Friday, March 07, 2008

Sybil Wilkes of the TJMS- Don’t Become Robin Quivers!


Plenty of bloggers out there have called Tom Joyner and his sidekick J. Anthony Brown to the carpet for their coonery and buffoonery on the syndicated radio program The Tom Joyner Morning Show. Cincinnati-based attorney and activist Nathaniel Livingston, Jr. even went so far as to file a complaint with the FCC a few years back. Livingston tired of Joyner and Brown’s “jokes” in which Black folks were regularly referred to as “coons” and “jiggaboos.”

The one voice of reason for many years was “news anchor” Sybil Wilkes. Wilkes offered a “different side of issues”—her contributions were always coonery-free. When Joyner and Brown reduced important issues to the utterly absurd, Wilkes would jump in to remind listeners of the more serious, key debates. When a distinguished guest came on the radio program, it was Wilkes who conducted the interview. Wilkes could be counted on to ask the serious and smart questions.

But no more. Today, Wilkes laughs the hardest and the loudest. She no longer leads the way as the smart, informed, news anchor. Instead, she is often the first one to rile Joyner and Brown up with her own highly questionable jokes. The sole voice of reason and wisdom has ceded to the jokey joke atmosphere of the TJMS. Today, Joyner rarely teases Wilkes for using “big A words.”

There was a time when I had my students tune in to the TJMS just to listen to Wilkes. I held her up as someone who carved out a unique radio career while provided a good community service to listeners. Wilkes has been in radio since 1985 in markets such as Chicago, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Charlotte. She earned degrees in Political Science and Communication Studies from Northwestern University. But I must remind Wilkes of her own motto, “to whom much is given, much is expected.”

Indeed, we expect much from Wilkes. The TJMS needs her wisdom and relevancy more than ever—these are very serious times. Soon, one will wonder if there is significant difference between Wilkes’ performance of “news anchor” and that of another famous “news anchor”—that of Robin "selling out women on a daily basis" Quivers of the Howard Stern Show.

Will the old Sybil Wilkes please come back!

(Image: Brown, Joyner, and Sybil Wilkes)

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I used to listen to the TJMS, but it has been reduced to a modern day "Amos N Andy" routine. I still appreciate some of their philanthropic ventures, like raising money for HBCU's, but the desire to turn every tragedy into a joke must end.

Anonymous said...

Foul, foul, foul--I totally disagree with your assessment about Sybil Wilkes. She has to be serious ALLLLLL the time? Why can't SHE join in the humor and laughter, too? It's ridiculous for anybody to think differently. If you've been a pre-TJMS Tom Joyner fan, you'd know that he's ALWAYS been silly. This is nothing new. Sometimes, shit is so serious today that dammit, you need to laugh. Now when 9/11 happened, who was there asking about the BLACK victims? Hurricane Katrina--who was there? Jena 6??? Need I go on?

The Roper Report said...

Ahh come on get the stick out....sybill's ability to join in and still bring a sense of seriuosness is great i have no problem with the show or my radio crush sybill.

imdddee said...

I hear other commentators on both radio and cable tv news (mostly the conservative ones) referring to Obama in clipped statements that sometimes start with "Obama doesn't..." or "Obama's problem is..." or "He can't..."

I listen to them periodically because I want to know how the other side is framing/positioning their attack.

I know they've got the skills, the know-how, and, certainly, the money to mold the thinking of their audience with subtle statements and subliminal negatives about Barack Obama.

What I hope, more than anything, is that we will raise the level of dignity as we refer to him amongst ourselves so that we don’t give more ammunition and feed their fire.

I'm not suggesting that we deify him. He's just a man. But, he is an astoundingly gifted, intelligent, savvy political candidate who has the capacity to change the direction of a country whose decline is being watched by the world. And, as such, we need to ensure that he is given RESPECT! That also means that as we make public references about him we maintain that same level of respect... on the air.

