Monday, December 3, 2012

Sykes' Insight = Anti-Gay Humor

As if five days a week of Charlie Sykes wasn't enough torture, WTMJ-TV has also given him a half hour long program on Sunday mornings. It's sort of a teahadist version of a televangelism show.

On Sunday, December 2, he had a panel which included Christian Schneider, the pathological liar, and Brian Fraley, one time employee of ALEC and more recently of the MacGuyver Institute and now "editor" of Sykes' propaganda page, Right Wisconsin.*

In this day's show, they had a segment called Unsolicited Advice.

During this segment, at the 13:56 mark, Fraley looks at Schneider and says:
Christian Schneider, that is the worst beard since Katie Holmes. Get a razor."
And the whole group broke up laughing.

Anti-gay humor apparently is what passes for keen intellectual insight among this group.

If Fraley, Sykes and WTMJ doesn't issue an apology for this on Monday, which no one in their right mind should expect, it shows you the value of anything else they might ever have to say about anything.

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Call To Action: Tell The FCC To Do Their Job!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how the broadcast licenses of WTMJ-AM and WISN-AM, two Milwaukee-based radio stations, were being legally challenged by the Media Action Center due to their violations of the Zapple Doctrine. The Zapple Doctrine is a federal law that states that radio and TV stations must give equal time to both parties.

Follow this link to see the complaint.

Low and behold, the FCC, when asked by Lisa Kaiser of the Shepherd Express, said that they had lost the complaint:
But a curious thing happened while I was reporting the story.

I contacted the FCC for comment.

Turns out that they couldn’t confirm that they had received the challenge. I was shuffled through an alphabet soup of bureaus and departments at the commission and still could not get a confirmation. Someone else had it. They couldn’t find it. I’d have to file a Freedom of Information Act request to get it. They’d get right back to me—maybe. After Thanksgiving. Before my deadline. No, really, before my deadline.

You know what it’s like. (For what it’s worth, if you want a job without a whole lot of work duties, apply for one at the FCC. They don’t seem to do much besides hand off emails and phone calls to someone else. Well, the ones they don’t ignore, at any rate.)

So I contacted Sue Wilson, the head of the Media Action Center, to figure out what was happening with the legal challenges. She duly forwarded me a postal confirmation receipt showing that she had, indeed, mailed them and that, indeed, someone at the FCC had received them. She said that the FCC routinely “misplaces” communications from the public. It’s sort of a black hole of complaints, she said. (Watch her documentary Broadcast Blues for more on this matter.)

So my article was published yesterday in print and on the Shepherd’s website.

And lo and behold, I get a press release from the Media Action Center today stating that the FCC “misplaced” MAC's challenges to the license renewals of WTMJ and WISN. And the only reason that the FCC became aware of the complaints is because reporters contacted the commission.

Hilarious! (And predictable.)
Pretty bad, eh? But guess what. Yup, that's right. There's more. There's always more.

It turns out that Mark Berlin, Chief of the FCC's Political Bureau, has been contacting supporters of Media Action Center and falsely telling them that the complaint was never sent. Keep in mind that it was already confirmed by an independent source that they had indeed signed for the letter the complaint came in.

Sue Wilson, head of the Media Action Center, sent him a missive that, well, told him to go to hell in such a way as to make him look forward to the trip.

But Sue's letter won't do, not by itself.

This is where you, gentle reader, comes in. It'll require about two minutes of your time, but it will be well worth it.

We need you to copy this letter and paste it into an email. Then fill it out and email it to these people:
Mark Berlin at , and copy all the FCC Commissioners: ; ; ; ;

Also send a blind copy to Sue at so that these can be tracked to prevent further lies being told by the corporate media stooges.

Unless you're happy with the Orwellian Newspeak which these radio stations are subjecting us to, please act on this simple request now.

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Licenses For WTMJ, WISN Legally Challenged

A full six months ago, I told the gentle reader about how two Milwaukee radio stations, WTMJ-AM and WISN-AM, were in violation of federal laws - namely, the Zapple Doctrine.

The Zapple Doctrine states that radio stations need to provide equal time to political candidates in the 60 day period leading up to an election.

During that 60 day period leading up to the recall election, yours truly, as well as many others, monitored the air waves. When we saw that they were violating this law, we sent emails to the general managers of each station asking them to start following the laws.

The outcomes were as one might expect from the corporate media, and were outlined in a press release from the Media Action Center, represented by Randy Bryce:
MAC said it conducted a comprehensive study in May/June of 2012 – during the Scott Walker recall campaign – which clearly showed the two stations each gave supporters of Gov. Walker and the GOP about 80 minutes of free airtime daily on their local talk radio shows, while refusing any access to supporters of Mayor Tom Barrett and Democrats whatsoever.

In total, the two stations subsidized the Walker campaign with an estimated $1 million dollars in airtime. The study documents that WISN and WTMJ hosts and guests not only exclusively promoted GOP candidates, but actively recruited volunteers for GOP campaigns over the publicly-owned airwaves, while refusing to provide any free airtime for the other side.

This, the challenge asserts, amounts to private censorship, which violates the First Amendment rights of those in the community who are denied access to the scarce publicly owned airwaves during campaigns. It further states the stations willfully have violated existing FCC rules about comparable time, citing legal opinions from the Wisconsin Broadcasters' Association.

"Broadcast stations have a unique duty to serve the entire public, especially during campaigns," explains MAC director Sue Wilson. "When a radio station uses its giant microphones to cheerlead for candidates of only one political party, no matter which political party it may be, it violates the First Amendment rights and public trust of the entire community.

"The behavior of WISN and WTMJ shows clear political intent, which violates FCC rules, as well as a lack of character to hold a broadcasting license. The FCC must not renew those licenses and should award them to new operators," Wilson said.
The FCC must rule on these challenges by December 1.

Erik Gunn, writing for Milwaukee Magazine, finds the approach novel, but does not think they have much chance for success, given that the FCC is pretty much toothless now.

The right wing response was the usual conflation, claiming that the eeeeeeeevvvvvvvullllll liberals were trying to squelch the voice of the right wing squawkers.

They might very well see it that way.

While they're trying to get people to drink the poisoned Kool Ade, they are afraid the voice of reason will drown them out.

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Energy Sources Discovered

A half mile from the downtown headquarters of Journal Sentinel Communications and plugged into various Intertube outlets, U.S. Department of Energy and industry partners have tapped what could potentially be a boon for energy production.

Two years ago, it can now be told, these partners kidnapped two lesser known conservative talk radio show hosts, Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner. They were first rendered unconscious. Then drills were inserted into their anuses in search of methane hydrate, which looks like ice but burns like a candle if a match or another heat source warms its molecules.  Large reserves were found.

There is little need now for methane, the main ingredient of natural gas. With the boom in production from hydraulic fracturing - otherwise known as fracking - the United States is awash in natural gas for the near future and is considering exporting it, but the DOE wanted to be ready with methane if there's a need.  "If you wait until you need it, and then you have 20 years of research to do, that's not a good plan," said a technology manager for methane hydrates within the DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Conservative talk show host methane comes from buried organic matter deep inside the colon. The gas migrates upward, under high pressure and low temperature, until it reaches the chests of the selected mouthbreathers and combines with frozen water surrounding their cold, cold hearts to form methane hydrate.

