Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sykes, Shelley, Murphy & Controversy: Not a Lawfirm

Dan Shelley, ex-news-director at WTMJ Radio (did he really make a difference?) writes a souffle-weight criticism of Sykes.

Sykes responds.

Murphy, the editor at Milwaukee Magazine, responds to Sykes' response. Skip all the happy-talk; here's the core of Murphy's response to Sykes' response....

What’s striking about Sykes’ blogged response to Shelley’s essay is how unresponsive it is. Sykes doesn’t directly address or deny that conservative talk radio hosts (1) perpetuate the notion that listeners are victims and the host is the vehicle by which they are empowered; (2) use an us-versus-them approach that regularly targets Democrats, “Republicans in Name Only” and the mainstream media; (3) refuse to do an even-handed discussion of issues; (4) belittle callers when the argument can’t be won on the merits; (5) strategically find occasions to disagree with the Republican leaders or conservative doctrine to give the impression of being an independent thinker; (6) won’t risk their credibility by backing a Republican candidate who has no chance of winning; (7) rely on the “you know what would happen if this was a liberal” line of attack; (8) use the “pre-emptive strike” to immediately accuse the media of overplaying a budding news story that might make conservatives look bad; (9) selectively use facts to support their position and ignore any that don’t; (10) pound away on an issue, hour after hour, day after day, to motivate listeners to contact their public officials in support of a particular policy; (11) use a double standard on such issues as the line-item veto, perjury and activist judges (all three are great if they help Republicans or conservatives, but bad if used in support of Democrats)


Want that in one sentence? Here it is:

Sykes is an entertainer who pokes at Liberal Orthodoxy for a living.

End of sentence.

You want "reasoned and measured debate"? Ain't gonna happen on talk radio, although Sykes and Limbaugh are far more inclined to discuss issues than the afternoon guy.

You want both sides? Read the blogs, lefty and righty. I do.


grumps said...

Except, of course, that Sykes' style of outraged victimhood has very real consequences for people's lives. Or are they just collateral damage in the rampage?

Dad29 said...

very real consequences for people's lives

How many lives lost to Sykes-ism vs., say, the 40 million lost to abortion-mongers?

3rd Way said...

He isn't an entertainer. He is a propagandist.

Dad29 said...

It's opinion. So what?

Is it your position that he is a NEWS-announcer or reader?

TerryN said...

3way - can you cite one instance where Charlie was spouting propaganda by definition?

Not opinion, propaganda.

3rd Way said...

Pronunciation: \ˌprä-pə-ˈgan-də, ˌprō-\
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, from Congregatio de propaganda fide Congregation for propagating the faith, organization established by Pope Gregory XV †1623
Date: 1718

1: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
2: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause ; also : a public action having such an effect

Sykes show is mostly propaganda. He doesn't report news or entertain. He picks anecdotes that support his assertion that his side is correct and the other side is wrong and promotes it as news.

He does this everyday during every show. The most recent glaring example is his claim that the Democrats, Fannie/Freddie and ACORN are principally responsible for the housing/credit crisis. Any reputable economist isn't going to focus on them as the root of the problem, sure they played a roll, but they are no where near the causative force. To focus on one aspect of the problem and ignore the much larger problem, criminally reckless security and derivatives trading, is by anyone's defintion propagandistic.

Dad29 said...

Your unstated asssertion is that 'propaganda is always wrong.'

But the definition you cite does not support your unstated assertion, specifically:

ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause ; also : a public action having such an effect

Please notice the word "FACTS" in the above...

So you are accusing Sykes of "...spreading FACTS..."?

I think he would be very pleased!

Beyond that, insofar as Sykes (and others) spread "facts" which 'further a cause....or damage another cause' puts him in the news-business so long as the material is actually "fact."

As I mentioned in the post, if you want 'all the facts,' read all the credible sources.

Sykes chooses to underline the GSE/Clinton/Barney Frank/Dodd complicity in the sub-prime fiasco.

Others point to Wall Street.

Both are accurate and factual.

Again, are you asserting that LESS facts is a 'public good'?

3rd Way said...

Your unstated asssertion is that 'propaganda is always wrong.'

I didn't intend that unstated assertion, but I agree with it. You aren't denying that Sykes is a propagandist. You can't, because he is. Do you think that broadcasting propaganda is a good thing?

Propaganda is fine when it is presented as such, but that isn't Sykes schtick. He claims he is the only source for real information and others are biased.

