Rude? See for yourself


The Tulsa Whirled devoted a front-page Sunday story to the charge that some of the Reform Alliance Councilors were rude in their questioning of Owasso City Manager Rodney Ray and Jenks Mayor Vic Vreeland. The Councilors involved say they were politely asking questions, some of which may have made the visiting officials feel ill-prepared to respond.

The Whirled has run similar stories in the past, trying to make the Councilors look vicious and intemperate -- for example, saying that Medlock and Turner "grilled" TARE appointee Stephen Schuller, when they simply asked where he worked and if he had any conflicts of interest. The televised replay of that committee meeting revealed the grilling to be a series of short polite questions that lasted at most five minutes.

So this appears to be just one more element of the public relations campaign aiming at ending the Reform Alliance's majority. It's a frequently-used Whirled tactic. The Whirled writers won't attack a public official on the issue that really matters to them, because they know that their positions on most important issues are unpopular. Instead they will fabricate a charge that seems like a reasonable concern, just enough to create a seed of doubt among the supporters of the public official. From some questions I've received, the tactic appears to be working. (Conservatives should understand by now that the same paper that is distorting the record to destroy Tom Coburn and other conservative Federal officials won't hesitate to use the same power for similar despicable purposes at the local level. But a surprising number of conservatives don't seem to have made the connection.

It's good that TGOV gives people a chance to see for themselves what happened. Last Thursday's Council meeting will be replayed on Tulsa Cable 24 tonight at 6 p.m. and tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 18, 2004 12:19 PM.

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