Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just what we needed

My car radio has been a WTMJ free zone for more than two years, since I discovered a station that didn't believe the world was flat and actually let callers talk. I've been happily tuned to WMCS, 1290 AM, and stayed there even when a shakeup and change in station management resulted in Eric Von, the station's real pro, leaving his afternoon slot. I'd been more or less a Friday regular on his Man Show for a couple of years.

But today, host Earl Ingram opened his afternoon drive show with a surprise announcement -- Sheriff David Clarke, the conservative Republican teabagger who poses as a Democrat, will be the fill-in host when Ingram is absent.

I guess the new management thought it would be good to have at least one host who doesn't support Obama.

Can James T. Harris be far behind?

Aside from the question of whether an elected official -- and one who has run for mayor as well as sheriff, and likely has more ambitions -- is an appropriate host, there's the question of whether Milwaukee really needs one more right wing talker of any color.

The conservatives will no doubt say that some balance is good for WMCS. To which we might wonder, why isn't it good for WTMJ?

Lefty Joel McNally and Cassandra Cassandra still co-host the WMCS morning show, and Al Sharpton holds down the noon to 3 slot. Here's hoping Earl Ingram doesn't have many sick days or vacation coming.

Cancel That AG Run After All

There apparently will be no AG run for Paul Bucher after all.

Romance is back in Merton:

That was quick.

Less than a week after ex-Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher filed for divorce from journalist Jessica McBride, the former prosecutor asked that the case be dismissed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Talk Radio Loses To Reality. Again.

Once again, conservative talk show hosts are pushing an agenda and trying to create a perception that the public is on their side. And yet again, you have factual information flying smack in the face of the disinformation they’re trying to push.
That is from Dan Cody. Go see what the squawkers got wrong this time.

UWM Student Auditions To Be Next Talk Radio Host

From TMJ4:

In one blog entry dated August 6, 2006, Duerstein wrote, "I know that a lot of black kids growing up these days do work hard" and "Unfortunately, it as been my experience that those folks are in the minority of their race."

Another blog entry dated November 12, 2005 reads, "If mainstream black anglo-hating racists can't find a way to function in normal society and use the intelligence that God gave them, perhaps they ask to be held down and discriminated against, and placed back into slavery."

Seems to me that he'd fit right in right now. But then again, maybe it's the pain pills from his surgery talking.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Now, That Is Some Real Sunday Insight

Charlie Sykes has his weekly TV propaganda show he calls "Sunday Insight" but should really just be called "Sunday Incite," since it is nothing more than Chuckles and some of his closest buddies, like James "I own my women" Harris and Preview Patrick McIlheran doing a political singalong.

For a while, Chuckles and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane had a little spat. It was little since Kane mostly ignored Sykes, who just mostly bloviates any way. But Kane knew how to get his licks in as well.

I think Sykes' problem is one more of jealousy of Kane's skill with the written word than anything else.

Kane again shows his mastery and real insight with his column from today's paper. It deals with the subject of incest, spawned by the recent revelations of actress McKenzie Phillips. The insight, and mastery of the written word is shown at the end of Kane's column:

I've covered organizations that deal with these issues and have talked with counselors who described sexual abuse by a trusted relative or friend as a powerful dynamic that shatters lives. Given that, I probably shouldn't have been so quick to dismiss Phillips' claims.

If she were a man claiming to have been abused decades ago by a priest, I suspect people as a whole would have been more empathetic.

My lesson learned is that tolerance means more than just accepting the fact we are all different people in terms of race, age and gender. It also means giving the proper respect to someone else's experiences.

My initial response to the Phillips' story by saying "TMI" prevented me from realizing it really wasn't too much information for people who have managed to weather the storm but still need support. I still fail to see how talking about it on Oprah helps Phillips heal, but I really don't have to.

Her words may help others deal with the same darkness, which I suppose is the entire point.

Is Bucher Setting Up For Another Run At Attorney General?

I am sure you all have heard the news by now. Superlawyer Paul Bucher has filed for a divorce from Jessica McBride. This is the second marriage that McBride has broken up due to infidelity.

NOTE: In the interest of fairness, Cindy Kilkenny is the one that broke the story first.

Now there could be a lot of easy cracks and jokes that could be made about this situation, but seeing as that I'm not a talk radio host, I have some sense of decorum and only hope that the children are able to cope with their family being torn apart like this.

But this post by Harris Kane, in which he ponders whether Bucher was the one that first leaked the information about the affair, made me think things through a little farther. I would not be surprised if Paul Bucher makes another run at the Attorney General's office.