TJMS is FAMILY! We treat each other as FAMILY and FAMILY breeds familiarity! I believe that TJMS can set the acceptable standards for the listening audience as we talk about and refer to Barack Obama.

We have always had to do ONE BETTER, be ONE BETTER. That has not changed. We have got to... not give the other side (that also listens to TJMS) ammunition to take back to the conservative media to use against BARACK. I’m talking about the Armstrong Williams’s and the Alan Keyes's of the listening audience who want to take something said (in a FAMILY reference) back to their overseers to spread (outside of the FAMILY) to make it look like we don't respect the candidate.

I think we have to remember that while we all value the impact and importance of Obama's blackness... he is not a candidate FOR BLACK PEOPLE. He is a candidate for all of AMERICA.

He CANNOT and WILL NOT be elected if we act like he's just ours! The reaction will be just like that audience of young white men that Tom mentioned this morning. The other side will to see to that. They will use that, twist and contort that, make it seem like Barack Obama favors Black people (instead of that he is favored by black people). And, they will make us complicit in sabotaging a potential Barack Obama win.

I think my point is a subtle but profound one. Tom's enthusiasm is wonderful. Our collective exuberance is just what we want to excite and mobilize all of our population. That should continue to grow and inspire the greatest turn out in the history of our community.

Wouldn't it be smart if WE started singing a song on INCLUSION because that's what’s going to bridge the gap and stop the negative counter reaction.

If WE start letting the conservatives (and others) know that WE understand that Barack Obama serves THEIR interest, as well. If WE become the emissaries of Obama's AMERICAN message then WE bring a new and progressive dignity to the political process and to OUR INCLUSION in it. I think this can be groundbreaking.

I think we have to beat them at their game. We, too, understand the sub-conscious leanings of many white Americans. And, though we can't change their repressed thoughts and cultural histories, we can show them that WE can LEAD THE COUNTRY TO CHANGE! Not just Barack Obama. WE can take this campaign to another level by bringing the MESSAGE OF UNIFICATION to the airwaves. We did it with civil rights when Martin was our leader but WE rallied the cause.

I believe that this is what will help Barack Obama win!

Let's show AMERICA what the AMERICAN promise is SUPPOSE to be. I don't think Barack Obama can win unless WE do this. Tom, you can lead this. You can let your listening audience know that if they want CHANGE through a Barack Obama presidency that HE HAS TO GET ELECTED FIRST.

If he’s going to get elected it will be through a carefully orchestrated and highly sophisticated effort of coalition.

Tom, this can put YOU at a new level of influence, as well. I don’t hear anything other than BLACK, BLACK, BLACK from most black hosts. Well, let’s get him IN first! Let’s start a movement that says WE UNDERSTAND what America SHOULD BE! That’s the Barack Obama message. If we start talking A UNIFIED AMERICA (black, white, brown) that’s really the Obama message. Doesn’t it make since to get on board HIS MESSAGE rather than just ascribe and celebrate our own pride?

Anonymous said...

Sybil keep doing yo thang! I love you girl.

man of steel said...

Sybil, will u marry me?

Jerri said...

Ann Coulter, has once again slithered from beneath the rock that she habitually inhabits, this time to spew her venom at First Lady, Michelle Obama.
The following information appeared in an article in the January 9, 2009, edition of the Florida Courier, a Black - owned newspaper.

Ann Coulter, a so-called conservative political commentator, has written a book, published in December, called Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America.
Apart from her usual conservative rhetoric, she singles out Mrs. Obama for a particularly malicious attack.

Coulter states, "Her obvious imitation of Jackie O's style-the flipped-under hair, the sleeveless A-line dresses, the short strands of fake pearls-would be laughable if done by anyone other than a media-designated saint"
She, continues to, sarcastically refer to the First Lady as a "saint" and "Mother Teresa" and suggests that her public service career "advanced in lockstep with the political advancement of her husband".

