Although they’re not as forward as The Oklahoman, one of the biggest media allies of the Oklahoma conservative ruling class is Griffin Communications – the local owners and operators of KWTV News 9 in OKC and KOTV 6 in Tulsa.
Whether they’re giving Kelly Ogle a pulpit to toss his Fox News inspired two-cents, lending their media might behind the disastrous (and failed) “Step Up Oklahoma” initiative, or trying to convince their few remaining viewers that the fluctuating water levels at Lake Arcadia are to blame for the man-made earthquakes that were created by oil companies, News 9 loves to covertly advance and propagate the conservative Oklahoma GOP agenda.
For example, check out how they’re covering the gubernatorial election between Bull Stitt and Drew Edmondson.
Last night, reporter Grant Hermes – the guy who once dubbed TLO an “online tabloid” after we scooped the media on a legit political story – decided to “fact check” some of the claims being made in negative campaign ads about the candidates.
Specifically, he investigated the fact that Kevin Stitt did not support the recent teacher pay raise package – something that Kevin Stitt repeatedly said he wouldn’t have signed.
Check out how News 9’s “Truth Testers” spun that clear fact for its viewers:
News 9 "Fact Checker" @GrantHermesKWTV on Kevin Stitt opposing teacher pay raises – "To say that is misleading. It's true, but only literally, and that's about it." Yep, something literally being literally true is now "misleading." pic.twitter.com/mid7ZVvsni
— The Lost Ogle (@TheLostOgle) October 16, 2018
Sorry. I had to use the video in my tweet because News 9 vids still won’t embed in WordPress. Considering they’re peddlin Bull Stitt like that, I guess you can’t blame them,
Anyway, as you can see and hear, News 9 took something that even they admit is “literally” true and then labeled it misleading because… uhm… I’ll let Grant Hermes explain:
There was a lot of discussion about how to talk about whether Stitt opposed the raises or just the funding. This is what won out. News9 has decided to say because Stitt opposes the funding as opposed to the raises, saying he opposed the teacher pay raises outright would be wrong https://t.co/CCgNUucck8
— Grant Hermes News 9 (@GrantHermesKWTV) October 16, 2018
Yeah. I’m not sure that’s how fact checking is supposed to work.
“Hey Jed, what’s the temperature outside?”
“The thermometer say 43-degrees, but let’s discuss it. I think we’d all agree we want it to be warmer outside.”
Seriously, when you start having long discussions over whether or not a simple fact is indeed a fact, something tells me you’re not really out to prove a fact. The campaign ad literally stated that “Stitt opposed the teacher pay raise,” which is 100% true. It didn’t say he opposed “education funding” or “teacher pay raises in general.” Despite that literally true statement being literally true, News 9 “Management” labeled the claim “misleading.”
Unless you’re a loyal GOP partisan like this Twitter troll, it seems very apparent that News 9 management and ownership – I’m going to cut Grant some slack – are going out of their way to make excuses for Kevin Stitt opposing to the bipartisan teacher pay raise package that was approved by 3/4ths of the legislature and signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin.
On that note, they’re also trying to distance Stitt from the Mary Fallin albatross that’s hanging around his neck. The News 9 “Fact Team” also investigated claims in the ad that Kevin Stitt called Mary Fallin “great” (another literally true fact). Despite that very specific claim, look at how they titled the story:
Interesting? The ad in question doesn’t mention anything about Stitt calling other politicians “great.” Once again, it specifically says he called Mary Fallin great. It’s almost like News 9 and the Oklahoma GOP are so scared of the Mary Fallin / Kevin Stitt connection that they won’t even mention her name next to his in a headline.
I wonder what headline they used for their “fact checking” investigation into negative attack ads against Drew:
Yep. The question posed in the headline for Kevin Stitt was whether or not he called certain politicians that will remain nameless great, but the question about Edmondson had to do if something on his record stinks. If you didn’t know better, and most News 9 viewers don’t, it would almost seem like News 9 has some sort of conservative agenda that’s affecting how they cover the gubernatorial race. That’s as dumb as saying you’re for teacher pay raises but don’t want to fund them.