Charlie’s discussion followed up on a post on RightWisconsin.com, which Charlie launched a year ago and which has quickly developed into a must-read news source on political and cultural developments in Wisconsin.
Both in the post and during his radio program, Charlie promised to continue pressing Madison school officials for comment.
To listen to Charlie’s entire 20-minute main segment on on Hosking in his January 27 show, click or download here. Some excerpts (partial transcripts to follow) are below.
But first, for non-Wisconsin readers, some background on Mary Burke and her national significance.
She is the presumptive Democrat nominee for governor (the Democrats having managed to clear the field for her) and the Left’s only plausible hope to derail the Scott Walker juggernaut by denying him reelection in November.
Defeating Walker is a top priority for national Democrats because, as Rush Limbaugh has recently explained, Walker is living proof that conservative principles, pragmatically applied by public officials who have backbone, work — and that politicians can pursue this agenda, and win, even in a liberal state.
So stories bearing on Mary Burke have national significance. Whoever wins, the November election is likely to be a close one. This could turn out to be the most consequential gubernatorial election since Ronald Reagan defeated Pat Brown in 1966. The national significance of the progressives’ effort to defeat Walker is reflected in the title of an article recently published by a historian (Tim Stanley) in a London newspaper (which Charlie has highlighted): “How Scott Walker and the conservatives saved Wisconsin. America, take note.”
Mary Burke can most succinctly be described as a female Mitt Romney, minus the accomplishments.
Both earned MBAs at Harvard Business School, but there the similarity ends.
Unlike Romney, Burke inherited her money rather than earning it (she’s an heiress who enjoys taking a year off every once and awhile to snowboard in Colorado and Argentina).
Unlike Romney, Burke has no executive experience building a business (her main work experience has been at the family company, where all the kids are “entitled to a job,” according to her dad).
Unlike Romney, Burke has never been elected to any important office.
How Burke came to be even a minor elected official at the local level supplies a window into how Democrats hope to beat Scott Walker in November.
Two years ago, Burke set her sights on a seat on the Madison school board which pays $4,200 a year. So she pulled out her checkbook, self-financed her entire campaign (something Romney refrained from doing), and ended up spending more than $128,000 to win the seat — outspending her opponent by 12-to-1.
Now she’s pulled out her checkbook again, hiring a veteran team of political operatives (including some who got President Obama reelected) to run a campaign to unseat Governor Walker.
With that background, here are some key excerpts from Charlie Sykes’s January 27 program focusing on Mary Burke, and his followup report on January 28.
JANUARY 27 PROGRAM (again, complete main segment available here) (all excerpts from Hour 1 unless otherwise indicated):
Excerpt 1 (runs 2:27): Charlie reports that Madison school officials have not commented on the Debbie Hosking’s bullying of Scott Walker’s young nieces.
Hosking is a nurse’s assistant at a Madison middle school. . . . We’ve been reaching out to Madison school officials for comment, and obviously we want to update you when we hear anything. But the story is out there.
It’s been out there since the weekend. So the fact that, as far as I can tell, there has been no response, no comment, whatsoever from the Madison public school officials, or from any of the officials at Sennett Middle School in Madison. . . .
Now, there’s so many different levels that you could possibly talk about this . . . But in this particular case, there’s a couple of different elements.
It is that phrase, “inbred dumbasses” — I guess the phrase “inbred,” the implication that there’s something wrong with these kids — that it comes from someone who works in a school, with children. Someone who works in a public school as an assistant nurse would go on the Governor’s page, hates the Governor so intensely that she feels the need to lash out, not at the Governor’s politics or his policies, but at the Governor’s children and his nieces, with this particular comment. . . .
Now, would this be a big deal if it was not a public school employee? I think the answer is, yeah, obviously it would be revealing. The fact that it is an employee of the Madison public school district, and as of 9:29 this morning there’s no comment whatsoever from them, I think makes it a bigger story.
Excerpt 2 (runs 1:57): Charlie further addresses the concerns raised by Hosking’s behavior.
The story is on RightWisconsin.com right now. I know that other talk-show hosts have talked about this. Which again, underlines the incredible silence that we’re getting from the folks in the Madison public schools, particularly from this middle school. . . .
You can look at the picture yourself. And then imagine the kind of person who would look at these two young men and these two young woman, and decide that, you know what, I’m going to post on a public website that they look like “inbred dumb-blank.” “Inbred,” whatever that means. . . .
Her name is Debbie Hosking. She posted it on her own name. Her profile identifies her affiliation with the school. I went on the school website this employee, went through the employee roster, and she is in fact listed there, interestingly enough.
And we had Colin Roth, the associate editor of RightWisconsin contact them shortly after 8 o’clock — so far they have not returned the phone call. Maybe in Madison this is no big deal, but of course we have audience that spreads beyond Madison. . . .
Since we posted it, the story has gone viral. It has been retweeted by national publications, and it’s going to become a big deal whether or not the Madison public schools thinks it’s a big deal, and whether or not the local Wisconsin media decides to turn a blind eye to it. This is one of those stories that is about to go — is in the process of going — big nationally, via social media.
Excerpt 3 (runs 0:52): Caller points out that Hosking has suggested incest within Scott Walker’s family
Charlie: Let me ask you this question: Should this woman be disciplined — should she be fired from her school job — because she goes on Facebook and insults children?
