Friday, December 16, 2016

My Response To Charlie Sykes' "Where the Right Went Wrong"


The title of this post is a lie.

This is not a "response" to Mr. Sykes' article in The New York Times in which he expresses his deep regret that for the last 25 years he has been a disease vector for the rampant racism, paranoia and madness that ate the Party of Lincoln.  Yes, now that he can parlay his remorse into columns in respectable papers and guest appearances on teevee and the inevitable books deal ["Charles J. Sykes (@SykesCharlie), a talk-show host in Wisconsin, is working on a book titled “How the Right Lost Its Mind.”] Mr. Charlie Sykes would like you to know that he's real sorry and all.
One staple of every radio talk show was, of course, the bias of the mainstream media. This was, indeed, a target-rich environment. But as we learned this year, we had succeeded in persuading our audiences to ignore and discount any information from the mainstream media. Over time, we’d succeeded in delegitimizing the media altogether — all the normal guideposts were down, the referees discredited.

That left a void that we conservatives failed to fill. For years, we ignored the birthers, the racists, the truthers and other conspiracy theorists who indulged fantasies of Mr. Obama’s secret Muslim plot to subvert Christendom, or who peddled baseless tales of Mrs. Clinton’s murder victims. Rather than confront the purveyors of such disinformation, we changed the channel because, after all, they were our allies, whose quirks could be allowed or at least ignored.

We destroyed our own immunity to fake news, while empowering the worst and most reckless voices on the right.

This was not mere naïveté. It was also a moral failure, one that now lies at the heart of the conservative movement even in its moment of apparent electoral triumph. Now that the election is over, don’t expect any profiles in courage from the Republican Party pushing back against those trends; the gravitational pull of our binary politics is too strong.

I’m only glad I’m not going to be a part of it anymore.
Damn betcha, America! Now that all the checks have cleared and the damage has been irrevocably done Mr. Charlie Sykes is definitely "not going to be a part of it anymore."

But rather than simply reprint every fucking thing every Liberal has written for the last 20 years to illustrate my point, let me just note for the record that there is nothing -- not a single goddamn thing -- coming out of the nib of Mr. Charlie Sykes' pen today that has not been flowing like a mighty river from the writing implements of every Liberals I know for decades.

And the response from both the Right and the Mainstream media has been absolutely consistent:  Slander. Scorn.  Mockery.  Penury,  Professional exile.

But now that another card-carrying, professional member of the Wingnut Republican Guard has broken ranks and spoken as we dirty hippies have been speaking since earliest days of Limbaugh and Gingrich?

Once again, nothing further to add.

Just hoping to remind the authors of some future edition of the "History of the Crazy Years" that one of the deeply perverse side-effects of the Mainstream Media's heroic efforts to pretend that Liberals never existed was that, somehow, it became possible for someone like Mr. Charlie Sykes to make a buck ripping off the words and ideas of the very same Dirty Fucking Hippies that he once mocked and derided for a living...without anyone saying a word.


Frank McCormick said...

Wow! They're powering up that Bush-off machine real early this time...

keith gargus said...

The career path of being a flame throwing asshole for a couple of decades, or a despots lickspittle, then transform into a run-of-the-mill villager seems to be growing in popularity. No forgiveness from me though. You don't get to be a slasher of decency, then go and live among the decent. You're an opportunistic thug, nothing else.

trgahan said...

Since well connected, rich white guys aren't facing ONE FUCKING substantive threat to their way of life (Will his taxes get cut too far? Will he be too insulated lawsuits?) in the next four years, forgive me if a spit in Mr. Sykes et al. collective face.

Until they admit their party wouldn't have won an election since 1980 if it weren't for carefully groomed and trained "birthers, racists, truthers and other conspiracy theorists" these "conservative thinkers" can go fuck themselves.

They may be saying what liberals have been saying for decades to wash the blood of their hands, but they certainly don't want Democrats to take back anything in 2018.

dinthebeast said...

"That left a void that we conservatives failed to fill."
Bullshit. You filled it with Rush the fuck Limbaugh and every two-bit, dittoheaded, shit slinger you could get on the airwaves or into print. You filled it with lies. Your lies.

"This was not mere naïveté. It was also a moral failure."

Oh no you don't. You don't get to weasel out of this that easy. The "moral failure" part is just what you are. The naivete part is the worst lie of all. You knew just what you were doing. It was (is) a STRATEGY.