Unfortunately, there are consequences to mining. The shallower the talk show host the more the threat of release of potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, exacerbating climate warming (or not).  Another, safer method of extracting methane is by increasing temperature.

It was theorized that attaching tinfoil caps to the heads of talk show hosts, linking them with copper wiring and connecting them to banks of networked computers would provide enough heated rhetoric to melt the gas.  This was tried with Sykes and Wagner. They were also given a script containing talking points and faux outrage. Initial tests during simulated regular broadcast hours produced very little gas. The temperatures inside the body cavities did rise, but breaks for advertisements and breaking news caused a subsequent drop in temperature as the talk show hosts sipped water and shuffled paper as they waited for the next segment.

The Republican primaries provided an answer.

"We piped in heated rhetoric from Republican primaries directly into the tinfoil caps and watched as the conservative hosts' blood began to boil," a DOE specialist said. They began repeating the rhetoric without any fact-checking. The result was an amazing flush of methane through the anal exit - a process called f*cking - into waiting receptacles. Still, specialists and engineers knew they could do better.

The end of the presidential election was the final key, or as one engineer put it, "The handwringing, denial and vicious blame game over Mitt Romney's election defeat has provided us with an almost unlimited flow of heated rhetoric."

Plans are underway to kidnap Christian evangelical leaders and f*ck them. Other large sources of methane hydrate are also predicted to exist within Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove. Unfortunately, it's been difficult to get anyone close to them as they are expertly shielded from reality.

Parody of article that appeared in Washington Post.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sykes Writes, No One Cares

Ah, yes, Charlie Sykes, renowned author and Pulitzer Prize nominee.

Just look at how popular he is at a book event in Madison, courtesy of Scot Ross:

Y'know, maybe that is a typo.  It looks more like Sykes is a Putz Prize Nominee.

Also, any bets that one of those two people is his producer and the other one is someone he paid to be there?

H/T Jeff Simpson

Friday, November 9, 2012


From Eric Boehlert:
But in one misguided sense, who could blame them? Anyone who regularly watched Fox News, listened to AM talk radio or read the hot house conservative media for the last four years must have been convinced Obama's 2008 victory was a massive mistake and that it was only a matter of time before voters corrected their blunder.

That's been the wayward message for nearly 48 months: America was anxious to right the Obama wrong and when given the opportunity on November 6, there would be a Republican stampede.

Turns out viewing politics through the filter of hate severely limits your vision.

Faux News' "Fair And Balanced" Election Coverage

Faux News really outdid themselves with the coverage of the election on Tuesday night.

The aftermath is revealing a lot about this "fair and balanced" news services.

First, there's this:
Shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday, Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes assembled his network's election team in a second floor conference room at Fox’s midtown headquarters to discuss the night’s coverage. He prepared them for the worst. “Guys," he told them according to a source familiar with the exchange, "if things don’t go your way tonight, don’t go out there looking like someone ran over your dog."
Then there was the already infamous meltdown by Karl Rove, who just couldn't accept the fact that all the money that he and his uber-wealthy friends spent to buy this election was for naught.

Oh, then there is the revelation on how they pull in so many white conservative viewers:
With neither side backing down, senior producers had to find a way to split the difference. One idea was for two members of the decision team, Mishkin and Fox's digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt, to go on camera with Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier to squelch the doubts over the call. But then it was decided that Kelly would walk through the office and interview the decision team in the conference room. “This is Fox News,” an insider said, “so anytime there’s a chance to show off Megyn Kelly’s legs they’ll go for it.” The decision desk were given a three-minute warning that Kelly would be showing up.
By the way, Rove, whose SuperPAC spent $300 million on the election, never did make an apology for his tantrum or vile accusations.

And Faux News has never explained how having someone who spent so much money to buy an election contributes to their "fair and balanced" news coverage.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fox News: Jumps The Palm Tree

If you thought that Faux News reahed the apex of asininity when they tried to tell the county that palm trees grew in Madison, Wisconsin in the middle of winter, think again.

Now they are complaining that people are raising money to help the survivors of Hurricane Sandy:

I can't wait until tomorrow when they complain that Osama bin Laden didn't get his day in court before being executed.

How low can these vulgar beasts go?

H/T Jeff Simpson

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Charlie Sykes: Torn Between Two Liars, Looking Like A Fool

Yesterday, I wrote a fairly comprehensive expose on the biggest lies told by Brian Sikma and his propagandist group, Media Trackers.

I pointed out that Sikma outdid himself when he came out with the false story of a Republican volunteer who claimed to be savagely beaten. Sikma even went so far as to repeat his libelous lies on the Charlie Sykes show. Despite it being an obvious hoax, Sikma swore up and down that he verified all the facts and stood by his report.

Brian Sikma
That is, he stood by his story until it became unraveled and he had to admit that it wasn't true. But even then, he lied again, trying to put all the blame on the fake victim and ignoring his own boasting of how he verified his supposed facts.

Because of his scurrilous attacks on an innocent man, he has put himself in line for a possible libel lawsuit that could cost him and Media Trackers a lot of money. Even James Wigderson had to admit that Sikma could be in a world of hurt because of his reckless behavior.

Charlie Sykes did not hesitate to throw Sikma under the bus in order to try to salvage his own reputation:
Then came Media Trackers which claimed it had hard evidence, in the form of a lengthy transcript of graphic and obscene threats against Woods, which they attributed to Pocan's gay partner. If true -- and if MT could verify the information -- the story was a potential game changer. But...

On yesterday's show, I expressed skepticism about the story and asked Brian Sikma how he knew this was not a hoax -- specifically noting the pattern we've seen elsewhere -- and how he had "verified" the now-discredited text messages. Sikma cited multiple sources who had "verified" the texts.

But despite his "sources," obviously the text messages had not been verified, because they were fake.

The group issued this statement last night:

Media Trackers regrets that we were repeatedly lied to and misled. We regret that our readers were subject to the dishonest claims of a dishonest individual. Despite the best efforts to verify the accuracy and integrity of certain claims, a cover-up sometimes works. Those who create and maintain such fabrications deserve to be ruthlessly exposed for they hold the power to destroy the credibility of innocent people.


Unfortunately, that's not really good enough.

The ultimate responsibility for the lies and deception rests with Kyle Wood; but it was unacceptably sloppy to run with the unsubstantiated story.
But if Sykes thinks that he's out of the woods by dogging out Sikma, he's sorely mistaken.

Let me explain.

My colleague, Jeff Simpson, already pointed out that Christian Schneider*, aka Atomic Pantload, had also done his own bit of trouble with this story.

Christian Schneider
When it came out that the story was a lie, Schneider first put a single line way at the bottom of the post updating people that the story had been recanted. No apologies, no explanations about his role in it, just that one line.

Then suddenly, the story went poof into cyberspace. In it's place, Schneider came out with a new post, utterly changing his story:
Earlier today, I wrote a lengthy post about this Daily Caller story that detailed an alleged attack of a gay GOP campaign staffer in Dane County.

