This week, conservative podcast host Steven Crowder surpassed “The Young Turks” in YouTube subscribers, becoming the largest independent news channel on the platform, crossing the 5.03 million subscriber mark on Tuesday afternoon.
Amid a time of increased demand for news and commentary outside of the traditional legacy media outlets, Crowder has risen with his massively popular “Change My Mind” series, and his comedic digital shorts and daily commentary.
He celebrated the development on Twitter, announcing: “Today, [Louder With Crowder] passes [The Young Turks] as the biggest independent online news/commentary channel on youtube… and we did it all without millions in foreign funding. I will retire my Cenk impression and costume, in the middle of the studio. Forever. 10AM ET.”
Today, #LwC passes @TYT as the biggest independant online news/commentary channel on youtube… and we did it all without millions in foreign funding. I will retire my Cenk impression and costume, in the middle of the studio. Forever. 10AM ET.
— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) November 12, 2020
Crowder’s followers took to social media to celebrate, with thousands of users tweeting the #CrowderPassesTYT hashtag.
The Young Turks, long an outspoken rival of Crowder, gained popularity throughout the 2016 and 2020 elections, avidly supporting Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in both of his presidential bids.
Cenk Uygur, the Young Turks’ creator and most popular host, has consistently butted heads with Crowder over the years, often devoting entire segments to attacking him.
“TYT were definitely pioneers and they reigned for an era. No one can take that away from them. That era has now come to an end,” Crowder told The Daily Wire.
“The victory felt somewhat hollow considering how far they’ve fallen,” he said, before adding “It’s not the same ‘win’ I pictured when I was a 21 year old kid and they were the big, bad bullies of YouTube.”
As part of Tuesday’s show, Crowder aired a compilation of his past run-ins with Uygur and The Young Turks and vowed to retire his impression of Uygur, a popular recurring segment. “It is time to officially retire the Young Turks Cenk Uygur costume and character,” he said, as taps played in the background and a black costume was soberly laid on the ground.
Crowder’s impressive influence was on display on election night, when his live coverage was seen by millions, garnering more viewers than cable outlets like CBS, NBC, and MSNBC. Only Fox News and CNN bested Crowder’s audience, despite the fact that YouTube had flagged his stream as “borderline content.”
“Borderline content” is a term YouTube uses for news they deem overly biased, preferring instead to promote what they call “authoritative voices,” like traditional legacy media outlets.
Crowder is no stranger to run-ins with YouTube; his content was demonetized by the platform for a year after he was banned from their “Partner Program,” an ad revenue program for creators. As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
YouTube reinstated Crowder into its Partner Program on [Aug. 12] after suspending him on June 5, 2019, over comments and jokes he made about then-Vox journalist Carlos Maza, as well as for selling merchandise with the label “Socialism is for f*gs,” according to Tubefilter.
At the time it demonetized Crowder, YouTube conceded that none of Crowder’s content violated its hate policies. The video platform ultimately decided to pull advertising off of Crowder’s content after stating that the commentator had engaged in a “pattern of egregious actions” that “harmed the broader community and is against our YouTube Partner Program policies.”
As a result of the threat posed by censorship and demonetization, Crowder has relied heavily on membership options and subscription programs through BlazeTV.
Cabot Phillips is Managing Editor of the Daily Wire’s Readers Pass. Follow him on Twitter at @cabot_phillips