She then gives us a peek into her own apparent fantasies, which we surely could have foregone, when she complains that the media "literally wanted to have sex with him". Him being the, then, President -elect, whom she repeatedly refers to as "B. Hussein Obama".

I have not personally read this book, but have seen similar reviews of it. Were her remarks simply about ideological differences they might not be appealing, but at least they would be acceptable. However, the nature of this purely personal attack can only be seen as an attempt to imply that no matter how bright, how educated or articulate, no Black woman is classy enough to be First Lady!!

We have seen the power of public opinion when we choose to let the media know that we are no longer tolerant of blatantly disrespectful behavior and that there is a price to be paid by those who are supportive of the perpetrators.
Others have used this tactic against us in the past. Appearances have been cancelled. Engagements have been indefinitely "postponed"; Contracts cancelled; Careers lost in a matter of months. Think Eartha Kitt, who dared to say, while lunching with Lady Bird Johnson, that she did not support the Viet Nam war! Eartha was "disappeared" at the height of her career and could only find work in Europe.
People of color now realize that we, too, have clout,and we can also demand that we be respected. I believe that we (especially women of color) need to let the media know that we do not wish to see or hear this woman malign Mrs. Obama and the position that she holds in this country. We do not wish to see her on talk shows, news clips or anywhere else hawking this refuse and her malicious attempt at demeaning this elegant representative of American women.

We need to let the media know that we cannot and will not support those who appear, implicitly, to share her views.
People, you know what to do!

Send this to everyone who wants to see disrespect for the First Family halted in its tracks

Anonymous said...

Sybil Wilkes is a racist...we have a black president....because he was the best man for the job, not because of his color. It's a sad day when people choose color to run our country. AND Sybil you are always saying nasty things about white woman, I wonder why....oh I got it jealousy. Lose a few pounds and you'll be OK sister

Connie Lawrence said...

Sybil, I listen to you every morning on my way to work. As far as I am concerned, you still continue to be the voice of reason; but I also appreciate your ability to laugh and to poke fun at the serious, alongside Tom and J. Anthony. These are difficult and challenging times. We are surrounding by terrible and bizarre situations. If we don't laugh, we will be crying everyday. Keep on doing what you are doing. If everyone said you were perfect the world would be one boring and monotonous place.
http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/AreMenReallyDogs.html

Anonymous said...

The TJMS addresses alot of serious issues and do alot for the community often not addressed by other stations. Sometimes they can be silly...but we live in too serious times and need to laugh at ourselves. Sybil is Great and Smart. Now if they need to get rid of someone who gets on my last nerve is Jay Anthony Brown...Damn he makes me sick!!!

Percy Randle said...

This is Percy Randle from Chicago
I have been listening to TJ over 35
years since WJPC and the Ladonna Tittle days. Keep doing your thing Man. You are a true inspiration, and your show is the "bomb". J. Anthony you tickle me, and Sybil stay sweet baby.

Kirk Strong Black Man said...

I'm in agreement with the article, inspite of the fact that Tom Joyner's Show with Jay Anthony Brown, & Sybil Wilkes can be entertaining at times, it still is buffoonery. To those who don't know or realize, negro(need to grow) entertainers, i.e. actors, rappers, singers, athletes, preachers, politicians, are only doing what racist white amerikkka pays them to do, ACT LIKE BUFFOONS, CLOWNS, & UNCLE TOMS & AUNT JEMIMAS. On another note, Sybil Wilkes is a cutie-pie, & I would love to spend many long,long, long nights with her over my house or hers.

Kirk Strong Black Man said...

I'm in agreement with the article, inspite of the fact that Tom Joyner's Show with Jay Anthony Brown, & Sybil Wilkes can be entertaining at times, it still is buffoonery. To those who don't know or realize, negro(need to grow) entertainers, i.e. actors, rappers, singers, athletes, preachers, politicians, are only doing what racist white amerikkka pays them to do, ACT LIKE BUFFOONS, CLOWNS, & UNCLE TOMS & AUNT JEMIMAS. On another note, Sybil Wilkes is a cutie-pie, & I would love to spend many long,long, long nights with her over my house or hers. However, if Sybil Wilkes continues to act like a buffoon, then someone needs to smash a banana cream pie in her cutie-pie face.

