The Josh Cockroft plagiarism scandal – sure, we’ll be all legitimate and call it a scandal – is the gift that keeps on giving.
If you remember correctly, we told you a few weeks ago that State Rep Josh Cockroft plagiarized portions of a Heritage Foundation abstract for a blog post on his website. The following week, we learned that Cock’s local newspaper – The Tecumseh Times – republished the same blog post as a newspaper op-ed.
Here’s our write-up about fiasco. It included a few lazy zingers aimed towards the newspaper:
Last Thursday, we told you that arts-hating, Batman suit-wearing, Derplahoman State Representative Josh Cockroft blatantly plagiarized excerpts of a 2013 Heritage Foundation article for an anti-gay marriage blog post that he wrote for his website.
Thanks to the Ogle Mole Network, we’ve now learned the same piece was also published in the print edition of the Tecumseh Countywide News, which is apparently Pottawatomie County’s leading source of plagiarized news and opinion…
After seeing [the column], I played the role of legitimate journalist and called the Tecumseh Countywide News for comment. Here’s what a spokesperson said:
“We are aware of it and we’re working with Representative Cockroft on the issue.”
The person on the phone wouldn’t elaborate any further, so we don’t know what type of work they’re going to do with Cockroft. Maybe they’ll help him uncover more obscure abstracts and columns to plagiarize, or perhaps get a Tate Publishing ghostwriter from the Philippine’s to handle his future writing duties. Better yet, they could also go with one of those clickbait content farms that are all over the web. If Cockroft’s next blog post is about the “8 Most Dangerous Towns In HD27″ or a round-up of “12 Cat GIFS That Will Make You Want To Eliminate Public Arts Funding,” you’ll know something is up.
Okay, that’s not too bad. I made a few digs at the newspaper and then closed it with an absurdist idea where we have Josh Cockroft hire Ryan Tate to ghostwrite his future plagiarized blog posts and newspaper columns. It could have been meaner, right? Just ask Ryan Tate, who is currently writing a new book about blowing goats at the Lake Hefner Canal.
In response to our blog post, the Tecumseh Times editor / publisher Wayne Trotter (this sweet little old man) published an editorial in this week’s paper praising us for our investigative journalism skills.
Via the Tecumseh Times:
Before we get too far into this editorial, we want to thank the website which calls itself The Lost Ogle for finding and revealing the remarkable similarities between a column written by Rep. Josh Cockroft and an article previously authored by Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. We published the Cockroft version of that opinion piece and we probably wouldn’t have known about this situation if The Lost Ogle hadn’t gotten on the case. We needed to know and we appreciate the website’s good work in uncovering and reporting on just how much alike those two columns are.
Why thank you, man who calls himself Wayne Trotter! We appreciate the kind, extremely gentle words. Hopefully our little shots at your paper didn’t ruffle any feathers. There’s no possible way you could have known Cockroft was that big of a weasel.
As a result of what The Lost Ogle reported, Gloria Trotter, co-publisher of The Countywide & Sun, contacted Rep. Cockroft and was given an explanation that appears elsewhere on this page. It is up to each individual reader to decide whether his explanation is acceptable. Our position is simply that we want work that appears under any writer’s name in our columns to be original. Period. That’s the way it always has been and as long as we’re running this newspaper, that’s the way it always will be. We’re confident people around here know that.
Yes, it’s “up to each individual reader to decide” if Cockroft’s inconceivable excuse is legitimate or not. Translation: The Tecumseh Times knows Cockroft is a liar, too! That’s hysterical, but I understand why they can’t just come out and say it.
Anyway, take a look at what other nice things Mr. Trotter and the Tecumseh Times has to say about us…
During our state’s most recent bout of Islamaphobia, Moore Police held a much-hyped press conference to warn the public that an Arab man with a thick accent was probably scouting out Moore High School for an ISIS-inspired terrorist attack.
Here’s KOKH Fox 25′s coverage of the event:
Police are searching for a man who they say walked into a Moore school and started asking “suspicious” questions.
