Friday, June 14, 2024

Charlie Sykes Criticizes Trump For Acting Like Sykes

When one deals in politics long enough, you come to expect hypocrisy and outright lying from right wingers.  But sometimes, they take it to such extremes that even the most hardened are left with their mouths agape. Charlie Sykes reached that plateau on Friday morning when he made an appearance on Morning Joe to discuss Donald Trump's dissing of Milwaukee:


Sykes actually had the audacity to say this:
This was probably not the most significant thing. But this is going to stick. It's going to stick around here. You know that it's going to be mentioned every single day, if not every single hour, during the RNC convention here in Milwaukee. 
I will tell you one caveat, that one of the things that, you know, the Trump Republicans are going to try to do is they're going to try to divide the rest of Wisconsin from Milwaukee and say, yeah, you know, Milwaukee is this terrible thing and have other people in Wisconsin, you know, go along with that kind of view. I don't think that that's going to work because, and I think you touched on it, cities like Milwaukee have a great deal of pride, but they also have a chip on their shoulder. They have a little bit of a sensitivity to this sort of thing. 
You know, back in the 1950s, you know, when the Milwaukee Braves defeated the New York Yankees in I believe was the 1957 World Series, remember the there was there was a lot of sort of sneering about Milwaukee, you know, being, you know, being in a small town and Milwaukee's resented that. Right. So Donald Trump has messed with a city that, you know, we may here in Wisconsin be willing to criticize ourselves and, you know, talk about the problems they have, but we don't need Donald Trump coming in and dumping on on a city that we love and that I think is going to really shine next month.
Even more amazing was that Sykes said that with a straight face. 

What makes it so breathtaking in its hypocrisy is that Sykes spent over 20 years ripping on Milwaukee day in and day out while he was a squawk radio host in Milwaukee for WTMJ-AM and on Sundays when he hosted a TV show on TMJ4. He would rip on everything fromm the city's infrastructure, such as the Deep Tunnel project which helps abate some of the raw sewage runoff into Lake Michigan, to smearing and even libeling local elected officials, like inferring that then County Executive Chris Abele was a pedophile. And he did that after getting his employer sued and nearly losing his job for committing libel against a community activist. Sykes, along with fellow squawker, Mark Belling, have been credited for the ultimate demise of Northridge Shopping Mall through repeated criticism of alleged crimes, lack of security and various racebaiting statements:
...“Sykes is credited with, among other accomplishments, having blocked public funding for needle-exchange programs and having helped drive into bankruptcy an urban mall after harping on security issues there.” Sykes disputes the second part of this sentence, a reference to the closure of Northridge Mall in 2003. But he was credited for contributing to the mall’s woes, by a former Milwaukee County supervisor, Democrat Jim McGuigan, who wrote in a 2006 blog post that “for me and many of my neighbors the reason for Northridge malls demise has a great deal to do with talk radio show host Charlie Sykes personal harangues against security at the mall and implications that black kids at the mall were creating an unsafe environment.” 
I reached McGuigan late last week and asked him whether he stood by that assessment and he said he did. “Charlie was one of the big people who were railing on Northridge Mall. I’m sorry if they don’t want to take credit for damage they did—too bad, too sad,” he said. “We don’t have a mall there because they were screaming about [security].”
In fact, Sykes' racist attacks led to the ongoing "white flight" Milwaukee has seen over the years. Likewise, Sykes's reckless rhetoric only fed into the anti-Milwaukee attitude that Republicans have fostered in the rest of the state, painting Milwaukee has a wild, crime-ridden city and feeding into their own racist phobias they already have against Black people and other minorities.

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