Charlie Sykes, Adulterer, Coward, Vindictive Republican shill

Offensive. Cowardly. Immoral.

sykes.jpgThat describes talk radio show host Charlie Sykes. He’s a pig — an adulterous scumbag who preaches morality with the help of the radio station he works for, AM620WTMJ. He shuts down people who disagree with him and promotes candidates and ideas that he agrees with. He is brutal, vicious and uses his show to spread vitriolic rants that are little more than ads for the Republican party and their candidates.

To understand why Sykes grates on me you have to understand my personality. Honor, integrity and fidelity are key to who I am. There is no greater promise that a man can make to a woman than that promise to love, honor and cherish her for the rest of her days — till death do you part. I understand that differences can occur and marriages can crumble, but there really isn’t an excuse for violating the marital oath through infidelity.

Sexuality and physical drives are something that we as humans all deal with. But what separates us from the animals is our ability to hold our drives in check. Sykes doesn’t understand that.

Sykes chose to put his sexual drives above the needs of his past wives and his children. His relationship with his second wife, Diane Sykes (now a federal Judge), fell apart after Charlie decided that he wanted to spend more time with his soon-to-be third wife, opera singer Janet Riordan (alias Liz Woodhouse) who at the time Sykes simply called a “family friend”. Sadly, not only did Charlie leave his wife Diane for another woman, but he left their two sons, leaving the obvious question — what kind of man cheats on his wife knowing full well that his actions will result in his children growing up without their father in the house?

Then there’s the whole issue of Riordan. They used to have a name for women like that. Come to think of it, they still do.

It boggles the mind how so many people still listen to Sykes. His shows slogan is “standing up for what’s right”. Irony is not lost on this man. Decency, and apparently marital fidelity, is.

But the radio talkers moral short comings don’t end there. A few years ago I called the thin skinned Sykes on the carpet for helping to destroy Northridge by fanning the flames of racial fears. The fact is that he did and when he denies it he is lying. Now it may be true that the words of racial hatred didn’t come directly from his lips, but Sykes carefully screens his callers to assure that they agree with him and he rarely lets someone who disagrees with him on the air.

In 2004 I called in to the studio during his show to refute some of the outright lies he was spreading about me. His call screener asked me, “are you ready to come on the air and apologize for being a liar”? Since I hadn’t lied I responded that I was calling to set the record straight. He said he was going to check with Charlie who said on the air “go peddle it somewhere else”. Like a hit and run drunk driver, Charlie Sykes isn’t willing to deal with the consequences and despite his claim that he’s “standing up for what’s right”, Sykes ducks and hides when callers want to challenge his distortions.

That’s cowardice. That’s Charlie Sykes.


Hot Links and Direct Sources:

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, July 19, 2000
Sykes weds “other woman”, Janet Riordan
Even before her real name was first reported by Inside TV & Radio back in 1997, there had been rumors about Charlie’s relationship with Riordan. Charlie was married at the time to his second wife, judge Diane Sykes… Charlie’s name was first officially linked with Riordan in Whitefish Bay police records from August 1996, when they were ticketed for shooting off fireworks at Big Bay Park 45 minutes after the park closed. Police said they were alone on the beach at the time.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, October 3, 1997
Sykes “friend” Riordan uses fake name on radio panel
You may remember Liz Woodhouse as the phony name for a member of Sykes’ radio panel on WTMJ-AM (620). She has since stopped that silly nom de Sykes and is using her real name, Janet Riordan…You may recall that the Liz Woodhouse charade was uncovered here back in January. Charlie first claimed she was just a regular old listener giving voice to the voiceless. It took him a week to admit that she was a “family friend” who did “research” for him when she wasn’t working as an opera singer.

Originally we published this column on a static webpage but it seems appropriate that we now share this with the blogosphere. Since Sykes has come right out and stated that he is an activists, it seems all together inappropriate for WTMJ radio to provide him with over three hours per weekday of propaganda airtime. His recent attack on Governor Doyle comparing the Governor to southern segregationists was yet another example of one of Charlie Sykes’ lies.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Edmund Burke


Shortly after we republished this, Eye on Wisconsin laid out the details of Sykes’ affairs. We salute Eye on Wisconsin for this exceptionally well laid out column.

