Wednesday, August 03, 2011

You're Close to the Target When You Start Drawing Heavy Fire

For starters, here are Ed Shadid's remarks about the phantom $30 million dollars associated with the MAPS 3 convention center, a broadside against the Oklahoman, and perhaps some other things. Somehow, I got mixed up in the friendly fire, and that's OK by me, just fine.

I'll complete this post later but here's some starter information:
  • My conversation with David Holt ... in that September 25, 2009, conversation with the mayor's former chief of staff, the $30 million associated with relocation of the OGE substation is mentioned and discussed (see item 6). This relates to whether the convention center is a $280 million or a $250 million expenditure.

  • He mentions the KOKH Fox Video on the Oklahoman's Ethics as related to the MAPS 3 campaign, something that was touched upon here.

  • Did the Oklahoman have a conflict of interest as to the MAPS 3 election, since David Thompson, then president of the OPUBCO Communications Group and publisher of the Oklahoman, was also the President of the Greater OKC Chamber and leader of the MAPS 3 campaign, and did that affect the Oklahoman's reporting of the news about MAPS 3? I thought that it might ... see Quo Vadis, Oklahoman.

  • Shadid was blasted by a July 28 editorial for his delving into the MAPS 3 convention center issues. This is the same Oklahoman which argued for his opponent in the spring election and which has had few good words to say about him.
He seems to think that the Oklahoman is a part of the "Fourth Estate," normally attributed to the written and broadcast media, and that it ought to report the news.

He says that he thinks that we can learn from past and move forward. Let's hope so. But, even if Ed Shadid cannot muster 5 votes on the City Council for civility it its procedure, at least he has a bully pulpit. That is good.

That should be enough for now. It's time for my mid-day nap. More later.


Mike N. said...

This is getting stranger and stranger. When you get close to cutting at the quick the ones with the most to loose get nasty.

superdave2112 said...


The Oklahoman has a history of having it's own agenda. Is the news more that it has come out in open discussion in City Council, or that they are aligned with certain members? Ed is kind of on his own, isn't he? Well I like him, anyway.


Doug Dawg said...

Good questions, my son. The answers to your questions are not simply answered. Short answers are the following ...

Yes, the newspaper has always had its own editorial agenda, and that's fair.

The issue is whether the ownership/management side of the Oklahoman maintains a "firewall" between those who write editorial opinions and those who simply report the news.

In the original MAPS campaign, the Oklahoman's reporters were apparently permitted to report on, and have their articles published in, the Oklahoman despite ownership/management opinion, one very critical article even being published on a day or two before the actual election.

In the MAPS3 campaign, it was different. In at least one instance that I have personal knowledge of, a reporter's story was rewritten by editors to give a different spin, and in another instance a reporter was forbidden to report on MAPS 3 stuff altogether.

Hence, the once existing "firewall" between ownership/management and actual reporting did not exist, and probably does not exist today.

So, yes, the Oklahoman has always had its own agenda. But the ownership/management side has not always spilled over into the reporting side, at least not as much as seems to be the case today.

About Ed Shadid, yes he is a maverick to the extent that he is challenging city council procedures, the 1st to do so for many years. But he is not necessarily alone. Pete White, Skip Kelly, and David Greenwell voted with him on the most recent measure (to grant a continuance at the 1st council hearing unless the continuance request was voted down by 2/3rds of the council).

Anyway, other council member elections will come in another 2 years. Change does not always come swiftly, but with an informed electorate, change can come.