Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sykes Is A Slow Learner

Charlie Sykes, from what I've been told, brought my name up again a couple of weeks ago, claiming that I was blogging on the tax payers dime, when that has already been proven to be absolutely false. He should  take care not to repeat mistakes he's made in the past:
Charlie Sykes, a talk radio host and blogger for WTMJ-AM(620) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, wrote an essay on his blog that criticized Robert Miranda, editor of the Spanish Journal. According to press accounts of the dispute, Sykes alleged that Miranda had in October 1991 been "one of the organizers of what became a violent shout-down, during which coins, hard candy and ice cubes were thrown at [conservative radio host Mark Belling] during a Pro-America rally at [the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee]." Sykes based his statement on an email he received from a listener. When he learned that the e-mail contained factual errors, he removed the posting from his blog within hours on November 12, 2004. Nevertheless, the posting was still available through Internet searches several months later.

On January 3, 2005, Robert Miranda sued Sykes in small claims court for libel, claiming that the posting was false and misleading. Sykes' employer, Journal Communications, offered a $5,000 college scholarship as a settlement ($5,000 is the maximum available award in small claims court) and the case settled just prior to trial. The scholarship is to be awarded to a South Division High School student who wants to study journalism.
Or you can read the account in Miranda's own words.

And on a side note, the other thing Sykes doesn't like to bring up is how his lies almost got him canned, but it was the unions that saved his hide and his career as a propagandist.

H/T Brawler

How Charlie Sykes Came To Support The Walker Recall

A couple of weeks ago, the morning crew at WTMJ-620 AM, had Graeme Zielinski, Communications Director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin on the air. The station's battle plan was to ambush Zielinski with the bogus and discredited non-issue regarding the validity of the signatures on the recall petition.

Only thing is, Zielinski was ready for them. He came on the air, knowing that this was one of those rare opportunities to say it the way it is and he let them have it almost as well as I could have. Take a listen, thanks to Steve Hanson at Uppity Wisconsin:

Graeme Zelinski lays it on WTMJ

I really get a kick out of how Gene Mueller tries to say he doesn't worry about what happens after his show, even though he's often chatting away with Sykes and promotes Sykes' crap frequently.

And the "news" man, John Byman might want to brush up on his facts before he opens his mouth and shows his ignorant prejudices. Byman claims that there were no recalls against Governor Jim Doyle, when the truth is the misnamed group Citizens for Responsible Government tried not just once, but twice, to recall him.

When Sykes came on a little later, he was apoplectic. He was so upset that he almost mussed up his helmet-like, heavily-hair-sprayed coif. He threw a tantrum like never before.

But Zielinski and the Dems weren't done yet. The following Monday, they sent out this email:
Dear capper:

Charlie Sykes is a bully with a bullhorn and the other day we called him out on it. You can listen here.

For years, he's used WTMJ 620 as a platform to dishonestly advance an extreme and divisive agenda - and carry water for Scott Walker.

Day-after-day, 365 days a year, WTMJ 620 radio, the biggest station in the state, amplifies radical Sykes-Walker talking points in what amounts to millions of dollars of in-kind contributions to the Republican Party.

And now, at all costs, they are attacking the historic recall movement against Scott Walker.

Help us fight back against the Republican Party's free air time on WalkerTMJ 620 by making a donation of $6.20 to the grassroots effort to recall Scott Walker right now.

Does WalkerTMJ 620 ever allow for any balance? Do they ever portray the other side? Do they ever hold Scott Walker accountable his extreme agenda that has torn our state apart?

Never. Well, almost never, since they let me on for a few minutes the other day when I told them to stop attacking our people-powered movement that has collected 507,000 signatures in just one month.

Sykes and WalkerTMJ have gotten away with it for too long. It's time for all of us to stand up to their lies, to their blatant coordination with the Scott Walker Republican Party and their irresponsible divisiveness.

Under Scott Walker's watch, more than 34,900 Wisconsinites have lost their jobs in the last five months. As a direct result of Scott Walker's exteme policies we now have the worst economic indicators of any state in the country and we lead the nation in job losses.

But that's not the message you'll get if you tune into Charlie Sykes on WalkerTMJ 620. He'll tell you that everything in Wisconsin under Scott Walker is just dandy and he'll continue to attack the hard work that you and our grassroots effort to recall Scott Walker.

Show that you're not going to put up with Sykes and WalkerTMJ 620 by giving $6.20 to help us continue our fight for Wisconsin values.

With your support, we'll be able to communicate Scott Walker's terrible record to working, middle-class families across Wisconsin despite WalkerTMJ4's attempts to drown out our people-powered movement.

Thank you,
Graeme Zielinski
Communications Director
Democratic Party of Wisconsin
Well, if Sykes was apoplectic before, he popped a few blood vessels on this one. He was so upset about this, he couldn't shut up about it and kept talking about it all week. That could only have helped the cause. I guess he's no good without his masters at the Bradley Foundation telling him what to say.

Anyway, if you want to help Charlie Sykes support the recall movement, feel free to make a donation to the cause by clicking here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Someone Check Their Campaign Finance Reports!

Reince Priebus, who stabbed his friend and mentor, Michael Steele, in the back to become head of the national GOP, gave his thanks to Charlie Sykes for all he's done for them:

Yet if you check Scott Walker's or Ron Johnson's campaign financial reports, you won't find one entry for Sykes' in-kind contributions.

Is it any wonder that people want to take back our airwaves?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Atomic Pantload Of Hypocrisy

Christian "Atomic Pantload" Schneider wrote a piece at National Review Online in which he brings up the bogeyman of voter fraud.

I'll try to ignore the fact that he insults every victim of sexual assault in order to try to do his fear and smear routine over a nonexistent problem.

Instead, I'll simply refer the gentle reader to Steve Benen who gives Schneider's amateurish piece of fantasy a proper skewering.

The Brawler and Illy-T also take their turns ripping into him.

What makes me the most surprised is that Schneider's bean didn't explode from the hypocrisy of him, a hack propagandist at the Bradley Foundation-sponsored WPRI (Worms Promoting Republican Ideology) questioning anyone else's credibility.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Faux News vs. George Bailey

One of the talking puppets at Faux News, Dan Gainor, writes an editorial piece which starts with pointing out that there was an attempted letter bombing at Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. This puppet starts flailing in his impotent frustration, blaming the SEIU, the Occupy movement and even Obama for the anti-bankster attitude sweeping the globe. The only ones he doesn't blame are the banksters who have helped bring the world economy crashing down.

To show how unhinged he is, he attacks the holiday classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life":
Watching Ratigan, those of us who can bear it, is reminiscent of the Great Depression era hatred for bankers, landlords and businesspeople. It’s a theme the left and the media have institutionalized, especially with bankers.

The famous Frank Capra movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” pits the lovable Jimmy Stewart as a community Building and Loan head against the evil Mr. Potter, played wonderfully by Lionel Barrymore. Viewers are taught successful people are Scrooge-like and to be vilified.

Sixty-five years later, that movie has turned into a holiday classic. Every single year, we are reminded that it’s a wonderful life, as long as you aren’t a bankster. If you’re one of those, it might just be a wonderfully short life if the left has its way.
PR Watch does a pretty thorough job of skewering Gainor, including screencapping a tweet in which he offered to pay $100 to anyone who would physically assault a US Congressman. Classy guys, the wing nuts.

So what has caused Gainor and all the other corporate media types to get their undies in a bundle? Well, because the Occupy movement is starting to have an effect and Congress is looking at passing a bill to reform the banks. In other words, the banksters are about to lose their death grip on the country, and they're scared. But we can't sit back and count on Congress to follow through on this unless we keep their feet to the fire:

Who's side are you on?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

RecallFitz Is Calling For Volunteers

Hey, good people of #wiunion and #wirecall-

I received word from Lori Compas, the person leading the movement to recall Scott Fitzgerald.