Moore Police say security at Moore High School needs to be discussed because the door the man entered was left open and the incident wasn’t reported till two days later.
In a press conference on Wednesday, police said a man with a thick Arabic accent walked into Moore High School last Monday and asked a teacher and two students questions, though no word on what those questions were.
Police say the man got in through the performing arts door, went straight to cafeteria and spoke to the students.
He was in building only few minutes, police say.
Witnesses describe the suspect as an Arab man in his 40′s, about 5’7 to 5’8 with salt and pepper hair.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police.
Not too long after the press conference and immediate red alert local media hysteria, the man in question was tipped off by a friend that “Hey, you’re a terrorist and the police are looking for you.” Surprisingly, he then contacted and met with police, and was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.
Apparently, he wasn’t an Arab or terrorist at all. He’s just your everyday US citizen from India who shows up for TV interviews wearing knockoff Beats, Oakley sunglasses and an Heisenberg-inspired fedora. The only missing was a bluetooth earpiece:
Yep, that’s the guy. His name is McKesh Dadwal. In his interview with Channel 25, he explains why he was casually hanging out a high school in the middle of the afternoon asking students “suspicious” questions:
As you know, there’s nothing the local TV news loves more than to unnecessarily drum up fear, panic and hysteria about things you really don’t need to worry about. It’s good for ratings, good for web traffic and really good for advertising revenue. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised when we see shit like this pop up on Channel 5′s Twitter and Facebook account:
Yes, Ebola cases are possible in Oklahoma City… because Dr. Oz, a TV personality who conveniently has a syndicated TV show that also airs on Channel 5, said so. Sound the Saturday afternoon tornado sirens and take cover! We’re all going to die!!!
So, in what parts of town are we more likely to catch the virus? Where are people showing symptoms? What comes first? Fever, open sores or Dustin Hoffman with a vaccine?
Check out the report for more details:
On Friday morning, we received a somewhat cryptic, anonymous email from the Ogle Mole Network claiming they had audio of Mary Failin’ T-shirt wearer and Oklahoma Internet star Rico Smith “threatening to sue Connie Johnson.” The email, which appeared to come from the Johnson camp, also included a few accusations that I don’t feel comfortable publicizing on here.
After a brief email exchange, the Mole sent me the audio and sure enough, there was some dude rambling on about he was going to go sue Connie Johnson and go to the media to expose some of her wrongdoings. I had no clue if it was Rico or not, but the voice seemed to match his photo. Since I was getting all this on Friday and really like to get drunk on the weekends, I figured I’d look into everything on Monday, or better yet, wait until the legitimate media reported it.
Well, my laziness and alcoholism paid off. Word of Rico’s lawsuit apparently trickled up to The Oklahoman, and on Sunday, one of their most loyal hatchet men, Rick Green, jumped at the chance to write a critical article about an Oklahoma Democrat running for office.
U.S. Senate candidate Connie Johnson has paid her daughter nearly $7,000 from campaign funds while allegedly stiffing a University of Oklahoma student who claims he is owed more than $1,319 for work on her campaign.
Rico Smith, 22, of Moore, alleges in his complaint filed Sept. 25 in Oklahoma County District Court that she failed to pay him $1,319 for work he did with her campaign over the summer.
He describes the debt on his small claims action as “breach of contract/failure to pay.” Smith declined comment on the pending litigation.
Johnson, a Democratic state senator from Oklahoma City, said there have been many changes on her campaign staff.
“We changed staff a couple of times,” she said. “They are young and highly mobile. Many of them have gone on to better jobs.”
In terms of pay disagreements, Johnson said this may have arisen with people who were in voluntary roles. She declined to return multiple calls for further comment.
Her latest campaign spending reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show $74,300 in contributions and $66,838 in expenditures. She is a decided underdog in the campaign to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, who is stepping down two years early because of health concerns. She is facing Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, who has raised and spent more than $2 million.
Johnson’s reports show a $250 expenditure to Smith on July 10 for “contract labor.”