From what I now understand, there are some questions about some details that appeared in the original story, which I quoted at length. As a result, I decided to hold off on running the post until I can verify some of the facts that have been reported.

Whoa! So Schneider is part of MJS management now?

Note how he indicates the story on the same day he wrote it? I wonder how he explains Jeff using that post this morning, days after Schneider wrote the original post.

Schneider then did a follow up post again repeating his alleged skepticism:
When I first heard the story, I wanted to write about it, but I questioned some of the details in the original Daily Caller story. So I took down my original blog post and began making attempts to talk to Wood himself to get more details.

On Saturday afternoon, Wood and I talked for around a half hour. He was very pleasant. He sounded calm and credible, adding details to already published reports of the incident. I was always aware that there was still a question as to whether the incident actually happened, which is why I titled the post in the form of a question. But to me, his story at least seemed plausible. I wanted to give him the chance to tell it it public.

As it turns out, my original skepticism was well-founded. It is still unclear as to how much of Wood's story took place, if any at all. He clung to his story until today at 3:52, when I received an e-mail from him verifying a detail in my blog post about him. At that point, he said he would no longer be speaking to the media. Presumably, he recanted his story to the police shortly thereafter.
Huh? Now he's saying that he spoke to Wood on Saturday, after he posted his original story? And now he's claiming to be a reporter? I don't know which is the bigger fallacy, the story or that claim.

Schneider obviously thinks he's safe to say what he wants since no one can know what he originally wrote, as that he had deleted it.

Oh,Schneider is such a silly man. Even before I could get online, a thoughtful friend and already sent me the link to his original post, via Google Cache. I ask you, gentle reader, does this really look like the post of a person filled with skepticism and doubt, or of a man who hadn't already interviewed the alleged victim?
Beaten for being a gay Republican? An interview with Kyle Wood

By Christian Schneider
Oct. 28, 2012

At 7:00 last Wednesday morning, Kyle Wood was just one of thousands of campaign staffers strewn throughout the country, making phone calls and knocking on doors for candidates on the ballot in November. But an hour later, Wood was lying on the floor of his apartment, covered in blood, having been the victim of a beating he believes was politically motivated.

Wood, 29, who is volunteering for Republican Chad Lee in a Madison-area congressional race, believes the attack was punishment for “betraying” his fellow gays. “My feeling, based on the statements that were made [during the attack], it probably had something to do with the fact that I support a Republican candidate running against an openly gay man,” Wood told me. “And as a gay man, I’m supposed to support that gay man. And I don’t. “ (Lee is running against openly gay Democratic State Assemblyman Mark Pocan.)"
The whole story seems to be rather self-assured and the work of a two-bit hack that was trying to score some cheap political points, even if it meant smearing and libeling an innocent man.

It makes me wonder if Schneider and MJS are also going to be liable to a libel lawsuit.

But this is where Sykes has got himself a problem.

Schneider is a "Senior Fellow" at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, yet another right wing propaganda group funded by the Bradley Foundation, as well as a member of ALEC.

Sykes is Schneider's editor there.

Charlie Sykes
If Sykes wants to be consistent, he's going to have to point out that Schneider told a lie as egregious, if not worse, than the one Sikma told. Then he's going to have to decide whether he can use Schneider's work anymore.

And if Sykes doesn't want to hold Schneider to the same level of accountability, he's going to have to explain why not. Would it be because Schneider is a higher caliber hack and liar?

I have no clue what Sykes will do.

In fact, I'm a little surprised that Sykes even called Sikma out on his garbage. Sykes doesn't have an issue with telling lies himself. Every time that PolitiFact has checked his statements, he has been caught with his pants on fire. And when he is confronted with his lies, Sykes readily admits it:
"My ‘evidence’? Absolutely none."

Sykes went on to label his remark "an off-hand wisecrack" -- "You know, humor, hyperbole, joke."
Which brings us to the same question I asked yesterday:
My question is, given how often so many of them have been proven to be dishonest - whether on their own volition or by feeding off of stories from people like Sikma - how can anyone believe what any one of the right wing propagandists, bloggers and squawkers?

*Not to be confused with the other Christian Schneider, though how the mistake could be made is pretty obvious.

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sykes Laments Hurricane Sandy

For the past 75 minutes, radio squawker Charlie Sykes has been lamenting the Frankenstorm, Hurricane Sandy.

But he as not been decrying the danger it poses for the millions and millions of people living in its path.

He's complaining but the storm will dominate the news instead of focusing on his trumped up conspiracy theories regarding Libya.

Nice to see that the GOP and their mouthpiece have their priorities in line.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

John Stewart vs Charlie Sykes

Charlie Sykes has been pushing his latest book, "A Nation of Moochers"*  a lot lately. Apparently sales of a condescending, boorish and elitist squawker's book aren't going well in an economy where no one has money.

John Stewart makes a great observation regarding this:

The sad part is Sykes wouldn't understand Stewart's point.

*When I first saw the title, I thought Sykes was writing about his relationship to the collective backside of WISGOP.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Another Love Torn Asunder

Jessie McB is no longer in love with the neoconservative Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

That would be the second of McBride's loves that Milwaukee's top cop, Ed Flynn, has ruined.

And they want to give Flynn more control over public safety?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy Anniversary, You Crazy Kids!

While most Americans will be remember the auspicious anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City, today is another anniversary without quite the solemness of the more common remembrance.

You see, it was on this date, five years before the terrorist attack, that Charlie Sykes, who was married to Justice Diane Sykes at the time, was caught shooting off fireworks with Janet Riorden, aka Liz Woodhouse, aka Mrs. Sykes III.

And yet Mr. Family Man would try to tell us how to lead a good righteous life...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

TMJ Reporter Arrested, TMJ Doesn't Report It

One of WTMJ-TV's "investigative reporters" - in other words, one of their sensationalist gotcha reporters that they're so fond of - got himself all wee wee'd up:
According to the Glendale police report:

A Bayshore security guard caught Rob Koebel, 41, urinating outside of the Apple store at 10:11 p.m. Aug. 21. Koebel, an investigative reporter with TMJ4's I-Team, lives in an apartment above the Apple store.

The security guard told police he saw Koebel and his friend, a 52-year-old man, leave Bar Louie on their way back to their apartments. The friend told police Koebel had been drinking. When Koebel started urinating outside of the Apple store, the security guard told him to stop, but Koebel ignored him.


Police arrested Koebel after he refused to follow commands. When an officer tried to lock the handcuffs, Koebel kept swaying, and officers attempted to steady him against the wall of the business. He lost his balance and fell to the ground, bringing an officer down with him.

When police brought him back to the station, Koebel was uncooperative with officers. When an officer stated he was going to remove his handcuffs, Koebel warned him to "be careful."

Koebel became increasingly uncooperative, saying "Don't play games with me" and "Do you want to take the gloves off or no?" As he was booked, Koebel called an officer names such as "(expletive) face", as well as a derogatory term for homosexual.

Glendale police cited Koebel for disorderly conduct.

Now, when a local celebrity gets himself in a jam like this, this would normally be fodder for the local paper. Oddly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hasn't printed a word about the misconduct and subsequent arrest of this knob.

Then again, as the gentle reader either already knew or could have surmised by the TV station's call letters, they are both owned by Journal Communications.

