Thursday, April 03, 2003

The Daily Oklahoman's Hatchet Woman

Looks like a reporter named Carmel Perez Snyder is the Daily Oklahoman's hatchet writer assigned to harassing the Brad Henry Administration. Already, Carmel has penned several slanted articles designed to point a stick in the eye of Henry and his Cabinet. In March the Oklahoman, on a day heavy with war news, frontpaged an article by Perez about an old story regarding an audit of the state's European trade office. As a source, Perez used a Sam Mahjoub, a well-known Tulsa crank that has made a hobby of suing businesses and government officials. The Tulsa World quit covering Mahjoubs looney conspiracy theories long ago - but not the Daily Oklahoman! The DO treats the guy like a credible source. Could Perez really be so gullible?

A few days later, Perez tries to create a scandal out of Henry's attempt to replace Agriculture Secretary Dennis Howard with a new appointment. Then today, Perez infers irresponsibility in the hiring of three new personnel by State Finance director Scott Meacham and Secretary of Commerce Kathryn Taylor. The gist of Perez' story is that in a time of hiring freezes these Henry appointments shouldn't be hiring anyone. Buried in the story is the information that these agencies have a number of vacancies and have downsized significantly. The reader has to ask himself/herself whether the hiring of three people, professionals apparently, is newsworthy? I wonder if Perez will write a story every time three people are hired in state government?

Keeping any administration honest is a noble journalistic role but we can rightfully ask the Daily Oklahoman and Perez to please don't waste our time with non-news, with misleading news, or with dishonest news coverage. We can see right through you.

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