On the rare occasions when Charlie Sykes permits people who disagree with him on his show, he doesn't argue with them. He leaps from conservative talking point to conservative talking point in a surreal fashion that baffles anyone who's trying to follow an intellectual thread vs. merely say, "You go, Charlie."
Oh, and when he runs out of talking points he just makes shit up.
And so it went when Charlie "debated" Earl on Tuesday. Earl took issue with Sykes slandering of people gathered at the Coggs center as moochers and his characterization of people in the inner city (i.e. black folks) in general. Earl would say things are the hardest now that he's ever seen in his 54 years. Charlie asked when was this golden age. Earl says in the 70s. The 70s? Charlie snorts. Earl points out in the 70s African Americans in Milwaukee had, relatively, a high standard of living and the issue is jobs. Charlie says don't you think those jobs in manufacturing left because of EPA standards and a litigious environment (LOL). Earl blames Nafta. And on it goes until Charlie's shifted the goal posts many times, apparently shuts down Earl's mike, and explains why Earl is confused.
My recollection is strained at this point,but Charlie says other cities have bounced back -- in context, bounced back from difficult economic situations. Why not Milwaukee? But he never cites an example. And so the Brawler asks: what cities is Charlie referring to. Because, to be frank, as far as rust belt cities that were hammered during the restructurings/sky high interest rates/recessionary environment of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Milwaukee is faring fairly well. The Brawler recently was speaking with a highly paid consultant type who's bounced around and lived in any number of Midwestern burgs and was pleasantly surprised when he landed in Milwaukee. "It's not Detroit," he said. "It's not Cleveland." No, it's not, and it's not any other number of Midwestern burgs that have gone through wrenching economic transitions. It is far, far from perfect -- and the opening of a new hip restaurant in the Third Ward or a hipster bar in Bayview should not be mistaken for overwhelming progress while the central city continues to suffer -- but compared to its peers, it's doing all right.
So the Brawler asks: What cities does Sykes wish Milwaukee were more like?