This perfectly illustrates the problem with the erosion of the regulations of the airwaves over the years allowing corporate media to buy up and monopolize whole media markets.

And it would be poetic justice since Koebel is the same guy that cost a school bus driver her job by playing his gotcha game.

It could also be that TMJ is just holding off on reporting anything until they have Koebel installed as their newest squawk radio host, like they did with the sensationalist political hack John Mercure, who should thank his stars that impersonating a reporter isn't against the law.

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sykes' Field Of Dishonor

Young Meg wrote at Cog Dis about her experience at this past weekends Field of Honor, an event to honor the World War II vets. Unfortunately, one man ruined the event:
So, when Charlie Sykes, who, to his credit, helped raise a lot of money for the program, came up to speak, I didn't really think much of it. I clapped, out of respect and gratitude for his help. Mr. Sykes started his speech out by reading a letter that was very kind, and very thoughtful. I liked it, and when he explained that the person who wrote it wasn't able to attend the night's events, I thought it was because it was someone currently serving. Instead, it turned out it was written by Paul Ryan. Normally, this wouldn't have offended me, as he is a member of congress from our state. However, this was different. Mitt Romney had just announced Ryan as his VP nominee earlier that day, and Sykes thought this was an appropriate time to start his campaigning for him. He just couldn't wait.

Needless to say, I was offended and incredibly angry that Charlie Sykes decided that this was the time to campaign for his hero. Scott Walker also spoke at the opening event, and he didn't say anything political. He kept his words short and sweet. How come Sykes couldn't have done the same? Doesn't he have any respect for that fact that not everyone believes in his backwards conservative ideology? And what does Paul Ryan know (or care) about veteran's issues? He wants to take away Medicare, first of all. That effects all the veterans sitting in those seats! He's the guy whose budget plan would strip billions away from veteran's services. Housing, education, jobs, medical care and the VA - money gone. The poverty rate among our returning veterans, and especially veterans of the Vietnam War (you know, that war Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan's running mate, fought like hell to avoid serving in?) is incredibly high. You know how Republicans say that all those who use welfare are just lazy, disgusting people? Yeah, not even. It's a large percentage of veterans who utilize those services. VETERANS! Republicans use 'em for their wars, then dump 'em when they get home. Slapping a "I support the troops" bumper sticker on your SUV isn't enough. Support the funding of veterans programs and vote for politicians who will make sure they are taken care of when they come home.
Sadly, this isn't uncommon. Republicans seem to have an affinity of using veterans as political pawns.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Headlines Of The Damned

Doing their own story on the alleged continuation/reoccurrence of the McBride/Flynn affair, Matt Wild comes up with this headline:

You can read his article here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Is McBride In Like Flynn Again?

Image courtesy of
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A couple of weeks ago, we pointed out that the former columnist/reporter/squawk radio hostess Jessica McBride had filed for a divorce from her husband, former Waukesha County DA and current hinderer of justice, Paul Bucher.

This would be the second time in the past three years that the couple found themselves in divorce court. The first time was when Bucher filed for divorce after McBride was caught with Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and his night stick. Bucher withdrew his motion a week later, stating that they were going to try to make their tattered marriage work.

At the time, it created quite the hullabaloo, with all sorts of juicy gossip popping up, including the love letters between the adulterous paramours.

Both McBride and Flynn swore off their adulterous ways and promised that it would never happen again.

However, it is being alleged that the two love birds have been at it again:
Sunday night, 12 News revealed a letter that alleges the chief continued his affair with McBride.

McBride's husband, former Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher, told 12 News he sent the letter to Flynn's wife. Copies were received by both the mayor's office and the Fire and Police Commission, which released it to WISN 12 News.

It begins: "I never thought I would be writing this to you, but I feel you have to know the type of person Ed Flynn is. He has continued his affair with Jessica McBride..."
The one thing that I find curious is that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hasn't touched this story yet. When the affair was first discovered three years ago, Dan Bice was all over it. And in recent months, the paper's been riding the police chief's behind on anything and everything the could find on him.

So why are they being quiet now?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jeff Wagner: Your Hypocrisy Is Showing

Jeff Wagner is the early afternoon squawker on 620 WTMJ-AM.  He is commonly referred to as Charlie Sykes Light because, even though he's as equally wrong-minded, he doesn't have spittle spraying from his mouth, usually.

Today, Wagner gave Sykes a run for his money in the hypocrisy department.

It started out when Wagner was whining about the imminent trade of Milwaukee Brewers ace pitcher Zack Greinke.

Wagner was getting his undies in a bundle because Greinke said that he loved playing in Milwaukee, but still might leave for a larger paycheck with another team.  He felt that if the difference in paychecks was only $10 million, Greinke should stick to his words and take the lower pay to stay in Milwaukee.

The rant then went on against professional athletes in general and how the bastards participate in the free market and try to get the most money that they can.

The real kicker came from a banker driving through Shawano, who called in and said that if a player signs a contract, that's it.  He shouldn't try to leave the team for more money and or ask for his contract to be renegotiated.  He said likewise that if the team comes across hard times, they shouldn't ask to open the contract and try to cut the player's salary.  Mr. Banker said that both sides just needed to "man up" and honor the contract they signed.

Wagner cheered this on.

Excuse me, but what?

This was some of the most egregious hypocrisy that I've ever heard!  And after dealing with Scott Walker level hypocrisy for ten years, that says a lot.

These are the same people that went on for hours a day, day after day, week after week, to praise Scott Walker and gush all over Act 10.

Act 10 was nothing more than Walker refusing to "man up" and honor the contracts between the government and the unions.  It was also nothing more than Walker admitting that he has no leadership skills whatsoever and that the only way he could get what he wanted was to break the contracts and act like the despot that he is.

For Wagner or any of his listeners - all four of them - to carp on a professional athlete for trying to earn as much money than can, but then praising Walker for doing just taking the money away from hard working people to give to his rich friends/cronies/campaign donors is beyond hypocritical.

But to top this off, these are the same jokers that will squeal like stuck pigs if their taxes go up a dime, and fight tooth and nail to protect the rich CEOs and bankers who make that much millions or even tens of millions, whether they ran their business well or drove it into the ground.  But let a union member try to get  a raise or even find a better job with more pay, and they scream about it until they are hoarse.

The saddest part is that these  right wing zombies most likely can't even recognize their hypocrisy and double standards.

Cross posted at Cog Dis

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dumbing Down Our Airwaves

by Bert
I'd like to bring up for a moment another part, besides those four overworked words "you didn't build that", that was also there in the speech President Obama delivered in Roanoke on July 13: 

And what this reminded me of was that, at the heart of this country, its central idea is the idea that in this country, if you’re willing to work hard, if you’re willing to take responsibility, you can make it if you try. 

Compare that with how Charlie Sykes described on his WTMJ radio show on Friday what Obama said: 

That [conservative] vision encourages and celebrates – listen to this -- character, independence, energy, hard work as the foundations of a free society and a thriving economy. Those were exactly the qualities that Barack Obama in that Virgina speech was mocking.
There are other places besides my excerpt from Obama's speech where the president  praises hard work and what it will earn a person in America. Of course, there is no where in his talk at all where you find hard work, energy, character, puppies, mom, etc. mocked by the president.

