Xoff posted an article with the claim that WTMJ and host Charlie Sykes have created and are running a "spot" criticizing Governor Doyle's position on school choice caps which violates laws against advocacy ads. The resulting snot-storm threatens to coat all of Wisconsin as the perpetually offended finds a common target.
Jess Bucher accused Xoff of violating the law himself by advocating for Doyle on WisOpinion. The Sykes Writes crowd swarm-posted Xoff's site with many missing the point outright. Peter DiGaudio ruined a right-side wrapup of the controversy by repeating Sykes' wacky claims that the Governor is, somehow, a racist.
There are some points being missed by the offended right-wingers.
- Sykes spot, as he calls it, runs on WTMJ, an entity which is regulated by the FCC and which has restrictions placed upon it because of its use of the public airwaves. Bucher would have us believe that the marketplace decides who should be heard and that the privilege of station ownership carries no responsibility to the public.
- WisOpinion is a forum for, surprise, opinion. They open the floor for folks on either side of an issue to spout. WTMJ hasn't seen fit to do that and some on the right say that allowing dissenting opinions to Sykes' would somehow be outraging.
- The governor has already offered a solution to the problem that Sykes would have us believe he cares about. The video-game, all-or-nothing mentality of Sykes and his ilk will brook neither discussion or compromise of it.
- Sykes doesn't have to give a rat's rectum about school choice or anything else he blusters on about. He is required by his employers to bring in listeners. As long as he delivers a demographic that they can sell in the next booking period and doesn't get them sued they will be happy.
- The perpetually-annoyed, burning with the flame of self-righteousness think that only their own should be allowed to use these baiting tactics on the radio. If anyone else would dare try, Peter would call them a name, Jess would fume until some other shiny thing caught her eye and Charlie would turn it into an Arbitron-beater and laugh all the way to the bank.
- The most strident bloggers on this topic, the ones who say they only want an open discussion are the ones who don't tolerate comments on their own posts. Sykes and Bucher have never allowed competing facts or conflicting opinions and DiGaudio just turned off comments because he said he didn't like all the name calling. (There's the difference between irony and coincidence, right there.)
Charlie Sykes gets paid to stir the pot and isn't above pandering to do it. If his employer broke campaigning laws then they should be punished for it. If they didn't then the tempest dies away.
Bill Christofferson doesn't need me to stand up for him. He's made his point and defended it. I had to put my two cents in to try to shine some light on the mushy logic and bullyragging by those who choose to disagree.
The guy I really feel sorry for is Mark Belling. He hardly gets any attention at all for having nearly the same shoddy logic and making the same wrong argument as Sykes. His post says that the schools that get to pick the kids they want to teach are the schools that have the kids that anyone would love to teach. Kind of a chicken with no egg riddle, isn't it? Stuck in Charlie's shadow again, Mark pouted about the lead paint problem he doesn't believe in, too.
Some things never change.