Many, many thanks

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I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the outpouring of support I've received in the 24 hours since I posted the Tulsa World's nastygram and notified friends and acquaintances in the blogosphere. Trackbacks galore (you can find them at the bottom of the original entry), a radio interview with New York talk show host Kevin McCullough (which will run again online at 1:20 a.m., 4:20 a.m., 7:20 a.m., and 10:20 a.m.), a mention on CNN's Inside Politics, many hits on the PayPal tip jar (prompted and led by Michelle Malkin), an Instalanche (size yet to be determined), and many, many supportive e-mails.

There's some big news about to break, having to do with some of the cozy Cockroach Caucus ties I mentioned. I hope to have something I can report on it by mid-morning.

In the meantime, for the first time ever, I'm opening this post up for comments. I reserve the right to remove anything that exceeds the bounds of good taste and politeness, but I want to give you all a chance to weigh in.

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Michael C said:

There are a lot of people behind you sir, including myself. Thank you.

SpinDaddy said:

Hang tough blogBrother, if the "whirled" were smart, they would hire you rather than threatening you.

They should have sent you a job offer instead.

Clearly the old dinosaurs of the MSM are in need of some new blood. -SpinDaddy

dw said:

And people ask me why I got the hell out of Tulsa as soon as I could.

I'm on the other side of political spectrum from you (and, for that matter, on the other side of the country), but fight on, brother. The World is a bass ackwards newspaper run by troglodytes who'd rather fight technology than use it. It's to the point that my family doesn't even subscribe anymore because it's such a craptacular publication. Of course, this leaves me SOL to read ANYTHING on the World website because you have to have a SUBSCRIPTION to read anything on it. It's sad when you have to rely on the Joklahoman to read Tulsa news. And you know what's sad? The Joklahoman is now a better paper than the World. I miss the Tribune.

Anyway, I'm sending a friendly e-mail to Mr. Bair reminding him that it's the 21st century and he better make peace with the web and bloggers or face the same fate as Mr. Rather and Mr. Gannon. Maybe a center-left voice will push over the edge that he seems to want to fall off of.

iwannaprawn said:

Go get 'em, we've got your back.

Wes Seaton said:

Hang in there, Michael. You've got about fifty million bloggers on your side. And I suspect most of them (like me) are sending nasty-grams of their own to your friendly hometown newspaper.

"Instalanche?" They ain't seen nothin' yet!

Robert Chang said:

Same here. Completely disagree with you on Schiavo, other conservative blogs, and the like but keep shining the light on the roaches. Good government is not a conservative nor liberal issue, it affects everyone.

Kerry said:

Remember the scene in Ghandi, where he proposes "...A day of prayer and fasting." And Jenna says,"You mean a general strike?" "No, a day of prayer and fasting... Of course no work could be done..." And Saaed Jaffey says, "It would terrify them!!" Can't you just imagine several thousands of thousands of bloggers printing a few lines from the Whirled, and sending emails to them. "Hi, I've sent you a line in the sand. Have a nice day!" Heh.

bigRob said:

Jim Robinson, owner of FreeRepublic, had a couple cases involving the LA Times and Washington Post on Fair Use issues. He may be able to direct you to a competent leagal voice.

Lisa Mautino said:

Thanks for all your work. It appears like those in charge of the Tulsa World believe the right to free speech only applies when they are doing the speaking. How wrong and pathetic they are.

Local boy said:

I cannot read the tripe the Whirled puts out. I quit reading the slanted liberal lies they routinely publish thirty years ago. I won't even consider reading it again. It has always been crap. And now they are desperately trying to demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the 'fair use' clause of Copyright law. How willfully stupid can they be? Very! Very! Very blind, very idiotic, and completely ignorant of the law they are using to try to frighten you.

All they care about is controlling the news to their benefit. And they can't control it anymore. It will be a shocking awakening for them.

Pat Coston said:

I'm with you. I canceled the Whirled over a year ago but still get one at least twice a week in my drive way.

Don Singleton said:

I am still working on getting some blogs set up, but this topic will be covered in the March issue of the Tulsa Computer Society's I/O Port Newsletter. A tentative copy of the article is at but it is subject to updating as this issue progresses.

I wish you the best of luck.

Mark B said:

Hey Mr Bates,
Fully behind you in here in Broken Arrow! Keep up the mighty work.

Captain Stormfield said:

Keep it up, Michael. And congrats on the Instalaunch!

Due to a spot of trouble with the tax-collecting arm of our federal government, I've been forced to earn some extra money and so for two years now, much to my shame, I've been tossing that execrable fishwrap onto the driveways of Tulsa's seasoned citizens for almost two years now (If anyone under 60 reads it, I've not noticed). I threw 150-160 a day when I started and that route is now down under 100. Every other carrier I've spoken to has had similar declines. That's a desperate and surly bunch of dinosaurs down at the Whirled headquarters.

