Charlie Sykes is a conservative, but hasn't been sucked into the world where Vladimir Putin's disinformation about Ukraine's role in the 2016 election.
December 2, 2019

Senator John Kennedy's propaganda storm on yesterday's Meet the Press has been the topic of much discussion. After all, it's not every day that a Republican Senator not only spews Russian propaganda but also freely admits he is not a dupe for doing it.

Nicolle Wallace had two questions: What the hell is the matter with him? Why would he say that?

Charlie Sykes, conservative radio host and editor of The Bulwark was scathing.

"This is the guy who has a degree from Oxford. He's not an unintelligent man, yet he comes off as an addled Russian asset on television," Sykes fumed.

"Is this the price now to be paid for currying favor in Trump World? Did he have to go full Devin Nunes on all of this?" he wondered aloud. (Editor's note: Never go full Devin Nunes. Don't do that thing.)

"I think this is part of the dilemma dealing with impeachment -- the willingness of people who ought to know better to peddle this kind of flat-out B.S.," he continued. "It's just this torrent, this hurricane of misinformation from people who you would hope would keep a calmer head about them, a calmer demeanor."

Oh sure. Calmer head, calmer demeanor. Maybe you just stop putting them on television to spew that load of bullshit at viewers instead. That would go a long way toward neutralizing the disinformation and certainly give the rest of us calmer heads and calmer demeanors.

McSweeney's, a satire site, had this to say about yesterday's MTP debacle in an article entitled I’m The Host Of A Prestigious TV News Show, And I Invite You To Come On-air To Bullshit Me:

The only obligation I have is to empower every transparently spineless clown, moron, and con-man out there to come on my show and rattle off as much crazy bullshit as their little heart desires.

You see, “truth” is indeed a crucial concept — in fact, it’s why I became interested in journalism to begin with, and I’m even willing to bet we can all agree on what that word means. But what’s far more interesting to me is debating widely acknowledged and obvious facts with fascist bridge trolls that come to my show solely to perform on national television for the broken-brained carnival barker they are beholden to for reelection. There’s no doubt that our political dialogue would be better if I instead used this time to carefully break down the important issues of the week, with an emphasis on factual developments of which there can be no debate. But where’s the fun in that, when I can spend a half-hour staring slack-jawed at a smug white mannequin that is screaming completely debunked nonsense at my viewers without a hint of resistance?


Ultimately, I believe that time is on our side, and the less I do to clarify simple, affirmative realities about our current moment, the more likely things will just fix themselves, and the congenial, unrepentant hucksters that are accelerating the deconstruction of our government will kindly excuse themselves from the national spotlight. Please trust me: I’m a concerned citizen just like you, albeit slightly more concerned with the revenue generated by controversy.

Unless and until Chuck Todd simply cuts the mic, turns to the audience and tells them they have heard factless bullshit spewed by a Trump cultist, they're going to keep doing it, because no one ever challenges them, just the way Chuck Todd didn't.

Or by snail mail:
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