By Jeff Simpson
Today, for some reason I have not fathomed, Charlie Sykes was allowed column inches in the New York Times)I would offer a link but he has had enough attention, but we will dissect it). Sykes is on a "mea culpa" tour where he is trying to rewrite history, where he does not play a part.
* MILWAUKEE — If President Trump’s first tumultuous weeks have done nothing else, at least they have again made us a nation of readers.
As Americans grapple with the unreality of the new administration, George Orwell’s “1984” has enjoyed a resurgence of interest, becoming a surprise best seller and an invaluable guide to our post-factual world.
Says the guy who has written numerous books(most you can getfor a penny) ripping on our education system and propping up anti-intellectualism!
* On his first full day in office Mr. Trump insisted that his inaugural crowd was the largest ever, a baseless boast that will likely set a pattern for his relationship both to the media and to the truth.
The week before he was elected, Scott Walker(Charlies goodfriend) sat down with a local paper in Oshkosh and explained how he planned on negotiating with unions, the day after his election, he had the Legislative Fiscal Bureau start drafting ACT10. Apparently some first day lies are better than others.
* Mr. Trump understands that attacking the media is the reddest of meat for his base, which has been conditioned to reject reporting from news sites outside of the conservative media ecosystem.
Of course, Sykes has spent his career attacking mainstreammedia as perpetually being the victim of unfair coverage(as Pat Small pointedout).
For years, I observed with dismay as employees of one division of the former Journal Communications—WTMJ-AM—savaged another division, the Journal Sentinel. Weekday-radio Republican frontmen Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner relentlessly assaulted the politically moderate newspaper for its alleged liberal bias. More damaging, they repeatedly suggested the newspaper was out of touch or outmoded, assailing it as “The Dead Tree.”Sykes and Wagner mocked the Journal Sentinel’s news coverage and frequently personally attacked members of the editorial staff and top management. It’s incomprehensible that Journal Communications management condoned this daily trashing while signing the verbal-snipers’ paychecks.
But hey, Charlie has an excuse:
* We thought we were creating a savvier, more skeptical audience.
As Capper correctly points out, when Chuck was falselyaccusing Governor Doyle of corruption, he blatantly admitted:
Sykes' response to the reporter who had asked what he based his allegations on was absolutely breathtaking in its arrogance and revealed Sykes' true character:
Sykes went on to label his remark "an off-hand wisecrack" -- "You know, humor, hyperbole, joke."
And Sykes, like his counterpart Mark Belling did awhile back, cheerfully admits he made it up, as though that is perfectly OK:
"My ‘evidence’? Absolutely none."
Nothing makes his audience more savvy than giving them made up facts on a daily basis!
* The news media’s spectacular failure to get the election right has made it only easier for many conservatives to ignore anything that happens outside the right’s bubble and for the Trump White House to fabricate facts with little fear of alienating its base.
Unfortunately, that also means that the more the fact-based media tries to debunk the president’s falsehoods, the further it will entrench the battle lines.
While Charlie excoriates the Trump team for perpetually "debunking" the fact based media, he is strangely silent about his employers, the Bradley Foundation team in Wisconsin that do the exact same thing.
Find me a place where Sykes has even remotely criticized, Jimmy Wigderson, Kevin Binversie, Rick Esenberg, Maciver, Wisconsin Watchdog, Right WIsconsin etc....then I will know that he cares about alternative facts and entrenching the battle lines.
* During his first week in office, Mr. Trump reiterated the unfounded charge that millions of people had voted illegally. When challenged on the evident falsehood, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, seemed to argue that Mr. Trump’s belief that something was true qualified as evidence. The press secretary also declined to answer a straightforward question about the unemployment rate, suggesting that the number will henceforth be whatever the Trump administration wants it to be.
He can do this because members of the Trump administration feel confident that the alternative-reality media will provide air cover, even if they are caught fabricating facts or twisting words (like claiming that the “ban” on Muslim immigrants wasn’t really a “ban”).
Let me take you back to the Supreme Court race between David "Ike Turner" Prosser and Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg. The election night ended with the race to close to call and our friends on the right thought at the time they were going to lose.
