UPDATE, March 5, 2012: Sly Sylvester and Andrew Breitbart
John "Sly" Sylvester, morning host on Madison's WTDY, isn't doing anything to advance the argument that vitriol is a product of the Right and liberals engage in more civil discourse than conservatives.
On Monday, Sylvester was ruthless in his attack on Wisconsin's Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. He was jaw-droppingly cruel and offensive and insensitive.
A representative of the republican party of Wisconsin called on a Madison radio host to issue an apology for his remarks about Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch during a talk show segment.
Party executive director Mark Jefferson called remarks by WTDY morning host John "Sly" Sylvester "offensive."
During the Jan. 17 segment in which Sylvester criticized Kleefisch's cold-calling attempts to try to woo businesses from Illinois to Wisconsin, Sylvester mockingly impersonated Kleefisch and attributed sexual acts as the reason for her election. Sylvester made a later, additional sexual remark about Kleefisch as the on-air discussion turned to high speed trains.
Click here to listen to the comments from the talk show segment, provided by Milwaukee radio station WTMJ.
Sylvester's on-air segment also included references to Kleefisch's colon cancer, including discussion of whether Kleefisch uses a wig or has a poor hairstyle.
A statement from the American Cancer Society called the references "disrespectful" and said Sylvester made light of Kleefisch's fight with cancer "under the guise of political discourse."
WTDY program director Rex Charger defended Sylvester's remarks.
"It was obvious sarcasm and was not intended to be taken literally."
Sometimes an apology is in order. Without question, this is one of those times.
Rex Charger is using terrible judgment to defend Sylvester's hate speech.
Sylvester didn't just make fun of Kleefisch's battle with cancer. His horrible remarks may have hurt a lot of people who have personally battled the disease or have loved ones suffering from it. He's heartless, cruel beyond belief.
His statements were absolutely inexcusable and indefensible.
...Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), who along with democratic lawmaker Marc Pocan called for more civil political discourse in a news release last week, said he would not condemn Sylvester's decision to include sexual remarks in Sylvester's on-air critique of Kleefisch's work.
"He has every right to do it. And the only thing that can happen is we use our free speech to say either we disagree, or we turn the channel."
What a hypocrite!
Vos calls for more civil discourse but he won't condemn Sylvester's vile remarks?
What a disgrace!
Kleefisch declined to talk but Former Republican Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow blasted the comments.
"Is it chauvinism? I'm not sure. What's wrong with this man? I don't know," Farrow said. "It baffles me that he's on the air and that people continue to listen to that type of garbage."
I'm on the same page as Farrow.
Such trash does not belong on the air.
Sylvester's timing is priceless. Just when the Leftists have been pounding conservatives for their alleged lack of civility, he comes out with this.
Note reporter Tony Galli says that Lt. Gov. Kleefisch was trying to "steal" businesses from Illinois. "Steal"?
Do you detect just a bit of anti-Kleefisch, anti-Walker administration bias in Galli's reporting?
Transcript of excerpts from Sylvester's remarks about Rebecca Kleefisch
"SLY" SYLVESTER: How amateurish is it to have Rebecca Kleefisch, who, I don't know, she has some like little panty business in her basement or something, I don't know. She's hardly a, she's hardly an entrepreneur. You know what? You know how amateurish that is? Cold-calling?
(Using high-pitched voice, speaking as Kleefisch)
'Would you like to move to Wisconsin? Would you like to move CouponCabin to Wisconsin? I'm Rebecca Kleefisch. I performed fellatio on all the talk show hosts in Milwaukee. And they endorsed me and that's how I became lieutenant governor. And then I got colon cancer and I ran around the state to help people. Even though I have government health care, screw everyone else.'
CRYSTAL McKENZIE: You know, it looks like she's wearing a wig because I know she's going through chemotherapy right now, so she may be....
SYLVESTER: I don't think that. That is her TV... that's vapid hair.
McKENZIE: (Laughing) OK.
SYLVESTER: That's her vapid hair.
McKENZIE: (Laughing) I'll take your word for it.
SYLVESTER: I had heard at one point Rebecca Kleefisch pulled a train, but that must have been a different story I was reading about.
