15 February 2005
A World of their own
It was always thus: you read The Tulsa Tribune for news, and the Tulsa World for, um, well, no one really knows why anyone read the Tulsa World. But there were two papers, operating under one of those Joint Operating Agreements, and all was well with the world or with the World, anyway, which shut down the JOA in 1992 and acquired monopoly status.
Editorially, the Tribune was farther right than the World, but the problem, from the World's point of view, wasn't the Tribune's politics: it was the fact that the Tribune was in a position to keep an eye on the Lorton family's wheelings and dealings, not all of which made it into their paper.
And the Lortons still don't like attention being drawn to their back-door deals, in any way, shape, size or form. When their slate of Tulsa City Council candidates didn't do well enough to secure a pro-Lorton majority, the World began attacks on two of their opponents, and World associates put together a recall petition against them, which alleges no wrongdoing, only that they vote the "wrong way."
The World's latest scheme is to fume at bloggers. Both Chris Medlock, a Councilman who opposes the World's agenda, and Michael Bates, a community activist who has been covering the opposition, have received nasty letters from a World vice-president threatening them with copyright-infringement suits for quoting World articles and linking to the World's Web site. This sort of thing would be laughed out of any courtroom in the country, which undoubtedly is why the threats came from a World officer and not from its legal team. (What'll you bet that the World board actually called in the lawyers, and were told flatly that they had no case?)
If it weren't so pathetic, it would almost be tragic. There are many cities like Tulsa, where a favored few seek to maximize their profits at the expense of everyone else; what makes Tulsa different is the World, which evidently would rather be a conspirator than a crusader. The people of Tulsa are the poorer for it.
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» Whirled threatens BatesLine from BatesLine
NOTE to those of you who normally skip the Tulsa stuff here: Please read this entry. This is not just about the sordid little world of Tulsa politics. This is the old media trying to intimidate their critics in the new media into silence. It has reperc......[read more]