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Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Charlie Sykes, CRG, Ament, Walker and the WTMJ Hypocrisy

Oh am I angry!  WTMJ combed through the Walker recall petitions and guess what?  Some of their employees had signed the recall...  So WTMJ is now suspending them pending further action for "breaking the code of ethics" for journalism.  What a LOAD of crap!!!

This all goes back to 2001-2002 when Charlie Sykes picked up a story about the County Executive Tom Ament signing onto a pension deal no one understood.  Sykes ranted daily for months on his talk radio show about Ament's "irresponsibility".  Then one day, he starts talking about this "new group" of "every day citizens" who have come together to use the recall system in Wisconsin to recall Tom Ament and several other County Executives.  They called themselves Citizens for Responsible Government and they had an open mic for months on Charlie Sykes show pimping the recall effort until they did indeed recall Milwaukee's County Executive and several of it's County Board members.  Charlie Sykes LED this effort with his radio show, his television show and he even HEADLINED Recall Tom Ament rallies with his participation very much "allowed by management of WTMJ" (see that article I just posted from January 23, 2002). Its not a far reach to think that CRG might be or  my have been heavily funded by the Bradley Foundation  (who by the way employs Charlie Sykes' wife as their Director of Communication).

WTMJ never once balked then.  They never once questioned whether this might make their "news station", look politically motivated. A "non-profit", "non-partisan" organization was born.  They have had full and free access to Charlie Sykes' radio show ever since...  .

The Recall of Tom Ament was immediately followed by a heavy campaign for Scott Walker for Milwaukee County Executive that was HEAVILY hyped in the Charlie Sykes machine. 

By 2005, Chris Kliesmet, ED of CRG Network was stating things like "Charlie Sykes is Gold".  Charlie Sykes also is kind enough to repost CRG's press releases directly on his blog

Now known as CRG Network, they claim to be non-partisan watchdogs of government.  As far as I can tell though, they have overwhelmingly supported  Republican candidates and recalled Democrats including twice trying to recall Governor Jim Doyle again efforts heavily promoted on Charlie Sykes radio show.

Charlie Sykes also strongly supported Scott Walker for Governor both in the primary and the general election giving him lots of free air time and talking up his campaign almost daily.

Once Scott Walker was Governor, Charlie Sykes became his biggest cheerleader.  Charlie doesn't think Walker's s**t stinks.  Its Man-Love in its pukiest form.  What does Sykes get out of this symbiotic relationship?  LOTS of radio ads and his third wife has a cush job at the Bradley Foundation the most conservative funder in the nation funding such ultra-conservative organizations as the Heritage Foundation, WPRI, AEI and yes, just because I can, I'll mention here the Bradley Foundation and the Koch Brothers go WAY back to the founders of the John Birch Society....  On the Muckety map below, check the "62 funders" link to get some scope on the Bradley Foundation.


Walker takes all his ideas, marching orders and policies directly from these puppet masters as has been well documented (google Koch and or Bradley Foundation and Scott Walker).  Charlie Sykes spins them and spits them out to the public as "conservative news".  Its a symbiotic relationship that I have just touched on the tip of here.  It goes much deeper, but I'll spare my readers for now the gory details.

So now a few WTMJ employees (four who work directly for Sykes)  have exercised their RIGHT as citizens of Wisconsin to participate in their government by signing a petition to Recall Scott Walker and suddenly out of the blue WTMJ is freaking out about journalistic ethics???????  Seriously????

Seems to me another scenario might be at play here:  What if this happened?  The ultra powerful Sykes, found out a few employees of his signed the recall petition against his boy toy Walker and embarrassed him in front of his puppet masters at Bradley....  He was so outraged, he wanted to fire them, but of course he couldn't do that on his own, so completely FORGETTING the hypocrisy of what might happen next based on everything I just told you about above, he goes to management waiving the station's "code of ethics" and demanding that everyone who signed a recall petition be fired and a public apology be issued to his puppet masters.  Not wanting their loudest big mouth to quit, management caved to Sykes' demands.

Maybe that happened.  Maybe it didn't.  Who knows.  Either way, for WTMJ to suddenly after decades of hosting ONLY conservative talk radio hosts and having NO alternative voices hosting shows on their airwaves SUDDENLY has a problem with a few employees taking a political stand???

Is Sykes going to be on the cutting block too for immediately going on MSNBC TODAY as his co-workers are being publicly shamed and openly talking about how he's endorsed Mitt Romney while his station is out there apologizing for a few employees who participated in their democracy????