Sykes obviously knows this. But the approach of his program is often less than honest, and I guess he can't trust the listeners to turn against Obama based only on what Obama actually says and means. Instead, Sykes would rather insult the intelligence of his audience.

On second thought, scratch "insult". Maybe the better word here is "mock". 

Friday, July 13, 2012

McBride, Bucher Back In Divorce Court

Three years ago, after former radio squawk show host Jessica McBride got caught handling Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn's night stick, her husband, former Waukesha County DA Paul Bucher, filed for a divorce.

Less than a week later, the couple reconciled and the divorce petition was withdrawn.

Sad to say, but those wacky kids are back for another round in Divorce Court, but this time, McBride is the petitioner:

Those poor kids.  Obviously, their marriage lost its sanctity when Barney Frank got married.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Cap Times Tells A Joke

The impeccable Emily Mills brought to my attention that the Cap Times issued a mild reprimand to Charlie Sykes and the way he is still trying to besmirch the ongoing Walkergate investigation. Sykes has been after the investigation in earnest since he was outed as falsely claiming there were leaks coming from the Milwaukee District Attorney's Office when he damn well knew that the "leaks" were the defendants and their attorneys, since he's been the recipient of some of these leaks. In said reprimand, they slipped in a little joke (emphasis mine):
What we hope is that Sykes, whom we have respected as a serious and important commentator (even if we do not always agree with him) will be a bit more respectful of Chisholm and his investigators.
What an odd line to throw in there.

First, there is the fact that Sykes often has Brian Fraley on as a guest to his radio and TV shows, and uses the effluence spewed from the propagandist group MacIver Institute as "proof" of whatever point he is trying to make. Yet the Cap Times doesn't think that the MacIverites are necessarily serious or important commentators.

And Sykes is the same squawker who thinks making inferences that the Milwaukee County Executive, Chris Abele, is a pedophile is hilarious.

And who could possibly seriously take Sykes who openly admits to making stuff up without a stitch of evidence.

Calling Sykes a serious and important commentator is almost as big as a joke as Sykes is.

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Call To Action: Help Reclaim Wisconsin's Airwaves!

I've told you how WTMJ and WISN radio stations are violating federal law, namely the Zapple Doctrine.

I've shared the story of the press rally calling out these mouthpieces of WISGOP and Scott Walker.

Now it's your turn to help reclaim our airwaves and have the radio stations follow the law like they're supposed to.

And it's real easy to do.

Just sign this petition telling the FCC to enforce the law like they're supposed to.

Media Action Center Calls Out Squawk Radio

I pointed out over the weekend that Milwaukee radio stations WTMJ and WISN were in violation of federal law.  Namely, they were in violation of the Zapple Doctrine, which requires a radio station, in the sixty days leading up to an election, to give equal time to opposing sides.

Anyone who listens to the programming of these two stations, which air various miscreants like Charlie Sykes, Mark Belling and Vicki McKenna, can tell in five minutes that they only spout Republican party talking points.

But to keep things honest, the Media Action Center has been formally monitoring these shows and asking the stations to follow the law.  The results were as one might have expected.

The two stations combined gave Walker and his fellow Republicans up to $680,000 worth of free air time.  And that was just within the first ten days of monitoring.

Regarding to the requests for the stations to follow the rules, WTMJ would respond with a form letter which didn't even address the concerns brought up.  WISN management didn't even bother to respond.

Given the clear violation and even clearer disregard for the laws they are supposed to follow to be able to use the public airwaves which they are given for free, the Media Action Center held a press conference Tuesday morning outside of WTMJ's studios.

Shockingly, WTMJ actually covered it, but in an off-hand, dismissive way.  Most notably, Steve Wexler of WTMJ, says that they have had Barrett supporters on the air.  But he completely misses the point on the imbalance of air time that they give to Walker.

Here is the entire raw video of the press conference:

It cannot be emphasized enough, even though the right wing will ignore it anyway, that no one wants to silence the conservative voice. We are only asking for them to follow the law on the last sixty days before an election.

If they don't follow the law, Media Action Center is prepared to take this to the FCC who could fine the station, order them to follow the law, or even deny their license which is up for renewal later this year.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

WTMJ, WISN In Violation Of Federal Law

Last year, I introduced you to Sue Wilson, a one-woman dynamo leading the charge for us to reclaim our airwaves. She came to Wisconsin and showed us how it was done with the airing of her documentary Broadcast Blues. The show was a real eye opener and very informative, especially when it came to the Zapple Doctrine:
What remains unknown about yesterday's announcement from the Chairman is just how far this repeal goes. While certain corollaries of the Doctrine - including the political editorializing and personal attack rules - have been specifically mentioned in press reports as being repealed, the one vestige of the doctrine that potentially has some vitality - the Zapple Doctrine compelling a station to provide time to the supporters of one candidate if the station provides time to the supporters of another candidate in a political race, has never specifically been abolished, and is not mentioned in the Chairman's statement. Zapple, also known as "quasi-equal opportunities", has been argued in in various recent controversies, including in connection with the Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry, when Kerry supporters claimed that they should get equal time to respond should certain television stations air the anti-Kerry Swift Boat "documentary." We have written about Zapple many times (see, for instance, here, in connection with the Citizens United decision). What would be beneficial to broadcasters would be a determination as to whether Zapple has any remaining vitality, as some have felt that this doctrine is justified independent of the Fairness Doctrine. Perhaps that clarification will come when the full text of the FCC action is released.
Well, let me tell you, that was no the end of Sue Wilson's involvement with Wisconsin or her fight to reclaim the airwaves for the people.

Sue has been helping a group of us monitor the airwaves here in Milwaukee. On Tuesday, she will be holding a press conference regarding our findings. Sue writes about it here, and here is most of it:
Any time progressives try to get their views out over the radio, Conservative Talkers squawk that they are jeopardizing their rights of Free Speech. I agree radio talkers have their rights. But so do We the People, and it is time we stand up for them. Right now. Especially in the middle of an election like the Walker recall, where the law says BOTH major politcal party supporters are entitled to comparable airtime.

Most people don't know that we have special rights when it comes to local radio and TV, but we do. Despite what Big corporate media tells us again and again, Broadcasting operates under unique rules designed to protect the public interest. Let me explain why Broadcasting enjoys special treatment in the name of the public.

Newspapers are private enterprise: anyone with enough capital can start a newspaper and write what they will. Cable TV is also private enterprise: when people write a check to Comcast or Direct TV, they pay private contractors, via cable or satellite, to bring programs from Playboy to Disney into their homes.

But broadcasting, local radio and TV, is a public/private partnership: the public owns the airwaves needed for transmission; private business own the buildings, equipment, etc. needed to broadcast programming. When private business goes into broadcasting, it makes a deal with the public: a free license from the Federal Communication Commission - if it agrees to "serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity."

Broadcasting also differs from newspapers and cable in that the number of frequencies available in one community are few, so only a limited number of local stations are possible. Physical scarcity is the foundation of all broadcast law.