She told me that they are looking to make a big push on the recall effort of Fitzie, which has not been getting the attention it deserves.

Lori is asking for 30 volunteers a day for 30 days to make sure they make this a sure deal.

If you can at all help, you can more information and sign on to help at the RecallFitz website.

Occupy Clear Channel Monday!

From a press release from Media Action Center:
Sacramento, CA - Monday, December 12, Media Reform and Occupy groups across the country will protest and occupy Clear Channel radio stations. Clear Channel, the largest radio operator in the US, pulled a fast one on its listeners last week in Sacramento, where a generation ago its station KFBK launched Rush Limbaugh's career. It replaced soft rock on its 50,000 watt KGBY 92.5 FM station with a simulcast of its KFBK programming - a typical right wing format featuring Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

It means the region now gets four stations promoting pro-corporate "conservative" hate speech, but zero stations promoting any opposing ideas; opposing views are simply not allowed by corporate owner Clear Channel. This is the case in better than 90% of the USA. And Clear Channel's actions are not limited to Sacramento; they are taking progressive stations off the air across the nation, in advance of an election year.

A physical protest co-sponsored by Occupy Sacramento, Media Action Center, and Sacramento Media Group will be held at the Clear Channel building in Sacramento at 1440 Ethan Way Monday at 10:30 AM. We will announce license challenges and boycotts of sponsors. Then we will enter the building to conduct a day long public files inspection, as is our legal right. In solidarity, dozens of Occupy and other groups from DC to LA, from Wisconsin to Florida will simultaneously converge into Clear Channel stations to demand files inspections.

Says Media Action Center founder Sue Wilson, "Conservative talk radio supporters will tell us that this is all about free speech, and if we don't like it, we should just change the channel. They are right, it is about free speech. OUR free speech. Where is OUR opportunity to get an alternative message out to our community on OUR PUBLIC AIRWAVES? Stations only get licensed to broadcast IF they 'serve the public interest.' It is time we use every legal means at our disposal to reclaim our right to be heard in the public square of radio."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Charlie Sykes Solicits For The Commission Of A Felony

The other day, we reproduced a column from the Shepherd Express in which they pointed out that Charlie Sykes committed slander against Senator Lena Taylor and how TMJ 620-AM should lose their broadcast license.

Friday morning, Sykes continued with his poor behavior, albeit along a different tangent.

He started out complaining about the recall and the fact that it is allowable for people to sign a petition more than once.  The two facts that he left out is that only one signature would be counted and that there is good cause for someone to feel the need to sign more than once.  With all of the right wing nut jobs trying to suppress people's rights by tearing up and defacing petitions, once would almost have to sign more than once to ensure one gets counted.

Of course, Sykes never condemned the felonious acts of the petition saboteurs, but would only lament that they are actually being held responsible for their behaviors.

Then Sykes correctly stated that the Government Accountability Board (GAB) will not be going through to ensure the validity of each signature. He said that makes Scott Walker and his campaign responsible to go through and verify each vote. He stated that this was wrong and should not be.

Unfortunately for Sykes, this was not the first time he pushed for this to happen. And thus I have already covered that topic:
When I saw them complaining that the GAB not certifying every signature, I'll admit that I was puzzled. I remembered writing last year how Maistelman and Associates got Paris Procopis, who was challenging Senator David Cullen, off the ballot by eliminating invalid signatures. At the same time, the law firm also successfully defended Todd Kolosso from James Sensenbrenner's attempt to have him thrown off that ballot.

I called Attorney Michael Maistelman, one of the state's leading election attorneys, to confirm my suspicion that this was another bogus complaint. Attorney Maistelman confirmed that it has always been the responsibility of the candidate and his or her campaign to challenge the signatures of their opponent, whether it is for a recall or even just for nomination papers to get on the ballot. He also told me that he has bumped a number of Republicans off of ballots by having invalid signatures stricken leaving his client's opponent with not enough to get on the ballot. He said that the Republicans have done that to a number of Democrats as well.

Maistelman also confirmed that it was always the campaign that paid for that legal work to be done. He added that Scott Walker's campaign would have much more funding than what would be needed to review and challenge the signatures of the recall.
So in other words, what Sykes is doing with his complaining is saying that the GAB should use tax payer dollars to fund the political work for Walker's campaign.  That would be, of course, classified as criminal solicitation, which in itself is a crime.

TMJ needs to start holding Sykes responsible or we will need to start holding them responsible as we take back our airwaves.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Patrick McIlheran: A Waste Of Tax Payers Dollars

Six months ago, Patrick McIlheran, champion of the tax payers and fighter of government waste, showed his true nature by leaving the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and going to suck at the government teat.  That is, of course, something he has spent years criticizing people for doing.

Bill Christofferson has looked into this, and even though we still don't know exactly what he is supposed to be doing, we do know he's getting paid extremely well for it, whatever it is:
What we do know is that McIlheran has landed in a pretty cushy job at taxpayer expense.

Legistorm, which tracks Congressional salaries, reports that McIlheran was paid $27,213.84 between the time he bellied up to the public trough on June 20 and Sept. 30. That works out to an annual salary of $93,300.

And, of course, there's a government health care plan (horrors!) and lots of other benefits, including both Social Security and a pension. The Congressional Budget Office says benefits add 26% to 50% on top of salaries, depending on age, salary, length of service, and retirement plan. So that's at least another $25,000 from the taxpayers, and probably quite a bit more. But at least he doesn't have to join a union. That must be a relief for a generally anti-government, anti-union, anti-worker, bootstraps kind of guy.
Whooey! $93,000 salary is a lot of money, especially for a guy who doesn't work full time and for a job no one knows what he supposed to be doing.

Well, there is one thing we do know he does do. He sure tweets up a storm about things that have nothing to do with his supposed job.  The funny thing is he never seems to be doing it during the evening, when his off of work.

I'm sure that Citizens for Responsible Government, Badger Blogger and the rest of the usual "watchdogs" will be on this apparent waste of tax payer money in no time.  Then again, maybe not. That would require integrity.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sykes' Slandering Should Cost TMJ Their License

Sometimes one comes across an article so good, you can't really improve on it. This week's Expresso in the Shepherd Express is one of those. With permission, here it is:
620 WTMJ doesn't own the airwaves.

It rents a frequency from the public, which owns the airwaves.

WTMJ's broadcast license is a privilege, not a right.

That's why it's so shocking that WTMJ's star talker, Charlie Sykes, continues to use the public airwaves to smear those who disagree with him and profit from the potential recall of Gov. Scott Walker.

Sykes, along with Brian Sikma of conservative phony “watchdog” group Media Trackers, pushed a false story about Sen. Lena Taylor's alleged role in aiding a felon to vote in the April election.

Sykes and Sikma didn't just allege it. They claimed the Taylor-as-accessory-to-a-crime story was true and ran with it.

Other Journal Communications properties followed suit. Four of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's ace reporters fleshed out the story, as did WTMJ-TV's Charles Benson.

The problem is that the story was false. The felon in question was able to vote in the spring election, as Dan Bice, who worked on the original Journal Sentinel story, finally reported this weekend.

Taylor is demanding an apology, and she should get one.

But Sykes and Sikma aren't backing down.

In fact, they're digging in.

Although Sykes and Sikma attempt to pose as credible pundits just looking out for the little guy, they are anything but credible. Their job is to hype stories, no matter how false, to inflame their audience. That gets ratings and attention in other media outlets. It also promotes their political agenda.

Sikma is a conservative agitator who uses social media to demonize Democrats. Media Trackers is an offshoot of the national tea party group American Majority, which gets some of its funding from the uber-conservative Bradley Foundation.

