Archive for the ‘Press Bias’ Category

We Just Can’t Let This One Pass; Oklahoman Advocates Increasing Global Warming!

May 15, 2008

We know an Oklahoman editorial writer didn’t intentionally call for thousands of cars – causing huge traffic jams in and around our public schools – parents being late for work, enormous increases in fuel consumption and hundreds of transportation workers getting pink slips, but that’s the effect of a strange and curious editorial in Wednesday’s Oklahoman. It had to be a mistake, right?

School buses are mass transit, and it’s the most efficient way to get thousands and thousands of children to school: one vehicle transporting dozens instead of dozens transporting one. Why anyone would call for abolishing mass transit in these times of $4 per gallon fuel is more than inane, it’s insane!

J.C. WATTS: Your side, my side and the truth

May 13, 2008


J.C. WATTS

The media have become an interesting institution over the past 10 years. Journalists more often let their feelings or their editorial comments infiltrate news reports, not just op-eds or editorials.

There are exceptions, but the media in general are great at building people up and then tearing them down. Interesting thing is, so many people are intrigued by it. Some actually love it.

It would be wise for all elected officials, pro athletes and Hollywood types to remember what one of my football coaches once said: “When people put you on a pedestal, that’s their fault. If you believe it, that’s your fault.”

UPDATED: Coates Damages Two More Reputations

May 9, 2008

Sen. “Dirty Harry” Coates

Sen. Patrick Anderson

Sen. Dirty Harry Coates, fresh off ruining the promising career of a weak-minded Enid state senator this week, has marred two more reputations. Two Tulsa World reporters, attempting to come to the rescue of Coates’ toady Sen. Patrick Anderson, botched an easy story about an incident in this week’s “official English” proceedings, and now it’s the reporters who have egg on their faces.

In a piece that would have been given an “F” by a first year journalism instructor, World reporters Mick Hinton and Barbara Hoberock penned a breathless and dramatic story that defies both logic and eyewitness accounts.

The story alleges State Rep. Randy Terrill threatened Anderson with physical violence, despite denials by Terrill and an eyewitness. The setting for the alleged encounter was revealed to OKPNS readers, but ignored by the capitol reporters until today.

Further, Anderson’s statement comes one day after he told his local paper the whole incident was “a practical joke.” Anderson apparently felt so bad about his childish behavior that he sent flowers to Terrill’s personal assistant, but changed his tale when presented the opportunity by the ‘big city’ papers. Hinton and Hoberock obviously didn’t check Anderson’s story from the previous day, a journalistic faux pas so glaring that no doubt their editors will be speaking to the pair about the gaffe.

The latest incident is the third time in 3 days Anderson has changed his tale, beginning with “no comment” the day OKPNS outed his alliance with flaky Senator Harry Coates of Seminole.

“It’s not unusual to see error-filled and disjointed stories from Hinton,” one capitol observer tells OKPNS, “but it really is a very, very poorly written story with a misleading headline designed to assist Anderson, who will probably lose a primary fight over this issue if he draws a respectable opponent. I’m sure when the reporters find out how they’ve been duped, it will help them be a little less naive next time.”

While we at OKPNS consistently uncover hypocrisy in the capitol press corps, it’s simply amazing to see them confirm the stereotype time after time. Here’s the account Anderson gave his paper on Wednesday, and his radically different account only one day later.

Developing……

FLASHBACK

OKPNS: Capitol Press Corps Party Affiliations (4/11/07)

Video: The Bumblin’ Stumblin’ Oklahoma Press

Dirty Harry Shows the Voters He’s the Boss, But Troubles Ahead?

May 8, 2008

The bumbling, fumbling embarrassment of a senator gained a measure of revenge yesterday when he sided with Democrats to scuttle the official English bill. As OKPNS regulars know, Coates has labored tirelessly to thwart the will of the people. When Coates left a folder filled with strategy and plans in a capitol head, the lid came off his dirty little plot. We have to assume the information was not sent to members of the capitol press corps, as their only involvement in the blockbuster story thus far has been to circulate Coates’ now-discredited tale that his documents were stolen or his computer was hacked.

Insiders tell OKPNS that a careful study of the transcript of Coates’ hysterical press conference reveals he never actually stated the documents were stolen, but rather used a Clintonesque verbal slight-of-hand to infer some type of theft. Further, another individual familiar with the investigation says there may be some evidence that Coates knew well ahead of his public breakdown that he had misplaced the documents, but that he did not know where he had lost them. Dissembling to the press, however, is different than lying to the police.

So did Dirty Harry actually allege a crime, or did he cop the truth to the capitol cops? Something stinks, and under ordinary circumstances an inquisitive press corps would be asking questions. But after several weeks, not one follow up story has been written by the capitol press corps.

