Award-winning sports columnist Berry Tramel isn’t the only Oklahoman writer who’s had deal with “link” problems. In fact, “The State’s Most Trusted News” has a solid history of quickly removing or retracting content that was once published.
If you remember correctly, the paper retracted a front page piece in 2013 after they outed some county officials for taking advantage of very legal, yet somewhat unethical, real estate tax loopholes. Apparently, the article upset the local political power structure, which is a no-no for the paper that loves nothing more than to cater to it.
Then on December 12th, 2014, Jenni Carlson penned a typical Jenni Carlson column about the domestic violence charges filed against Oklahoma State’s Tyreke Hill. I’m not sure how or why we forgot to mention this when it happened, but the paper removed the column and then replaced it later in the day with something totally different. Here are the screenshots of the column as it was originally published (1 & 2). Old Tony said it’s one of the worst things he’s ever read. Here’s a link to the updated piece. They’re totally different, but on a positive note, at least NewsOK.com finally removed something written by Jenni Carlson.
I bring up all these past examples because The Oklahoman pulled another article from its website over this past weekend. This time, the victim of “link problems” was a light-hearted, casual and so very clickable slideshow that took a look at the “interesting” last meals convicted murderers in Oklahoma scarfed down before being executed by a state government.
Here’s a screenshot of the write up:
I guess I should begin this post with an apology.
For the most part, we try to avoid writing headlines that are coated in that much clickbait, but today I’m trying to impress the HR Department at The Oklahoman. They are hiring a copywriter who has significant experience in intentionally misleading readers through clickbait.
And no, I’m not making that shit up or exaggerating. They really want someone who can write clickbait headlines for the paper. Get your resume ready, KFOR Social Media Bandit.
Via the PRSA Job Line:
The buzzfeedification of NewsOK.com is not slowing down.
Over the weekend, the website published a list of “10 Famous Oklahomans, Then and Now.” Just like other recent clickbait attempts, such as the sappy “5 Things Only Oklahomans Would Understand” and incredibly boring “10 Facts About Oklahoma You Might Not Have Known,” the article has been plastered all over NewsOK.com and has received 40,000 views in the last 24 hours.
Since we also want to get a lot of page views, we decided to come up with a list of “10 Oklahoma Reporters, Now and Then.” It’s LOL adorable.
The post is part of our renewed commitment to ridicule and mock the The Oklahoman whenever possible. I think we’re going to do something like this as a response to all their awful clickbait, so next week when you see a post on here titled “10 Oklahoma Country Musicians Who Don’t Look Like Cats” or “You Won’t Believe What Happens When This Dog Reads a Jenni Carlson Column,” you’ll understand why.
Anyway, to the post. Here are 10 Oklahoman Reporters, Now and Then…
10. Boomer (Berry) Tramel
According to sources, Boomer Tramel didn’t smoke a lot of pot in college. He’s just one of those guys who permanently looks, acts, thinks, and speaks like he just rolled a joint in a gas station bathroom.
Apparently, the editors of The Oklahoman get a kick out of watching their own funeral.
Last week, “The State’s Most Oldest News” debuted a new series where they pick 11 lucky subscribers to have donuts and coffee with The Oklahoman editor, Kelly Dyer Fry, and discuss the newspaper.
Well, at least that’s what they claim is going on. I bet the whole thing was just a lure to pre-sell obituaries. As we know, The Oklahoman will do just about anything for extra cash. Just check out the photo:
You know how law firms will sometimes use a cliché line like “Our attorneys have over 300 years combined experience in banking law.” Well, those 11 Oklahoman subscribers have about 700 years experience reading the newspaper.
Seriously, no wonder the newspaper industry is dying. When your customer base is composed of people who write checks, watch CSI and still have landline telephones, you may have some problems. I can’t tell if they’re talking about newspapers or conducting a focus group for Polident.
If you want to see something even more depressing than this photo, check out this video NewsOK.com put together about the event. They even converted it into black and white to mimic the old talkies their readers watched as kids.
The best part, and I’m not joking, is where Jenni Carlson’s mom chimes in to say: “I like Jenni Carlson real well… I just like how she says things.”
Check it out:
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…
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