Charlie Sykes divorced his first wife in 1977.
He then married former state Supreme Court Justice Diane Sykes in 1980.
They had two children together.
On September 11, 1996 Charlie Sykes received THIS CITATION from the Whitefish Bay Police Department for setting off fireworks on public grounds. Here is the interesting part- he was found doing this in Big Bend Park, after hours, with a woman that was not his wife at the time. Go ahead. Read it yourself.
Sykes then began using this “park women” on a radio panel in 1997. He even gave her a fake name which eventually the media revealed. First he said she was only a listener, then a “family friend” that did research for him.
The “park women” was apparently married during the “park incident” as she did not get a divorce until 1998.
On July 29, 1999 Diane and Charlie Sykes filed for a divorce.
Both agreed that the marriage was “irretrievably broken.”
The marriage was officially dissolved on June 1, 1999.
Barely a year after the divorce with Diane, Charlie married his third wife. And yes it was the “park women.”





  1. John-david Morgan:

    For the record, I’m not that intersted in Charlie Sykes’s love life; as of late, this ad of his and Mikel Holt’s with the kids from Messmer saying some fairly reprehensible things about governor Doyle is a new low, even for Charlie.

    But do keep Jim’s post in mind the next time Charlie starts spouting off on the air about how legitimate the GOP’s insidious “Defense of Marriage Act” is. Is there anybody in Wisconsin who would want Charlie standing up for their marriage?


  2. Jeff Wilhelm:

    To the “Watch Dog”
    We are so lucky to have someone who is so morally pure such yourself looking out for us oh great watchdog. In your explanation to us of who you are “honor, integrity, and fidelity are key to who I am”, you obviously left out “humble”.It is so like you liberals to personally attack and name call but lets not debate the issues on their merits. Somehow school choice goes against your “honor & integrity” because Charlie Sykes is an adulterer. Do you really want to go down that path, because your side would lose. If your really such a “watchdog” why don’t you get out of Charlie Sykes bedroom and start exposing the politically “immoral” pay for play politicians that run our city and state.

  3. Jim McGuigan:

    I have no idea what your school choice rant has to do with Charlie Sykes’ adulterous affair.

    Sykes’ bedroom antics become fair play when he chooses to question the morality of others. He’s chosen to cast the first stone so he must believe himself to be without moral problems of his own.

    I was simply pointing out his hypocricy.

    After all, he’s complaining about the AG driving drunk while trying to uphold the law, doesn’t it make sense for someone to question Sykes talking about morality as he diddled with someone on the side?

    For that matter, why doesn’t anyone on the right care?

    By the way, I see you’re trying to minimize his indiscretion but it wasn’t just his wife that was hurt by his actions — it was his children also. No good father could possibly excuse Sykes’ actions. Why aren’t you condemning them?

  4. John-david Morgan:

    Jeff: I would welcome with open arms any opportunity to talk, discuss, debate the merits of the Milwaukee Parental Choice program. Feel free to read our recent posts it.

    But, if you’ve been paying any attention these last 11 years or so, that’s not what we get from Charlie Sykes. That’s not what we get from Mikel Holt. That’s never what we got from Mayor John Norquist; from Tommy Thompson; from so-called “reformers” such as Leah Vukmir. Ask Alan Brown, former superintendent of MPS, whether the choice crowd likes to make personal attacks or whether they want to talk about the issues at hand.

    These “choice” reformers, education hucksters, have pushed the Milwaukee Choice program as though it were a jerry-rigged car that’s supposed to replace the car you have (MPS) that has been having some mechanical troubles:

    They tell you they have a new and better car for you.
    You say, “OK, let me look at it.”
    They say, “Here it is.”
    You say, “Alright, can we go to a mechanic and get a diagnostic so I can see if if’s up to standard.”
    They say, “That’s out of the question.”
    You say, “Well, I dunno, maybe I’ll pass.”
    They say, “But your car doesn’t have any wheels and it’s running at 20 percent efficiency.”
    You say, “What are you talking about. There are four wheels (I do need a new tire), and it’s running at 70 percent efficiency.”
    They say, “The Journal Sentinel and Charlie Sykes are reporting that your car has no wheels and is running at 20 percent.”
    You say, “They’re crazy, it just needs some maintenance.”
    They say, “Teachers union.”
    You say, “What?”
    They say, “You heard me: Teachers union. What about those union dues?”
    You say, “You’re crazy, let’s look under the hood, the teachers union isn’t running this car.”
    They say, “No can do — this is a civil rights issue.”

    And you wonder why Lena Taylor was in tears yesterday on the state Senate floor.

