Sunday, March 3, 2013

Charlie Sykes, Megatroll

Over the weekend, Jack Craver at the Cap Times wrote about State Senator Dale Schultz and how he again showed that he is an independent thinker and hasn't drunk of the Tea-Ade that the other Republicans are guzzling down:
Sen. Dale Schultz
Of all the partisan heresy state Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, has committed in recent years, from his vote against Act 10 to his recent opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s mining bill, there is perhaps no action that better demonstrates his detachment from his party than his recent diss of Milwaukee talk radio, particularly conservative talk radio host Charlie Sykes, star of WTMJ-AM.

“(I)t is clear that WTMJ in southeastern Wisconsin has every legislator in that area shaking in their boots,” said Schultz on Tuesday during an on-air interview about the mining bill with John “Sly” Sylvester of WEKZ-FM in Monroe.

He continued: “I think it's humiliating when legislators have to be hauled in there to swear allegiance. My leader (Sen. Scott Fitzgerald) had to go in and tell Charlie Sykes that we weren't going to allow any new taxes — and that all came off of a press release from Grover Norquist."

From a conservative’s perspective, the comments themselves were grounds for an inquisition. The treason was magnified, however, by the fact that he made the comments to Sylvester, an inflammatory liberal host who has made a sport out of taunting Republicans in recent years.
Unsurprisingly, Sykes started with his usual sniveling and name-calling. And then, proving Schultz correct, Sykes gets Fitzgerald to come out and start sniveling right along with him.

And not only was Sykes tearing into Schultz for not toeing the line, but he also ripped into him for saying this on John "Sly" Sylvester's show.  Sykes' was denigrating Sly and repeatedly brought up some tasteless comments that Sly had made regarding Becky Kleefisch.

My first reaction was empathy with Schultz, because I've also been a target of Sykes' histrionic temper tantrums in the past.  Sykes went after me for a whole week after my picture appeared in the local paper, talking about one of then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's horrific budgets.  Sykes went so far as to giving me that week's "Deep Tunnel Awards," which he gives out each Friday to his supposed worst of the worst.  That is an accomplishment that I still brag about, knowing it meant that I hit the big time.

My next reaction was to wonder what in the world gave Sykes the impression he should say anything about anyone.  One look at Sykes' track record shows that he is no positive role model himself.

In 1996, Sykes was cited for setting off fireworks with a woman in a Milwaukee County park after the park was closed.  The woman was not his wife and Sykes was not the woman's husband - at least not yet.   The same woman was all over Sykes radio and TV shows, but under the fake name of Liz Woodhouse.  It was later revealed that said woman was Janet Riorden, spokeswoman for the Bradley Foundation, and after at least four years of an affair and two divorces, they finally made their relationship legal.  By the way, Riorden is Sykes' third wife.

In 2004, Sykes falsely accused Robert Miranda of being an organizer of a protest against fellow squawker Mark Belling which ended up with the crowd throwing things at Belling.  Miranda sued Sykes for libel and Sykes' employer, Journal Communications settled it out of court for $5,000, the maximum allowed in small claims court.

During the whole thing, Sykes played the victim card and cried that this was an attempt to stifle conservative radio.  What Sykes didn't say is that heal almost lost his job and was only able to keep it because of the union.

At the end of 2010, Sykes made another false accusation, this time regarding Governor Jim Doyle.  PolitiFact chose to take up this accusation and asked Sykes to back it up with some evidence.  What they got instead was a rare moment of honesty from Sykes:

When we asked Sykes for support for his claim -- a standard first stop in the items we do -- he quickly backed off. 
"The only politically connect(ed) hack I know is going is Jim Doyle (and maybe some of the regents)," Sykes wrote in an e-mail that he also posted on his SykesWrites blog.  "My ‘evidence’?  Absolutely none." 
Sykes went on to label his remark "an off-hand wisecrack" -- "You know, humor, hyperbole, joke."
So let's look at all this for a moment.

Most recently, Sykes was trying to push his latest bit of propaganda.  The fact that he is not very popular any more was most painfully evident:

We have found that Sykes is unethical, hypocritical, smears anybody and everybody who doesn't toe the Teapublican Party line, tries to intimidate and threaten people, and is an admitted liar that is prone to making extravagant and easily disproved statements.

Now, that description should ring a bell for anyone who has been on the Internet for two minutes, especially if one discusses politics. 

That perfectly fits the description of a troll.

Charlie Sykes (before
make up and hair spray)
But unlike your average run of the mill troll, Sykes has the corporate media backing him, allowing him to spew his miasma out on our radio and TV airwaves. So instead of getting in our faces only on the Internet, he can be annoying in a lot more areas.

But as we can block a troll on Twitter or Facebook, we can block Sykes just by turning off the radio or TV or by simply changing the tuner to something less repulsive.

And like the trolls of the Internet, there are two things that scare Sykes more than anything else - the truth and people strong enough and willing enough to speak it.

It kind of puts it all in perspective now, doesn't it?

The fact that Sykes not only attacked Schultz, but also proved him correct, should be a badge of honor for him.  It means he was doing something right.

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