Jim Gardner Goes Full Fox News While Covering OKC Protests

Like most Americans who are watching the fall of our imperfect society from the comfort, convenience and relative safety of their living rooms, I spent most of the weekend glued to live TV news and social media coverage of this weekend’s relatively-peaceful protests and demonstrations, and the “Anarchy Meets Police State” live theatre that followed. It’s been a surreal thing to watch unfold.

Locally, here in Oklahoma City, the media coverage has been a mixed bag. I think they were caught a bit caught off guard by the escalation of the events at 23rd and Classen on Saturday night, but by the end of the evening did a decent job covering the bursts of chaos at police headquarters.

On Sunday, the media regrouped in full force and provided comprehensive coverage of the protests that started on N. Kelly and winded down to the Capitol. Then, as the gathering moved downtown towards the jail, we all got to watch Channel 9 pilot Jim Gardner go full Fox News on the demonstrators, and work with police to profile people that he thought looked “suspicious:”


Yep, how dare they wear a helmet and shin guards as they march to protest police brutality directly to the police who, as we’ve learned over the years, don’t seem to have any major qualms about firing rubber bullets, flashbangs, tear gas canisters and even automobiles into protesters. Hell, they even murder people in broad daylight, which is what I think caused these protests in the first place.

The fact that Jim was making biased assumptions and working with police to help identify people he deemed suspicious shouldn’t be a shocker. He does the same thing while covering severe weather and police chases. Plus, he is flying Bob Mills Sky News 9. If you remember correctly, Bob Mills was a co-chair of Trump’s campaign. We should feel lucky that Jim didn’t call all the protesters thugs and start squirting pepper spray on them from above.

Jim’s commentary set off the liberal OKC Twitter echo chamber. Here are some comments:

Yeah, Jim should have known better. This is different from working with the cops when you’re tracking a tornado that’s headed towards Burns Flat. Although I’m sure the cops are your buddies and you always wanted to be one when you were a kid, you have to remain objective when covering breaking news events like this. You can’t turn into Michael Savage or Rush Limbaugh and advance a false narrative or propaganda. Plus, you don’t want to accidentally out an undercover cop.

Apparently, Jim wasn’t the only person in News 9 worried about “violent” protestors. Check out this Facebook test from News 9 storm chaser Alan Broerse:

Geeze, and you thought storm chasers were good at overhyping and pushing a fear-based narrative on severe weather! Expect News 9 to deploy David Payne and their full stable of weatherpeople and stormchasers to cover the next protest:

“Okay, let’s go to Val and Amy near Hudson.”

“Hey David, we have an outflow of looters circulating at the roundabout on 10th and Walker. It’s really picking up and … David! David! If you can pick up my footage, I think you can see a small lowering of protestors going towards Waffle Champion!”

Later on in the night, a sleepy Kelly Ogle mumbled that OKCPD, which seemed to instigate most of the actual violence on Saturday and Sunday night, had intel that there were troublemakers out in the crowd who were not policemen:

Wow. That’s some top-notch intelligence. You’re telling me the suspicious angry white dudes in the crowd who look like they were conceived at Woodstock 99 are only there to cause trouble? Get out of town! What’s next? Police and local TV news having an all-too-cozy relationship that creates a pro-law enforcement bias in local media coverage?

Although Jim, along with a Kelly Ogle, provided some cringe-worthy commentary, News 9’s reporting team did a good job staying on the frontlines of the interaction between our fully-armed and ready authoritarian police units and protestors. Aaron “Beefcake” Brilbek flexed his guns at the front lines, interviewing people who seemed to give rehearsed speeches like they were crisis actors, while Storme Jones earned merit badge after merit badge dodging tear gas and flash bangs, and criticizing OKCPD for reckless driving. They should expect a lecture from Jim Gardner, the police and News 9 management very soon.

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41 Responses

  1. He commented on their expressions and posturing. Is his eyesight that good?? I mean damn … way up in the air and you can differentiate facial expressions? They also commented about “what’s in all those backpacks”. Uhm, mine’s full of weed and chocolate. Is that ok?

    1. He didn’t mention the race of the “suspicious” person. But that likely goes without saying.

      1. OKC NEWS MEDIA trash and will be trash cause they only care about ratings. They do not care about blacks.whited or others. It all about getting the most advertising dollars out of the event.

  2. It’s not Jim’s fault. He’s noticed that lately the po-po have been shooting at reporters. They even seek ’em out for targets. So Jim, not having a minigun on his chopper to shoot the protesters took the cowardly way out and became a collaborator.