So to clear up this matter, OKPNS is asking capitol police to release the report they took in their meeting with Coates and any other documents related to this investigation. While we strongly suspect Coates’ press conference was just a public stunt in the midst of a friendly crowd (the capitol press gang), the public deserves to know just what the Senator claimed in an official police report and if there is indeed evidence that suggests Coates knew the documents were in fact never stolen.

While shucking and jiving in front of the sympathetic press corps is one thing, it is quite another to take a press stunt to the next level. State Capitol Police, with Sen. Coates’ blessing, should make all documents relevant to this so-called ‘investigation’ public immediately.

OKPNS will publish those documents no matter what they say. Are you game Senator Coates? After all, if you have nothing to hide, why keep hiding the truth????

OK Media Wakes Up: Double Crossers In Cross Hairs?

March 7, 2008


Oklahoma City talk radio was on fire Thursday as Oklahoma City voters woke up to the realization that the double cross predicted by the Oklahoma Political News Service last month had come true.

Popular Oklahoma City radio talk show host Mark Shannon has an interesting take on the situation here. Dozens of callers were expressing their outrage at the revelations. Meanwhile, insiders say Chesapeake mouthpiece Tom Price screwed up in revealing the double cross so soon after the voters approved the Sonic owners’ request for upgrades to the Ford Center.

“Price is an idiot. Why anybody would pull this stunt is beyond me.” one source familiar with the situation says. “I’m sure his bosses are livid. Voters who just three days ago approved the measure would probably vote no now.”

By days end, HB 1804 Randy Terrill, perhaps Oklahoma’s most popular elected official, had aggressively nailed Price and other gutless business leaders for their back-door effort. Read Terrill’s press release here.

The OKPNS report correctly predicted that Price, state chamber chief Don Cain and others would be pushing for repeal of 1804. It will be interesting to watch the level of damage control: major Oklahoma City media ignored the linkage between the tax vote and the immigration repeal effort.

Now, some observers are saying that the local newspaper will provide most of the cover for Price’s gaffe, but with media leaders such as Shannon shouting from the rooftops about the double cross, there may be little if anything the media enablers can do to stop the damage.

OKPNS EXCLUSIVE: Stealin’ & Repealin’??

February 12, 2008

Scheme Aims to Pick Taxpayer Pockets and Re-Open Floodgates for New Illegal Alien Invasion

Responding to a question from the Oklahoma Political New Service, Rep. Terrill says he has not been contacted by Cain or Price about the difficulties 1804 may have caused the two industries.


“They’ve not said a word to me, and it concerns me that these companies would launch a multi-million dollar scorched-earth campaign without once speaking to me. If illegal aliens making the modern equivalent of slave labor wages are critical to their vitality, it makes me very, very concerned about the future of those companies,” Rep. Terrill told OKPNS.

Oklahoma City – An OKPNS investigation has unmasked an elaborate but seemingly foolish scheme by corporations and some chambers of commerce to pass a sales tax for improvements to Ford Arena and simultaneously double-cross those same voters by launching a multi-million dollar campaign to repeal the state’s wildly popular immigration reform bill.

Insiders believe that if the public discovers the linkage between the two efforts, there could be a voter backlash, adversely affecting the March 4th penny sales tax election, and subsequently killing Oklahoma City’s bid to land an NBA franchise.

While OKPNS has been critical of the Oklahoma press in the past for enormous lapses in journalistic judgment, this time the oversight is inexcusable. This one should have been uncovered some time ago, but it has not been explained anywhere in Oklahoma media or in the blogosphere.

Incredibly, the scheme calls for not just one campaign of deceit but two disingenuous and risky double-crosses: one aimed at the voters and another aimed at a popular state representative, which could unravel an effort to gain tax credits for the energy and technology sector.

One insider summed up the plot in this way, “Take their money, and then give them more illegal aliens. Take the tax credits, and politically harm the chairman of the revenue and tax committee. If true, I have never witnessed a more loathsome act.”

Oklahoma Political News Service has learned that the repeal plan is being kept in a low profile mode for two reasons. First, the corporate chiefs want the March 4th penny sales tax election to go off without a hitch, because of the fear of a massive voter backlash if citizens discover the agenda to repeal HB 1804 BEFORE the voters’ pockets are picked.

Second, the corporate bosses do not want to agitate Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, HB 1804 author and now a national leader in the immigration reform movement. Why? Because these and other corporate leaders are lobbying for millions of dollars in tax credits for the energy and telecommunications industries. To do that, they will need the support of the House Revenue and Tax Committee, chaired by Rep. Randy Terrill.

We at OKPNS thought when we heard this that this plan, risky and idiotic as it may seem, that it must be so ingenious that we couldn’t grasp its complexities. “No, you’re wrong,” another capitol insider suggests. “It’s the product of idiots.”

