at UCLA was protested by the UCLA Armenian Students' Association which issued a statement saying that the "Bruin Political Union and Campus Events Commission have shown that they are either not familiar with the offensive nature of the name of the organization Mrs. Kasparian represents or that they just do not care". A 2018 Playboy article by Art Tavana on the name dispute accused Kasparian of "complicity" in what he called "genocide denial". Kasparian has said that criticism of the name has led to harassment of her; in a 2020 Twitter exchange, she accused a critic of the name of perpetuating "the same lies over and over again, which of course directs harassment and disinformation toward me".
Kasparian has described herself as an atheist who pushes for progressive values. She wants criminal justice reform and has been a critic of private and for-profit prisons, calling them "hideous institutions". She has spoken out about campaign finance reform which is meant to get money out of politics. She gave a TEDx talk on this subject explaining a path that could be taken to achieve campaign finance reform in December 2016. She believes in free education for the United States and affordable housing. During an appearance on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore in November 2015 she said, "people do stupid and offensive things all the time, and we can't expect to be shielded from it." She wrote-in Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential election, reasoning that it would not matter because she lives in the reliably Democratic-voting California.
- Kasparian, Ana (October 26, 2007). "The Young Turks ... From an Armenian's Perspective". The Young Turks. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- ՄԱՆՈՅԵԱՆ, ԳԷՈՐԳ (April 30, 2005). ԼՈՒՍԱՐՁԱԿ- Երիտհայուհին [Lusardzak – Yerithayuhin] (in Armenian). Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- Howard, Caroline (December 27, 2017). "The Young Turks' Ana Kasparian Won't Pretend To Be Neutral". Forbes. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
- Ana Kasparian
- "The Young Turks Declare Independence on YouTube". NewMediaRockstars.com. July 9, 2012.
- Kasparian, Ana (2007). "Ana Kasparian's Profile". The Young Turks. Archived from the original on December 3, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
- "Jacobin Magazine's "Weekends" with Ana Kasparian and Nando Vila and guest Jane McAlevey". Jane McAlevey. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
- "Germany Acknowledges The Genocide". YouTube. June 2, 2016. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
Around the 3:20 time mark
- Kasparian says she grew up in Reseda at 2:00 mark of The Young Turks video "Mom Jailed For Putting Kids In Good School" (January 26, 2011)
- The Young Turks (October 29, 2010). "People Don't Trust Foreign Accents – Study". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
- The Young Turks (August 11, 2011). "Bert, Ernie And Gay Marriage". Youtube. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
- soccerguy325 (August 27, 2017). "TYT Postgame July 12, 2017: Ballet, Childhood, Being a Public Figure". Youtube. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021.
- "Class of 2004". Valley Alternative Magnet High Schoo. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- "Christian Lopez on Instagram: "My amazing wife keeps doing amazing things! Please go check out her podcast #NoFilterWithAnaKasparian on iTunes now, and if you dig it, leave her a nice review. Her latest episode about happiness and burn out, something that all of us go through at one point or another, is so vulnerable, courageous and honest and I think we can all resonate to something she says. I'm so damn proud of you and I'm so damn proud to be your husband! Keep rocking 💪🏻❤️🤟🏻"".
- Savitt, Jon (September 28, 2016). "Words From Friends: Chatting With Ana Kasparian, Host of The Young Turks". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
- "Episode 94 : Media Mayhem". The Lip. March 14, 2013. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- Kasparian describes her experience with KFWB and KNX from 1:20 to 3:20 in the TYT University video "Bad Internships for College Students & Graduates" from October 25, 2011.
- The Young Turks (August 17, 2013). "#AskAna: Boss Ana, Yoga, Teacher Ana, Hanging Out, Life w/out TYT, Feminism, Hosting, Food". Youtube. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
- "Ana Kasparian Biography". All American Entertainment. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
- "MIPTV: Online Video Gets Its Day in the Sun at Cannes". Hollywood Reporter. April 10, 2014.
- Peck, Reece (2019). Fox populism: Branding conservatism as working class. Cambridge University Press. p. 105. ISBN 9781108496766.
- "TYT University has been reborn as Think Tank!". TYT Network. January 9, 2015.
- "'The Young Turks' Steven Oh on YouTube Channel Town Square's Second Round Google Funding". NewMediaRockstars.com. January 18, 2013. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013.
We're lucky to have Ana Kasparian (co-host of The Young Turks) hosting and she's fantastic.
- "Ana Kasparian". LinkedIn.
- "Ana Kasparian's No Filter". Raw Story. Archived from the original on January 20, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- "Weekends With Ana Kasparian and Michael Brooks". Jacobin. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
- The Majority Report [@majorityfm] (July 20, 2020). "Rest in power, @_michaelbrooks" (Tweet). Retrieved July 20, 2020 – via Twitter.
- "Jacobin Radio". blubrry. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
- "Theme: Breaking Barriers". TEDx. April 22, 2016.
- Zoledziowski, Anya (October 21, 2020). "The Young Turks Led the Armenian Genocide. But the Progressive Show 'The Young Turks' Won't Change Name". Vice. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
- Tavana, Art (May 18, 2018). "The Complicity of Ana Kasparian". Playboy. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
- Hunter-Hart, Monica (June 16, 2021). "Why Cenk Uygur Is Getting Confronted about the Name "The Young Turks," and Why It Matters". Paste Magazine. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Scemama, Blaise (June 16, 2021). "The Young Turks host gets into heated exchange with protestor during filming at CSUN". Daily Sundial. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- "UCLA Armenian Students' Association Demonstrates Against the Young Turks' Ana Kasparian". Armenian Weekly. May 23, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
- Chichyan, Morris (May 31, 2017). "Armenian Students' Association denounces hosting of The Young Turks". Daily Bruin. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
- The Young Turks (August 16, 2016). "Does 'Burkini' Ban Make France More Free, Or Less?". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
- The Point with Ana Kasparian (September 26, 2013). "#NoFilter – How Private Prisons are Sucking Up YOUR Tax Dollars". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
- TEDx Talks (December 6, 2016). "How To Fix America's Broken Justice System | Ana Kasparian | TEDxCSUN". YouTube. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
- "Journalism Grad, Professor Ana Kasparian Appears on 'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore'". California State University, Northridge Department of Journalism.
- The Young Turks (May 6, 2021). "Biden Admin Supports Vaccine Patent Waivers". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 15, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2021.