Many just argue that Sykes is hopelessly morally corrupt. Sykes and his wife are both bought and paid for by the Bradley Foundation, which has propped up Scott Walker's career through thick and thin. The head of the Bradley Foundation, extreme right-winger Michael Grebe, chaired Walker's campaign. Sykes doesn't care if his story about Sen. Taylor is incorrect because it feeds into the biases of his listenership, keeps listeners tuning in and drives traffic to his website, where he provides links to pro-Walker, pro-Charlie Sykes merchandise. We kid you not. Sykes is selling T-shirts, hoodies and other swag with the slogan “Unite to Reward Scott Walker: Charlie Sykes Radio Show. 8:30-Noon—620 WTMJ.”

If spreading outrageous lies and “uniting” with a political candidate for profit isn't enough of a reason to terminate WTMJ's license to broadcast on the publicly owned airwaves, then what is?
OK, there are two things to add after all.

One, not only was Grebe Walker's chair during the campaign, he is also pulling the strings on Walker's recall campaign as well. He's the one behind those false advertisements that have been bombarding our TVs for weeks already.

Secondly, if you want to help reclaim our airwaves, you can learn how here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wisconsin's Best Comedy Duo

In the annuls of comedy history, certain duos will always be remembered as the greats: Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Desi and Lucy.

Now, in Wisconsin, we have another two greats teaming up

One half of the new comedy duo is long-time funny man, Charlie "I got nothing" Sykes.

Joining him, fresh from his gig with Media matters, is Brian Sikma.  Sikma of course is the guy behind such classics, "Hey, those women can't sign - they're black!" and "Adultery Is OK, If You Time It Right."

Their first routine is "Did Lena Taylor Aid A Felon To Vote."  In this skit, they accuse State Senator Lena Taylor of aiding a known convict in voting illegally.  The made a stink of it for a whole week, building up for the punch line.

But it was Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Bice who delivered the punch line: He was eligible to vote because he was no longer on papers.

You see, Sikma and Sykes, who often call Media Trackers as a reliable news source, didn't know enough to contact the Sheriff's Office to get the information:
Sikma said his group went through Collins' county court records but failed to check with the sheriff's office. Sikma said he was unaware that Clarke's shop would provide information regarding the release dates of inmates.
When asked if he would apologize, Sikma said he would not, saying that he stood by his false information. Classy.

I'm not expecting Sykes to stand up and be a man about it either.

So, now that Sikma and Sykes have been caught slandering and libeling Sen. Taylor for a week, which is only the latest in a long string of lies told by both of them, I bet you're wondering where the comedy comes in.


No one should ever take these two clowns seriously.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Media Tracker Official Condones Adultery?

While doing some research for the previous post, something of interest caught my eye.

Brian Sikma
Brian Sikma, Communications Director for the troll blog, Media Trackers, wrote a post last summer trying to spin away the loss the Republicans suffered in the first round of recalls. In said post, there was the following paragraph(emphasis mine):
Even though Democrats are touting their ability to knock off two incumbent state senators as a major success in the face of failed GOP attempts to go after three Democratic senators, Democratic gains are shallow. Every incumbent senator who faced a recall challenge (regardless of party) survived except when a massive personal scandal or political earthquake hit. Sen. Randy Hopper’s ill-timed affair with a staffer exploded early in the recall cycle and irreparably damaged him politically. Sen. Dan Kapanke’s district had for years been trending Democrat, and his personal connection to voters was not enough to outweigh the long-developing party shift that finally flipped the seat’s party affiliation.

Perhaps Sikma would like to explain when he thinks it would be better timing for a married man to carry on an adulterous affair with someone. And by the way, his mistress was a lobbyist, not a staffer.  There's a distinct difference, not that either would make it OK, regardless of the timing.

Perhaps if Sikma was from Wisconsin, he might have known that.

But being a native of Indiana, he might have different values than ours.

Sikma was so confident in this stance that he also cross-posted the same thing at another one of his sites, the misnamed "Reclaiming Our Heritage."

Perhaps it's the fact that Sikma is OK with adultery, as long as it's well-timed, that makes Charlie Sykes so fond of him.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Media Trackers: Professional Trolls

It is quickly becoming common knowledge that the glorified right wing blog called "Media Trackers" is nothing more than a front group for the right-wing well-moneyed special interests groups which does little than smear Democrats and progressive causes by spewing their hateful propaganda.

To further this clarification of who they are, it is becoming quickly evident that instead of reporters or even bloggers, the crew at Media Trackers are nothing more than professional trolls.

In a recent email promoting their site, they included this libelous passage:
You can file this under the heading of "Tolerant Left." Graeme Zielinski refused to respond to a Media Trackers' inquiry this week, and took the chance to call yours truly a Nazi, racist, etc. His bullying apparently doesn't stop with conservatives. He's bullied reporters in the past, and most recently he went after a Wisconsin Public Radio show host who actually went so far as to have a conservative on the show. Kudos to the host for not backing down.
The link in that paragraph leads to a libelous attack on Graeme Zielinski, who they absolutely can't stand since he is not intimidated by their bullying. It is also noteworthy that while they accuse Zielinski of calling the head of Media Trackers, Brian Sikma, a Nazi, they don't offer one scrap of evidence of this. Then again, that goes with their tendency to just make things up.

The troll post that they link to is full of funny stuff though.

At the beginning, they mewl about how Sikma was "accosted" by Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now on whether Sikma was even a resident of the state. They were probably shaken by this since Sikma is a native of Indiana.

While the rest of the post is just a continuation of their personal attacks on Zielinski, it does raise an interesting thought.

With their troll-like writings, their pseudo-intellectualism and their immaturity, it does give one cause to believe that they might be the source behind the malicious parody twitter account made to mock Zielinski.  The tone and even the words are too similar to be ignored. The parody tweets also closely follow the issues that Media Trackers is trying to push.  Unfortunately for them, the creators of this account have a very poor understanding of what parody means and an even worse ability to actually do it.

Is it any wonder that the only people that give them any credence at all are Charlie Sykes and the more disreputable right wing bloggers?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Charlie Sykes, Mr. Compassion

Charlie Sykes, who I understand is still on the radio (but not mine), is shamelessly shilling for his new book, "A Nation of Moochers" (not to be confused with A Nation of Victims," his earlier "work").
Here's a post he found at the right-wing Heritage Foundation website and shared with his public, which gets right to the heart of the matter.
The trouble with poor people, Sykes says, is that they are trying to live in the 21st Century.
Besides that, they don't dress nicely and are depressing to be around.
From Sykes "Nation of Moochers" Facebook page:
One of the problems with poverty is that the poor have so much stuff...
80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

92 percent of poor households have a microwave.

Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.

Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.

Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.

Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers.  
 More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.

43 percent have Internet access. [Can you imagine?  That's more than two out of five who can get on the Internet!  Outrageous! -- Xoff]One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV. One-fourth have a digital video recorder system, such as a TiVo.
Just call him Mr. Compassion.

Even the Heritage Foundation is kinder:
The fact that the average poor household has many modern conveniences and experiences no substantial hardships does not mean that no families face hardships. As noted, the overwhelming majority of the poor are well housed and not overcrowded, but one in 25 will become temporarily homeless during the year. While most of the poor have a sufficient and fairly steady supply of food, one in five poor adults will experience temporary food shortages and hunger at some point in a year.

The poor man who has lost his home or suffers intermittent hunger will find no consolation in the fact that his condition occurs infrequently in American society. His hardships are real and must be an important concern for policymakers.
Sykes would certainly be welcome to visit our food pantry for Milwaukee's homeless and low income veterans any Tuesday morning, and ask the people moochers there how many cars, TVs, and computers they own.
Cross-posted at Uppity Wisconsin.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Not Her Day Time Gig

Today's TMJ 4 did a segment this morning at 8:45 on the "Kristi" ad that is being run lately by the Walker campaign.

In it, a teacher named Kristi talks about how she thoughtfully arrived at the conclusion that the recall campaign against Walker is wrong.

