John Nichols on WTDY firings: Wisconsin progressivism deserves an outlet

Once again John Nichols nails it.

Sure, Sly often extended his remarks from “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable” to flat-out condemning crony capitalists and crooked candidates. Everyone who listened to Sly took offense at one time or another.

Every guest (including this writer) disagreed with him sometimes. But Wisconsinites recognized that Sly’s anger was motivated by a rage at injustice and dishonesty. And they loved him for that, giving his show solid ratings and a loyal listenership that advertisers craved.

When those listeners tuned in the morning after Thanksgiving, however, they did not hear Sly raging against Walmart and demanding that Wisconsinites “buy local on Black Friday.” Station management pulled the plug on Sly and the news department. In so doing, they created a serious information void.

Hopefully this void will be filled by the reappearance of Sly’s morning show on another, more wisely managed station. The Wisconsin progressive populist tradition remains vibrant and popular, as the Nov. 6 election results remind us. It should continue to have a bold radio voice shouting “Hello Wisconsin” every morning.

For the record, I’ve not always seen eye-to-eye with Sly (his comments on Lt. Gov. Kleefisch and his support of Kathleen Falk in the gubernatorial recall as just two examples), but I absolutely believe there needs to be more balance on Wisconsin’s airwaves, which are dominated by right-wing extremists like Vicki “wolf on back, snake on chest” McKenna, Mark “racial slurs” Belling, and Charlie “family values” Sykes.