Q. The right wing network of propaganda hate talk radio of which Charlie Sykes was one of the leaders. If you answered A, How did they disseminate the phony claim of voter fraud? You win double Jeopardy and we all lose!
"Do we need to start messaging 'widespread reports of election fraud' so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number? I obviously think we should," wrote Steve Baas, a senior vice president with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, to a group of conservative operatives on April 6, 2011, a day after the Prosser-Kloppenburg contest.
"Yes. Anything fishy should be highlighted," wrote former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, a Republican. "Stories should be solicited by talk show hosts."
Way back when The Donald was cheating on his second wife, before he had any interest in politics, Charlie was hosting these guys, who you might have heard of, telling us about the (unsubstantiated) cases of rampant Democratic voter fraud.
Madison - The chairman of the Republican National Committee claimed Wednesday that voter fraud in Wisconsin is far more pervasive than official reports have shown, and said GOP candidates need to perform 1 or 2 percentage points better than they otherwise would in order to overcome it.
"I'm always concerned about voter fraud, you know, being from Kenosha, and quite frankly having lived through seeing some of it happen," Reince Priebus said. "Certainly in Milwaukee we have seen some of it, and I think it's been documented. Any notion that's not the case, it certainly is in Wisconsin. I'm always concerned about it, which is why I think we need to do a point or two better than where we think we need to be, to overcome it.
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) believes voter fraud was committed by the busload during the recall elections on June 5th. At Mitt Romney's campaign event in Janesville this week, Johnson claimed that recent abuses at the polls illustrate why Wisconsin should require voters to verify their identity with a photo ID before casting a ballot.
"There have been a number of incidents documented," said Johnson, "of busloads or van loads of people voting multiple times at different voting booths with pretty flimsy IDs."
Don't waste your time googling Charlie being upset about this.
* Mr. Trump and company seem to be betting that much of the electorate will not care if the president tells demonstrable lies, and will pick and choose whatever “alternative facts” confirm their views.
The next few years will be a test of that thesis.
Here, let me fix that for you Mr. Sykes:
next last few years will be was a test of that thesis.
* There may be short-term advantages to running headlines about millions of illegal immigrants voting or secret United Nations plots to steal your guns, but the longer the right enables such fabrications, the weaker it will be in the long run.
Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, are you that old that your memory has failed you? Do you not remember this?
Dems need to realize how badly their embrace of gun control is hurting them in rural/blue collar areas.
— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) November 9, 2016
SYKES: In the city of Milwaukee, we have the mayor of Milwaukee, who's running for governor, who's made it absolutely clear how seriously he takes voter fraud.
TOM BARRETT [audio clip]: Well, name the name. Name the name. I'm waiting for the first name.
SYKES: There is a group that in fact would provide that name. You might remember the "Verify the Recall" folks -- this was a group, the headquarters is in Texas. They did an absolutely outstanding job of coming up and making a database that allowed people to find out who signed the Walker recall petitions. Right, remember all of that? Well, they're affiliated with a group called the King Street Patriots.
This letter, this came out yesterday. What shocked me the most, I think, about this, is that it came from Phil Walzak, Barrett for Wisconsin. It's the kind of thing that you would expect from some demented extremist like Graeme Zielinski.
"Steve, the King Street Patriots, a group of Texas extremists" -- they are, they are Americans who are concerned about voter fraud.
"Have arrived in Wisconsin. They believe that voter registration for the poor is un-American" -- flat-out lie -- "and would destroy the country." Flat-out lie.
"They have already come to Wisconsin once and intimidated recall petition signers" -- lie -- "and now they've dropped so-called election observers into poll locations across the state."
Yes, Mayor Barrett, because they are doing the job that you refuse to do. And the mayor of Milwaukee, instead of saying, "Hey, we've got nothing to hide, come in and observe," puts out a letter on his own campaign stationery smearing this citizen group.
"Our voter protection team is on alert. We need an additional $100,000 before tomorrow to make sure every last vote is counted. After emailing threats and racial slurs ahead of the 2010 election failed to stop courageous voters from turning out to vote in Houston, the King Street Patriots showed up at the polls and intimidated voters directly."
Tom Barrett is lying.