So if you can perform some useful function by suggesting the wrongness of the right from your position of wingnuttery, and if you get that idea into the public square of the media, fine. But before I take you seriously, you have to stop lying about the things you are accusing your brethren getting wrong while you are accusing them, and you are going to have to AYS and stop acting like the "fake news" you "destroyed our own immunity to" was anything other than your own lies, the ones you are still busy telling even in your hugely transgressional confession of (someone else's) malfeasance.

-Doug in Oakland

P.S. AYS does not mean "at your service". It is a band name from the '80s and it stands for
Admit you're shit
And you suck
Also, you swallow

Neo Tuxedo said...

You don't get to be a slasher of decency, then go and live among the decent. You're an opportunistic thug, nothing else.

"Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep.

Once meek, and in a perilous path,
The just man kept his course along
The vale of death.
Roses are planted where thorns grow,
And on the barren heath
Sing the honey bees.

Then the perilous path was planted,
And a river, and a spring
On every cliff and tomb;
And on the bleached bones
Red clay brought forth.

Till the villain left the paths of ease
To walk in perilous paths, and drive
The just man into barren climes.

Now the sneaking serpent walks
In mild humility,
And the just man rages in the wilds
Where lions roam.

Rintrah roars & shakes his fires in the burdend air;
Hungry clouds swag on the deep."
-- William Blake, "The Argument" to The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1793, composed c. 1790)

Rusty White said...

From the article: As our politics have become more polarized, the essential loyalties shift from ideas, to parties, to tribes, to individuals. Nothing else ultimately matters.

What Sykes and all of the other morally bankrupt media hacks like him will continue to omit will be the contributions they made to our current poisonous political atmosphere by allowing the howls and grunts of the pig people as revered conservative doctrine in exchange for money and ratings. Instead, they will all speak of a need to re-embrace the outdated doctrine of Edmund Burke without acknowledging what most of us progressives already know which is that their idea of conservatism is not one of liberty and small governance, but one of unfettered capitalism and autocratic rule.

Robt said...

Not sure DG why you decided to softly brush the hyena's mangy louse ingested fur.

The tone in which you address Sykes with is that of the Dirty Hippie standing with his toes on the lawn in front of the "Keep off the grass" sign with your heels on the sidewalk.....Forever defiant?

What you never will hear from Charlie Sykes is his Wisconsin Governor he so propagandized his listeners for. By spewing the very hate he says went too far.
A governor who to this day alludes any responsibility for the ruin continuation of the standard of life in his state. Where the U.S. President is to blame for Gov Walker losing jobs to Minn. because of Walker and statehouse majority GOP laws and policy (rammed down their throats). They are still into throat ramming, you know).

All of R-wing media is a business with Government subsidies via tax cuts to wealthy to spend on propaganda to legislate more tax cuts for the wealthy. Not sure if any of you are aware of this but, cutting taxes on the rich will create jobs. Like accountant jobs in the Caymen Islands.
Of course Sykes is moving up in the conservative media. When he first began his media circuit application, He was telling the sad sorrowful tale of how his listeners would not believe him when he would venture toward a truth of a lie he himself lit on fire
Where Charlie listeners dared to defy Sykes's voice commands is when he was issuing "trigger words" to induce the response result of his Borg to get behind Ted Cruz.
So you see, his dumpster fire alarm was they would not kneel and vote Cruz.
You understand Charlie feels the too far (right now) was not Ted Cruz but Trump?

Oh sure, Charlie has a lot of thorny glower words to keep his conservative prick status in tack. Because it will be required at the next republican media market level.

This Sykes, put on calamine lotion on the itchy rash moment. With a magical chant of speaking enchanted words to the amulet changes his career path of North Carolina State house republicans holy grail majority rule.

It is like being obsessed with tying to define the differences between Ann Coulter, Sarah palin and KellyGirl Conway.
Give Sykes a sex change and doesn't he fit right in with those three?

In short, your too kind to Charlie Sykes...............

steeve said...

These guys are "thought leaders", meaning that they have followers. But damn near every single one of their followers voted for trump. It follows that damn near every one of the "never trump" leaders voted for trump.

If a conservative refusing to vote for trump was a possibility, it would have been an actuality with more than 10 people. Yet trump got more votes than Romney.

Davis Statton said...

Charles Murray??? The man who tried to put an intellectual patina on the right's racism??? That guy???

Robt said...