The segment that 4 ran shows the ad and then talks about the Facebook battle over the ad, leading off with a recall supporter writing how she wanted to "punch" Kristi.

No where in the piece did they mention that Kristi, is a choice teacher (and by choice, I don't mean elite), and that she is a Republican activist.

On it's own this is an effective ad. And quite it is possible that the people who put together this piece at 4 might have missed this information.

They will be running it again at 9:45 am this morning and hopefully some mention will be made. It would be took bad if they run it as is.

Why? This is yet another example of how the Walker campaign can't handle the truth, because they dole it out in pieces -- those pieces that suit their cause.

It was the case when Walker failed to mention that he would go after collective bargain, and oops, he's doing it again with the "Kristi" ad.

It's up to 4 to take the ball and run with it.

UPDATE -- TMJ 4 did not alter the piece at 9:45am. I know that this piece was no doubt produced the night before, but there was a comment that could have been made when the camera went back to Tom Murray that Kristi is a private school teacher has been pointed out, but then didn't give him copy to that effect.

If anything, why didn't correspondent who did the original piece when she communicated with Kristi over Facebook ask the teacher where she taught. The reporter could have kept the info as background, but at least she would have been able to point out the kind of school where Kristi taught.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Something That Charlie Sykes, Media Trackers, Wisconsin Reporter, WPRI and McIver Institute Should Familiarize Themselves With

The Tort of "False Light."

Read it, learn it, stop doing it.

Sykes' Fraudulent Fraud

Whoo boy! Charlie Sykes was all pumped up on Monday!  He claimed that he found the undeniable, unequivacable proof that the Democrats and Scott Walker recall groups were unethical, fraudulent, minor-bribing degenerates.

Only thing is his proof of fraud was fraudulent.

And from Illy-T, who's been covering the exposed scandal of a non-scandal all day long (in reverse order)

And from the Brawler: Sykes - Race Baiter

And if you're wondering why Sykes would let his already tarnished reputation become further begrimed, well, he's already done more self-inflicted damage with absolutely no evidence.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

They're Not Even Trying Anymore

The incestuous relation between right wing politicians and right wing money tanks has been shown time and time again.  But now they're not even trying to be subtle about it any more.

Charlie Sykes, who is owned paid by the Bradley Foundation, an extremist bunch of right wingers known for publishing the racist "The Bell Curve," to be the "editor" of WPRI (Worms Promoting Republican Ideology) sat down to interview David "Chokehold" Prosser.  One line says it all (emphasis mine):
Because that incident was still under investigation by the state Judicial Commission at the time of this interview, we did not address that issue in what was otherwise a wide-ranging discussion on the campaign and the state’s high court. I sat down with Justice Prosser in mid-October at the offices of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in downtown Milwaukee. ...
Keep in mind these things:

  • The Bradley Foundation gave a ton of money to Prosser's campaign
  • The Bradley Foundation gives a ton of money to WPRI
  • Sykes' current (third) wife works as the Bradley Foundation's Director of Communication
To sum it up, the Bradley Foundation is merely using Sykes as a puppet to produce their propaganda to protect and promote the politicians they have purchased.

This is simply how corrupt the right wing has become.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Forward To The Past!

Charlie Sykes, faithful water carrier for Scott Walker, gives free advertising to the Walker campaign by repeating their spin on the recently released results of a survey done by DPI. They compare it to the report from WEAC in 2004.

First, you have look past the fact that they are comparing apples to oranges by using reports from two wholly different agencies.

But Walker is saying that things are just as good or better than they were seven years ago, which only goes to confirm one of the recallers major complaints, he is making Wisconsin a regressive state by trying to take us back in time when things weren't as good as they have been in more recent years.

Of course, compared to last year, things are much, much worse.  Sadly, if Walker is not recalled, things will be even uglier next year when his "tools" are all used up.

Boots and Fables

Ol' Boots Robinson promises to play hardball with any recall petitioners he sees, argue with them till he's blue in the face, record, video and photograph them, boycott their businesses, publicize their names, and do whatever he can to make their lives miserable.

He's from Texas, you know, and that's what they do to liberals down there. Just ask Rick Perry what he'd do if Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake showed up there.

Maybe United Wisconsin should make sure it has the Robinsons' address and send a steady stream of people. We can start a pool on how long before he blows his cork, goes apoplectic and foams at the mouth. And we could record, video and photograph it.

But that would be wrong

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mountains Out Of Molehills and Molehills Out Of Mountans

Charlie Sykes touts another "breaking story" from the crack reporters propagandists at Media Trackers and at the MacGuyver Institute.  This time the story has to deal with some knucklehead who made a stupid off-the-cuff comment on Facebook about killing Scott Walker.

Keep in mind that there is no specific plan on how the alleged assassin-wannabe would go about the deed, strengthening the point that it was more of a vent than an actual threat.

Now compare that to the story at Mother Jones, where a group of thugs have actual plans on how they are going to try to tamper the recall effort by committing fraud in misrepresenting themselves and then destroying the ballots they have signed.

So how serious is this threat?  The article explains:
Michael Maistelman, a Wisconsin attorney and election law expert who reviewed screenshots of the comments, says the postings could raise serious legal issues if the plan is to tamper with official recall petitions. "If a person fraudulently solicits recall petitions and then destroys those petitions, they will probably go to jail," Maistelman says. "The law is very clear on this."

[UDPATE]: Reid Magney, a spokesman from Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, says destroying or defacing an official recall petition would violate state law. (Here's the relevant statute.) Such a violation, he adds, would be a class I felony in Wisconsin, which carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to three-and-a-half years in jail.
Somehow, I don't think it pays to wait for Media Trackers or MacGuyver to cover this story. They simply don't deal with reality.

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Media Trackers Exposes Their Own Flopsweat

Media Trackers, like the MacGuyver Institute and WPRI, are sham groups that serve no purpose than to be the propagandists for the conservatives and for Corporate America.  They get their funding from the likes of the Koch brothers and the Bradley Foundation.

But they do serve one useful purpose.  They are a gauge of sorts to see how nervous the conservatives are at any given time.  The more desperate the story, the more desperate or their masters.

Judging from a recent story from Media Trackers, they must be very nervous as the movement in which the people of Wisconsin rise up and reclaim their state by recalling Scott Walker begins.

This propagandist group, represented by one Collin Roth, if that's even his real name, claims they have "exposed" a cabal of lefty politicians and community leaders who are poised to bring Walker down by following the rigged rules the Republicans have rammed through in an effort to shred the Constitution and stop the people from exercising their rights.

Their proof of this cabal? The alleged members received an email!

Obviously, because they received an email, they must be in cahoots.

But this gave the researchers here an idea.  Why not find out who these people at Media Trackers are by seeing what emails they might be receiving.

Seeing what kind of group Media Trackers is, our crack research team concluded that anything dealing with them closely resembles spam, since that is what they produce.  Hence, they further concluded that the best way to see who Media Trackers is was to check the spam files.

Preliminary reports show that it is possible the members of Media Trackers are friends with various Nigerian princes and widows and English attorneys who are involved in a money laundering scheme.  It is also believed, judging by the likely emails that they receive, they are looking for high-paying easy work, cute girls that want to chat, and suffer from erectile dysfunction.

And now you know and knowing is half the battle.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Fox News

Starring our friend, Sue Wilson:

Give 'em Hell!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Is No Longer The Scariest Day Of The Year

Halloween, for generations, has traditionally been the scariest day of the year.  Ghosts and goblins, skeletons and demons, vampires and werewolves and all sorts of other things that creep, crawl and go bump in the night were said to roam the world, creating chaos, mischief and evil.

They have sadly been replaced by other, scarier and more real monstrosities.

One is the conservampire, led by their kind, Count Walkula, who gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "blood-sucking weasel."