Confusion to the MSM!

Bob the Tulsan said:

Keep shining the Light of Day on the nefarious machinations of the Cockroach Coalition, and their Puppet-Masters:

The Lorton's World;
The Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce
The Dozen Oligarch Families (counting the Lortons TWICE here).

Of course they hate your guts: You tell the TRUTH.

Disasterous for them, as they want TOTAL control in manipulating local public opinion.

Your BLOG is a breath of unpolluted air.

It was my pleasure marshaling whatever resources I could to give you a hand.

The World is about to have a wake-up call. Case in point: Anyone with a computer and a modem can click on any site in the Instalanche and read what is going on. You can't read jack on the World site without a subscription.

Through their own fears, the only side seeing the light of day is yours, Mr. Bates.

"Sign this paper and return it to me." The World's letter was the best laugh I've had in years.

To quote Gen. McAuliffe at Bastogne, "Nuts!"

Keep me updated. Be sure that whatever happens, the readers of will know about it.

Rex said:

It appears the World did not restrict their letters to you political blogger types. I received my own copy on Saturday directed to Tulsa Now. Since they offered no specifics I can only assume the source of their discontent is our forum.

This strikes me as extra irritating. It's one thing to copy/paste large portions of text or articles. But this line about "inappropriate linking" belies their total lack of comprehension.

Visitors to a community forum post excerpts or links as they wish. The fact that the webmaster at the Tulsa World cannot enforce their lame subscription policy is not my fault.

Thanks for bringing this entire fiasco into the light of day.

Poshboy said:

Keep up the fight--you are doing great. Whatever legal advice you receive should also include an aggressive legal campaign against the paper itself. I'd sue 'em for a $100 million harassment suit and then retire off their profits.

You should also hold a press conference on the steps of the World, invite their competition, and push the "little man fighting against a big, evil corporation" line. Ask at the conference if the World's advertisers support this kind of intimidation, and invite them to spend their ad money elsewhere. That'll make them rue the day they decided to spend 37 cents to harass you. What a bunch of ego-driven whiners...

Kevin Carson said:

Great to see the blogosphere standing up for you and giving the World the bitch-slap it deserves. I made your predicament the subject of a blog-post today: Northwest Arkansas Blogging: On Cockroach Caucuses, Urban Growth Machines, and Airports

Your blend of politics is interesting, by the way. In national politics, you seem to have an affinity towards Michelle Malkin, Instapundit and The Corner--the kind of neocon politics I loathe (myself, I lean toward a fusion of the decentralist Left and the Lew Rockwell Right). But locally, you're an enemy of the plute establishment who reads Jane Jacobs (one of my favorites). You're certainly not a by-the-numbers kind of guy, I'll say that.

It's not that odd a combination, though, come to think of it. Here in NW Arkansas, local maverick politicians bucking the real estate/highway pork establishment often run on a GOP ticket. The Washington County Democrats are utterly under the control of the good ol' boys. And according to Tom Ferguson's *Golden Rule* investment theory of politics, a major part of the Democratic coalition is urban real estate interests: the Democrats' mass transit and other policies are good for property values.

A few years back, the Washington County machine's congressional candidate for Third District was Ann Henry. Henry's a clone of Dianne Feinstein: she uses all the touchy-feely soccer mom rhetoric about "working families," but is at heart an authoritarian elitist. Like Feinstein (as mayor of San Francisco) she never saw a pork barrel subsidy to local real estate values she didn't like. When Henry sat on the Fayetteville City Board, that body was dominated by a coalition of the member from the richest ward, along with several "at-large" members all from that same ward. When GOP maverick Joe Robson proposed eliminating at-large members, she started squealing about "class warfare."

Good luck!

Jeff Shaw said:

Moral support can only go so far, but I support you. if you need me for anything let me know. I already refuse to buy the Tulsa World for many reasons.

Tulszanian said:

Ha, Ha, Ha Hahahaha. The Whiled cracks me up!

Nice of them to sacrifice their 'newspaper' for my ammusement.

Jeff Shaw said:

Moral support can only go so far, but I support you. if you need me for anything let me know. I already refuse to buy the Tulsa World for many reasons.

Kevin said:

Enjoyed reading your stories. There is usually 2 sides to every story and some underlining goals that other news media's (the whirled to name one) do not want us to know about.
I know this is not a "Tulsa" issue but it does concern Tulsa County.
Bixby School Board Election - Ended in a tie with the votes that were counted. But there were 2 votes that were not counted and put in a envelope to be counted later if it was found these two voters were elgible to vote in the election. It was found they were but the County election board lost the ballots (accidential or on purpose?). Now instead of letting these 2 people vote agian because they do know who they are ( I do not)they are going to draw a name out of a hat. Is there a way to get these people off the County Election Board because this seems to me to be a slap in the face of all registered voters.