Then there's the concept of "private censorship." Because of the physical scarcity of frequencies, the Courts say big corporations who are licensed to broadcast over our airwaves have no right to prevent people of the community access to being heard on the radio.

There are two radio markets in the U.S. I've been closely watching which highlight these concepts of physical scarcity and private censorship. One is Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where five local Conservative Talk Radio hosts dominate 100,000 watts of radio power, (and to whom Republicans like Alberta Darling credit their political victories.)

The other is my adopted hometown, Sacramento, where Clear Channel Communications broadcasts about 190 hours per week of national one-sided political talk over three giant stations, KFBK-AM, KGBY-FM and AMFM Holding's KSTE-AM Clear Channel management disputed that number at a recent meeting with Media Action Center, Sacramento Media Group, and Occupy Sacramento. But (now former) Clear Channel GM Jeff Holden told us he is very comfortable airing only one-sided political talk on three giant stations - during an election year.

But what Holden may or may not have known is that, in the 60 days prior to an election, if broadcasters sell or give time to one major political party candidate or its supporters, they must, by law, offer comparable time to the opposing major political party candidate or its supporters. (See Section 315a of the Communications Act and the Zapple Doctrine.)

The Media Action Center has been monitoring talk radio stations owned by Clear Channel and Journal Communications in Milwaukee since May 9th, the first day of the Walker/Barrett campaign in Wisconsin. We will release detailed results of that monitoring May 22nd, but suffice it to say that supporters of one major political party are getting short shrift, and they have been complaining to the Talk stations demanding equal time, and they will soon be complaining – loudly – to the Federal Communications Commission to immediately enforce comparable time laws under Zapple. (The FCC is the law enforcement agency on broadcasting issues.)

But those Talk Radio giants are also violating the First Amendment rights of supporters of candidates whom they are not allowed to be heard in the midst of the election. "Private censorship" comes down to a matter of access, says the Supreme Court of the United States.

In Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC, 1969, the Supreme Court made two key rulings: "the First Amendment is relevant to broadcasting, but it is the right of the viewer and listener, not the broadcaster, which is paramount." And, “the First Amendment does not protect private censorship by broadcasters who are licensed by the Government to use a scarce resource which is denied to others.”

The giants have argued against this in court, but to no avail. In 2011, Clear Channel lawyers argued that given the internet, the concept of physical scarcity was no longer needed. The U.S.Third Circuit Court of Appeals shot them down: "The abundance of non-broadcast media does not render the broadcast spectrum any less scarce. The Supreme Court's justification for the scarcity doctrine remains as true today as it was in 2004 --- indeed, in 1975 --- many more people would like to access the [broadcast spectrum] than can be accommodated."

The imbalance we are seeing on the publicly owned airwaves in Milwaukee and Sacramento and elsewhere proves that broadcasters are stamping out the First Amendment rights of liberals and the rest of us, not the other way around, as right wing talkers in every corner of the country would have us believe. Yes, it is censorship for the government to tell hosts what they may or may not say. But when Clear Channel and other radio license holders put one political point of view on our public airwaves to the exclusion of all others, that is private censorship, and lucky for us and the people of Wisconsin, in the 60 days before an an election, that is illegal.
While we're reclaiming Wisconsin, let's reclaim it all back, including our airwaves!

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

TMJ's Mercure Uses Fallen Heroes For Cheap Political Hits

For the past couple of days, John Mercure, the pseudo-reporter that does the afternoon drive time on WTMJ radio, has been harping on the fact that Tom Barrett wasn't at a ceremony to honor fallen police officers.  Mercure spent two full days on the subject, and upped his faux outrage when he found out that Barrett was speaking to retired UAW workers.  You know, the people that worked for their entire lives helping keeping the economy going.

Was it a faux pas on Barrett's part? One could definitely call it that.

Was it worth two days of news coverage? No.

Especially when one considers that the two days Mercure spent haranguing about Barrett is two days more than what he spent discussing the fact that we have the only sitting governor in the state's long and storied history to have a legal defense fund to help deal with the fact that he ran a caucus scandal-type of campaign machine out of his executive suite at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

And if Mercure was really concerned about the police who sacrificed their all and their families who survived them, why didn't he report about how the Republicans who threw these brave men and women, and their families, under the ALEC-driven bus, as one of our bravest and finest, and my friend, Brian Austin, reported.  The state legislature was preparing to pass a bill that would have provided health insurance protection for the surviving spouse and children of a fallen officer.  Firefighters already had that protection, but omitted the police.  They were aiming to fix that.  The bill passed the Senate by unanimous vote.  Then it went to the State Assembly where things went bad fast:

At the last minute, the Republican legislators in control of the Assembly blocked the bill from being brought to a vote. Blocked the bill that unanimously passed the Senate. From what I have discovered, the Birkholz family was given the choice of coming to the Capitol for the resolution only, but understandably opted not to attend. In a horrendous display of partisan politics in what should have been a unifying issue, John Jagler, spokesperson for Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, called SB 18 an "unfunded mandate" on local governments that "isn't ready to become law." "We're looking at a more fiscally responsible way of funding it," he added. 
These officers, and their families, have given everything in service to the people of the state of Wisconsin. Lives are lost, and countless others are shattered. The least we could do for them, on behalf of a grateful public, is to give the survivors the peace of mind of health care. It doesn't seem like a lot to ask, but the Assembly Republicans apparently believe it wouldn't be "fiscally responsible." Since that unconscionable decision last year, there has been no progress made in convincing the Assembly Republicans to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. 
The contract broken. 
To the people who blocked this bill: It isn't enough to attend the funerals of fallen officers in your districts, or memorial services during Police Week. It isn't enough to get teary-eyed when the bagpipes play, and to talk about how grateful the citizens of Wisconsin are for this ultimate sacrifice. Your words are hollow, because your actions have broken the contract. These families are trying to put their shattered lives back together, yet all you can talk about is fiscal responsibility. For the sake of decency, please do not attend another officer's funeral, or another police memorial service, until you make this right. You are not welcome to share in our grief until that happens.

You know, Jagler used to work for TMJ as well.  There is no reason why Mercure couldn't call up his old coworker and ask him what this was about.

Or he could have asked Scott Walker why he didn't push to have this law pass.  Doesn't Walker care about the police either?

Well, there is one reason.  Because, like 99% of everything the Republicans have done in the past eighteen months, this would have made them look bad.  And considering that Walker is just weeks away from being recalled, if he doesn't get indicted first, he can't afford any more bad press.

So Mercure spent two days attacking Barrett for no other reason to give cover to Walker's shame and the Republicans' abandonment of Wisconsin's finest.

I sure hope Walker is claiming all these in-kind contributions on his campaign finance reports.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

James Wigderson Lied About Walker's Record On Labor

On April 25, James Wigderson attacked Mayor Tom Barrett, saying that Barrett had lied when he said that Scott Walker was for right to work.  Wigderson emphatically declared that Walker is not in favor of a right to work legislation:
Walker supports private sector unions and even the “prevailing wage” for public projects, and he is opposed to Right to Work legislation.
As it turns out, it is Wigderson, not Barret, who is the bald faced liar.

As my co-author at Cog Dis, Jeff Simpson, points out, there is now footage of Scott Walker discussing making Wisconsin a right to work state.

