Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sykes Calls Sharpton a "Pimp"

I don’t know why all these people are up in arms about Dom Imus’ stupid comment about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Radio owners and program directors tolerate racist comments from Milwaukee’s glittering radio wing-nuts all the time and no one seems to give a rip.

In fact, Charlie Sykes, while talking about the Imus incident and pretending to care about the women affected this morning, called Al Sharpton a "pimp".

That’s right, he called a strong black man a pimp. Just like Mark Belling called Hispanics "wetbacks" a couple of years ago. But nothing ever happens. And these and other radio clowns continue to be treated like legitimate commentators.

The wing-nut talking points after the Imus controversy reached fever pitch yesterday included the tactic of deflection, in which the squawkers pretend to agree that the behavior is bad, but try to deflect the problem on to someone else. All day yesterday, wing-nuts national and local criticized Imus, but also made what they pretended were brilliant points by claiming that Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who were again out-front on an important racial issue, were no better.

This morning, Sykes was pretending to admire the Rutgers women during their press conference when the Sharpton talking-point flashed in his head. The women, he said, were worth trying to accommodate but not the "race-baiting pimp" Sharpton.

The term "pimp" in reference to black men is certainly offensive, the male corollary of the offensive "ho" label used by Imus. In the Washington Post this morning, Eugene Robinson explains the recent history and offensiveness of "ho" and suggests that it be retired as "hateful" reference to black women. The same can and should be said about Sykes’ use of the word "pimp" to childishly diminish Al Sharpton. He takes all kinds of cheap shots at his white liberal targets, but he wouldn’t call a white guy a "pimp".

My guess is, even if anyone notices this or if someone else takes up the issue, Sykes will skate, as usual. Just a couple of months ago, he deliberately "misunderstood" Michael McGee, Jr., claiming he said "Jew cops" when he was saying "Jude cops", even after listening to and prepping the sound bite for discussion with one of his lofty panels. He apologized and that was supposed to be that, and it was.

My guess is he won’t even bother apologizing or even acknowledging the issue, unless someone "major" picks it up. Don Imus has always taken hits for his stupidity through the years. But, in the insular and protective local environment of the Milwaukee media, Sykes cannot be touched, no matter how outrageous and, yes, racist.


Anonymous said...

I see this as going way beyond individuals like Coulter or Imus. I think this stuff rests on two groups of people, obviously the guys who are making money off this stuff but most importantly The Public.

Howard Stern, wildly popular though he was - I never got him. I mean I tried to listen, tried to see something behind his crap, some like amazingly witty thing that he was trying to say about Life and Culture in an offensive way that shakes you up but sends a message. But no - just a jerk- making money and getting fame off being really mean and bullying. (O'Reilly and so many otehrs too)

South Park is freaking gross. I've never watched it, the commercials with turds as characters and leg humping are enough to tell me that I will not enjoy it. Limbaugh is meaner that sh*t. Even thouse "religious" guys say terrible things about Ellen Degeneres and stuff. Nazi attitudes and fecal fixations - that's entertainment these days isn't it?

For years now people have been getting extremely wealthy and popular by being mean and nasty to others. They couldn't do this if a large segment of the public didn't want to see/hear this and if there wasn't a steady stream of disturbed people willing to channel this because they want to be rich/popular and that is what they are like inside.

I do believe in a kind of censorship where things that are "creepy" are not allowed to be seen by all audiences at all times - porn commercials should not be played during afternoon cartoons. Also it would be nice if dancing boogers and toe nail fungus commercials were not playing (ever?!!!!) during dinner. And that hideous guy with the "male enhancement whistle" - ugh! Too ugly to get near no matter how enhanced he is.
But I'm getting off track here.

I do not think censorship is the answer (in case that was implied in my rant above) I think it's a problem of the freemarket as in - this is what many many people WANT to hear, and so we will hear it until the majority of the American public "evolves" beyong finding this appealing. As if.