Sykes does use facts to support his thesis, but that doesn't mean his presentation is accurate. I can say the sun came up and the earth got colder. Both of those things are true, but one didn't cause the other.

Underlining the GSE/Clinton/Barney Frank/Dodd complicity in the sub-prime fiasco while ignoring the true cause of the problem isn't accurate. It is misleading and it is propagandistic.

Dad29 said...

You continue to be willfully blind.

First off, if presenting facts is wrong, as you seem to affirm, then we have nothing further to talk about.

On the assumption that you think factual information is good no matter who gets 'harmed,' I'll go on...

When you state that 'GSE/Frank (etc.) complicity' is not the "true cause" of the problem, you are doing precisely what Sykes does: ignoring the elephant in the room.

So happens I was a banker when CRA was passed (Carter years.) I know, as a matter of FACT, that that legislation enabled the Feds to literally threaten lenders unless they made not-prime loans.

You can say that 'it was not the true cause,' but that statement is only half-true, because CRA (etc.) enabled the latter-day crisis.

So you are spreading a half-truth.

And you decry Sykes as an EEEEEEVIL propagandist?


3rd Way said...

First off, if presenting facts is wrong, as you seem to affirm, then we have nothing further to talk about.

You are starting to deflect Daddio. Of course presenting facts isn't wrong. Presenting selected facts while ignoring other facts to bolster your argument is misleading. I don't see that as necessarily wrong as a debate strategy. We all do it to get our point across and try to win an argument. The reason people have such a problem with Sykes, Limbaugh, Hannity and Co. is that they do that on a grand scale and play themselves off as beacons of truth in a sea of untruth. That takes them beyond the realm of opinon makers and news analysts and into the realm of propagandists.

We can go around and around laying blame for the housing/credit fiasco. There is more than enough blame to spread and we haven't even mentioned a number of the prime suspects (I know we agree who they are).

Even if the EEEEEVIL cabal of Democrats and GSE's were to blame for half of the problem, which they aren't, shouldn't a broadcaster working for the largest media conglomerate in the state at least acknowledge that there is another half to the problem that should be brought into the discussion if he is going to claim to be a source of truth hidden from his listeners by the MSM?

Do you disagree that painting half the picture and discrediting those that paint the whole picture is propagandistic?

If you don't see any problem with the biggest media conglomerate in the state promoting a propagandist committed to broadcasting only that facts that support his partisan agenda, as you seem to affirm, then we have nothing further to talk about.

Dad29 said...

Ah, but the whole POINT of Limbaugh, Sykes, (et al--I don't count Hannity as a player b/c his IQ is less than his belt-size)...the whole POINT of those folks is to present "selected facts."

And they accurately state that the facts THEY present are NOT presented by the "fact-deliverers" in the MSM.

E.G.: the MSM backed into admitting that Obama was, indeed, a long-time pal of Ayers only a week ago. The MSM presented the sub-prime crisis as eeeeeeeevvvill lenders (and investment bankers) until only about 60 days ago when the MSM acknowledged that the GSEs were up to their eyeballs in the sludge.

I could go on and on. But in effect, under the definition you propose, the MSM is a "propaganda" vehicle.

Naturally, there is an opposite reaction.

But you go on to imply that I should have a problem with "the biggest media conglomerate in the State" (accurate) ...'promoting propaganda.'

Need I remind you that the OTHER part of that 'media conglomerate' was part of the MSM which ignored Ayers and the GSEs?

And need I remind you that all of the 'biggest''s outlets of propaganda can be ignored?

Your condemnation of Sykes is strangely one-sided, fella.

3rd Way said...

Well Fella, I guess we have reached the end of our discussion. If you don't see anything wrong with propaganda presented as news, and honestly think the Sykes and Limbaugh's of the world only serve to counteract their propagandist counterparts in the MSM (if you have a T.V. show, extremely broad reach on your radio show, a well read blog and are featured in the a widely read newspaper you are the MSM BTW) then you are a lost cause.

Dad29 said...

Au contraire.

The hopeless ones are like you: resentful, angry, and bitter--clinging desperately to HALF the facts.

And hoping that the other half of the facts will not be presented.

You lost on your definition of "propaganda;" you lost on your assertion-of-fault in the sub-primes; and you declare that I am "hopeless."

Did you have your fingers in your ears, saying loudly "I can't HEAR you, naynrnyarneenerneener"??

TerryN said...

Thanks for the definition of propaganda. I was under the false impression that it excluded facts.

So all media outlets are propagandists.