Elk City, Oklahoma: Creating a community’s mindset through media - and by praising ALEC, in the bargain | Street Jazz

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Elk City, Oklahoma: Creating a community’s mindset through media - and by praising ALEC, in the bargain

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I have already written about Elk City’s Curious Case of the Missing Comedy Central, but I have also immersed myself in the two daily newspapers as well as The Oklahoman, a state-wide paper available in so many stands and stores here.

I would have read USA Today, but I couldn’t find one anywhere, though The Oklahoman seems to be a Gannet newspaper. Whoever the owners are, this is one of the most conservative dailies I have read in a long time; in the period I have been reading it, first page to last, I have seen no columns from anyone who isn’t marching firmly on the Right side of the street.

At this point I have to give credit to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. While there is much I dislike about the paper, liberal columnists do find heir way to the editorial pages. In this part of Oklahoma, liberal opinion is pretty much invisible.

Thankfully, Elk City does offer a local Democratic Party and MSNBC; who knows if the MSNBC channel will give us the same “No Signal” the Comedy Central channel gives us.

But you will find no liberal thought in Elk City’s two dailies. And this is where the reading public can be molded.

Forget about local television pretty much altogether.

The editorials in one are starkly evangelistic, exhorting others to the conservative lifestyle. The other seems to have no editorials, or at least in the days I have been here.

In a heart-warming note, Maggie Gallagher (Google her - I’d just get apoplectic if I wrote about her) had one of her national columns reprinted on the editorial page, about federal standards (Common Core) in education.

This piece (“Sarah Palin was a prophet about Obama’s education takeover) gives her the opportunity to defend Governor Rick Perry of Texas and Game Show Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, for opposing such standards.

According to Gallagher (she of the Culture War Victory Fund) “sophisticates” around the country mock these two stalwarts for any thing they say or do.

That isn’t the truly heart-warming thing about the column, though. No, what warmed the cockles of my heart was the paper’s willingness to publish a piece of writing from someone with such close ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has had its finger in so many pies of late, and to the general detriment of the American people.

It was as though this was the very first mention of ALEC anywhere in these parts. Well, maybe it was. Gallagher assured her readers:

“A pivotal moment in the history of American education will quietly occur on May 11 in Charlotte, N.C., when the board of the influential (and under fire) conservative American Legislative Exchange Council will meet to decide whether or not to accept its own education task force’s recommendation of model legislation blocking implementation of Obama’s Common Core.”

Mind you, this is a part of the country which seems to vote down every bond measure which comes before it; maybe somebody outside Oklahoma should be looking at the schools.

She finishes the piece by writing, “Sarah Palin and Rick Perry are proven to be prophets. ALEC, you know what to do.”

It’s nice to know that ALEC still has some friends in this country, isn’t it? At a time when those previously associated with the group are now saying. “What? Really? Gt me out of here!” that there are some (even as loathsome as Maggie Gallagher) who will promote it as the Second Coming of the Messiah when it comes to American education.

I have focused mainly on this piece of writing, but it is emblematic of what people read here. There is no public debate on issues, and when a county official says that folks who are against trucks driving down their road are against “progress” it is just accepted.

What if a local newspaper printed something that was other than hard-Right? Would folks cancel their subscriptions?
Actually, I think that a number of them would.

******
The Oklahoma legislature and how they really feel about women

The Men with Bad Haircuts in the state legislature passed an ultra-sound bill this week, and the bill’s author, State Representative Paul Wesselhoft, had this to say when he was interviewed by The Oklahoman,

“This gives women additional rights when they are being informed. No one wants a girl to be tricked into having an abortion.”

Girl.

Tricked into having an abortion.

Additional rights for women.

Yeah . . .

*****

On the road again

Well, this little trip to the Dark Heart of America is almost over, and I’ll be returning to the New York City of the Ozarks this week, to catch up on unpaid bills and unread newspapers and magazines.

****

Quote of the Day

As children, we are made to feel we will only be loved if we are good (in the parents’ terms). As soon as we begin to affirm our real selves, parents begin to reject us. We grow up with the idea that if we are ourselves we will be rejected. So, as artists, in our work we express our real self. But we keep the fear of not not being loved for this this real self. And timidity and shyness are the symptoms. A timidity we can overcome with those who understand and accept us. -
Anaïs Nin

rsdrake@cox.net

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