Ana Kasparian | Srivideo
Born name: Anahit Misak Kasparian
Date of Birth: July 7, 1986
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States
Height: 1.6 m
Alma mater: California State University, Northridge (BA, MA)
Occupation: Political commentator,media host,lecturer,writer
Employer: The Young Turks
Television: The Young Turks
Political party: Democratic
Spouse(s): Christian Lopez (m. 2015)
Anahit Misak "Ana" Kasparian (born July 7, 1986) is an American political commentator, university instructor, and writer. 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.
Born in Los Angeles, Kasparian is the daughter of Armenian immigrant parents. Her great grandparents on her father's side experienced first-hand the Armenian Genocide 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.
In late 2015, Kasparian married Minor League Baseball player, model, and actor Christian Lopez. After having eloped, they had a public wedding in September 2016 which fellow co-host of The Young Turks, Cenk Uygur, officiated.
Kasparian said that seeing journalist Barbara Walters on 20/20 inspired her to get into journalism.
After becoming a fill-in 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 on 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 less tele-prompters and people are more genuine.
Kasparian became a lecturer (i.e. instructor) at California State University, Northridge and began teaching journalism in August 2013. She describes herself as a personable teacher and says that she likes to speak "with" her students, not "at" them. She prefers to see herself as the students' friend as well as their educator. However, she had a hard time becoming accustomed to avoiding expletive language, due to the casual environment she was used to from working at The Young Turks.
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. Her views on cultural appropriation as it applies to Halloween costumes have been controversial, though generally well received. 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."
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