  5. Tim:

    This puts Charlie Sykes in the category of Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. Remember the sexual harrassment by Bill O’Reilly and the drug abuse of Rush Limbaugh. These people preached “moral values” to other people and talk about the precious institution of marriage. But then they do immoral acts. They are all hypocrites.

  6. Tom G:

    On the morning that the student in Florida was shocked by the campus security with a taser, Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner were talking about the incident. Sykes laughingly called the student a “whiney-boy” in reaction to the student’s cries. Of course this was on top of the usual rhetoric of name-calling spew over the students views. The word “kook” was used, etc.

    To use unnecessary police brutality as a springboard to an ideological attack on the victim is the act of fascist bullies.

    He makes me want to vomit.

  7. Carol Z:

    A friend of mine told me that the only way to listen to Charlie is to remember “This is his job”. So everytime he irritates me I put that quote fore front in my mind. If you listen carefully to him, when he really gets upset, his voice rises and he you know that he feels he is losing his argument and changes the subject. I guess the real thing that irritates me is that WTMJ defends his action.

  8. Deputy Insider:

    Charlie, charlie, charlie, what would Dave say?

  9. Chris:

    It’s a good thing we have the morally pure looking out for us here in Milwaukee. Oh, and great choice in your Banner…JFK and Clinton particularly.

    I guess what is galling is the insinuation that appearently to avoid being “hypocritical” one must simply have the absence of standards. Falling short of the ideals you believe in doesn’t make you “hypocritical”, it makes you human.

    Furthermore, I don’t think I’ve ever heard Charlie comdemn someone for being less than either 100% faithfull. Lying about their infidelity (IE clinton), certainly.

    The real hypocrite is the who selectively attacks infedility depending on ones political views.

  10. Justin:

    One doesn’t have to be perfect in all facets of life to speak on morality. It seems to me that you are in a desperate attempt to take back what spotlight Mr. Sykes has taken control of. You speak as if you have never made a mistake in your life. You ask why the right doesn’t care. Well sometimes the MORAL thing to do is to forgive and forget. This can be done by looking at what the man in question stands for as a whole. I doubt very much that Mr. Sykes isn’t passionate about his morality and that of others. I have cultivated this belief from hearing him countless times on his radio show and that of others where he was a guest. You attack his credibility for what gain? So that you may be noted as Milwaukee’s watch dog? Attacking Mr. Sykes does nothing more than waste your time, as well as Milwaukee’s time. Focus in on something that will change the dynamics of our city in a positive way.

  11. Mark:

    I caught Charlie on his talk show a couple of weeks back when he was bashing the Catholic Church during a segment of his show. I also agree that this whole preist thing is repulsive. We catholics are paying for the mistakes of the church from years back which doesn’t sit well. Does all the listeners now the goverment protects Unified Schools with a ceiling of $40,000 dollars in a law suit of this type, and when it comes to the Catholic Schools the ceiling is the limit,could this be why you only hear about the suits in the Catholic Schools. Where is the equality in that Charlie. I feel you owe a appologie to all us God fearing Christians of all faiths. Shame on you Charlie

  12. appleton14:

    ‘Tis wonderful that somebody that is pure as the clean driven snow and innocent as a lamb can expose that evil Charlie Sykes.

  13. Tony:

    a fun quote from sykes here:


  14. Saukton:

    Idiots like Sykes are precisely why 9/11 happened. I’m not exaggerating. It will take a generation to re-wire the damage clowns like him and his masters (Limbaugh/Rove) have done to this country. Fortunately, we are on the road to recovery!

  15. Dan:

    Yes, Sykes is a complete a-hole. He’s so over-the-top leaning toward the right that no one can take him seriously. What a joke! He’s the typical hypocritical Republican!

  16. appleton14:

    I was just looking at the message “Saukton” wrote accusing people like Charlie Sykes of causing 9-11. Oh brother, now I’ve heard it all.

    “Dan” is upset that Charlie Sykes is leaning to the right in his political beliefs. Which way are you leaning, Dan? If anything I find the Democrats more hypocritical than any Republican.

    And, much has been written about Charlie Sykes’ “adultery”; but weren’t you Clintonistas the ones that were saying sex didn’t matter. At least it didn’t matter when Clinton and Lewinsky were cavorting in the oval office.

  17. Dan:

    @appleton14 – Oh you hurt my feelings! Shows how muc you know. Me hurt? No way! I’m just sittin’ here glowing in Obama’s win. Bet you and ol’ hypocritical Sykes are lovin’ that! The NEXT 8 YEARS are going to be awesome!!!

