Charlie Sykes is completely predictable. Nobody should be surprised that he teed off today on Summerfest and "the leftists" who persuaded the festival directors to remove the elaborate video war game that the U.S. Army offered at the festival grounds until yesterday. I just finished listening to the two hours that he devoted to this topic.
Let me summarize and react.
Shorter Sykes #1: The Summerfest directors are not manly ("wimps" "caved like slinkys"), they hate the military, and it is wrong that they responded to the complaints and worked to close the war game.
My question #1: What if Bill Maher had been booked to perform at Summerfest?
Shorter Sykes #2: This virtual war game, where kids as young as 13 suit up and ride a humvee to shoot with automatic weapons at images of "the enemy", is good because it teaches this country the realities of war.
My question #2.a: How would you or I know the reality of war, since we have never come close to experiencing it?
My question #2.b: If it is important that the citizenry know more of the reality of war (I agree, by the way) since we are fighting two at the moment, did you ever criticize the White House policy to forbid images of our dead soldiers' caskets? Did you ever applaud reporters for showing death on either side during these wars, or did you instead support more news about privates handing out candy to children?
Shorter Sykes #3: Shame on Americans for being ignorant (he threw in "fat" too) of the fact that we are at war.
My question #3: What percentage of your show's content say over the last year has been devoted to informing listeners about these wars? Repeating the specious talking point that Democrats were wrong about the surge doesn't count.
My question #4: How much did this elaborate simulation cost, wasn't it our taxpayer money that funded it, and how many sacks of groceries paid for with food stamps distributed in Milwaukee would that same amount of money produce?
Poor Charlie is obviously energized about this issue. He used the show to not just bitch, but to also encourage public pressure on Summerfest to restore the exhibit.
I think this got to him -- his ego and his grudges -- because of the role that bloggers played. More than once he let slip some sincerity, and made gratuitous attacks on the bloggers during this show. He saved special attention for Keith Schmitz. That's his real motivation: As sweet as the sense of power he obtained from scoring a hit on Bill Maher this spring, the bile is even more bitter to realize that bloggers and Peace Action had an influence here. He wants that reversed.
This is a direct quote from early in the show: "Why do they always get their way?"