Even a more immediate threat to one's sanity and one's very life is the threat of an unbalanced, hate-filled woman with a criminal history of drunken violence carrying a gun:

If that doesn't scare the hell out of you, you probably need some professional help as well.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Barrett Can Now Give Sykes A Deep Tunnel Award

During last year's gubernatorial race, it seemed that the entire right side of the blogosphere suddenly realized that they had been traumatized during their toilet training. (We already knew that about Charlie Sykes, who every Friday thrills himself by playing toileting-related soundtracks and handing out an award named after a sewer.  A very far cry from the famed Golden Fleece Award handed out by the late Sen. Proxmire.)  Every time it even rained, the radio squawking heads and the Posse Comatose would practically wet themselves in anticipation that it might be a big rain and that MMSD would have to dump some mixed sewage into Lake Michigan.

The scatologically-fixated right wing zombies would practically poop themselves in order to get their attack posts published.  Charlie Sykes and company would spend days totally obsessed with the subject.  You couldn't turn on WTMJ or WISN radio stations without hearing one of their shock jocks screaming "THERE'S POOP IN THE WATER!!"

Of course, to maintain their attack, they had to ignore that not only was the Milwaukee sewer system working as it was designed to do, it was vastly improved over the old system or the systems of other cities, like Chicago.

It makes wonder what they'll have to say about the latest report of unacceptable amounts of raw sewage being dumped in the waters.  My guess is absolutely nothing.

You see, the culprit flushing their doo-doo in our drinking water is conservative Brookfield, located in the very red Walkersha County. Other culprits include Paul Ryan's Janesville and the Fox Valley's Oshkosh.

It's also worth noting that while the zombie bloggers and squawkers were hollering about how the city of Milwaukee should separate their sewer systems, despite the fact that this would raise their taxes by astronomical amounts, Brookfield does have separate sewers, yet had the same problems.

In summary, even though it would serve no purpose outside of an "I told you so," Mayor Tom Barrett could give Sykes and friends the Deep Tunnel Award for their selective outrage.  Or better yet, we could give them to the Deep Tunnel, which seems almost more fitting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

50 Horrible Sources For "News"

We are all familiar with the right wing's trite cliche of regarding the "left wing media."

Funny, but the truth is a bit different:
You often hear the term "liberal bias" when the radicals on the right try to demonize anyone who is willing to tell the truth. The real truth however, is that majority of the media (TV, radio, internet, print) is owned by big corporations who try to protect the radical conservative agenda. From big news outlets to small time blogs, there are many places that you want to avoid when trying to get good news and information.
They've even compiled a list of the 50 worst places to get your information from. It's no surprise that Faux News tops the list.

I should mention that this is your chance to fight our local bad actors like Charlie Sykes, Mark Belling and the like.  Details are here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Message From Sue Wilson

From the inbox:

Harry and I so enjoyed meeting you in Wisconsin, and look forward to continuing the very important work of making Wisconsin's broadcast airwaves represent all the people of your state, not just a few.

If you haven't done so already, please fill out the Broadcasters' Public Interest Survey at .

Once we've gathered enough data, we can put together an action plan for your specific town.

Also, check out this website, it is a great fun way for us to have a continuing conversation about Wisconsin media issues. But we need volunteers to keep it running. It is a very simple task, we just need people who will agree to keep the page open on their computers for a few hours a day. You don't even need to type anything, just open the page and keep it open, and the program will allow us all to weigh in. If you are interested, please let me know.

If you signed up to be a team leader, or if you're just willing to work on a team, here are the tasks we need to do. Let us know what city you live in and which tasks appeal to you:

- Organizing meetings to determine your area's broadcasting problems/needs.

- Meeting with station management to discuss those needs.

- Monitoring radio or TV programs to measure who well broadcasters are responding to your requests.

- Writing reports about the results of monitoring

- Publicizing reports to the local media and the FCC

Also! If any of you are involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests, please talk about Broadcast reform. The NYC declaration says that Wall Street "purposely keeps people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media." They are right, but we know what to do about it, and we must share that wisdom. If you can, see if local Occupy Madison or other rallies will show Broadcast Blues to their crowds.

THANK YOU ALL so much. Together, we are taking our media back!

In Unity,


Silly Protesters

The right wing, whether it be corporate shills like Charlie Sykes or just part of the Posse Comatose, regarding the #occupy protesters, made shorter:
"Silly protesters! Don't you know government giveaways and tax breaks are for corporations and the wealthy?!"
No, I'm not going to try to educate these fools. If they haven't learned their history lessons, that's their problem.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Because the Right Knows So Much About Civility

When the right winger whine and mewl about the horrible left and the lack of civility they show when they actually gather and sing, it only shows how pitiful and insecure they really are.

But while they complain of people singing, or God forbid, telling the power-abusing Republicans "Shame!", the somehow have never gotten around to mentioning their hero, the lying Andrew Breitbart, who told Wisconsin's working men and women to "Go to Hell!"

Given their level of selective and faux range, I doubt that anyone will condemn Breitbart when he increases his attention seeking desperation  to crossing the line and and goes NSFW*.

So how do the right sound off on one of their own dropping f-bombs?  They join right in on it, the poor adolescent fools that they are.

*Note to Breitbart: It might be formidable and dramatic if you didn't squeal when you say it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sykes Turns Yellow Over "Broadcast Blues"

Sue Wilson, public airwave crusader, brought her show, "Broadcast Blues," to Wisconsin.

This has Charlie Sykes and his right wing allies terrified:
Via Media Trackers; Apparently unable to win the argument, the left turns to the coercive power of the federal government to shut down conservative talk radio. Their agenda is not subtle: they do not believe that talk radio is protected by the constitutional right of free speech and hey want the government to pull the licenses of stations like ours... because they don't like the things that are being said on the air.
But that's not even remotely true, as Wilson explained to Erik Gunn of Milwaukee Magaizine fame:
Wilson's Wisconsin visit drew the ire of WTMJ's Charlie Sykes, who claimed on his blog that Wilson wanted to "shut down" conservative talk radio. But Wilson says that misses the point: Her aim, she says, is to open up the airwaves to a greater diversity of points of view.

"I am afraid that we are losing our ability to distinguish between fact and fiction, we are losing our ability to have a real debate and discourse in this country," she said after her Racine showing.
Or to put it another way, all Wilson is asking for is a chance for the public to hear all sides of the story, just not the one Sykes' corporate masters want you to hear.

Yet Sykes is terrified of this.

If you ever wonder why, just look at how he does on TV during an election cycle against any Democrat or liberal. He ends up losing his sammich and having it eaten in front of him.

Of course, that's not hard to do when he's got nothing to support his false arguments.

If you want to help scare Sykes some more by bring the public interest back to the public airwaves, here's how.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crusing with Belling

Is it just me, or does the guy on the left  have a Frankenstein's monster quality about him? 

Jessica McBride takes on talk radio, defends public workers

Jessica McBride, who once aspired to talk radio fame and fortune, wants to know what's the matter with Tommy Thompson? He's running into a lot of flak from conservatives, and McBride, who once worshiped at the feet of Charlie Sykes, now says:
Thompson has run into the “new Republican party,” inspired by a tea party hold-theline ethos, a zero-tax-levy governor, and a talkradio machine that demands absolute fealty to a message. Or else.
She defends Tommy's spending, and even says:
Tommy is also out of step with current conservative dogma because he grew the size of the state work force. In other words, he didn’t ascribe to the “public workers are greedy people at the trough” rhetoric. Well, those jobs employed people and put them to work, so they could put their money back into the economy. (Now Republicans tout stimulus job creation in Rick Perry’s Texas). Scott Walker didn’t lay a bunch of people off, either. I am sure Tommy needed some more workers in the prison system because he was so tough on crime. Remember truth in sentencing and all that?
Of course, her husband was a state employee for quite awhile, and she still is. That tends to make one a little more empathetic.