The March 4th vote seeks to raise $122 million, through a penny sales tax for 15 months to improve the Ford Center and build a practice facility so it can attract the Seattle Supersonics here starting in 2009. Dubbed “MAPS for Millionaires,” it is a relatively unpopular and controversial initiative. City leaders are planning a campaign to get voters to see the initiative in a positive light.

The OKPNS revelations of corporate dissembling will undoubtedly add to the initiative’s problems: a SurveyUSA poll done on January 29th for Oklahoma City TV station KFOR-TV showed the measure trailing 48-47, despite nearly universal positive media coverage of the proposal and no real organized opposition.

With apologies to KTOK afternoon drive host Mark Shannon, who hinted at the story last Friday, this is a story that the lazy and timid Oklahoma capitol press corps should have uncovered weeks ago. It’s best summed up by a capitol regular, who when told of the scheme said, “When the voters find out that the rich boys, who want the taxpayers to pimp their basketball arena, are going to turn around and try to open the floodgates to bring back illegal immigrants, there will be hell to pay,” she says.

Names connected to the plan include AT&T Oklahoma President Don Cain, as well as a public relations official at Chesapeake Energy named Tom Price. Sources say Chesapeake Energy is quietly discussing with allies a multi-million dollar campaign to repeal HB 1804. Ironically, Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon has an ownership stake in the Sonics, and tying the penny sales tax election to the same people who are attempting to weaken the immigration law would be damaging to his investment. Cain is also Chairman of the state’s chamber of commerce, a relatively weak business lobby group that stood mute in 2007 as HB 1804 was rocketing through the legislature. The three largest chambers of commerce, the state, Tulsa and Oklahoma City chambers, are officially on record as opposing the immigration reform bill.

This scenario becomes even more unusual when you consider that AT&T and Chesapeake have millions of dollars in tax credits pending at the capitol. Those items will most likely be heard in Terrill’s committee, and the Chairman, a social and fiscal conservative who follows the Reagan brand of conservatism, abhors corporate welfare. And now AT&T and Chesapeake, among others, have been exposed as insincere at precisely the wrong time.

“Their bosses are going to freak, but not as much as the voters,” our insider says. “Terrill will kill Cain’s tax credits, as he should, and I suspect that Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony, who loathes AT&T, will want to know more. It could be a PR nightmare for him.”

The insider goes on to say that arrogance may have led the corporation group to overestimate their political IQ. “As for Chesapeake, they’re not playing against naïve little old OG&E this time. I don’t give a damn how much money they have: Terrill will line up that oil company with illegal aliens and the public will go with him. Their tax credits will be dead, too. They’re up against perhaps the smartest and most skilled politician in Oklahoma. He’s media savvy due to his television and radio gig, and he has a wealthy national following as the Pied Piper of immigration reform. The phone company and an oil company against Randy Terrill is an unfair fight: Terrill wins going away.”

So why would two large business corporations plot against an elected official that holds the key to their corporate welfare this session? “This is incredibly stupid. Tell me it’s not true. They’re plotting against and polling against the Revenue and Tax Chairman of the House of Representatives? It will boomerang against the phone industry, the energy sector and undermine public confidence against business as a whole,” an Oklahoma City lobbyist familiar with the situation says.

Responding to a question from OKPNS, Rep. Terrill says he has not been contacted by Cain or Price about the difficulties 1804 may have caused the two industries. “They’ve not said a word to me, and it concerns me that these companies would launch a multi-million dollar scorched-earth campaign without once speaking to me. If illegal aliens making the modern equivalent of slave labor wages are critical to their vitality, it makes me very, very concerned about the future of those companies,” Rep. Terrill tells us.

Other capitol observers say that at least one organization connected with this scheme has performed extensive polling on the possibility of repealing HB 1804, and that repeal will be almost impossible. “It’s too popular, [Terrill] is too popular and even a massive educational effort would fall short,” he says.

So what now? From our vantage point, the plan has put at risk the March 4th election, energy tax credits and cellular telephone tax credits. There will be interesting fallout if the dominoes fall where they appear to be heading and the arena tax fails in March and HB 1804 is still standing in June. Or maybe they’ll get away with it: after all, it still is the Oklahoma media. In that case, maybe only readers of OKPNS will ever know.

Democrat Hypocrisy On Full Display; OK Press Silent

January 22, 2008


“In 1994, Democrat Governor David Walters reluctantly opted not to run for re-election after a grand jury recommended impeachment. Walters eventually pled guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance violation.” Read more… (Hat tip: Fair and Biased)

“The past is history.

The future is now.