  3. I’d like to be the “fly on the wall” in the News9 Production Meetings this week.

    1. Based on my interactions with others at News 9 and Griffin Communications, I doubt he faced much internal criticism.

  4. Instigators aside, have you ever noticed how quick local news outlets are to identify by name any PoC detained or being sought for questioning after a perceived crime is committed? Juxtapose that coverage with the info shared if white people are being accused. Media literally withhold their personal info as long as possible until they are positive they can’t blame it on a non-white perp.
    I know this isn’t always the case but I’ve seen it in real time all too often.

  5. “They should expect a lecture from Jim Gardner, the police and News 9 management very soon.”

    You just said the same thing three times.

  6. Here’s the thing, lived in Oklahoma all my life, Oklahomans wear racism casual it no biggy. Pulpit is a dang rally for MAGA in a few churches . News9 heck we knew that grown up i respect them cause they don’t attempt hide it, they own it . Come on Oklahomans openly own your hate or change, quit trying to be schocked when you busted.

  7. Never watching 9 news again.

    1. News on 6 in Tulsa is 9’s sister station. They even use the same reporters and just turn the logo on their microphones upside down. Sadly, it’s the best TV news in town. You sure as hell don’t want to be watching the Sinclair outlet instead. It’s like watching Fox News.

  8. Sadly the media doesn’t report any longer. Now they must editorialize.

    Years ago there were TV stations that had a news department. TV stations made huge money selling advertising on their station, mostly on their entertainment programming. The news department didn’t really make much money for the station with their newscasts, but when there were just three network channels they made a ton of money.

    One day Herb Tarlek in the sales department realized news could make money for the station, and the programming was cheaper than buying reruns of old sitcoms to run car commercials. The station then became News followed by the channel number where you could find it. They ran multiple newscasts so they could sell commercials.

    Things were great until other stations followed, and then Herb realized you had to market to the viewer for the news. Figure out who was watching the news, and slant it the beliefs of that audience.

    Jim Gardner didn’t go rogue, and there won’t be any discussions at the morning meeting. Like a politician he fired up the base, and they watched his helicopter feed of the protest. You trust a certain weather personality, so why not trust an anchor to present the news as you understand it?

    It’s called marketing, and you just have to understand how to report the news how you audience would like to hear it. All the channels do it, it is just so much easier to let them digest it and present it, so the viewer doesn’t have to think things through.

    The protests are not as simple as your mayor and newschannels want you to believe.

    1. I hit the no hand. By mistake!! Totally agree with you 💯

    2. “It’s called marketing, and you just have to understand how to report the news how you audience would like to hear it. All the channels do it, it is just so much easier to let them digest it and present it, so the viewer doesn’t have to think things through.”

      sounds like you are describing the echo chamber that is TLO
      i’ll give it up to them – TLO is really good at this.

  9. He’s a putz

    1. OY!

  10. Jimmy Gardner needs to keep his trap shut. The endless carping about the “hammer & sickle” grew old quick. Never heard him mention anything about the confederate flags that fly too much.
    In spite of Peanuthead Payne’s raves he’s really not that good of a pilot even in the confederate air force. The rest was to be expected from Trumper Kelly “Mister Know-It-All” Ogle. Not fair or accurate reporting.

  11. The mantra of TV news is “If it bleeds, it leads.” Never mind all those thousands of people walking along the road peacefully. Some jackass just broke a window, get the cameras on him!

    It’s not just local news. Even the national librul media focus on the disgusting protester violence and ignore the reason that people are protesting.

    We can count on the cops to do their part in ramping up the violence. Tear gas, rubber (so far) bullets, tasers drawn and pointed, beat the crap out of someone here and there… Because that’s what “law and order” is all about.

  12. I am so glad you wrote up on Grandpa Jim’s commentary. I am not a liberal, but it was disturbing. It felt like he really wanted to say ‘these people aren’t even black’. And towards the end, it seemed like he really wanted things wrapped up cause it was way past his bedtime.
    I disagree on Storme (and Payton at KFOR). I felt like they were trying too hard to make themselves part of the story.
    Aaron Brilbeck, as usual, was awesome. (My fav local reporter!!) He never inserted his own slant.
    And I’m not sure what speeches you saw….if those were rehearsed then they need to get back to English class immediately! It was frustrating to hear so many passionate, young people unable to articulate their objective.

  13. They need to give Storm Jones a raise. Poor dude was getting hammered with tear gas and insults all night long.

  14. I feel like the police showed considerable restraint. I was downtown Saturday night and they gave people every opportunity to act right. The ones who acted right were fine. 2 police units and a sheriff’s vehicle were destroyed, multiple businesses were damaged…so I think it’s accurate to say that Jim was right last night. Some of those people clearly had bad intentions because they acted on them. Ask the owner of The Flea or the Saucee Sicilian.