If you must, read it here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

For the files

Might want to hang on to this quote from Mark Belling, writing in the Milwaukee Post issue dated Sept. 25, 2011, for future reference:
"But Scott Walker  is the straightest political arrow I've ever met.  I can't imgine him allowing any employees to do anything even slightly improper."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wisconsin Media Watch: Your Help Is Needed

As you already know, Sue Wilson is visiting our once and future great state, bringing to us her knowledge of how to fight the unfair and illegal domination of the corporate media in our airwaves.

To aid us in our battle to reclaim our airwaves, she brings many useful things.

She has set up the website for Media Action Center with pointers on what we need to do to overcome the propaganda machine known as talk radio and to get them to present a balance of viewpoints to truly serve the people's interests.

On that website, there is a short survey that she would like you to take, so that our limited resources can be put to the best use.  Please take the survey, it's easy and only takes a few minutes.  I know, I tried it.

They have also established a streaming page, Hanniprocrisy, that people can go to and put down their observations.  For example, I just wrote about how WEA Trust is threatening to sue Mark Belling for his libelous and slanderous lies. I noted that on this site.  You can do the same thing.

If you hear Belling, Charlie Sykes or any of the other squawkers and screechers go overboard in their hyperbole or their rhetoric, or are just being unbalanced in their "news," you can report it here.

Consider it a crowd-sourced Whallah!, if you will.

Finally, and on a slightly more personal note, Sue and her husband are not being backed by big money special interests like the Koch Brothers, Wall Street or WMC.  They don't even own the movie "Broadcast Blues" although they do own the right to sell copies of it.  They're doing this on their own and out of their love for justice. So, when you go catch one of her presentations, please be so kind to scrape up some cash and buy a copy on DVD.

Let's help those that are helping us.

Belling Gets Schooled

A press release from WEA Trust lays it down for Mark Belling, who has been once again playing fast and free with the truth:
The WEA Trust, a Wisconsin-based private group health insurance company, today delivered a legal “cease and desist” demand to conservative talk show host Mark Belling, aired on WISN Radio, for repeatedly accusing the private company of “racketeering” by transferring its “profits” to the state teachers union, which is illegal under state and federal law.

“These are deliberate attempts to destroy a good company’s reputation,” said WEA Trust President and CEO, Mark Moody. “The accusations made against the WEA Trust on the air are not true—Mr. Belling has a responsibility to his listeners. He must state that his accusations of the WEA Trust are not true. The Trust is working with Wisconsin’s premier First Amendment law firm to demand an end to his false and defamatory public accusations.”

The WEA Trust was formed 40 years ago by the state’s largest teachers’ union in cooperation with small Wisconsin school districts to help them “pool” their health insurance, Moody noted.

“The WEA Trust is a ‘trust’ under federal labor law. It is not ‘owned’ by the union. It would be against both state and federal laws to use the Trust’s income to support the union’s political activities, as Belling has repeatedly charged—and the Trust has never done so,” said Moody.

Moody went on to add that the WEA Trust is a state-regulated, Wisconsin-based, fiscally sound, private health insurance company. The WEA Trust takes compliance with the law extremely seriously.

“Mr. Belling’s deliberate distortions don’t stop there,” Moody said. “We’re not a monopoly as he claims. We provide health insurance to roughly a third of the state’s teachers and school staff. Like our competitors, we win and lose customers all the time.”

“Belling’s accusations that the Trust was deliberately “overcharging” school districts is little more than a political attack that deliberately distorts the basic economics of our complicated industry in order to further destroy our reputation,” Moody said.

The Trust returns 93 cents out of every premium dollar back to school districts in the form of quality health care. Our seven cents of every dollar for overhead is less than half the overhead cost of many for-profit competitors.

The rapidly changing school district health insurance market has encouraged many other companies to bid for the business. And school districts are seeing health insurance costs drop in some cases, regardless of the carrier.

“But there’s no economic miracle at play here,” said Moody. “When employers, including school districts, require employees to pay more for their health insurance or reduce their benefits, it costs less for the schools.”

“The WEA Trust is demanding a retraction,” Moody said. “Mr. Belling’s statements are malicious and designed to damage our company’s reputation. He has a long record of attacks on our company, which we have on file. We have had enough.”
Looks like another retraction will soon be forthcoming. I wonder how long his employers will put up with this continuing embarrassment.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

TMJ's Straw Man Is Made Out Of Toilet Paper

For at least two day, Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner and the hack John Mecure have been bashing on Senator Lena Taylor.

Their supposed issue with the good Senator is that she had posted a comment on her Facebook site which called for a boycott of all Koch Brother products.

What their faux outrage really is is a distraction stunt to keep people focusing on the people's favorite pastime of watching Scott Walker's world crumble down over his corrupt head.

How do we know it's faux outrage and just a decoy maneuver? Well, simply because they are a little too desperate to make a point and continuously hammering at it.  Also, they have to ignore a helluva a lot to get to that point.

For starters, Taylor is not the first person to advocate for this boycott, nor is she the only politician to do so.  People have been participating in this boycott since it was first learned that Walker and WISGOP were under the influence of Koch.  What Taylor wrote is nothing new and it's disingenuous of these squawkers to say otherwise.

Secondly, the squawketeers claim to be so worried about the 2300 or so employees that work for Green Bay's branch of Georgia Pacific.  They say that if the boycott takes off, some of those people could lose their jobs.

Again, this is a straw man made up of so much wet toilet paper.

As noted above, the boycott has been going on for a while and the company hasn't folded.  Secondly, why are these idiots worried about those jobs and not about the 2300 jobs that Walker has already caused to disappear.

Also, why are they not concerned about the loss of voters' rights, workers' rights and women's rights?  Do people's rights matter less than if the Koch Brothers make a few bucks less?  Apparently so in the eyes of the squawkers.

All three of these clowns, as well as TMJ management, owes Senator Taylor an apology.

Then they owe another apology to their listeners for their misleading and inaccurate statements.

Then they can admit that their biased as all get out and start immediate action to help restore our airwaves to serve the public interest.  For if they don't want to do so willingly, they will still do so, sooner or later.  The lessons on how to do that starts tomorrow.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Their Bite Is Worse Than His Bock

On Friday morning, Charlie Sykes again was trying to make hay out of the story of Miles Kristan, the boor who has crossed the line of protesting to harassment and assault by dumping a beer over the head of Representative Robin Vos. Not that Vos didn't deserve that and more, but that sort of thing is not done in a civilized society and is actually more detrimental to the cause than it helps.

Case in point, Sykes and the other using it to try to keep the heat off of Walker and his growing scandal.

In his ongoing rant, Sykes had Vos call in and whine about the "abuse" that has been suffered by him and his fellow Republicans by people aiming to hold them accountable for their own unforgivable behaviors, such as assaulting the rights of the working men and women of the state, focusing on gifting their campaign donors rather than creating jobs, abusing the state's ecology and violating almost every right we have.

But what really got to me is when he'd whine about his constituents who yelled at his aides.  First of all, if he bothered to speak to, and more importantly, listen to the people, he wouldn't even need to use his aides as human shields for his delicate feelings.

Secondly, having someone vent about the atrocities their boss has committed is considerably less offensive that what he and his colleagues did to the aides to the Democratic Senators, treating them like pawns in their political games, threatening to take away their parking places, withholding their checks, micromanaging them to the point of counting printouts and staples and even threatening their jobs.

If Vos is concerned about not being liked, maybe he should consider not acting like an arrogant and pompous ass himself.

Then to top off this comedy routine, Sykes had fellow adulterer Randy Randy "Bed" Hopper on the air who was whining that people were still mad at him for his role in the assault on Wisconsin.  I just wonder how much of the verbal abuse he supposedly suffers is from his malicious attack on the people and how much is due to the fact that he is a two-faced liar that abandoned his family.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

'They Are the Public Airwaves, Not the Republican Airwaves'

 Sick of politically unbalanced radio and TV programming that only offers a right-wing point of view? Then Sue Wilson's media reform tour of Wisconsin is for you. The Emmy-winning journalist and producer will screen her documentary, Broadcast Blues, in eight Wisconsin communities throughout September to highlight the damage done by corporate-owned media outlets that dominate the national conversation. Wilson will also appear at Fighting Bob Fest in Madison on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The Shepherd Express has a Q-A interview with her in its current issue.

