Thursday, March 24, 2005

Inept or Disgustingly Biased?

In what should have been an article that served to some degree as vindication for some of the most slanderous lies told about me by Bob Poe and other "good ol' boys," the Tulsa World, in a single paragraph, committed one of the most grievous examples of media bias I've ever encountered.

City government reporter P.J. Lassek wrote an article entitled, "Chamber, development panel conflict is noted," that appeared today on page A-14. The fifth paragraph in the far right-hand column reads:

"Medlock said the issue started with his talking publicly about good government in dealing with conflict of interest and exploded to his accusing EDC members who also were chamber board members of being corrupt."
A simple reading of this paragraph conjures into the mind of the reader that I started out well (talking about important things like good government and conflicts of interest), but eventually went off the deep end, the result of which is my exploding with public accusations that the Chamber's board members were corrupt!

What I actually said to Ms. Lassek was something to the effect of, "I started out talking publicly about good government in dealing with conflicts of interest, and this thing exploded into accusations that I was calling chamber board members like Larry Mocha and Paula Marshall-Chapman corrupt."

What I was referring to was Bob Poe's farewell speech to the chamber in January, where he made just such an accusation. Mr. Poe never had any reservations in creating his own inference from my actions or statements, so as to make the wildest of claims to prove how I was to blame for everything bad that's happened to Tulsa since the Great Depression.

What is particularly disturbing about this misreporting of fact is that it will more than likely be used against me in some future election, including a recall election. One can already imagine the TV ad showing a Tulsa World masthead and the paragraph in block quotes splashed on the screen. You can hear the announcer's voice, roiling with outrage, saying:

"Tulsa's respected newspaper of record, the Tulsa World, exposed Medlock's heinous nature, reporting on his accusations that some of our city's most respected business leaders were corrupt! Isn't it time we silenced his rantings?"
I will of course request a correction, that may or may not be granted. Even if it is, though, it will be buried deep in the bowels of the Saturday issue, where only a handful of people will see it.

It seems our staggeringly biased paper is so vested in the rhetoric it has authored, that they can't even print a story that offers even a crumb of vindication, without purposely perpetuating their mythology.

What a pity.

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