Hijk Selur said:

I'm a law student with a few Oklahoma connections. If there's anything I can do, let me know. You know, your blog is getting a lot of additional traffic and attention due to the World's petulance. I'm almost jealous. :)

Joe said:

While I usually disagree with the megalomaniacal comments you post about certain subjects on here, I must say that I'm entirely in your corner on this one.

The Tulsa World has always been an embarrassment to the citizens of Tulsa that are forced to read it's 3rd rate "journalism" on a daily basis. Now, the rest of the world now knows what Tulsan's have known for years.

Mr. Bates, you've certainly gained a new level of respect and support from me.

David Hall said:

Keep up the hard work. I have to admit, I had no informed opinion on the efforts of the Medlock/Mautino voting block on the City Council. But reading the daily screeds against them in the Tulsa World convinced me they must be doing something right, and I found myself rooting for them without knowing all the facts. (and of course, now knowing the facts makes me root all the more).
If you get a chance could you post some subscription info to the local conservative weekly you mentioned? Time to drop the World.

thetulsan said:

You need to challenge the Whirled (ooops!) to a debate and further show the nation what kind of scared weasels they truly are!

Notice how CNN thinks Tulsa is the capital of Oklahoma? I bet the the World thinks it is king of Tulsa.

Keep fighting Michael!!

But it does make me wonder. First Dawn, now you. Who, that was at that coffeeshop in OKC, will be next? Dustbury? This is starting to sound like an Agatha Christie novel (Ten Little Bloggers)

Juan Mad Okie said:

Sec. 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -

* (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

mark said:

"...full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

The didn't even have their law firm draft your nastygram? Unless you're under their employ - which obviously you are not - you've got zero obligation to even acknowledge a communication from some jackass V.P., much less acquiesce to his unreasonable demands.

Ron C said:

Well Mike, it was easy to drop a C note in your tip-jar - and I hope others reading here will match or double-down far more. It ain't nice to let the thuggish bigs step all over the little guys who simply try to out the truth!

They have no legal foundation whatsoever - and if you wanted to, you could collect damages - with little effort. But, rather than doing that, it is better to just keep telling the truth. That will hurt them far more than paying damages ever would.

God bless you and yours...


Michael C said:

Mr. Bates, when you own the Tulsa World, could you hire me? Always wanted to work at a newspaper.

Lisa said:

I was born and raised in Tulsa, and having lived in OKC the last 18 years, I have always been frustrated by the World's web policies.
When they first had a website, it was designed by their photo staff and was one of the best looking newspaper websites of its time, and it was free.

They now have the most stingy, repressive website policy that I know of, except maybe
for the Wall Street Journal.

With the Oklahoman's site, which is a joint effort between the Oklahoman and KWTV, you can at least view all of the daily content for free, and that remains available for a few days.

The World doesn't even make their obits available, and a geneologist would have to pay a significant sum to have access to their archives to do research. Even when you subscribe, they limit the number of archive retrievals you have.
Pay $60.00 for a years subscription and they give you a paltry 35 archive retrievals.

And then there is the blog issue. Major papers are cited in blogs all the time and you don't here about "cease and desist" letters and lawsuits. The bigger, smarter papers probably realize that the articles excerpted on blogs bring more people to their websites, and consequently, more people view the ads, and
they can charge more for ads. And, more companies want to put ads on your site because of the increase in readers. The Tulsa World
is too stupid to realize that free and open access to their website content would be a good thing for them.

Local Boy said:

I sent KTUL your URL this morning in an email... I guess it didn't hurt.

bryan said:

As a long-time journalist, now journalism educator, I encourage you in your fight to keep the information flowing. I am ashamed that the Tulsa World has taken the ironic stance of standing against free speech (as a newspaper which makes its living off the first amendment).

I can only hope that the tide of openness that seems to be seeping through parts of the media will one day break at the offices of the World.

Hopefully, you'll be surfing that wave when it breaks.

Renuntius said:

Here. Show the p.o.s. Tulsa Hurled how to approach journalism in the new age:

Roy said:

'bout time you got comments technology, Mike ;)

Just don't let the monster you have created get you. (Tho I did like the bit about calling a newsconference on the steps of the Whirled.)

Lisa Mautino said:

I just called and instructed the Tulsa World to "cease and desist" delivering their product to my home (in other words, I cancelled my subscription). I will not call their product a newspaper any longer, just a rag.

meeciteewurkor said:

You RAWK, sir.
I am looking forward to seeing the Whirld squirming in their diapers.

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