Monday, September 12, 2011

As If There Wasn't Enough Air Pollution Already

This state is full of noise pollution, especially if you live in one of the bigger cities.

There's trucks, cars with bad mufflers, motorcycles, construction equipment, horns beeping, low flying planes, people with their radios blasting and a myriad of other things that assault our ears on a near constant basis.

One of the most offensive perpetrators is squawk radio.  In almost every corner of this state, you can find some radio station (usually on the am dial) that has its day filled with one blathering idiot following another bloviating liar.

In Milwaukee alone, we have Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner, John Mecure, James T. Harris (until the Journal Broadcast company made him do a lateral transfer to one of their stations in Arizona), Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna and Mark Belling filling the days with their tiresome and fact-free rantings and ravings.  So much so you can just visualize the spittle dripping off their microphones as they tell you the evils of creating jobs, taking care of the vulnerable and having everyone carry their fair share of the burden of being part of a society.

And that doesn't even cover the syndicated squawkers like Dennis Miller, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

(Is it any wonder I so look forward to going up north where I can shut these immoral and asocial blowhards out?)

Now we find out that the powers that be don't think there's quite enough insult to our intelligence, enough assault on our eardrums.

Nope. Now they had to go and give Scott Walker is weekly ramblings.  Instead of fireside chats, we get Pants-on-fire squawks. Oh, huzzah.  Be still my heart. (/off-sarcasm)

And just with squawk radio, there is not even the appearance of honoring the federal laws regarding the public airwaves.  They are giving the Republican governor a free shot of air time without a rebuttal:
Were Democrats invited to produce a regular alternative message? "The WBA has a history of working with Wisconsin's governor throughout the years (regardless of party) -- as we are a non-partisan organization," wrote Michelle Vetterkind, the association's president and CEO, in an email response to my inquiry. 
Did former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle have such a program? "Not a weekly radio address, no," she wrote. "However, this is something we'd love to continue" with governors of either party. 
She said legislative Democrats can do their own. "If the Democrats wish to offer a response, we are more than willing to post a link to it as well," she said. "It would be posted at the same time." 
Democrats appear likely to take them up on the offer. Melanie Conklin, an aide to Rep. Peter Barca of Kenosha, leader of Assembly Democrats, says she is in contact with an aide to Sen. Mark Miller of Monona, leader of Senate Democrats, on a next step.
Um, no, a link is unacceptable. The law requires equal air time and a link is not the same as free time over a powerful radio station's airwaves.  If it were, Whallah! would have vanquished Milwaukee squawk radio long ago.

The Democrats should not and cannot settle for anything less than equal time as Walker.

Fortunately, even as it looks like Walker and the corporate media of the state are about to take another round of treading on our rights, we are about to gain valuable knowledge and skills on how to counter this.

Sue Wilson will be bringing her "Broadcast Blues" tour to the state this week, premiering in Madison this Saturday, first at Fighting Bob Fest and then again in Madison Saturday night at the First Unitarian Society Landmark Auditorium.  The rest of her tour can be found on this handy poster. (H/T Uppity Wisconsin)

For more information and to learn how you can join the fight to reclaim our airwaves, please check out their new website - Media Action Center.

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sykes Hits Yet Another New Low

Charlie Sykes' irrational and hypocritical* anti-union hatred has gone so far he rips into a tribute to firefighters, including the heroes that sacrificed their lives ten years ago.

What a sick, demented jerk.

*It was Sykes' membership in a union that allowed them to fight to keep his job when he was caught making stuff up on his show, including quotes.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Reclaiming Wisconsin's Airwaves: Broadcast Blues Comes To Wisconsin

If the gentle reader will recall, I told them that while we take the state back from the greedy clutches of the Republicans and their corporate puppet-masters, we could also take back the airwaves of Wisconsin and make them serve the public again.

Here is a press release from Sue Wilson, the maker of Broadcast Blues, announcing her upcoming tour of Wisconsin:

2011 Wisconsin Media Reform Tour
Putting the Public Back into Broadcasters' Public Interest Obligations
When Delafield resident Barbara Begale went to see a documentary film about media reform in Florida, she never thought she'd return to Wisconsin to organize an entire film tour. But after seeing the award winning Broadcast Blues, which shows how the consolidation of the media into a few corporate hands is jeopardizing our news, information, and even public safety, Begale says a light bulb went off. "Suddenly I understood why the United States is so divisive. The film explains why the news is filled with lies and why there is so much hate speech. If people know the truth, people will make the right decisions, but they're not getting the truth. Everyone in this country needs to see this movie." 
So she contacted the film's director, who readily agreed to travel throughout the state with the film. "This is a great opportunity to remind the people of Wisconsin that they actually own the Radio and TV airwaves," says filmmaker Sue Wilson. "Local TV and radio stations receive licenses for the privilege to broadcast, but there's a catch: in exchange for their licenses, the law requires them to 'serve the public interest.' If they do not, people can legally challenge those licenses and take them away. The question is, are the broadcasters serving the public interest of Wisconsinites?" 
Wilson plans to answer that question by surveying those who attend the screenings about how well local broadcasters are serving local needs. If people tell her their local TV and radio stations are not serving the public interest, she will teach them how to reach out to local broadcasters with the goal of improving the quality of local broadcasting. "Sometimes," says Wilson, "all it takes is a friendly visit to station management to create a dialogue between the broadcaster and the community. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a legal petition to deny a station's license, and we're prepared to help people whichever way it goes. What's important is that people understand they have unique rights as owners of the public broadcast airwaves."

The 2011 Wisconsin Media Reform Tour kicks off September 17 in Madison with continuous screenings at the FightingBobFest, then goes to Madison's Landmark Auditorium that evening for a 7:30 showing and organizing event. The tour continues to Appleton Sept. 17, Mequon Sept. 21, Milwaukee Sept. 22, Hartland Sept. 23, Racine Sept. 24, Wausau Sept. 26, ending in Eau Claire Sept. 27th. 
All events are free and open to the public.

Here is a trailer of the movie:

And via Steve Hansen at Uppity Wisconsin, here is a poster with all the dates, times and places that Sue and Broadcast Blues will be visiting. Please share this with your friends, family and neighbors.

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Is Talk Radio Really That Popular?

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this one comes via my buddy, Shaina:

If you actually sit down and compare audience pull and equalize the wattage of the stations, progressive media can easily go toe to toe with the right wing shows.  They just don't have the backing of the money of corporate media.  Another reason why we need to take back our airwaves!

Reclaiming Wisconsin's Airwaves

Several years ago, an unknown blogger using the pseudonym "Template" created Whallah!  The purpose of this blog at that time was to be a foil to then squawk radio host Jessica McBride.  Soon after McBride was fired by WTMJ, which used a racially charged gaffe as an excuse, but really just wanted to cut corners and bring in the cheaper syndicated squawkers Dennis Miller and the always offensive Michael Savage.

At that time, Whallah! expanded to take on all of the local right wing squawkers, from Charlie "Mr. Woodhouse" Sykes to Mark "Wetback" Belling to the now departed but not missed Republican regurgitst Patrick McIlheran of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel infamy.

But this is just one little blog. It can do so much.

The powerhouses such at WTMJ-620 and ClearChannel's WISN-1130, not to mention other stations around the state are still spewing their one-sided message in order to support Republican/Teahadist causes and agendas.

So how the hell did this happen?

Let me introduce you to my new friend, Sue Wilson, who has more than a passing familiarity with talk radio.