Caller: Oh, I definitely think she should be disciplined, and let go, because she’s working with children, and she’s attacking children!
Charlie: Yeah, what is the implication of calling them “inbred”?
Caller: That would be, like, incest!
Charlie: Yeah, I mean, but, “inbred” — what is the implication, that they are, what, “special needs” children? Is she trying to imply that they look like they have some sort of a disability, and she thinks that’s something to mock? Is that what she is doing?
Excerpt 4 (runs 2:51): Charlie points out that it’s reasonable to expect Mary Burke to address this matter, and that the mainstream media are remiss in not insisting that she do so.
Charlie: Who should definitely be called to comment about this particular incident? . . . I will make it easy for you: someone who is on the Madison school board.
Caller: Well, that opens the door for me. That blonde-haired woman who’s a little bit smarter version of Barbara Lawton that’s running for governor.
Charlie: That would be Mary Burke, yes! Who happens to be on the Madison school board. So you would think that somebody would go, “okay, Madison school district, Madison public employee — Mary Burke, what is your position on whether or not this woman’s conduct is consistent with being on the payroll as a nurse’s assistant in a middle school, dealing with children?”
Caller: Well, they’re pretty quick on the draw if someone is doing something to offend them! You know, in the grand scheme of things, Charlie, this isn’t a giant issue, but I think it’s important that you’re bringing it out, because of the hypocrisy of the Left, of course . . . .
Charlie: I’m not sure what the bigger scheme of things is, but when you’re dealing with young children, if one of those girls sees this, it’s a big deal for her. . . . Not whether it’s a big deal for you or for me, or for anybody else in politics, but if you’re a kid, and you see that somebody who works in a public school has said this about you, online —
When you were nine or ten years old, did adults mock you? Did they imply that you were the product of incest? Did they imply that there was something wrong with you because of your picture? Did that ever happen when you were nine or ten years old?
Caller: No, you’re right.
Charlie: How many nine-or-ten-year-old girls are mocked by grownups because of their appearance, online? So . . . it may not be a big deal in the great scheme of things. Trust me, it’s a big deal for the people in that picture.
Excerpt 5 (runs 1:56): Caller points out that Hosking is guilty of cyber-bullying, so she should be fired.
Charlie: You’re exactly right. . . . If a student did this, it would be considered cyber-bullying. So the question now is going to be whether or not this is acceptable in the Madison public schools, whether this sort of cyber-bullying from a nurse —
See, I guess the fact that this is somebody that deals with children — that a child with a problem is supposed to be able to be able to come to this person — takes this to a whole different level. So it’s one thing to have “cyber-bullying” between peers. It’s another thing to have cyber-bullying from the usual hate caucus of the Left. But to come from a nurse’s assistant, that’s what’s stomach-turning about it.
To put this into some perspective, for those of you who thinking, “well, yes, but this was just a Facebook; we can’t do this,” remember that Scott Walker actually fired the Department of Transportation employee who posted something on Facebook that was offensive, remember? He actually fired his deputy finance director for a tweet — a tweet from several years ago? I mean, neither of them were done on work time. But they were embarrassing to, and obviously not consistent with, what the Governor wanted to project (or his administration).
So if the school district says that they won’t take action because it wasn’t on work time that’s . . . well, that’s kinda B.S., isn’t it? Another example of the double standard that conservatives are subject to.
Excerpt 6 (runs 1:30): Caller and Charlie agree that Hosking should not be working around kids.
Caller: . . . Those kids — Uncle Scott invited them to do something most people don’t have a chance to do. And I can’t imagine the perspective of someone who would apply a political view to kids that age.
Charlie: Yeah, that’s why we use the term “Walker Derangement Syndrome.”
Caller: It’s gotta me. I haven’t gone through the DSM-5 yet, but it’s gotta be on there somewhere, because it seems to unhinge them, in ways that doesn’t even allow them to function with other people!
Charlie: Okay, would the school district be within its rights to fire this woman for this comment?
Caller: I would say, yes. I mean, I wouldn’t want someone who does that sort of thing representing me or my company.
Charlie: But more important, I wouldn’t want somebody like that taking care of my kids! . . . You know, a child comes into a nurse’s office and needs somebody who’s going to deal with them with a certain level of compassion and concern, and you look up, and there’s Debbie Hosking, who’s probably thinking, “you inbred dumbass.” Really!
Excerpt 7 (runs 0:24): In Hour 2, Charlie predicts that the mainstream media won’t press Mary Burke on this story, and he notes “we have not heard a single word from the Madison public schools about this story.”
Excerpt 8 (runs 0:43): In Hour 3, Charlie notes there is still no comment from the Madison public schools in response to his calls.
JANUARY 28 PROGRAM
In Hour 1 of his program the next day, Charlie updated listeners on the story. To listen to the entire seven-minute segment, click or download here. These are the key excerpts (partial transcripts to follow):
Excerpt 1 (runs 0:25): Charlie notes he tried all day yesterday to get Madison school officials to comment, and they finally have.
Excerpt 2 (runs 2:06): Charlie explains that their comment is, basically, “no comment.”
Excerpt 3 (runs 2:43): Charlie reports on the reaction of a loyal listener who is a school governor in London, and compares that direct and detailed reaction to the “complete stonewall” by Madison school officials.