    1. I liked the remote with the female reporter in the crowd for news 9 when they out of picture said “This just in, breaking news.. Fuck the Police”. In fact, I liked the fact they didnt even have a 7 second delay and just about every protester interviewed dropped an f bomb. But my favorite was Brilbeck asking a guy what he thought of the cops kneeling and the guy says “I dont even know what to think about that shit but it’s pretty fucking heavy man.” Good stuff.

      1. The F bombs were great. I also heard the Breaking News guy. Good stuff!

  15. I’m glad clips of this were saved as I was watching coverage after leaving the peaceful protests at the capitol. Jim Gardner kept showing specific individuals in a vehicle saying “these agitators are riling up the crowd saying “let’s go! let’s go!”. This was before he straight up admitted he spots people for the cops so I was wondering how a man in a helicopter could hear what people on the ground were saying. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone though because local news stations all across this country are thinly veiled PR fronts for the local police. It’s a symbiotic relationship – local media overly reports on violent crime all over the city to fear monger (which will up ratings) and then pearl clutching suburbanites support more funding and militarization of the police.

    1. Nailed it.

    2. +1

  16. Alan Broerse: “Don’t question my source.” Sounds like someone you should trust.

    1. That guy is full of shit to begin with. Once, during a Oklahoma toad strangler rain our office flooded with 1″ of water. But that fat ass clown reported “well over a foot of water inside”.

  17. 2 words fire him

  18. Look, these guys at the Channel 9 Weather are so desperate for any action whatsoever I’m surprised Jim isn’t doing direct flight pot deliveries to rich folks for Fire Leaf.
    Like the ad said David Payne talked the owners into spending all their jelly money on radars and pickups with big tires and blinding spot lights that run down country roads 125 mph chasing God knows what cause it sure hasn’t been tornadoes.
    I never realized they were Fox News Oklahoma. Last time I’ll ever watch that station.
    I just switched to them after the other station told us to get in our cars and run like Hell from a tornado. Looks like 5 is all that’s left with any sanity.

  19. It’s simple, folks:


    Why? Because it AIN’T NEWS, it’s SHOW BIZ. It’s been that way for decades.

    Stop thinking this is the era of Walter Cronkite. Now it’s the era of two “concerned looking” anchors who take turns reading sentences while the other one reacts as if they’re in deep thought about the matter, instead of what they’re REALLY thinking, which is counting how many seconds of air time they get compared to the other person as they calculate their career moves to a “major market.”

    How anyone can watch that shit is beyond me. It’s the kind of crap that gets guys like Trump elected.

  20. More Oklahoma Standard news reporting!

  21. Local news is merely an ad carrier. Nothing more. I watch it only for the weather.

    1. Don’t bother unless you like watching 6 straight hours of coverage of a dark cloud out by Laverne.

  22. I just can’t imagine the mental anguish you must put yourself through just reading the Lost Ogle 5 times a day.
    I’d guess it’s causing major conflicts with your Fox News/lumpy hannity masturbation time.

  23. Not sure why News9 or Jim Gardner thinks that anyone gives two sh*ts what he thinks about anything other than an oncoming tornado. Just fly and shut up.

  24. I called KWTV News9 to express my concern over Jim Gardner’s editorialization and misidenfication of the original Oklahoma state flag as a “communist” flag. A morning assignment editor, “Tim,” told me it didn’t happen, that I was being hateful, and hung up on me. When I called back, I was hung up on again. Eventually, I spoke with someone else, who asked if I used foul language (and I did not), told me “I don’t believe you.” He also said they didn’t record their calls.

    This is how News9 is treating their viewers. This is the degree to which KWTV’s news staff cares about #FakeNews. Which is to say, they don’t.

    1. I called News9 when they misreported that Norman Police were advising of a fake petition being passed around Norman (TIF). In reality the Police were advising that there was a scam text that was telling people not to sign the petition. A blatant lie! They could not have cared less.

  25. I’d love to discuss this in person with you. Please let me know the day, time, and location you’d like to meet.

  26. It gets so tiresome…the constant criticism of news media when they don’t spread the message that you want them to spread. News outlets are out to make a profit, just like all the other programming on television. Just sit back and listen to their rhetoric…and enjoy the gorgeous scenery that is Joleen Chaney…and Maggie Carlo…and Payton Yager…and Amanda Taylor…and…you get the picture.

  27. I was so disgusted by the conservative bias in the reporting from this guy and Kelly Ogle that I turned off the Channel and swore to never watch local news again!

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