October 26, 2018

Chris Jansing was on MSNBC, hosting a panel to discuss Trump's hateful and violent rhetoric. Panel guests including Brian Fallon, Katy Tur and former hate squawk radio host Charlie Sykes.

Fallon and Tur openly condemned Trump's hateful speech and for inciting violence among his MAGA cultists. But not Sykes.

Sykes started out also condemning Trump, fitting into his facade of being a Never Trump-er. But he quickly turned it into both siderism:

JANSING: Charlie, you know, I think Brian makes a good point about how, and you've talked about this before, you and I have had these conversations about how, you know, you can certainly become anesthetized to it, and I turn on the TV this morning, and Jon Meachum is on Morning Joe... and he said, “We really haven't seen a threat like this since the assassination plot against Abraham Lincoln.

And I literally took a gasp. So I wonder what you think of what Brian just had to say, and look, the president didn't do this. The president didn't make the bombs, and he didn't send these bombs, but what do we need to look at as a country and what should he be looking at as the leader who is supposed to actually be inspiring us?

SYKES: Well, we are living in combustible time and he has been the arsonist in chief and the historical context for me is, I remember where I was when Martin Luther King was assassinated , when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. I remember, I was actually in Chicago for the riots.

Look, political violence has always been beneath the surface, which is why civility and the norms of civility are so important, why it is so important not to characterize your opponents as enemies, to engage in conspiracy theories or demonize them.

But I have to push back a little bit, and this, if we're going to have a moment of introspection, a year ago you had the attempted assassination of a number of Republican Congressmen, including Steve Scalis. We had ricin sent to president Trump and pentagon officials. We had Antifa street gangs. We had death threats against Susan Collins.

Look, the responsibility of the president of the United States is much greater, but this is is a moment to realize that we are spiraling into a tribal warfare where we have demonized the other tribe to the point where you have to ask what will it take for that tribal opposition to become tribal violence?

One thing Sykes never brought up - and which was never covered by MSNBC - was Sykes' own role in throwing gas on the hate that pervades the right wing in this country.

Sykes spent over two decades, polluting the air waves on WTMJ (Motto: Our call letters really should be WGOP), and running various propaganda sites funded by dark money groups like the Bradley Foundation and Wisconsin Club for Growth.

More often than not, Sykes was spewing his race baiting rhetoric, as well as attacking any and all Democrats, women and people of color. It had actually gotten to the point where he was sued and got the radio station sued as well. Sykes almost lost his job, if not for the unions that he loves to bash.

I know the effect of Sykes' hate speech all too well. Sykes has gone after me personally with false attacks and innuendo. It got to the point where I also received death threats, including my favorites: "Somebody needs to cap you, capper." and "I have a hollow point with your name written on it, Chris." (Yes, I filed a police report on that last one.)

Ol' Chuckles needs to really look at himself closer and start practicing honesty for a change. Even at his current age, it's not too late for him to try new things.

Likewise, it sure would be nice to have MSNBC and these other networks be honest with their viewers. If they are going to have hate-mongerers like Sykes on, they need to inform their viewers where these people are coming from. If not, they're not really much better than Fox News.

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