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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Soros-Funded "Media Matters" Worries About RightWisconsin

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Rather awesome, when you consider that we haven't yet officially launched RightWisconsin. Media Matters styles itself as the scourge of all things conservative and devote a rather lengthy piece to the hand wringing over what I might be up to. There are many furrowed brows and much tut-tutting among the usual suspects, who opine freely on the genuine awfulness of spreading right wing media. The Dead Tree appears decidedly unamused.

This leads to moments of unintended hilarity, including the complaints from several of the ink-stained wretches (I use the term affectionately) that I am somehow to blame for some of the newspaper's woes, rather than their own reporting. Sorry, guys, you built that.

But considering the source, the article is actually rather mild even with the usual liberal/media talking points about talking points, etc.  I am accused of being a "pot-stirrer" who takes sides. Um, yes. Guilty.

Of course, the comparison to Glenn Beck is both flattering and silly; but I encourage this sort of rampant speculation wherever possible. (BTW: A Nation of Moochers is my seventh, not sixth book. But I quibble.)

I must confess that I took special delight in this comment:
 "(Sykes) is like a flea that spreads the bubonic plague"
My work here won't be done until I infect the whole nation. (And drive every liberal nuts, which increasingly seems like a doable goal.)
Enjoy the whole thing here:

Wisconsin-based radio host Charlie Sykes may want to be the next Glenn Beck.

But a new marketing project aimed at spreading his hard conservative talk brand beyond home station WTMJ of Milwaukee to web, video, social media and perhaps other media outlets owned by parent company Journal Communications is drawing concern in the state's media community. Sykes' burgeoning network of platforms resembles nothing other than a smaller-scale version of the former Fox News host's sprawling web-based empire.

"That is a fair comparison," says Don Walker, a 34-year veteran of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which is also owned by Journal Communications. "Glenn took this huge, I think risk, getting off Fox, or he was pushed, and he left Fox to form this very, very different venture. I think there is some comparison to that Charlie is making a move in a direction that he senses that he can make a move nationally, that he can make a move in a national direction."

Charlie SykesThat potential move is causing distress in the ranks of the state's journalists, including among reporters at the Journal Sentinel who say the paper already suffers from its association with Sykes' hard-right views.

Several newspaper staffers point to Sykes' partisan approach as undermining the paper's image as the source for fair, unbiased news.

"I know that it frustrates some people," Craig Gilbert, who works out of the Journal Sentinel Washington, D.C., bureau said about his newspaper's staffers. Gilbert called Sykes "a guy who takes sides in all these political battles" and said the radio host's show "certainly has an impact on the Republican party, all of the conservative talk, on Republican primaries. It's a venue where if you are a Republican politician, you can speak to your base in a sympathetic environment."

Walker agreed.

"I think there's probably people out there who feel we're this large cabal and that we're force-feeding our particular views on all our products," he said about Sykes' impact, later adding, "he does this show, I think it is highly, highly partisan, there is no mistaking where he is coming from. I think a lot of people, including journalists, feel that most of the time he is there just to repeat Republican Party talking points."

In just the last year, Sykes, 57, has used his platform to become a major voice in the nationally-followed recall election of Republican Gov. Scott Walker, and more recently has enjoyed access to GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, whose congressional district is just south of Sykes' home base.


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