If we call music some girl singing about how she's going to wreck some guy with her hump her hump her hump her hump and her bouncy lady lumps flappin in the camera - I mean, that's where we are culturally, right? I am never surpirsed at other cultures who say "WTF is WRONG with you people" when we export a large amount of the junk we export. And what about aliens intercepting our radio signals?! They're gonna blow us up soon, you just know it. My point then is I think this (Imus) is an honest expression of where "we" are culturally. It's not a good place, it's harmful in many ways. But i think we have been dragged down by excessive profit motivations drawing culture to the lowest denominator and are too many of us, transfixed by "naughty stuff" and want to see it/hear it.
if the people didn't "buy it" it would go away.
Kind of.

Also - media execs who LOVE the publicity because it means free adverts for them and draws people no matter what are the crappiest people of all. They pull the strings here and I suspect they love it as long as it keeps people listening -even if they listen in disgust and outrage it brings them in. If Paul Soglin says "Charlie Sykes said..." that means he's listening, right? That Sykes has status and is framing the discussion to some degree.
Oops - too wordy as always. You get the idea
Looking and listening and then telling other people you have looked and listened to these turds gives the turds power

Anonymous said...

Sharpton does have a questionable past as a leader. I'm no scholar, but I can see the pattern--Sharpton appears whenever there is a scene to be made. He is using these Rutgers girls to promote himself. To the extent you can be a member of a minority group and be racist, certainly Sharpton is one himself. Sharpton isn't concerned about supposedly offensive words; he's only concerned about who says them and how deep their pockets are.

You claim this is a "big deal" but I think you miss the point. The real damage is done when the focus of the nation's attention is on one very little man--Imus. If sharpton were really concerned about the dignity of the Rutgers women, he would loudly and constantly attack the rap music industry which strives to teach every young black man that women are "ho's" and "bitches." They do far more damage daily to the dignity of women than Imus could in a lifetime. Imus is to race relations like Anna Nicole Smith is to parenting.

Look, Imus is a fool, and its time for him to go to the waste bin. But Sharpton should join him there.

Mike Plaisted said...

There is no comparison between Imus and Sykes using racial slurs and Sharpton taking what ever positions he has and doing whatever he thinks is right. Has Sharpton claimed racist intent in various cases? Yes. Was he always right? No. Has Sharpton used racial slurs against whites or anyone else in these battles? No.

Equating racist hate speech with Sharpton's various attepmts at advocacy is a deliberately false comparison. It's called deflection. they don't really want to talk about Imus or Sykes, so they will use this situation to beat up on Sharpton.

Sharpton may have problems as an advocate, a spokesperson or a candidate, but he's not a racist pig. Imus and Sykes are -- or at least both play one on the radio.

Anonymous said...

You're right on the local talk radio scene. They can say practically anything and get away with it. No one holds them accountable for anything hateful, stupid or erroneous, that comes out of their collective mouths. Bellings Wetback statement should have landed him out of a job, as much of the other garbage that comes out of his mouth. But, as stated above, people listen to him, for whatever reason, and in the end it's the free market that determines what trash we listen to. I've often wondered how we can hope that progressives can get elected with the non-stop trash that comes out of Milwaukee talk radio, but they do. Which tells us they may not be as powerful as we think they are.

krshorewood said...

Of course Sykes gets away with it. The reason is our local advertisers keep on feeding coins in that machine because they think it keeps paying off.

On the national scene, letter writers jump on Imus' advertisers and on the management at MSNBC (oddly part of the network which includes the once respectable Channel4).

Until we in Milwaukee get organized and generate some heat, Sykes can ply his "humor" with impunity. I've got to believe no matter how large the audience is for Sykes and Belling, they still represent a minority. Most people I believe regard what is said on these programs as inappropriate.

Yet on the Journal Company's in-kind donation to the GOP, Sykes runs on uncontrolled, even to the point where he now as his protege the McBride of Chucky in the evening when 620 is not airing sports.

