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?