Sue has made a movie about this (which is probably why she is willing to come to Wisconsin and get us started) but her ideas have sound basis and reflect much of what #wiunion has done in the past several months on its own.  To describe how we got here and her plan on how to help us, I would refer the gentle reader to her post (which is unfortunately on Huffington Post - Side word to Sue: Daily Kos, dear, Daily Kos).  Here is a couple of key excerpts:
That's not to say the demise of the Fairness Doctrine did not have an adverse effect. I produced public affairs programming under that rule at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, and found it very workable. I did not have to tell both sides of the story, I just had to try to do so. I also witnessed how, once it was abolished, TV programs that covered the local community just disappeared. And on the radio side, once the Fairness Doctrine went away, there is little question that Rush Limbaugh went hard right on a national microphone, attacking Democrats and anyone else who gets in the way of his pro-corporate right wing agenda.

Copycats soon moved in, creating an industry of right wing propagandists. In 90 percent of radio programming today, no real debate is allowed (unless a brave or committed few sneak past the microphone hoarders' screeners.)

But the Fairness Doctrine wasn't perfect. Part of the problem was it employed a top down approach, with Big Daddy Government putting broadcasters in the untenable position of being liable for lawsuits even over content in comedy programs. (CBS was sued under the Fairness Doctrine when the Norman Lear character Maude had an abortion in the TV show of the same name; opponents sued, saying CBS must do other shows where women did not have an abortion.) Rather than face such reprise, some broadcasters chose not to cover any controversial issues at all, which many argue chilled debate rather than engendered it.

In August, 2011, the final nail has been pounded into the coffin of the Fairness Doctrine.
Sue goes on to point out that the Federal Appeals Court made a clear and cut ruling that the airwaves, despite the demise of the Fairness Doctrine, are clearly the public's airwaves. They belong to us, not to the Koch Brothers or to Journal Broadcasting. We only let them use them, via the government. If they violate the public interest in using the airwaves, we, the people, can and must correct that, as they did in Sacramento:
This is not to say the only way to get broadcasters to serve the public interest is by filing legal challenges to their licenses. The Sacramento Media Group, affiliated with Common Cause, has successfully employed a model of knocking on TV stations' doors, asking for five minutes of daily political coverage on TV during election season. It took meetings with station management making that request, monitoring stations' coverage for three election cycles, writing several reports and releasing them to local newspapers (which caused the stations considerable embarrassment.) But today, SMG has found success. Their next goal is to ask local Talk radio stations for balanced political coverage, again during election seasons.

At the end of the day, the publicly owned airwaves are about public safety, about community and about ensuring First Amendment rights for everyone in the public square of broadcasting. Luckily, the Supreme Court is on our side.
So, what does this have to do with any of us? Sue answers that question too:

That's the First Amendment Right of all the viewers and listeners, not the just ones who listen to the most profitable formats for corporations.
There is much energy around restoring the Public into the Public Interest. A grassroots movement started earlier this year in Florida, when the UU Legislative Ministry supported an 11 city media reform tour featuring Broadcast Blues.
But it is really finding its legs next month with the 2011 Wisconsin Media Reform Tour featuring Broadcast Blues. (Broadcast Blues is the 2009 documentary film I made which delves into issues of public interest obligations of broadcasters.) Thanks to the organizing efforts of local folks, I'll be traveling to eight cities in Wisconsin, showing the film, then surveying citizens as to their specific public interest needs. Next, we'll work on how to approach their local broadcasters, not just by email, but with personal visits, and convey to the broadcasters what they need. In some cases, friendly visits will get great results: heck, the manager of the station could be somebody you went to high school with. But other times, protests, boycotts, maybe even legal petitions to deny the stations' licenses may need to be filed.

We'll do whatever it takes to restore the public -- all the public -- into the public interest obligations of broadcasters.

But unlike the Fairness Doctrine, this is a bottom up approach. This is "We the People" holding both broadcasters -- and the FCC accountable to us. We are taking back that which we already own: our public airwaves.

Stay tuned as we get closer. We will need to form teams to take on not only Milwaukee's broadcasters, but in cities all over the state, from Madison to Wausau to Green Bay. The more hands that we have on board, the easier and the faster we can correct this problem which has plagued us for far too long.

Just as we are taking back our state, we need to take back our airwaves.

Are you with us?

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

It's Hard To Be A Conservative: Part Really I Lost Count

You have to continuously complain that some companies might drop their health insurance plans in favor of that offered through the Affordable Care Act, or as the RWNJs like to call it, Obamacare.

Yet at the same time, you have to hope that you won't have to explain why you've been silent for years about the companies like Walmart, McDonald's and Aurora who haven't been offering health care coverage in favor of government-sponsored health care programs like BadgerCare.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Making Us Feel Better All The Time

Dan, aka Las Vegas Badger, decides to take what I'm sure is the high road for him and gives his two cents worth on the fact that David "Chokehold" Prosser is getting away with assault and battery, using the most misogynist and confusing ramble since Tom McMahon gave up blogging regularly:
Both Bradley and Abrahamson have put work place safety, a legitimate issue where people actually have been harmed, in less than serious light. But because both of these wenches are liberals, they will get a pass from liberals because, well because they are liberals and facts be damned. These two liberal hair brained bimbos put the issue of work place safety back 20 or more years in Wisconsin and that is a shame, shame, shame.
Um, yeah, because calling the victim of a crime and the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, wenches and bimbos really gives you some serious gravitas, y'know?

Thanks Dan, you just keep on making everyone feel better about themselves!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Saving PolitiFact The Trouble

It's been a while since PolitFact has taken a look at Charlie Sykes' outrageous statements and lit his arse on fire, so we'll just have to do it for them.

Thursday morning, Sykes was ranting and raving about this article in the paper which told of how hundreds of people came out to Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele's budget hearing to speak passionately about saving paratransit.

I only caught parts of Sykes' steaming pantful, but there were two glaring lies he was telling his audience.

One, he said that the advocates for the disabled were saying that the paratransit fees were going to more than triple.  All this proves is that Sykes is illiterate.  The article actually reported this (emphasis mine):

The cuts proposed by the Milwaukee County Transit System also include elimination of service on six regular routes, ending Freeway Flyer service and shortening routes or cutting bus frequency on 28 other routes. The transit system also is proposing to raise paratransit fares for riders with disabilities by $1.25, to $4.50.

Again, it only shows that Sykes can't read.

But where Sykes really got it wrong, and thereby set his own trousers ablaze, was when he claimed that no one has ever threatened to cut paratransit services before and that he was outraged about it.

The only thing is that paratransit services have been threatened before, even as recently as last year when then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker threatened to cut that service to the bare minimum required by federal law.

Secondly, per county records, now Governor Walker and his Republican allies in the legislature have decided to cut transit and paratransit funding by $5.5 million in the recently passed budget.

Don't expect Sykes to admit to that any time soon, though. He's too busy trying to keep the flames from his pantaloons from reaching all that hairspray in his helmet-hair.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

There Are No Mirrors In the Dooley Home

Fred Dooley, RWNJ and owner of the most inappropriately named blog in the state, had this to say as he was gloating over 42 WEAC employees losing their jobs:
Wouldn't it be great though to legislate that a select group of people had to use your product and then have the government collect the payment for that product and pass it along to your business?

Now imagine the organization that got that incredible deal regularly gave a percentage of that payment back to one political party in order to ensure that they protected this unethical business model as long as it was possible.

Can you imagine the outrage from that political party when that campaign gravy-train was threatened? Why they might be so mad that they would leave the state in protest!
Interesting thought, isn't it?

Of course, Dooley wouldn't know a thing about a group that received incredible deals and generous giveaways from the government, then turned around and used some of that obscene profit taking to buy politicians of a certain party.

Oh, and by the way, here's a picture of Dooley speaking at a Koch Brothers-sponsored TEA Party rally in Racine:

Need I say more?