This is truly disgusting.
I'm glad the American Cancer Society released a statement condemning Sylvester.
“It is truly unfortunate that Mr. Sylvester saw fit to make light of Lt. Governor Kleefisch’s ongoing fight with cancer under the guise of political discourse.
“Cancer is not a partisan issue, but rather is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease that claims the lives of more than 11,000 Wisconsinites each year.
“The remarks made by Mr. Sylvester are inappropriate and offensive to all those who have been touched by cancer, no matter their political affiliation.”
Still waiting for NOW to do the same.
Those sexist remarks are terribly degrading. The woman heard on the portion of the audio available, WTDY news anchor Crystal McKenzie, just laughs when Sylvester spews his ugliness. What is wrong with her?
Civil discourse. Good grief.
One could say Sylvester's irresponsible, hateful speech might incite others to abuse people with cancer and demean women, if you buy the Left's manufactured crusade regarding the level of political discourse in the country.
In any event, there's nothing remotely civil about Sylvester's remarks.
This isn't a gray area. Sylvester should apologize. Promptly and profusely.
UPDATE, January 19, 2011:
PRESS RELEASE: Sly in the Morning: My apology to Lt. Governor Kleefisch
Sly in the Morning
730 Rayovac Dr.
Madison, WI 53711
Today I sent a letter to Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch apologizing for my inappropriate comments on Monday morning’s program.
Although I do not share Lt. Governor Kleefisch’s political philosophy, I know how difficult it is for women to compete in the political arena and to be recognized for their achievements.
I offer Lt. Governor. Kleefisch and her family my most sincere apology. I have tremendous respect for women who devote their time and careers to public service whether I share their views or not. I regret that my comments did not reflect that.
John ‘Sly’ Sylvester
Sly in the Morning
1670 – WTDY AM
On his website, Sylvester writes:
In response to complaints over my language mocking Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, this podcast should put in perspective why I made the comments and in the light they were meant to be taken. I will be sending a letter to the Lt. Governor to explain my position and convey in a more civil tone my sincere feelings.
Listen to the WTDY radio segment.
Sylvester claims his remarks were a "metaphor."
Metaphor? That doesn't make sense.
He says he's apologizing for his comments, but he really doesn't. He acknowledges that maybe he was a little too crude and graphic in his sexual references about Kleefisch but he expresses pride in his "metaphor."
Crystal McKenzie defends Sylvester, saying that as a woman she took no offense whatsoever. She says she's "a bit of a rock chick" and "can handle talk like that." She goes on to say, "I thought tongue was firmly planted in cheek. I could hear that in your voice. You were being a smart ass."
Sylvester clings to this "metaphor" excuse and suggests that his remarks were taken out of context.
There's no taking what he said out of context. It's unacceptable and extremely offensive. Period.
So how do these Leftists define "civility"?
Are hateful remarks OK as long as one insists that tongue is firmly planted in cheek?
Give me a break.
UPDATE, January 20, 2011: Lt. Gov. Kleefisch was Charlie Sykes' guest this morning. She gave her reaction and response to Sylvester's remarks.
Kleefisch said she accepts his apology.
Here's the audio.
UPDATE, January 21, 2011: David Blaska petitions the Federal Communications Commission to get WTDY's Sly Sylvester off the air.
Blaska's Blog has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission against WTDY radio. My intent is to knock the Vile Radio Talker off the air.
It is Complaint 11-WB14678720.
I do not like Big Government. But the Vile Radio Talker does. Let him go up against the lawyers at FCC. Live by the sword ...
From the FCC:
It is a violation of federal law to air obscene programming at any time. It is also a violation of federal law to air indecent programming or profane language during certain hours. Congress has given the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the responsibility for administratively enforcing these laws. The FCC may revoke a station license, impose a monetary forfeiture, or issue a warning if a station airs obscene, indecent, or profane material.
Read more about the law, definitions of "obscene, indecent, or profane material," broadcast restrictions, and enforcement procedures.
I think WTDY should be held accountable for its programming and the material it broadcasts.
Let the almighty federal government decide the proper course of action. Surely, Sylvester, a dyed-in-the-wool Leftist, wouldn't object to that.