Per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article that Jeff cites, we see this exchange between Walker and Diane Hendricks, a big time right wing nut job who likes to associate with the same crowd as Walker (see Koch Brothers) and is reported to freely lend her private plane to Walker as he goes jaunting about the country collecting his bail money from those who would buy our state if we let them:
In the video, Hendricks told Walker she wanted to discuss "controversial" subjects away from reporters, asking him:

"Any chance we'll ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions -"

"Oh, yeah," Walker broke in.

"- and become a right-to-work?" Hendricks continued. "What can we do to help you?"

"Well, we're going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill," Walker said. "The first step is we're going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer. So for us, the base we get for that is the fact that we've got - budgetarily we can't afford not to. If we have collective bargaining agreements in place, there's no way not only the state but local governments can balance things out . . . That opens the door once we do that. That's your bigger problem right there."

The entire conversation was not released Thursday with a video trailer of the documentary, but Journal Sentinel reporters were allowed to view the raw footage, in which the governor goes on to talk about curbing liability lawsuits and government regulations.

If you don't believe that the paper accurately reflected the conversation, you can see it for yourself in this preview of the movie "As Goes Janesville." The conversation starts around the 7:40 mark.

The MJS article also notes that Walker sponsored right to work legislation as a freshman legislator in 1993.

But since Wigderson considers himself to be a reputable writer and has threatened anyone and everyone he perceives as impugning his reputation, I look forward to see him suing himself. After all, I'm sure he doesn't like that he made himself look even worse than he normally does.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Watch Sykes' Head Implode Along With His Ego

Not only was Charlie Sykes not named Best Morning Show in Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, but that honor went to the one guy that Sykes hates even more than he hates me, John "Sly" Sylvester.

Just another disappointment since he first realized that he's not going to win a Pulitzer Prize either.

Oh, I can't wait to listen to him whine about this as he tries to hide Walker's poop dumping problem.

Where's Charlie Sykes' Page Now?

Earlier in the year, Charlie Sykes, squawking head at WTMJ-AM, showed that he, at long last, has shown that he has no sense of decency when he sent out a most vulgar tweet inferring that Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele was some sort of pedophile.

In his vulgarity, Sykes tweeted that he was paging another squawking head at the radio station, John Mecure, who's claim for fame is sensationalizing stories and pretending he's busting child pornography sexual predators.

But it appears that Sykes' little paging system is busted.

It has been recently reported that Phil Wentzel, a top aide - even once as high as spokesman - for Sheriff David Clarke, has been arrested for creating child pornography.  The arrest stems from nearly a year's investigation into Wentzel.

Even worse, even though Clarke put Wentzel on leave, it's with pay.

Now that there is an high ranking county staff person who is a sexual predator, Sykes is silent.  So is Mecure for that matter.

Is Sykes' silence on this serious issue because he is buddy buddy with the ultraconservative nut job of a sheriff?

Or is it that Sykes thinks sexual abuse of minors is something that should only be joked about, especially using a liberal as a foil?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

PolitiFarce Gets Recalled

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, part of the largest corporate media blocs in the state, is, oh so proud of their PolitiFact, even though it misses more than it hits.

But I don't know what good it does anyone, since it is so skewed so often.

Take for instance, the issue of how many recall signatures were turned in.

The recallers claimed that it was more than one million signatures.  The GAB said that the actual number was 931,042.  That would mean that the recallers were off by a 7%.  For this, PolitiFarce gave them a "false" rating.

And that's it.  They didn't check out any other single claim that was flying around out there regarding the recalls.

For if they had, they might have found that the MacIver (Anything but a) News Service and the teahadists that were hosting the "Verify the Recall' McCarthyism revival were lying through their teeth when they claimed that a third of the signatures were invalid.  In reality, it was about one thirtieth.

If they had look further, they might have heard Charlie Sykes echoing these ridiculous claims.  They could have given him yet another "Pants on Fire" rating to go with his collection. (And it's not lost on me that Sykes has never been found to be telling the truth.)

If they looked even minimally, they would have found Sykes' pal, Jeff Wagner, who predicted the final number would be around 600,000 and sometimes predicted that the recall would fail outright.  Wagner was off by almost 50%, but he doesn't even warrant a mention.

They could have looked at Vicki McKenna and the Koch-sponsored Wisconsin Reporter who claimed that someone forged her name on a recall petition.  Yet according to their own Verify the Recall database, neither her professional name or her real name appear.  That would put them at 100% off.  But PolitiFarce won't even give them a smoldering ember much less a pants on fire.

The excuse that it was too hard to look around doesn't hold water either.  They could have just looked at their own bloody paper and found that they were off by five times the actual number of invalid signatures.  Maybe they could torch their own pants?

But since PolitiFarce chose not to look at the other side of the guessing game, I'll give them a rating:  Corporate Media:

Cross posted at Cog Dis.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Charlie Sykes The Misogynist

Charlie Sykes, the mouthpiece for WISGOP, just ended a tirade against his favorite Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum.  Santorum earned the wrath of Sykes because he said that as president, he would ban pornography.

Sykes stated that he thought the move was wrong, yelling things like:
"Keep your hands off my Internet! Keep your hands off my movies! Keep your hands off the books I read!"
This is the same Sykes that didn't have a problem with the GOP-controlled state legislature invading women uteri and telling them that they don't have a right to decide what happens to their own bodies.

I really can't tell which is more outrageous, his hypocrisy or his misogyny.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Those brainwashed high schoolers

We learn on Facebook that:
The afternoon Solidarity Sing Along on 3/15/2012 was invaded by students from a Sheboygan High School that chanted Stand with Walker.
Can you imagine what the WTMJ Republican radio talkers would have to say if the kids had decided to sing along? Brainwashed by left-wing, union goon teachers, no doubt.

Presumably they are in Madtown for the state basketball tournament, not on a class trip. That would be wrong, right?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sykes' Hypocrisy Regarding Breitbart's Death

Last week, one of the most acerbic of the right wing's heroes, Andrew Breitbart died.

Breitbart was not a nice person.  Some of his claims to infamy included selectively editing videotape in order to defame Shirley Sherrod, saying "F%*$ you!" to union leaders, and telling Wisconsinites to got to hell because they wanted freedom and equality.

Sadly predictable, when Breitbart died, some people let loose a stream at vitriol as one last shot at the memory of this caustic person.

Even more sadly predictable, the hypocritical Charlie Sykes has tried to make hay out of this.

Actually, for Sykes to try to make something out of this is doubly hypocritical.

First of all, should anyone really expect Breitbart to be granted respect when he wouldn't show any respect when the late Senator Ten Kennedy passed away?

Secondly, Sykes should be keeping his mouth shut about anyone's comments when he has yet to even apologize for inferring that Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is a pedophile.

Charlie Sykes, WTMJ Double Down On Libelous Tweet

About ten days ago, we reported about how Charlie Sykes went beyond the pale and made the inference that Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele was a pedophile.

This was brought to the attention of Abele's office and to the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party took this offense seriously and sent a letter to Steve Wexler, Executive Vice President of the Journal Broadcast Group. In the letter, their outrage at this libel was expressed as well as giving that Sykes receive some sort of punishment, such as suspension or termination, for his vulgarity.