A time for change starts today.” (Quote from fundraising email for Gov. Henry)

You would think that the editors (owner) of the Tulsa World would want to sell a few more newspapers by at least mentioning the hypocrisy of Democrat complaints of who attend Republican fundraisers. It seems The World has a case of convenient amnesia when it comes to former Governor Walter’s past transgressions. Rep. Lieberman, doing the media’s job, sent out a press release yesterday saying he was “sadly not surprised by this Democratic behavior and hypocrisy.” Below is an excerpt from the release:

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 21, 2008) – House Democrats are playing in the big leagues of political hypocrisy, said Rep. Guy Liebmann, who called on Democrats to apply the same standards to themselves that they claim to want applied to Republicans.

Reports show that former Gov. David Walters is hosting a political fundraiser for Democrats Tuesday. An invitation has been sent to capitol lobbyists asking them to attend and donate.

In 1993, Walters became the first governor in the state to be indicted when he was accused of eight felonies, including conspiracy and perjury. Walters pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor for violating state campaign law in a plea agreement.

Now, Democrats are using him to host a fundraiser for themselves. Last week, House Minority Leader Danny Morgan criticized Republicans for simply attending a fundraiser at the home of an individual who has never even been charged, much less convicted, of election law violations. Furthermore, the fundraiser was for a presidential candidate and not themselves.

“Clearly their finger-pointing was only a diversionary tactic to avoid drawing attention to their own fundraiser,” said Liebmann, R-Oklahoma City. “Last week, Morgan said he was “floored” to hear of House Republicans attending a presidential fundraiser.

OKGOP Chairman Offers OKPNS E-Mail Explanation

January 14, 2008

The Okie Campaigns blog is having a little difficulty believing OKGOP Chairman Gary Jones explanation that he wasn’t aware that he was attending a fundraiser at a controversial Dallas businessman’s home last month. Below is an email Chairman Jones sent to us last Friday:

Chris

I saw the story on me. I have attended events for Romney, Guiliani, Brownback, Tancredo and now Huckabee.

I was invited to the event in Dallas because when I asked the Huckabee campaign about seeing Huckabee and seeing if he could come to Oklahoma I was invited to the Dallas event. So I took them up on the offer.

I drove there myself at my own expense. It was very nice event. I had a chance to visit with Governor Huckabee which I had met before last year when he came to Oklahoma to help the state party and some of the OKGOP candidates and one other time at the Southern Republican leadership conference in 2006 in Memphis.

I have not endorsed any candidate nor have I contributed money any yet. I don’t plan on committing to a candidate until after our February 5th primary.

Gary Jones, Chairman

Oklahoma Republican Party

NBC Decides to Air "Controversial’ Ad Thanking Troops; Lt. Col. Steve Russell Featured

December 10, 2007

NBC originally refused to air the above commercial yesterday on their Meet the Press program with Tim Russert. NBC said that airing the spot would violate the network’s prohibition on “controversial issue ads.” How sad. The war has been so politicized, that now it is deemed “controversial” to ask Americans to thank our brave soldiers who are serving thousands of miles away during the Christmas season?” From the freedomswork.org website:

“As we celebrate the holidays, it is important to remember the sacrifices these brave men and women stationed throughout the world make each day to defend our freedom. Freedom’s Watch is honored to support their services and say thank you.”


Study: Oklahoma Op-Ed Pages Dominated by Right

October 9, 2007

Hat Tip: Oklahoma Independent Media Center

Washington, D.C.Media Matters for America today released Oklahoma data for its new report “Black and White and Re(a)d All Over: The Conservative Advantage in Syndicated Op-Ed Columns,” a comprehensive and unprecedented analysis of nationally syndicated columnists from nearly 1,400 newspapers, or 96 percent of English-language U.S. daily newspapers.

Because of the time, labor, and difficulty involved in gathering such a wide scope of detailed information about America’s newspapers, no one has ever before determined exactly where syndicated columnists are published. The report shows that conservative syndicated columnists are carried in far more newspapers, with much greater audience reach than their progressive counterparts, giving them a distinct advantage in the marketplace of ideas.

Oklahoma Key Findings:

Conservative Syndicated Columnists Dominate Oklahoma Daily Newspapers Each Week — Conservative syndicated columnists appear a total of 85 times per week inOklahoma newspapers. Centrist columnists appear a total of 14 times, while progressive columnists appear a total of 42 times.

Conservative Syndicated Columnists Reach Oklahoma Readers Over 2.5 Million More Times Each Week Than Progressives — Nationally syndicated conservative columnists account for 66 percent of the column impressions in Oklahoma each week, while nationally syndicated progressive columnists account for only 27
percent. Those conservative columnists reach Oklahoma readers 2,592,819 more
times each week than their progressive counterparts.

Top Syndicated Columnists in Oklahoma Are Mostly Conservative Each Week — The top nationally syndicated columnists published regularly in Oklahoma consist of seven conservatives, one centrist, and two progressives.