Consider these observations:

1) Bucher has been keeping his name in the news on regular occasions, usually due to some case or another that he has picked up as a cause.

2) The current Attorney General, J. B. Van Hollen, who beat Bucher in last elections primary, has not been doing a stellar job. Van Hollen has first bragged about not needing as much money to run the crime lab, but during budget time, asks for millions of tax payer money to run the crime lab. He has issued the irresponsible statement regarding open carry for guns. And most recently, it was revealed that there are thousands of DNA samples that were never recorded. All of this makes Van Hollen more vulnerable.

3) Many political pundits considered McBride to be a hindrance to Bucher's last campaign, due to her poorly thought out, crass and abrasive comments about any number of subjects including racial issues.

With repeated exposure, the current AG's failings, and losing some baggage, Bucher could be conceivably setting himself up for another run at the AG's office. It's a thought anyway.

I will leave off of this subject with a recommendation that everyone, right or left, read the Musings of a Thoughtful Conservative, especially this passage:

The last thing I want to do is engage in anything that comes close to schadenfreude, but maybe I already have. My hope is that maybe in the cacophony of faux outrage from the left (she has always been a lightning rod for the left in south east Wisconsin, probably because of her strong opinions) and silence or counter outrage on the right, my small voice will still be heard.

I ache for them both and I pray for them both. Divorce is messy, even if we think it’s unavoidable. And there’s a child involved which never makes it easier.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

McIlheranJust Doesn't Want Us To Save Money

Preview McIlheran regularly tries to convince us that it makes more sense to spend billions on new and unnecessary highway expansions instead of on beneficial mass transit systems. No real money savings in his recommendations, but by golly, he's sticking to it.

Excuse me if I don't hold my breath waiting for him to mention that mass transit also saves people billions of dollars in gas money alone:
A new report says record-high public transit ridership in 2008 saved Illinois huge amounts of gasoline.

The report from the advocacy group Environment Illinois says overall ridership increased by more than six percent last year compared to 2007.

The report concludes that effectively saved nearly 260 million gallons of gasoline. It says that's equal to the amount of gas consumed by more than 450,000 cars in Illinois last year.

Nationally, Environment Illinois says transit ridership saved more than 4 billion gallons of gasoline. That's what more than 7 million cars burn in gasoline each year.

Brian Spranger of Environment Illinois cites the figures in arguing that more transportation funds should be spent on mass transit rather than on roads.

Do They Really Want Sykes To Be Their Spokesman?

Charlie Sykes has been constantly harping on DPW Chairman Mike Tate and his press releases calling the recent Teabaggerfest for what it was, a corporate sponsored anti-government rally. Tate also pointed out in another release that Walker is trying to pander to the lunatic fringe of the right wing by speaking at the event.

Sykes has been so upset by this that besides the many times a day harping on the radio, he has put up not one, not two, but three posts so far squawking about the truth-telling.

The question is really do Scott Walker and the Republican Party really want the thrice-married, adulterous, sexist and racist Sykes as their public mouthpiece?

Oh, wait, they probably do. He is perfect for them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What Does Michelle Have Against Michelle?

Eugene Kane, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, raises a good question:

Michelle Malkin was a featured speaker. She's pushing a new book that suggests President Obama is a corrupt politician bringing an atmosphere of corruption to politics in Washington D.C. She also seems to have an axe to grind against Michelle Obama, who she frequently singles out for criticism in her book and in her public comments.

It's pretty unusual for a political commentator to single out the First Lady of the United States for partisan attack, but it seems anything goes with this president. But it does beg the question:

What does Michelle have against Michelle?

I have two guesses.

One is envy of Michelle Obama's intellect, decorum, kindness and a good looking husband.

Michelle Malkin is just not a nice person, who would, let's say, spy on and belittle sick kids.

Charlie Sykes Is Wimpier Than Jimmy Carter

Sykes additionally likes to refer to Jimmy Carter as the worst president of the last 100 years although American fared better economically under the Carter years than they did under George W. bush, who, truly qualifies for the worst in the past 100 years if not EVAR. (Civil War was going to happen, don't Blame Buchanan!). Sykes also likes to call Carter a wimp, though Carter has the distinction, over Sykes, of having served in the military.
That is the tail end of a post by, who else, the Brawler. You can read the whole thing, and how he got here, by clicking here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

9/11 and Charlie Sykes

Last week, leading up to and during 9/11, Sykes was a little edgier than usual. I thought it was simply because of it being President Obama's first 9/11 and the fact that Sykes isn't above gratuitously using that tragic day to try to get some political traction.