Kirk Strong Black Man said...

I'm in agreement with the article, inspite of the fact that Tom Joyner's Show with Jay Anthony Brown, & Sybil Wilkes can be entertaining at times, it still is buffoonery. To those who don't know or realize, negro(need to grow) entertainers, i.e. actors, rappers, singers, athletes, preachers, politicians, are only doing what racist white amerikkka pays them to do, ACT LIKE BUFFOONS, CLOWNS, & UNCLE TOMS & AUNT JEMIMAS. On another note, Sybil Wilkes is a cutie-pie, & I would love to spend many long,long, long nights with her over my house or hers. However, if Sybil Wilkes continues to act like a buffoon, then someone needs to smash a banana cream pie in her cutie-pie face.

Kirk Strong Black Man said...

I'm in agreement with the article, inspite of the fact that Tom Joyner's Show with Jay Anthony Brown, & Sybil Wilkes can be entertaining at times, it still is buffoonery. To those who don't know or realize, negro(need to grow) entertainers, i.e. actors, rappers, singers, athletes, preachers, politicians, are only doing what racist white amerikkka pays them to do, ACT LIKE BUFFOONS, CLOWNS, & UNCLE TOMS & AUNT JEMIMAS. On another note, Sybil Wilkes is a cutie-pie, & I would love to spend many long,long, long nights with her over my house or hers. However, if Sybil Wilkes continues to act like a buffoon, then someone needs to smash a banana cream pie in her cutie-pie face.

Kirk Strong Black Man said...

I'm in agreement with the article, inspite of the fact that Tom Joyner's Show with Jay Anthony Brown, & Sybil Wilkes can be entertaining at times, it still is buffoonery. To those who don't know or realize, negro(need to grow) entertainers, i.e. actors, rappers, singers, athletes, preachers, politicians, are only doing what racist white amerikkka pays them to do, ACT LIKE BUFFOONS, CLOWNS, & UNCLE TOMS & AUNT JEMIMAS. On another note, Sybil Wilkes is a cutie-pie, & I would love to spend many long,long, long nights with her over my house or hers. However, if Sybil Wilkes continues to act like a buffoon, then someone needs to smash a banana cream pie in her cutie-pie face.

Kirk Strong Black Man said...

I wish that Robin Quivers,Ann Coulter, & Sybil Wilkes would be lined up against a wall, & each one of them would have banana cream pies smashed in their faces for 24 hours.

Anonymous said...

I just wish Tom would stop trying to make stories sound worse than they already are... Thanks to Sybil for correcting him each time. now Tom you know better!

werfamily90 said...

"Will the old Sybil Wilkes please come back!"

The person who said this, I agree. I miss the old Sybil who kept the others in place. Now, she belch out a laughter that hurts the ears, and reduced down to the others. I too miss the old Sybil.

Bill Poole said...

As a former radio announcer,I have always felt that the TJMS is the best out there. No one questions BOB & TOM when they reduce serious matters to silliness. Let this team continue doing what they be
doin' and that is BEING THE BEST!
We need more African-American professionals such as these,especially Ms. Wilkes, who can laugh at themselves and make us all laugh & think & get involved ALL YEAR LONG! As for Ms. Quivers, she's gettin' paid! There are others doing much worse in the name of RACIAL PRIDE than either of these two combined!

BILL POOLE
ST. LOUIS, MO.

Anonymous said...

Hey, sybil i reall appreicate you! For your understanding about realistic things,in life. You have really been dear to me. Keep on loving,and bein strong like the person you are. I feel you girl,these people are no JoKe out here,and they can be very behind time. LV u!

Anonymous said...

Sybil, I here you in the mornings thanks for all you do. I will need your help as well as the others, if you know what i mean.......?