Sued by the Whirled

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At 3:46 pm yesterday I received a phone call from Tulsa World reporter Randy Krehbiel, asking for my reaction to the lawsuit filed against me by the World Publishing Co. I told him I was unaware that a suit had been filed and that he was the first Tulsa World representative to contact me about a suit.

According to the OSCN database, at 3:01 pm on Thursday, Jan. 15, just 45 minutes before Krehbiel's phone call, attorney J. Schaad Titus filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of World Publishing Co. against Renegade Publishing Inc. DBA Urban Tulsa, Keith Skrzypczak, and Michael D. Bates alleging libel.

I have not seen a copy of the complaint. Based on the offense named and the defendants named in the suit, it appears to have something to do with a column I wrote, likely the most recent column dealing with layoffs at the daily paper.

It is always my intention to present readers with an accurate picture grounded in fact. I put a lot of time into researching details because I think it's important to be able to back up what I have to say. A friend once told me that the reason some readers get frustrated with my columns is because they don't like my conclusions, and yet I've covered all my bases and answered objections before they've been raised.

If WPC believes I've written something in error, I'm disappointed that the company would file a suit against me without first contacting me with evidence to contradict what I wrote and giving me the opportunity to issue a clarification or correction.

I'm certain that I am not guilty of libel, but that doesn't mean this won't be a difficult time. Your prayers would be appreciated.

Until I see the complaint for myself and have conferred with an attorney, that's all I have to say.

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» An ill-fitting suit from

BatesLine’s Michael Bates has been a thorn in the side of the Tulsa World for many years now, both on his blog and in his Urban Tulsa Weekly column. The wrath of the World is now descending, in the form of a lawsuit against UTW, its publisher Kei... Read More


Ardent Author Profile Page said:

This morning's fish wrapper says the suit is about the issue of circulation number juggling. It is very telling about the core problems with WPC management that no amount of criticism or flat-out claims of conflict of interest, etc. elicits action by the World, but let someone poke around in the circulation numbers and a libel suit comes the same day.

This is the heart of the problem. WPC is an advertising company that coincidentally prints their advertising every day surrounded by some other wire copy and rewritten press releases.

Keep up the pressure.

bm said:

You will beat them Michael. Just like you did last time. You will have the support of every single local blogger, conservative and liberal alike.

The TW leadership is being very punitive and is just trying to silence critics so they can further their own questionable business practices.

You're in my prayers.

Brent Taylor Author Profile Page said:


It is obvious that the T-World is playing the usual bully because they must silence the dissenting voices to have some semblance of power. It is even more obvious that their company is going down the tubes.

Like I have said before, there isn't a conservative and/or a Republican that doesn't owe you and a few others in this town a big debt of gratitude. You're one of the few that fights against their monopoly on news.

An act of desperation, which I will follow with interest. And it will be gratifying to watch David slay Goliath once again.

sbtulsa Author Profile Page said:

I always thought truth is an absolute defense. In the world of the Whirled there may be no absolute truth. However, the prayers of a dedicated believer area force unto themselves. You aare in my prayers from here forward.

Bob said:

Michael: You may be in for a difficult time, being sued in a Tulsa County District Court.

Every judge aspires to a higher judgeship, and are loath to offend the local power Oligarchy, especially the owners of the area's only local daily mass circulation newspaper, the Lorton Oligarch Family and Big Bad Bullies.

Just check in with former dear District Judge Jane Wiseman, who was rewarded for her FIVE minutes of deliberation on the Vision 2025 log-rolled ballot.

Shortly after she ruled that the log-rolled ballot was in fact NOT a log-rolled ballot, she was appointed to the State Court of Appeals.

For services rendered.

First off, I would suggest that you get a change of venue to Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, far, far from the Lorton's immense local influence.

Second, what the World is doing is a SLAP.

Strategic Lawsuit Against the Public.

It is meant to intimidate and stifle public discussion of public policy issues.

Brent Taylor Author Profile Page said:


Though of little help besides moral encouragement, you might like to know that from the TWorld blog, predominantly leftist shills, Bush haters, Obama rubes, and abortion proponents a great majority of the time as the comments attest...

There is little support for the T-World suit and overwhelming support from your position. Posters are coming from everywhere that I've never read before.

You will not only win this but once again prove the "rumors" that the owners of the T-World being fair, moderate and reasonable, are a ruse.

Tyson Wynn Author Profile Page said:

Hmmmm, they don't have the money to pay salaries, but they have the cash flow to fund a civil suit.

Pamela Author Profile Page said:

I will print this blog post and put this in our prayer box at church. I will also send this to the prayer leaders of our prayer groups.

Mike Bates said:

I'm not familiar with the details, but my initial impression is that - as usual - the mainstream media are all for the First Amendment until it's inconvenient for them.

From one Michael Bates to another, best wishes.

David S. Author Profile Page said:

I guess this explains why the Tulsaworld has been visiting local blogs more lately and now on a daily basis, just looking for more maybe.

Jan Thomas said:

I am ready to donate to a legal fund if you need one. Just say so..........

Paul Tay Author Profile Page said:

Congratulations! And, all I ever get is a non-hug from Penelope Jane, DAMMIT. Where da FREE BATES Defense Fund at? Hey, UTW, you guys reading? Par-Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Pamela Author Profile Page said:

Looks like the UTW article has been pulled from the web site. I may try and find a print copy.

bm said:

what's this crap I hear about the TW dropping UTW and leaving Bates on suit?

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 16, 2009 7:05 AM.

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