Those employee's only sin in my eyes is in forgetting that they work for the GOP's lapdogs and taking a stand against their puppet masters.  God forbid someone in a media outlet have a political opinion that's contrary to their bosses...


Cory Liebmann said...

Sykes also gave $500 to Walker's campaign in 2010. Likewise a couple of workers from Journal Inc and WTMJ did the same. Funny I don't remember talk of disciplining any of them.

And Belling should stop complaining about this because Jay Weber also gave to Walker.

xoff said...

Your analysis is mostly right on, but the four people involved are somehow in the news side of the operation, and one is on the air. They don't work for Sykes.

Anonymous said...

I personally think this is a sort of 'test case'. And I don't mean just this Sykes situation, I mean once again all of WI is being used like a cage full of lab rats. A new element is introduced into the culture, reactions are observed, and in the end, legal precedents are (potentially) being set. People are quickly being re-educated here. Not long ago we all would have assumed that it would have been unconstitutional for employers to dictate religious affiliation or political behavior as a condition of employment. Now we don't. The new idea is introduced and people are reacting with fear. We see a move by employers to really be able to own their employees in a feudalistic way, and to restrict their behavior in their private lives. I think most of us would define our political beliefs and behaviors as private. I really do feel surreptitious "social engineers" want to restructure those beliefs (much as they have already successfully re-defined a wide range of commonly held definitions of our words) and are are making early moves in that direction. For a few years now I have had real awareness of private employers who have been "telling" their employees who to vote for, and what petitions to sign and what meetings to attend. (Democrats did not care or remained "unaware" because until very recently the section of Labor that they answered to and who contributed to them were left alone. They were the Golden Children of Employment, while others standards of living and working eroded decade upon decade, the unions remained in a bubble. Many people have suffered (as I suspect you know) in silence. Now suddenly we have outcry, but it is only outcry for some and only in restricted ways. But employers have been leaning in this direction for some time now. Who knows if people have already been fired for non-compliance with a boss's own beliefs. I expect that to begin happening and to become fairly open. These acts of 'reprimand' being made public are a nice set-up for employers as a whole (not just journalists) to be able to do this in more cases and w/o legal repercussion. Establishing an open culture where employers "have a right" to employ people they choose, and they can openly choose to hire only co-party members etc etc. or however they wanna play it.
Unless there is swift action to halt this kind of thing (and I expect Democrats to heave a very slow or more likely a non-existent response beyond a rousing speech or two) I think we could wake up one day soon in a very different world. I think we need only reflect on the fact that in 1970 in Iraqi women had equal rights and equal education under Iraqi law. They could dress as they chose and go where they chose. Now all that has crumbled and the average woman's life is plunged into darkest barbarism. Change can happen fast and I see no reason why we in the US would be immune. Our only line of defense is the Democrats and frankly I don't believe they are prepared in the least. If enough "regular Americans" get a queasy feeling and start shying away from extremist rhetoric and stop voting for such persons, it might be okay. These radical ideas may be thwarted and all of this pass like a really bad smell that no one wants to take responsibility for. I hope so. But to be honest I have many many days of a really bad feeling.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Vital, strong work Renee. Great research on Sykes' active element in bringing Walker to power in the first place. I reposted at my blog, and it's getting thrown around Twitter.

We have to tell the story, because you know the Journal-Sentinel is too paid off by corporate Milwaukee to do so.

Policy Matters said...

Sykes is a loud mouth shill. Most CONservatives offer little valid analysis or insight. They regurgitate the same Ayn Rand government is bad crap ad infinitum. this is the mentality plus NRA blood money that has enabled the KILLING OF MANY AFRICAN AMERICANS. As the father of a mixed race child and husband of an African American I take an elevated interest in these killings. I am actively educating the public about the Slinger Slaughter of Bo Morrison. He was killed in the back of a home while the POLICE PARKED IN FRONT. The young man should not have been killed! Vote for an investigation: www.Facebook.com/BoMorrisonNeedsJustice

Man MKE said...

Excellent piece. However, for the sake of accuracy, we need to point out that while opponents including Walker were pushing the petition campaign to recall Ament, he was not recalled because he retired beforehand. From Wikipedia:

> After a scandal over pensions for county employees erupted, an effort was mounted in early 2002 to recall Ament. The organizing group had collected over 100,000 signatures on petitions to force a recall election.[1] On February 21, 2002, Ament announced his retirement effective February 26 at a Milwaukee County Board meeting. By retiring instead of resigning, Ament remained eligible for his pension.[2] He was replaced by Janine Geske on an interim basis and by Scott Walker after a special election.