Friday, September 09, 2005

Is the "Fix" in With the Tulsa Media?

Today's story in the Tulsa World on the County's decision to put an extension of the Four-To-Fix the County Sales tax before the voters this December was missing a paragraph that one would think would have been included. Whether it was never written by reporter Susan Hylton, or was exorcised by one of her editors, it would've looked something like the following:

"City councilor and recently announced candidate for mayor, Chris Medlock, stated his intent to encourage Tulsa voters to reject any renewal of the Four-To-Fix" sales tax, so that the city could put an alternative plan for the tax revenues before the voters. Medlock believes the revenues would be better used by the City of Tulsa to improve public safety issues that have been impacted by the city's reduced sales tax revenues. Specifically, Medlock cited the need to ensure funding for future police and fire academies, as well as, funding for more bilingual police officers."
Not hard, and certainly germane, don't you think?

Interestingly, only one media outlet has done a story on my proposal since I outlined it at the press conference where I announced I would seek the mayor’s job. That was Emory Bryan and KOTV-The News on Six. [View a streamed copy of the story]

They did a story, two days after my announcement, which featured Commissioner Randi Miller of Tulsa County and me. Commissioner Miller was, predictably, somewhat dismissive of my idea. She was also, a bit surprisingly, dismissive of me, suggesting that I apparently didn’t understand county government and should stick to representing my council district.

I don’t know if that means she also doesn’t think much of me running for mayor, but I’m reasonably sure, from her reaction, that I won’t be getting her endorsement. That would concern me more, if I’d ever gotten her endorsement in the past, but I haven’t

Anyway, the story ran at 5PM on Channel 6 and I thought it pretty even handed. I tuned in a 6PM to see it again. But it didn’t run. It also didn’t run at 10PM either. If one were cynical, one could postulate that those that interested KOTV in doing the story so that Commissioner Miller could quash my suggestion before it gained any traction, might have made a call to the station to say “pull that thing.” But to believe that, you’d have to believe that governmental agencies like Tulsa County would hire publicists and public relations specialists; perhaps like Schnake Turnbo and Frank.

They wouldn’t do that…would they?

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