Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sorry, Charlie

Remember COEXIST?

As we all know, when Sykes got called out for posting the insulting and obscene version of the COEXIST bumper sticker, he was called on it by the Interfaith Alliance. Sykes, the tough guy hiding behind the skirts and deep pockets of TMJ, responded with this:
Your statement that suggests the parody is “comparing Jews to Nazis…” is beyond absurd, bordering on obscene. Or to use your own words, “unfortunate and ignorant.” There is, of course, no such comparison real or implied in McMahon’s parody. I am from a Jewish family: the parody is not an attack on Judaism… it is a critique of those who refuse to resist evil. If you don’t get that, shame on you.

You write: “Replacing the Star of David with the swastika is distasteful. I would expect that you are aware that switching these symbols is nothing new and is a tactic used by demonstrators around the world. It is always offensive.”

No, it is only offensive when it is specifically done to equate Judaism or Zionism with Nazism. Here it was done to replace the letter “X.” Context does matter if you are indeed interested in the truth.

It would have taken you only a matter of minutes to find out that over the years I have consistently spoken out against anti-Semitism and have been a strong supporter of Israel. I’m not sure if there is anyone on this media market who has been more outspoken on either issue.

And remember how Jon Schweitzer, general manager said that he was OK with this bit of bigotry.

Well, in the words of the commercial, "Sorry Charlie". You're still wrong.

The Shepherd Express covers the story and gets the opinion of someone who might have a little better insight into the issue than Charlie

Paula Simon, executive director of the Milwaukee Jewish Council for Community Relations and Milwaukee Jewish Federation, said that changing the Star of David to a swastika crossed the line. In fact, she said, similar changes are regularly made in anti-Semitic propaganda, and the substitution provokes something deeper than mere discussion. She said that while she supports a free exchange of ideas, WTMJ "has some responsibility to set some standards. There are some limits."
The Shepherd continues with these thoughts:
Sykes is still flogging his blog uproar, perhaps delighted in feeling at least somewhat relevant, even if it is at the expense of two of the world's major religions. But we have to ask: At the same time President Bush is bringing together leaders from the Mideast for a peace conference—including those from Saudi Arabia, home to the majority of 9/11 attackers, as well as Syria, Palestine and Israel—must Sykes inflame bigotry for ratings as the enlightened world passes him by?

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