But then a faithful reader reminded me that 9/11 held a more personal significance for Charlie.

I'm sure it was also very traumatic for him.

Happy Anniversary
, Charlie.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh, The Irony

If anyone should be giving advice to bloggers, conservative or liberal, it sure as heck ain't his guy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yes, Racism Is Alive

And it lives in the hearts of conservative pundits apparently.

Michelle Malkin kicks things off with her usual brand of selective outrage when she goes off about an act of violence on a bus between a black kid and a white kid, claiming it was an act of racism.

Andrew Sullivan calls her on it when even the police backed off on the claim, and apologized.

Malkin, instead of taking the high road, shows her baseness by not only refusing to apologize, but keeps throwing gas on that fire:
Update: The police are backing off the racial motive claims. Given the explosive consequences of candor about such matters, this is not surprising.
Our own local famous loudmouth, Charlie Sykes does her one better. He puts up one of his usual one line copy and link posts regarding the incident:

But if even the least intellectual of his followers would have bothered to follow his link, they would have read this:
A student on a Belleville West High School bus was beaten for his choice of seat, not because he was white, according to a witness and police.
Sykes never bothers to clarify his error, much less apologize. And if you read the comments, the usual suspects that listen to his garbage show that they really are no better.

Perhaps after Malkin gets done with her appearance with the teabaggers, she and Sykes can go to the park to set off some fireworks. Or burn some crosses. Whichever.

Tip of the Crown to Illy T, who by the way, has the best put down of McIlheran that I've seen in a long time:
And, scroll down to John Foust's comment re: Willie Soon, who McIlheran identifies as an "astrophysicist" and who, McIlheran claims, "managed to offend climate alarmists with, of all things, data."

McIlheran only left out two words: "misuse of" before "data."
Journalists may obtain a .pdf copy of this article by request to Harvey Leifert [of the American Alarmists Geophysical Union].
No wonder Patrick McIlheran couldn't obtain a copy!
ADDENDUM: And Limbaugh makes it a trifecta.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why Listen To Talk Radio?

James Rowen gives his answer to that question here.

As for us, it's all in the tag line:
Committed to the monitoring of the local right-wing media and exposing their lies, hypocrisies, and foibles, so that you don't have to.

Sykes Gets His Facts Wrong: The Prosecution Rests

In today's letters to the editor section of the local daily paper (emphasis mine):

Sykes got his facts wrong

Charlie Sykes, like many of his contemporaries in the talk radio business, has again ignored facts to promote his views.

During his broadcast Sept. 10, Sykes was discussing the tragic death of UWM student Nathan Potter, allegedly shot and killed by Seandell Jackson. He pointed out that Jackson was arrested in Sheboygan for carrying a concealed weapon and received a three-day jail sentence, which is true.

But he described that concealed weapon as an "illegal handgun" and implied that if Sheboygan knew what it was doing, Jackson would have gotten a longer sentence and might not have been free to commit the homicide.

The "concealed weapon" was a pocket folding knife, not a handgun, and I doubt that Jackson would have even been arrested in Milwaukee County, much less charged, convicted and sentenced to jail.

I guess the truth doesn't make for good talk show garbage. But we should all be used to that by now.

Joe DeCecco
District attorney
Sheboygan County

Well said, sir, well said.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

McIlheran Wants To Raise Your Taxes

In Sunday morning's edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Patrick McIlheran takes on the issue of whether Mayor Tom Barrett whoudl take over MPS.

He is opposed to the take over, arguing that nothing will change, and that those dastardly union workers would only have to influence one person instead of several. I was just starting to wonder if I was reading one of those few pieces by PaddyMac that actually makes sense when I got near the bottom of his column and he wrote this:
Concentrating power hardly seems a solution. A more promising idea, as long as we're speculating, is breaking up the district into manageable pieces, each large enough to feed one high school, like most Wisconsin school districts. Whether this will work is unclear, but it may bring the decision-making closer to families that schools serve.
Ah, there's PaddyMac that we've all come to know and spoof. Instead of having one system, McIlheran offers the idea of creating several, thereby multiplying the numbers of administrations and creating even greater bureaucracy. This will do nothing but raise taxes.

But I'm sure that if one would speak with Paddy, he'd tell you otherwise. And then point out some "friend" of his, or more likely his boss, who would be more than glad to privatize it for you. For a more than nominal fee, of course.