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  19. Pat Small:

    The oh so smooth (just look at his ‘do) Mr. Sykes deserves a suitable sobriquet: ‘Charming Charlie’.

    All the right and light ladies love him. For shame, Charming Charlie’s almost a ground-breaking (not to be confused with ‘vow-breaking) male-feminist for all he’s done advancing the careers of Diane Sykes, Janet (Liz Woodhouse) Riordan, Jessica McBride, and recently, Rebecca Kleefisch. But does anyone know how well it worked out for wife number one?

    An aside: Sykes-ophants may have been shocked to learn of the soul-mating of Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn and now serial ‘other woman’ Jessica McBride. Of course no one would have been surprised that Jessica McBride’s husband Paul Bucher just might have been a bit wary of Charming Charlie–who fawned all over Jessica every time she shared the airwaves with him, or when he hyped her short-lived nighttime TMJ show and writing career.

  20. Carol Zess:

    I know this will be hard to understand for Charlie haters, but I have to let you know that he has made me appreciate the small things, like the dial on the radio that lets me turn on another station. I actually forget to turn the station, until I hear his rant about his use of the word liberal like it is dirty word. Then quickly I rush to switch to a soothing music station.

  21. Scott Walker (the other):

    For those who make moral accusations against Mr. Sykes: where are you getting your moral truths from? Even if the history on Sykes is correct–which there is good evidence much of it is—how do you know what you believe to be moral rights and wrongs are correct? You are correct in saying, if a man does not walk the talk he is a hypocrite. And it is even more disastrous if that man is a Christian. I think this is more about the accuser than the accused. Do your accusations stand up to your beliefs. We don’t know Mr. Sykes’ heart. He may have repented from his sins and been saved. Love brings about better results than attacks. Where are you at?

  22. Watchdog Milwaukee » Charlie Sykes, Adulterer, Coward, Vindictive …:

    […] Watchdog Milwaukee » Charlie Sykes, Adulterer, Coward, Vindictive … […]

  23. James Heilmann:

    You’re a self-important doofus, Jim. Typical liberal – only post comments agree with you. Free speech? Ha!

  24. John Wagner:

    It’s one thing to attack a man’s politics. It is another to attack his personal life.

    Jimmy boy, you are just one more libnut cockroach who scurries when a Charlie Sykes turns the light on you. Nothing wrong with you that a firm boot heel couldn’t fix.

  25. Jeanne:

    His political beliefs don’t match his personal life. He’s a hypocrite and shame on WTMJ for keeping him on their payroll. I’m not here to cast the first stone; however, a true Christian Conservative, which is what Charlie believes himself to be, should abide by all of God’s laws. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Enough said.

  26. Jeanne:

    PS Mr. Scott W, so if he has begged God for forgiveness, then his actions are justified and excused? Practice what you preach. All I\’m saying is, I\’m sure the good Christian Conservatives can find someone better to represent them.

  27. The Asian Badger:

    Offensive. Cowardly. Immoral.

    Sounds like Bill Clinton and John Edwards.

  28. martyg:

    Looks like someone showed up to advertise their blog. *eye roll*

  29. Scott Walker (the other):

    Jeanne, and those who believe as she, please tell us your world-view, so as to help us understand where your foundation lies. He is only a hypocrite if he hasn’t repented. We, as Christians, know we can not abide by God’s laws because of sin; thank our heavenly Father for his Son who washed away our sins with his own blood. Jeanne, if all—I believe you to mean Christians—follow what you profess, we would all be just sitting at home. The important thing is, is one moving closer to Christ or in the other direction. Read you Bible, it is full of history about God’s chosen children sinning against Him. Martin Luther once said, I would rather be ruled by a wise Turk than a foolish Christian. He is not a our ruler, but Sykes is wise, even if he may not be a good Christian. I am not going to judge, because I don’t know the man’s heart. Though if I were to sit down with him, I would surely confront him.

  30. pam:

    I do not know who watchdog is, but it doesn’t sound like you like charlie very much. What a shame I find him to be pretty smart guy. I know a lot more about poltics when I listen to his show I find him to be a kind and honorable man.I hve not been aperfect person so are you going to attack me. Is this what the watchdog site is all about. shame on you if it is. I wonder what you are all hiding in your life. You are all just jealouse that he is smarter and more succesfull then you all. Peace and kindness we should all practice. Bless you all.

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