The end of a year always brings lists of “top stories” from publications across the globe. On one hand, it’s a reliable way to fill space during a slow news period. On the other, it can come off as navel-gazing.
The Oklahoman’s annual “quotes of the year” is usually the former, and the most recent version for 2015 is thick with quality “voices,” as Ken Raymond artfully introduces it:
“I’m not in favor of anyone having guns on campus except the police and Pistol Pete. It just creates a tension that we don’t need. It’s fraught with risk. If we want to experiment with this idea, I recommend that we start right here in this Capitol.”
— OSU President Burns Hargis, to Oklahoma lawmakers in October
Meanwhile, the Tulsa World received an end-of-the-year gift with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office complying with an open records request. The World’s Corey Jones had asked for the resignation letter of former reserve deputy Robert Bates, who accidentally killed a suspect at point-blank range.
Jones and the World noted the death of Eric Harris and the fallout surrounding it as “perhaps the most prominent local story of 2015,” and they posted Bates’ resignation letter in full Dec. 31. In it, the former chairman of now-resigned Sheriff Stanley Glanz’s 2012 re-election campaign did what awful people often do: Blame media for their follies and failures.
The Tulsa World is obviously attempting to take me down. The paper is guilty of ‘yellow dog journalism’ at the least. As you are aware, none of their reporting has been the least bit factual.
Bates faces an April 18 trial on a second-degree manslaughter charge, and several law enforcement officers (and budding politicians) have already announced their candidacy for Tulsa County Sheriff. The primary election will be March 1.
In all, that means the “most prominent” local story of 2015 will continue into 2016.
Things we saw (and heard)
Al Jazeera reporter: ‘A second source’ confirmed Manning’s link to HGH
— CNN Money (video interview)
Saudi Arabia cuts diplomatic ties with Iran
— Al Jazeera
‘Porngate’ email scandal roils Pennsylvania politics
— Washington Post
Confidence in oil hub security shaken by Oklahoma earthquakes
— NPR, StateImpact Oklahoma (audio)
History of Oklahoma license plates
Quotes to note
One of my favorite people is Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders … had a bill. I went down and we debated for about three hours. When that debate was over, and I won, he came over to me and he told me, ‘This is what we should be doing in Congress. We should be debating these things. That’s the best debate that I’ve had. You won and I lost because you knew the issue more.’ We became friends since that day. I’ll like to have him win the Democratic nomination.
— U.S. Sen Jim Inhofe in a wide-ranging discussion reported by the Duncan Banner, 12/24/15
Coming out of 2008 and the demographic changes in the country, Republicans needed energy, and instead of reaching for new ideas and new leadership, they reached for the political equivalent of Four Loko. Sure it gives a shot of energy, but it eventually rots your brain and kills you.
— Hari Sevugan, a senior spokesman for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign on Politico, 12/27/15
COME GET UR BITE.
— A Florida police department’s K-9 handler in text to another handler during a suicide call. Watchdog Sarasota has a ‘horrifying’ special project on dog bites, 12/26/15
So Larry starts showing me around, took me up on the stage. I could see the passion in this man’s eyes. He said careers have been made and hearts have been broken here on this stage. After 30 minutes of listening to him tell stories and showing me around, he said, ‘Would you be interested in doing first aid at some of my concerts?’ I wasn’t looking to be here. I was just coming by because I’d never been to Cain’s.
— Retiring EMT John Deason telling the Tulsa World how he became the medic for Cain’s Ballroom, 12/31/15
Highlights from NonDoc
“‘Life’s got reckoning to do’” by Mike Allen & James Coburn
“Antiquated work schedules ruin 3 p.m. OU football game” by William W. Savage III
“Despite claims of ‘truth,’ bias rules local political blogs” by Josh McBee