With help like Paddy's, who needs enemies?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sykes' Long Term Memory Loss

I was alerted by an observant reader that Sykes was apparently experiencing some memory loss issues this morning.

Either that, or he was being his usual hypocritical self.

In short, Chuckles was morally indignant and outraged that Fond du Lac County will be creating a half-cent sales tax to pay for saving all those jobs at Mercury Marine, and creating hundreds of new ones.

Apparently, Ol' Chuck forgot about how he used his bully pulpit for weeks and months in promoting the sales tax that we are paying to fund Miller Park.

As the reader points out:
He also said he would BET that this sales tax in Fond du lac would never go away. He should know. The sales tax he was in favor of for the Brewers will never go away.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another (Two) Poor Decision(s) By WTMJ Radio

I saw this over the weekend, and I am still bitterly disappointed:

Veteran WTMJ-AM (620) personality Phil Cianciola confirms via Twitter this afternoon that he's been shown the door.

He tweets: "It's true. I was let go from my job today... Hope to talk to you on the radio again soon."

Cianciola is a long-time member of the afternoon "Green House" hosted by Jonathan Green. At the beginning of the year, WTMJ extended Green's contract, but didn't announce details.

Cianciola was the most entertaining personality on the entire radio station, which is probably why they felt compelled to give him the boot. To show how classy Cianciola really is, just read what he wrote on his own website:

But at this time and in this place all I really want to do is say a huge thank you to all the many, and I mean many kind emails and posts at various places that fans and friends have left for me. I DO care about you all. And as I have said in the past, just connecting with YOU and maybe making YOU laugh or smile is the best part of my, ah, my former job.

I promise you that I am already working hard to get back on the radio in the city of Milwaukee to have that chance to again entertain, inform and maybe make you smile. You know I'm a Milwaukee guy, and if I can land a gig in Milwaukee then that would be my first choice.

More to come....stay tuned. Things happen for a reason. A door closes, another one opens....all that good stuff....Trying to stay positive. I know that many of you have and are going through the same thing.

I would love to know the reason why WTMJ would get rid of an entertaining, insightful and non-offensive person like Cianciola. But then again, maybe I just answered my own question.

We wish Mr. Cianciola the best of luck and look forward to hearing him on the radio again soon.

ADDENDUM: Bruce Redenz at Badger Blogger is reporting that Dick Alpert was also shown the door. Two big mistakes on TMJ's part.

McIlheran Shorter

Via the Brawler:

People who "fret" about Death Panels base their paranoia not on a rightwing disinformation campaign but on a sophisticated reading of the international press.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!

As an interesting programming note, make sure to email and/or call WTMJ and ask why Charlies Sykes, who is repeatedly bashing the unions, without whom there would be no Labor Day nor any weekends, is allowed to take today off.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Will Fischer Make Milwaukee Magazine Again?

Greg Kowalski at one of his many sites, wrote about Kevin Fischer's usual boorish commentary:

Lazich (or her aide) soon found out that her constituents didn't appreciate hearing that coming from her office. After a comment drought on her blog, so far 6 comments have appeared on that posting, 4 of which were aimed negatively toward her stance of federal dollars being spent for something like cutting the grass.

I think it goes to show that both Lazich and at least one member of her staff are truly out of touch with at least the constituency in Franklin. Perhaps when the State Legislature looks at redistricting the boundaries after the 2010 Census, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, and parts of Greenfield will be cut away from Lazich's hands. Personally, I've always remarked how the people of Franklin are a lot more open minded on issues and really don't tolerate much nonsense if they can do something to fix it.

This post caught the eye of Milwaukee Magaizine's Pressroom on Facebook, who took Kowalski's post and expanded on it:
He did do one piece of reporting, when he picked up the phone and actually asked School Board members tough questions about the budget. Oh, wait, no, those answers were made up. Presumably an attempt at irony.

Well, speaking of irony, Pressroom is capable of it as well. We note Fischer's
outrage at comprehensive sexuality education in schools -- which he blames for creating a "sexualized atmosphere."

This from the same person who gratuitously posted a well-endowed model's full-cleavage picture (an item about Internet anonymity).

If Fischer is trying to stir up the masses, we're not sure it's working. Comments seem rare to nonexistent in the blog entries we looked at.

One other item: Another correspondent observes Fischer isn't putting time stamps on his posts. Pressroom looked over the site and found they do, indeed, seem to have disappeared. The absence of time stamps reminded us of the controversy that we covered when Pressroom last wrote about Fischer, here.
I can't wait until I get next month's issue.