Monday, December 8, 2008


Here's Charlie citing George Will's weekend screed against the Fairness Doctrine, or what he terms "the left's continuing obsession with regulating free speech," despite, in the words of Steve Benen, "no one is seriously trying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine."

Emphasis Benen's.

We've noted that there are more important things to worry about than clocking pundits on local radio stations (as have numerous others), but Sykes continues to display his persecution complex for either personal or professional gain.

That's when it hit me -- it's really hard to tell the difference between where the personal ends and the professional begins with Sykes ... or for any talk radio host, for that matter.

For several hours each day Sykes and his ilk are basically engaging in an act of public psychoanalysis. Instead of a couch, they pull up to the mic where a broadcast audience fills in for an analyst and to whom they yammer on almost in the stream-of-consciousness style of "the talking cure."

Freud would've loved talk radio.

These guys are professionals, but they're still subject to the same struggles between the conscious and the subconscious and that conflict occasionally manifests itself in odd ways. They talk smoothly and fluidly, so when they do screw up -- when they do trip up and let loose a "Freudian slip" -- it's very pronounced and easy to recognize (so easy that the talkers themselves are just as quick to recognize it and laugh it off before derailing the conversation).

Since Sykes' blog is essentially just a supplement to his radio show, I'd wager it's subject to the same rules of conscious/subconscious conflict.

One of the most popular "figures" to psychoanalyze over the years has been Shakespeare's Hamlet, but I think that psychoanalysts have a wealth of of material to sift through in the form of talk radio hosts. In fact, it might even be an opportunity to get back to the glory days of psychoanalysis when the budding field was butting up against the ethos of the Victorian Age (which the strict morality of some of the most extreme right-wingers seems to resemble at times). Charlie Sykes is the perfect Freudian case study. Sometimes is something as routine and benign as the whole persecution complex thing above, but then there's something a little more eye-opening like this hint of a castration complex ... to say nothing of how he is constantly examining issues related to childhood, parenting, education and the like.

Oh, the places this little exercise can go! Even when Sykes is discussing public works projects his imagery conjures up a metaphor for anal retentiveness.

Freud is one of the unholy trinity of modern thinkers conservatives have spent much of the last 150 years trying to dismiss (Darwin and Marx being the others). He's been marginalized recently (and for good reasons), but maybe it's time to bring him back out of the moth balls. Besides, a little pop psychology is great at parties after a few beers -- it should be just as entertaining online.

So from here on in we're going to be subcontracting our commentary on Syke's nonsense to Dr. Freud, Professor emeritus at the University of Vienna.

1 comment:

Douglas McCloud said...

In the greater scheme of things with Sykes: Who Cares?

You don't agree with him? Noted that. Solution? Don't listen to him or read his blog.

When I was a kid my Grandmother used to complain mightily to my father about how raunchy Johnny Carson was and that he shouldn't be allowed on there air. My father would always tell her the same thing: don't watch him if he bothers you.

There are zillions of nut jobs, both paid and unpaid, with an audience. Do I take these wackos seriously? No.

You seem to be taking Sykes seriously for some reason. This is what fuels the fire for someone like him in re 'the fairness doctrine'. You disagree with him and seem to suggest a full court press is needed to brow beat him into submission.

His next logical step is to worry about 'the fairness doctrine' and really, you are just adding fuel to that fire.

If it is not an issue, it will dry up and blow away despite him.

You are too good a blogger to trip up over something like this.