Whirled nominated for 2005 Mapes Award

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Tulsa should be proud! Our monopoly daily newspaper is one of eight nominees for the 2005 Mapes Award for Stupidity:

Ooooooo-klahoma, Where the Newspaper’s Head is up its Rear: Fair Use Censorship on Both Sides

The Tulsa World tries to bully blogger Michael Bates into submission, threatening legal action for linking to the World and excerpting articles for criticism, both very much protected under fair use. The blogosphere rose to the occasion, frequently hitting Bates’ tip jar when they weren’t hitting the World upside the head with a clue bat. Legal counsel for the Media Bloggers Association did a little threatening of his own, thus putting the World in its place.

On the flip side, Creators Syndicate tried to threaten a liberal blog, News Hounds, for linking to a Bill O’Reilly column.

The award will be made at the end of the year by Rathergate, a media bias watchdog that was involved in uncovering the forgeries purporting to be from President Bush's superiors about his service in the Air National Guard. The award is named for Mary Mapes, the 60 Minutes II producer who "found" the memos and pushed to get them on the airs.

It shouldn't be forgotten that I wasn't the only blogger or website threatened by the Whirled. Chris Medlock, Tulsans for Election Integrity, and TulsaNow also received similar threats -- see articles here and here. Although blogs and websites supportive of the reformers on the City Council were threatened for merely linking and excerpting for the purpose of criticism, no such threats were received by the group pushing to recall two of those reformers, even though they published the full text of 76 articles from the newspaper, without any comment or criticism, and have not received any threats from the newspaper for their blatant copyright violations, which are still online. In fact, the pro-recall group published the full text of Tulsa Whirled articles in the attack newspapers sent to voters in the affected districts.

As the Rathergate article mentions, there was an outpouring of encouraging support from my fellow bloggers, who recognized that the Whirled's threat is a threat to every blogger. You can read the whole saga, including links to some of the heartening and humorous reaction from the blogosphere, in the Tulsa World category archive.

The latest and greatest example of media bias at the Tulsa Whirled? Robert Lorton, chairman and CEO of the Whirled's parent company (and former publisher of the paper, and daddy of the current publisher), contributed $2,500 to a political action committee which channelled the money directly to a campaign committee supporting the recall of two Tulsa City Councilors. It appears that by giving to the PAC, Lorton intended to avoid exposing his contribution until after the election, but thanks to alternative media -- including this blog -- word of the contribution became public, and the newspaper acknowledged the contribution at the end of last week. The paper has been slow to disclose their owners' other business interests when there is a connection to a political controversy.

Thanks to Rathergate's Kevin Craver for helping to spotlight the Tulsa Whirled's bullying tactics. And even more thanks to Kevin for his service to our country in the U. S. Army. Best wishes, Kevin, as you're demobilized and return to civilian life.

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» Nominated for Stupidity, Kind of from Likelihood of Confusion by Ron Coleman

Mike Bates reports that he's been Whirled nominated for 2005 Mapes Award" href="http://www.batesline.com/archives/001853.html">BatesLine: Whirled nominated for a 2005 Mapes Award by the Rathergate blog. The stupidity part actually refers to the actions... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 10, 2005 11:55 PM.

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