It's up to us. Sykes is so full of himself that he has in many ways duplicated the outrageousness of the Imus comments many times. We just have to pull together the next time he does it and let hell rain down on Sykes' advertisers and TMJ management.

Mike Plaisted said...

Righteo, krshorewood. But, why wait? The latest outrage is fresh, timely and conveniently Imus-esque. I e-mailed my post to Stanford, Kane and Cuprisin at the J-S and they all ignored it so far. I'm open to suggestions.

David Casper said...

Is there any room for McGee Sr. in this? Or is this just a message against right-leaning radio talkers?

Mike Plaisted said...


Is it possible that anyone defending Imus could simply address the merits, rather than use it as an opportunity to cast aspertions on Al Sharpton or somebody else? Is it possible for anyone to defend Sykes without this sort of deflection by Bringing up McGee Sr.? What has that got to do with anything?

Is what Sykes said acceptable or not? Let's talk about this racist language by this supposed paragon of the Milwaukee commmentariat. Let's talk about that -- then we can get to the extremely marginalized McGee and whatever supposedly comparable thing you are trying to dredge up.

David Casper said...

The first paragraph of your post is...

"I don’t know why all these people are up in arms about Dom Imus’ stupid comment about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Radio owners and program directors tolerate racist comments from Milwaukee’s glittering radio wing-nuts all the time and no one seems to give a rip."

You then go on to rip the likes of Sykes, Belling and McBride. In no way did I disagree with what you were saying. But if you're going to make a legitimate argument about tolerating racist comments on air, then you need to include all such comments, and not just those of the people with whom you disagree.

Anonymous said...

So Sykes is a cracker, a honky a white supremecist?
Probably is a racist.
Is Sykes deplorable. Usually, be his base, ...'those people' are stuck with him, unless they take action and target the advertisiers.
Sykes, Mc Bride are all wannabe's. Coming on the heels of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, they are not unique and certainly not original. Ehy use the same terms, as the RushAnn's do. They repeat the spin points.
This is junk on the airwaves.
Sykes, Mc Bride and the rest of the Wisconsin talkers are not effective in news. They are effective in spreading hate, distrust, innuendo and speculation.
It's tabloid, and trailer trash like these talkers can only relate to the inteligence levels of thier listeners.
Imus had his day and the rest are now seen as nothing more than the same old, white boys.

Mike Plaisted said...


I'm sorry -- I didn't define my terms. When I say "glittering wing-nut", that excludes McGee, who is neither glittering nor a wing-nut, a term I reserve for the all-GOP-message-all-the-time poison-pushers on supposedly mainstream "talk radio".

McGee is another matter altogether, or so I understand. I'm sure he's said stupid and/or racially conflictual things from time to time, and that's a large part of the reason he is so marginalized. But McGee's outrage, if that's what it is, is different than people and corporation who use the public airwaves to spin GOP talking-points. At least McGee is individualistic -- Sykes and Belling are shills for other interests.

And, I don't recall saying McBride had used race-baiting language like Sykes and Belling -- she is not that interesting or creative. It's all she can do to read the script.

Anonymous said...

"Has Sharpton used racial slurs against whites or anyone else in these battles? No." - Mike Plaisted (9:13). Examples falsifying this assertion are so easy to find that your unawareness of them can only be deliberate ignorance.

Mike Plaisted said...

OK, Anony, if you are so smart and the examples are sooo available -- name one.

Anonymous said...

Several are referenced at http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18224532&BRD=1697&PAG=461&dept_id=44398&rfi=6
More right wing lies, no doubt.

Mike Plaisted said...

An opinion column from the Trenonian? Hardly an original source. I thought you said this was "so easy". Strike one.

Anonymous said...

Well, most of the Sharpton history appears quite a few places on the internet, but I suspect you wouldn't acknowledge any source not sharing your political perspective, and any such source would be unlikely to say anything unflattering about Rev. Sharpton. A conveniently self-affirming worldview.