Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Archive for The Oklahoman – Page 10

What’s Inside a Headline?

Summarizing a news story in a way that will get people to read it is a challenge. That’s why newspapers employ people whose sole purpose is to write headlines.

Of course, how headline editors choose to grab one’s attention often says a lot about their employer and/or audience. For instance, yesterday the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a ruling on Randy Terrill’s controversial anti-Mexican legislation (House Bill 1804). What did the ruling say? You could read the story every major reporting agency in the city had yesterday (all of them basically said the same thing) or you can read the headlines from every major reporting agency (and get very different outlooks about what happened).

Let’s take a look:

Who? OETA

What?

Why?

As the public broadcasting option in OKC, OETA does not have advertisers to impress. Their ratings (in this case: pageviews) are arbitrarily important to the station. It show by that boring-ass headline.

Also, as a public entity receiving tax money, they work very hard to show no bias liberal or conservative…contrary to what one side of that spectrum tries to make you believe. The result is that they truly have to stick to journalistic standards–and that is what their audience craves. Hence, the headline does not nudge the reader to think one way or another.

Other media sources did not have such qualms. 

Still Fighting the Cold War

Kevin Calvey is linked to the Russians!

Who cares?  The 5th District congressional candidate could be photographed in a ushanka, drinking Smirnoff, eating borscht, while playing with nesting dolls in front of the Kremlin with Boris Yeltsin, and it would be no big deal.  Despite hundreds of Hollywood films depicting the Russians as public enemy #1, the Cold War is over.  The Rooskies are now greedy capitalists, the U.S. won, and they are now our allies.

You know who does care?  The Oklahoman, which may have dropped the “Daily” from its name to modernize, but otherwise still thinks it’s the 1980’s.  How else can you explain a paper that typically avoids doing any kind of digging doing a shocking expose in the lead up to the 5th District Republican run-off.

Here are the facts as laid out on NewsOK.com:

  • Kevin Calvey has a brother named Michael
  • Michael founded a company with a man named Vadim Bakatin
  • Bakatin was the last director of the KGB of the Soviet Union
  • Bakatin was the first director of the capitalist Russian intelligence agency
  • Add it all together and Kevin Calvey, potential U.S. Representative from Oklahoma is a closet communist

That last part may have been conjecture, but the fact of the matter is that the articles run in The Oklahoman, a paper I think everyone can agree is usually very kind to Republicans, is certainly framing the Russian aspect of this story as pretty damning.

If this were 1982, with Ronald Reagan cheerleading anti-communist sentiment while Gorbachev manufactured nuclear weapons that were pointed at Washington D.C. as soon as they came off the assembly line–and newspapers were still relevant and profitable–such an expose would be entirely relevant.  Or at least that aspect of the expose would make sense.

Buried in the lede of Soviet paranoia is that Calvey’s campaign funding really is kind of sketchy.  Michael, who made the maximum allowable campaign donation to Kevin Calvey for Congress, also gave his brother an ownership share of the Russian Private Equity Fund.  And when I say gave, I mean it was a gift.  Kevin didn’t pay a ruble or dime for any piece of the company.  Of course, when he sold his share, he earned $270K.

To keep his campaign afloat, Kevin loaned $250K from his personal funds.  Those numbers are fairly close, don’t you think.

In fairness, The Oklahoman did a much better job of relaying these facts in a second article that spends more time explaining the way the Calvey brothers went around campaign finance law and other ways in which foreign entities infused cash.

Guess the Location

Who knows where this picture was taken.  My first thoughts were Land of the Dorks or a gay bar, but I doubt either one of those are correct.

Anyway, this picture was probably taken at the Dark Tower studios or something like that.  So instead of guessing the location, maybe we should guess where Berry Tramel buys his jeans.  If you get that answer correct and you can also figure out what Jenni Carlson is wearing, you’ll win some of Clark Matthews’ famous cup cakes.  We call them Little Clarkies.

The Oklahoman fired more people”¦

Yesterday, The Oklahoman announced that they are firing 57 employees.  The announcement came in a carefully worded, looks-like-it-was-written-by-a-PR firm, news “article.”  I quoted the word “article,” because it’s really nothing more than a press release.  If you need proof, just check out the first sentence.  It looks like Renzi Stone wrote it.

The jobs of 57 employees at The Oklahoman were eliminated Wednesday in response to a struggling advertising environment that affects all traditional media in this country.

After reading the “article,” I did something that’s kind of embarrassing.  I scrolled to the bottom of the page to take a look at the reader comments.  That’s never a good thing.  NewsOK comments are on the same level as YouTube comments.  You read them at your own risk.  The only difference between the two is that YouTube comments are generally “This vid sux”¦lol” or “yes yes yes :) this is great!”, whereas the NewsOK.com comments are generally long rants about abortion or have something to do with Clay Bennett stealing the Sonics.

Anyway, instead of seeing comments, I saw this:

You can’t really complain about this too much.  The Oklahoman does have a commenting policy that gives them a good out.  Basically, they don’t allow comments on editorials, crime news or stories that have to do with fatalities.   Since the “article” about the layoffs has to do with the slow painful death of the print industry and The Oklahoman, I guess it can fall under that clause.

That being said, it is kind of screwy that their news article was a press release and they blocked comments.  Since they obviously want this story to go away and die, we’re going to give it more life and publish the real email that Publisher David Thompson sent to all OPUBCO employees.

Granted, there is nothing really new in the email.  It’s kind of soft like the “article,” but it does have a more human element. For example, David does request that supervisors post his email in common areas.  That way, the employees without email access can share the same fear, frustration and uncertainty that their Ethernet connected coworkers face.

Anyway, check it out after the jump.

Ogle Madness: West Region – Upper Bracket

Today we begin the Ogle Madness games in the West Region.  This region is the final stop of the first round.  All games will be played in Guymon.

(1) Carrie Underwood vs. (16) Scott Bradley
(8) Toby Keith vs. (9) Chera Kimiko
(4) Bob Stoops vs. (13) Video Vigilante
(5) Thunder Girls vs. (12) Ed Kelley

Vote for after the jump.