Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sykes Attacks "President's Prop" For Event He Never Attended

by Bert

It’s disgraceful enough that WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes on Wednesday attacked the Oak Creek mayor for standing with President Obama during a speech on gun control. What’s worse is that no official from Oak Creek was visible beside the president, or anywhere near Washington, D.C.

The preceding radio host Gene Mueller was conversing with Sykes at the beginning of Sykes’ show about Obama’s remarks after the Senate rejected a gun control measure. I heard Mueller add that standing in the background was the Oak Creek mayor. Sykes, whose bountiful hate is clearly always loaded with a hair trigger, could not resist tearing into the official as ‘the president’s prop’ before going to another of that station’s frequent commercials.

Mueller confirmed in a message to me Friday that he was mistaken in claiming anyone from Oak Creek was there*. Others in the TV side of WTMJ, he said, had emailed that they thought they recognized the mayor.

Two different aides to Oak Creek Mayor Stephen Scaffidi contacted Scaffidi Thursday morning after hearing the station refer to the mayor at the president’s side.

After hearing that from his aides, and hearing that he was attacked as serving as a presidential ‘prop’, Scaffidi sent a response to Sykes. I also talked with the mayor Friday, who said he knows Sykes and is on friendly terms with him. Scaffidi added that he did not vote for Obama. But Scaffidi did not agree with the criticism from Sykes, and not only because he was not there.

In other words, Scaffidi said he would be perfectly willing to work with the president on the issue of guns if Scaffidi’s input were sought. “I’m never going to not talk to someone,” he said. In fact, Scaffidi had been invited and then did interact on-line with Vice President Biden on the issue. Scaffidi was not openly supporting gun control laws, asking whether this bill would lead to ever increasing restrictions, and also said a worthwhile focus would be more federal resources to help local police agencies.

Sykes did later on Thursday morning read the statement from the Oak Creek mayor on the air and added a mumbled and perfunctory half-correction of Sykes’ and Mueller’s false claim that anyone from Oak Creek was standing with Obama in Washington. God forbid Sykes would also apologize for insulting officials as “props”.

I think Oak Creek officials would be almost expected to be involved in the gun debate after the massacre at the Sikh Temple there last August where six victims and their murderer died. I know Sykes, because he’s committed to helping the GOP, is against the worthy parts of society like schools, universities, services to the poor and an independent media. But why would you tear down police or the leadership of Oak Creek?

Rhetorical question.

This Sykes gaffe and its jagged edge tells you all need to know about the damage that WTMJ-AM radio inflicts on the fabric of the Milwaukee community into which it broadcasts. Sykes is given too much influence by the rest of the station and Journal Broadcasting corporation. The result of this is that Sykes' devotion to promoting the Republican cause and his personal vindictiveness work against not only honoring that which deserves the community’s respect, but also against just getting the facts straight.

*There is some dispute whether Sykes and Mueller were referring to the mayor or police chief of Oak Creek. No transcripts or podcast of this was available, and Mueller did not respond to my message asking about this.