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BatesLine: Whirled threatens BatesLine
Congrats to local guy Michael Bates for getting some attention from the big dogs to his battle with the Tulsa World. I dislike the Tulsa World. I too think they are a small minded operation whose main offense in my eyes is not realizing that they can no longer expect to get people to pay good money for their piddly content when people can now get access to "important" new items with a click on Google News. Any self respecting newspaper in America should immediately open their content to free access with good, permanent linkage to prior content and focus less on regurgitating the AP and more on generating good, solid local reporting.
That is, if they want to stay relevant, you can always generate revenue with ads linked to good content, not just by closing the gates and hoping people will pay to see what you got.
However, and this is the important point, for all that is wrong with the Tulsa World, they are light years ahead of the utter trash that is KFAQ and the Tulsa Beacon.
KFAQ, airs Batesline on their station, as well as hatemonger Michael Savage and major league asshole Bill O'Reilly.
Tulsa Beacon, a sample quote from an editorial :
"President Bush and Congress finally passed a ban on partial birth abortion but a fight has followed in the courts. The next step is to place common-sense restraints on abortion. The hope is the eventual overthrow of Roe v. Wade."
I'd say that's pretty standard fare for the Beacon. Far right, anti-secular, pro-theocracy.
Bates, if I read him correctly, rightly objects to the Tulsa World's bullying tactics (I mean sheesh -- no linking?!) but would be just as happy with hack jobs like the Beacon in its place. I utterly despise KFAQ as the source of most of the growing stupidity in these parts. Every time I tune over, I want to hurl my radio out the window in sheer frustration at the levels of idiocy issuing forth.
"Standing up for what's Right" is KFAQ's motto and that's true. They don't give a shit about the truth with a small T. They sure do talk about big T Truth all the time though.
Bates is no hero standing up for the little guy. He plays footsy with the wingnuts and this should be noted.
The World is being stupid in targeting Bates for reprinting their content, when they should be encouraging people to link to their content instead, but Bates and his allies are not "reformers" as they try to paint themselves, they are part of the larger movement that pushes a rightwing message as an alternative to traditional news outlets.
Tulsa needs a better news alternative, something that is independent and IS NOT some far right shillrag. I wouldn't be sad to see the Tulsa World go away, I would be even happier to see an alternative paper start up to offer better, objective coverage of Tulsa events. But I DO NOT want the Tulsa World to go away and be left with nothing but far right crap.
Part of the problem with Oklahoma, in my opinion, is lack of access to good information. The right has such a stranglehold on the media that reading the internet seems like I'm reading about a different planet. Most liberals have written off this part of the country, they don't want to "waste money" by playing their message here.
Big mistake. The right has been mainlining their message here through AM stations and churches for years. So much so that I hardly have a point of reference to discuss most political issues with people. I have to start at square one and fix all the misinformation that passes for news here.
Preaching to the choir is fine and all, but its not going to win you elections. Its going to take years and years of deprogrammnig to get people in this part of the country back in tune with reality. If I did such things, I would thank god every day for the internet for allowing smart, curious people access to good information so we can break free of this small minded provincialistic attitude most people adopt when fed a daily diet of crap.
.. and just last night I heard a news report that said only 40% of Oklahoma households have access to the internet. (Mike at Okiedoke gave me the real scoop on the numbers. "Nearly 50% of Oklahomans have a home computer, and about 44% of those are connected to the Internet.") So its even worse than I thought.
We get great choices here in Oklahoma don't we? On one side we get cronyism / monopoly by an established good ol' boy network, on the other side we get far rightwingers who pander to the theocrats.
No wonder smart people move.
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