Wexler responded back in an unfortunate, but entirely predictable, manner:
Thank you for sharing your concern with me about a "tweet" by Charlie Sykes that you felt was inappropriate.

I've reviewed your letter and don't agree with your conclusion.

By the way, I am well aware of John Mercure's background, since he has worked for our stations for years, both on TV and as host of our afternoon radio news program.

Best regards,

Steve Wexler
Executive Vice President
Journal Broadcast Group
720 E. Capitol Dr.
Milwaukee, WI

Direct Line: (414) 967-5205
Direct Fax: (414) 967-5596
Twitter: @wextmj
Sykes addressed this on his radio show. Or more appropriately, danced all around this issue. But even when asked directly what he meant by that tweet, Sykes refused to answer the question.

We cant' expect Sykes, or WTMJ's management, to do the proper thing on their own. They don't have the integrity or the honor to do so.

Perhaps it's time to take the same action that has Rush Limbaugh and Clear Channel sweating like the pigs they are. The only way to get their attention and get them to do the right thing is to go after the only thing they care about, their money.

I think it also may be time to drop a line to Sue Wilson and the Media Action Center.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sykes Goes Beyond The Pale With Pedophilia Tweet

Last week, Charlie Sykes again took things beyond the pale with one of the most irresponsible tweets anyone has ever tweeted:

For those that aren't aware of the significance of this, John Mercure is the late afternoon squawker on WTMJ radio.  Before he became a squawker, he was a "reporter" for TMJ's TV station and was known for sensationalizing stories and specializing in child sexual predators.*  He was also well know for taking things too far himself.

The question is: What is Sykes' intent with this post?

If he was serious, he might have opened himself and Journal Communications up to a large slander lawsuit.  Even though Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele is a public figure, and thus open to getting slammed more than a private citizen, the law does put limitations on what a person can say about them.  Accusations and inferences of being a child sexual predator goes a long way over the line.

If Sykes was "just kidding," it shows what a sick little man he is that he considers pedophilia to be something joked about.

Now, I am no fan of Abele's, and I have often offered up criticism of his Walkeresque approach to leading the county and his attempts to turn Milwaukee County into a plutocracy for himself and his rich friends, but this inference by Sykes goes beyond the pale.

Sykes needs to offer a public apology and his employer better look at if they need to take further actions to protect themselves from this liability.

*Even though Mercure styled himself as a crime-fighting reporter worried about kids' safety, he won't even talk about Brian Pierick, the Walker crony who has been charged with child enticement.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

PolitiFact's Two-For-One And Why Is Sykes Still On The Air?

PolitiFact, the hit and miss "fact checking" product in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gives Scott Walker a "Pants On Fire" rating for falsely blaming Governor Jim Doyle for one of Tommy Thompson's taxpayer's cash giveaway:
Facing a near-certain recall election, Walker that day used his Twitter account to highlight the story as a failure of the previous administration, that of Democrat Jim Doyle. (Other tweets included the fact he stopped for ham and rolls after church.)

His tweet: "Headline ‘State spends millions for 202 jobs’, missed rest of sentence:, ‘under program approved by Gov Doyle.’"

In other words, the poor performing program was created under Doyle. And that’s where the blame should fall, Walker says.

Did Doyle approve the plan?

The legislation creating the program was introduced in 1997 and passed and signed into law the following year -- not by Democrat Doyle, but by then-Gov. Tommy Thompson, a fellow Republican now running for a U.S. Senate vacancy.

Doyle didn’t take office until 2003, five years after the CAPCO bill was signed.

Indeed, the proposal had bipartisan support. It was authored by Democratic state Sen. Gwen Moore, now a congresswoman from Milwaukee. Among the 89 members of the state Assembly who voted in favor of the bill March 25, 1998: Walker himself.
But the go on to write how Charlie Sykes, Milwaukee radio squawker, took this from Walker and ran with it, even though he knew it to be false:
Walker’s tweet gained a broader audience the following day. WTMJ radio talk show host Charlie Sykes picked up on the topic and in a three minute segment linked Doyle to the CAPCO program five times. He called it "a Jim Doyle idea," and said the program was "one of Jim Doyle’s signature venture capital bills."

In an email, Sykes acknowledged that the program was created under Thompson. And he pointed out that Walker had tweeted on the subject the day before.
Sykes whined about it on the radio and sniveled about it on his blog, but not once did he even come close to apologizing for misleading his listeners or bothering to correct his lie. If anything, he doubles down on his dishonesty by mewling that Doyle wasn't mentioned enough in the original article, even though he just acknowledged it had nothing to do with Doyle.

Why Sykes is still on the air despite openly lying about things, and admitting he is lying, is simply beyond me. But it goes to show why a person can't believe anything that comes from corporate media shills like Sykes.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Something Else Sykes Won't Be Talking About

Last week, Charlie Sykes was so excited you could hear the spittle hitting the microphone as he squawked about Mike Tate, head of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin going to Chicago to talk to someone about something or other.  He was going on and on about dirty Chicago politics and the such.

I highly doubt that he's gonna be squawking about that now that Walker has hired two attorneys as he gets ready to meet with John Doe investigators.  One of Walker's attorneys is from Chicago and the other's father made his name representing mob boss Frank Balistrieri.

Sykes probably also won't talk about how he's named in one of the criminal complaints stemming from Walkergate.

He'll probably just do what he's done every day for the past two weeks: Whine about DA John Chisolm and about yours truly.

Limbaugh Caught In Action

Rush Limbaugh, while at the Superbowl Sunday night, was caught in action as he prepared for his show:

H/T James Rowen

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Media Trackkkers Gets Called Out

Last week, the Cap Times doled out a royal smackdown on MacIver Institute.

On Friday, it was Media Trackkkers turn to get it.  This time it was Dan Bice at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in his online chat about Walkergate delivering the what for:

Q: Nick, Appleton - What did you make of the Media Trackers folks alleging illegal leaks from DA's office? ( 
A: Daniel Bice - Haven't seen it until now. Media Trackers has a spotty track record, so I would take what it is saying with a grain. The two guys there also toss around strong allegations and then try to temper them by saying something may or may not have occurred. That's not reporting. It's a rhetorical trick.
I wouldn't have even been that kind to that group of propagandists.

Now all we need is someone to do the favor for Wisconsin Reporter and we'll have a trifecta.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

MacIver Institute Gets Called Out

The Cap Times lays a smackdown so hard on the Koch Brothers front group MacIver Institute that even David Koch felt it:
The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy is a conservative political operation — sorry, “think tank” — that seeks to promote Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda. Indeed, its website features a new advertisement that makes all sorts of claims about how the governor’s programs are “working.” The ad is amusing, as it asks Wisconsinites not to believe what they see going on around them and instead to fall for the spin developed by Walker’s messaging team.

So it is that, at the same time the state acknowledges that Wisconsin has lost jobs for six months running, the MacIver Institute is peddling a fantasy that says of the Walker agenda: “It’s working!”

“It” may be working. But if Walker keeps at it, Wisconsinites won’t be working.
Make sure you read the whole thing, especially the last three paragraphs.