As Sour Krauthammer gets his free speech into my local paper's op ed section.

Blaming Obama for the criticism Trump receives from the left. As he captures that moment to criticize Trump, himself.
The Camouflage of deceptive free speech. Brought to you by FOX and EXON.

You see, my local paper runs 3 or 4 right Op Ed writers in the section to maybe one opposing view.

You get the soothing touch of the moderate Brooks, the left of center Cal Thomas, the nonpartisan truth by Sour Kraut.
Opposed on the Op Ed page with one evil liberal commie muslim liar as Eugene Robinson, of Tom Friedman. Because Eugene and Tom are the same. Like Both sides of a two headed Nickle.
Like with TV and radio media. the Papers have confirmed. Because NO one is telling us what the GOP is trying desperately to tell us. It is so hard for a Republi-Con to fet his voice heard in today's liberal dominated media.

Neo Tuxedo said...

In my local papers, it's Kraphammer, Byron York, and (in the Herald-Mail) Kathleen Parker. The Kraphammer column, to the extent I bothered to read it*, was apparently about how His, Trump's policy of appointing Cabinet secretaries who want to sabotage if not outright eliminate their own departments is actually a good thing. One of the Herald-Mail's two local columnists lamented that a program he (a former correctional officer) supported, which provided small necessities to prisoners, is being discontinued; I'd feel a lot more sympathy for him if he didn't so reliably carry water for tough-on-crime-when-it's-committed-by-brown-people Republicans. The other says the appetite for fake news is created by our failure to teach good grammar in the schools; he's close, but no cigar. (It's actually about the failure to teach critical thinking, which in turn came about because critical thinking leads to difficult questions about the Bible.)

(* The headlines.)

Jason said...

Mr. Sykes, you've seen the light and you're remorseful ok ok. I think it's fair to give you your shot at some redemption. Thing is though, you don't get to just say the right things and 25 years of ignorant hate stoking is forgiven. From now on, any time you are interviewed and given special media dispensation simply because you're a former right wing assnut radio host you need to do some call outs. Call out to liberals who (as DG always says) have been right for the past 40 f-cking years. Call out your ex compatriot (now comrades?)dicknozzles like Rush, Savage and the rest of the lying knuckle draggers for what they are and rebuke them. Call out and support liberals who've been publicly fighting lying republican puke heads. Hell, maybe even LISTEN to what they have to say instead of patting yourself on the back for finding the courage after 25 years to say enough is enough of the republican festering garbage heap of ideas. Personally I think you deserve a few cock punches too but if you're really committed to changing your formerly sh-t positions then maybe just one cock punch will do.

Yardley said...

Just read in "The Hill" that Trumps first 17 cabinet picks have more wealth than the bottom 1/3 of America put together.
The dumb bastards that voted for him are going to get exactly what they deserve.
Unfortunately,the rest of us who are stuck here are along for the ride.
Time to revive the sport of fundy-sacking, it appears.

Benjamin Feddersen said...

Notice that, number one, at no point does Charlie Sykes ever step up and take on an ounce of personal responsibility for what he alludes to doing, which is teaching his audience to ignore facts and listen only to what they want to hear. It's all "us" and "we", surely an impovement over "they" but still a moral mile off of "I". Number two, he still manages to sneak Bothsiderism in through the back door. How terrible it is that people are so POLARIZED. Why can't we come together and agree to shoot our planet in the head so Rex Tillerson can make his bonus schedule?

Neo Tuxedo said...

Update: as many of you have seen, Sykes* has another NYT piece up, "Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying" (by which he means "How I Helped Create the Meatsticks Who Neither Know nor Care That the President Is Lying"). He's at least taken the step of acknowledging that he, personally, did this:

For years, as a conservative radio talk show host, I played a role in that conditioning by hammering the mainstream media for its bias and double standards. But the price turned out to be far higher than I imagined.

By which he means that he never imagined it was a price he himself would have to pay a share of; as the tweet says, he never thought the leopards would eat his face, but now that they're licking his tender cheek- and lip-meats, he's beginning to realize what he did. If you have a copy of Walt Kelly's Uncle Pogo So-So Stories** to hand, look up the story "Dog-Gone" (a yelp-yarn the Crypt-Keeper himself could've hosted without fear for his reputation).

(* We all remember what Ss'ai-k'ss means in Tenctonese, right?
** New York: Simon & Schuster, 1953. Boston: Gregg Press, 1977.)