Oklahoma Media Watch Debuts

The purpose of this new blog is to monitor and report on the conservative slant of the media in the Oklahoma City area. Today, I am launching a new blog, OK Media, which will be part of the Okie Funk: Notes From The Outback group. The purpose of this new blog is to monitor and report on the conservative slant of the media in the Oklahoma City area. It aims to hold publications such as The Daily Oklahoman or television news programs such as Oklahoma City’s Fox affiliate accountable to facts and fairness. This blog is created in the tradition of Media Matters, which monitors the press on a national level.

I also envision OK Media as a place for liberals and progressives to discuss strategies to counter and fight against the conservative bias in our local media.

Over the last two decades, the press has become increasingly conservative as the so- called mainstream media (MSM) has found itself competing with and sometimes imitating the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly. There is a logical fallacy within media discourse today that readers, viewers, and listeners want their news with a conservative slant. That is simply not true. People want fairness. What the conservatives do is distort facts or cherry-pick facts as they present themselves as fair. In fact, publications such as The Oklahoman always present news from a slanted position.

Conservative news is inexpensive to produce because it is one-sided. Reporters or commentators do not have to research material or present different sides to an issue. That would take more people and money.

In our market, The Oklahoman, for example, continues as an example of right-wing extremism. The local news program on Oklahoma City’s Fox affiliate, owned by the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, has come under repeated attack for its conservative bias. Local talk radio primarily caters to the right-wing.

So I need your help in two ways. (1) Please post your critiques on this blog about particular local news media outlets or “personalities” that I write about, and (2) help me expose the extreme conservative bias in the local media by giving me suggestions and ideas for blogs. I will post new OK Media blogs on a sporadic basis, so please check back often. My main blog, Okie Funk, will be published on a more regular basis.

So OK Media’s launches its inaugural blog by featuring Mike McCarville, who hosts a 4 to 6 p.m. show on local KTOK radio.

McCarville is an right-winger in the tradition of Rush Limbaugh. He blends hucksterism (he transitions from commentary to selling products and service) with clichéd, Republican talking points. He often talks to the stations news reporters during his show. All of them engage in liberal bashing that takes on an almost surreal quality as McCarville hawks his products during extended interludes that blur the line between his show’s content and advertising. His show is very boring, of course, and it would be laughable, except for the fact that some people apparently listen to his mediocre drivel.

Here is how inane and boring and sanctimonious it gets. In a recent show, McCarville noted how it was great that the two Super Bowl teams had patriotic names, the Eagles and the Patriots. Essentially, he argued, you could not go wrong rooting for either team because they somehow symbolized America because of their names. How ridiculous, boring, absurd, and asinine, but it is this type of seemingly harmless banter that creates a conservative “ambience” for McCarville’s entire show.

In addition, here is how McCarville describes himself on the KTOK website:

“I pledged almost nine years ago we'd engage in civil discourse, respect each other, and I'd treat you like I expect to be treated: Put your feet under my table, have a cup of coffee, and let's talk. It's what I call the Rush Limbaugh Model. Rush honed such conversations to a fine point during his learning years, and he has excelled because of that. He is, truly, the man who saved AM radio and who is its major star today. Another fine example of civil discourse is Fox News' Sean Hannity, an engaging guy who has had an incredible ride in television and talk radio. . . .”

Right. Rush Limbaugh, a bigot, a former drug addict, the man who called the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal “good ol’ American porn,” engages in civil discourse? Give me a break. That, my Funko Heads, is an glaring example of how McCarville is married ideologically to the extreme right in this country.

McCarville is a humorless simpleton, a Limbaugh/Hannity wannabe. He regurgitates the conservative mantra in goose step style as he sells his products and slants the news with KTOK’s itsy bitsy news staff. People visiting our city who come upon his show by accident must be appalled. His show tells them that Oklahoma City is not a place for thinking people.