Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New WTMJ Role in GOP Fundraisers?

We already know that the right wing talkers in Southeastern Wisconsin give their favorite candidates millions of free dollars in wall-to-wall air time. But last week WTMJ host Charlie Sykes seemed to take it a step further. He spent a significant amount of time yammering about a fundraiser for Extreme Leah Vukmir. He encouraged his listeners to help Vukmir by going to her fundraiser. He challenged them to "put up or shut up". Just for a little extra motivation, he told his obedient fans that he would be making an appearance there himself. I am certainly not a daily listener to Sykes' brand of right wing propaganda, but I don't recall ever hearing a radio host so directly and doggedly promote a fundraiser for a specific candidate for partisan office.

As far as I know right wing stations around here may be misusing public airwaves all the time to directly raise money for specific Republican candidates. God knows they have been misusing the public airwaves for purely partisan ends for many years. This just seemed to cross a new line in my opinion. So was all of that expensive air time with Sykes specifically promoting a fundraiser for a partisan candidate an in-kind contribution? Should it be? Are there any lines here at all?

A few things seem pretty clear to me after hearing the very specific fundraising efforts on WTMJ last week, 1. The right-wing must be a bit concerned about the race in the 5th state senate district. and 2. It appears that WTMJ is not only the major communications arm for the GOP (we already knew that)but now they seem willing to serve as a direct fundraising arm as well.


xoff said...

One of these days Journal Communications may just follow Rupert Murdoch and give real money directly to the GOP, instead of just massive in-kind contributions. That would be more honest.

James Rowen said...

Belling was shilling for Walker the other, bemoaning Walker's alleged lack of big donors. He told people now was the time.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at "", funded by the Republican Governors Association front.

There you will see a link to a Sykes smear, but the source is not linked. (its just a wav file).

That is a copyright violation by the RGA, or TMJ clandestinely supporting one candidate, or Sykes moonlighting. In no scenario is the use of a Sykes fact free exhortation (that means lie) kosher. TMJ should be called on to explain.