Johnson’s reports also show $6,784 in expenditures to her daughter, Annasthaeyzsia Adrienne Samuel, 26, of Oklahoma City. No other staff member is paid nearly as much. The payments are generally described as “payroll expense” and “consulting services.”
Johnson said her daughter is a graphic design graduate of Oklahoma State University. She said her daughter performed graphic design and consulting, saying she had produced a “good-looking logo.” Samuel did not return telephone calls for comment.
Johnson, who has been in office nine years, is considered one of the most liberal Democrats in the state Legislature. She is backing a recreational marijuana initiative, for which signatures are being gathered. The initiative campaign got off to a slow start after the Oklahoma attorney general’s office found the ballot title insufficient and had to rewrite it.
I don’t really fault The Oklahoman for this hit piece. I guess we should know when a former staffer / volunteer sues a US Senate candidate for back pay, especially when the candidate pays her daughter $6,500 to design a logo. But if you’re looking to show someone how The Oklahoman’s political bias impacts and directs their reporting, this article is the perfect example.
For one, it would never had been published if a staffer had sued James Lankford or Jim Inhofe or anyone else The Oklahoman supports. Ask Ed Shadid, they are always out to protect their political allies and go after their perceived enemies.
And two, they totally ignored the 6′ 4″ elephant in the room. The didn’t mention anywhere that Rico Smith, the guy at the center of the lawsuit, is a local Internet celebrity basking in 15 minutes of fame after taking one super funny picture with Mary Fallin. So far, Rico’s pic has been the signature moment of the 2014 Oklahoma Gubernatorial campaign. It went viral on Facebook – our write-up alone reached 70,000 people – and even got the mainstream treatment by KOCO Channel 5 and the Tulsa World.
But The Oklahoman, a.k.a. “The State’s Most Trusted News,” is living in a lala land where the photo doesn’t exist. They haven’t mentioned it at all. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – I think we all kind of wish the local news would stick with covering real news – but it totally contradicts the paper’s new media, Buzfeedification mission statement that gets off on plastering all sorts of pointless crap and clickbait on its website each day.
Stuff like this…
When I was in Cub Scouts, I learned two important things about the American flag. The first is to never let it touch the ground, otherwise you have to turn into a Vietnam War protester and burn it. The second thing is that you only hang the flag upside down if you’re stupid, confused and / or in distress
Well, some guy from Warr Acres is either stupid, confused or in distress. Earlier this week, two Oklahoma City news stations rushed to his home in Warr Acres after learning that he was flying an upside down American flag in his front yard – something that is totally legal to do – next to a properly displayed Peruvian flag.
Via a Steve “Crazy Eyes” Shaw report on News 9:
One thing we know about Oklahomans is we don’t like anyone messing with the American flag. However, residents on the 500 block of NW 56th Street in Warr Acres got an unwelcome surprise.
A man who lives in a rental home erected two flag poles last Thursday. He flew a Peruvian National flag and an American flag. However, the American flag was upside down.
Several neighbors, including 80-year-old Army veteran Raymond Swart noticed.
“That person that’s flying that flag upside down, what has he done to justify living in this country?” He said.
Okay, that’s nice and everything, but why was he flying the flag upside down? Was it an act of absent-minded stupidity, civil disobedience or was he distressed from having to live in Warr Acres? Obviously the media wouldn’t report this crap if it was just an innocent mistake. That would basically equate to manufacturing controversy for the sake of easy ratings. They would never do that…
We waited all day Tuesday for the man who lives in the home to come home. He never did. Eventually two other neighbors, including a Vietnam veteran, showed up with a ladder, and fixed the flag.
While they didn’t want to go on camera or be identified, one of them told me he was tired of “all the attention.”
The neighbors were tired of attention… so they decided to march onto the man’s private property in front of TV cameras and fix the flag. What could go wrong with that?
KOCO Channel 5 was on the scene as well and got video of the angry neighbors/moonshiners. Here’s a screenshot:
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