Sunday, December 23, 2007

County Commissioner Fred Perry Takes On Columnist and Blogger Michael Bates

Urban Tulsa columnist and local blogger Michael Bates of Batesline fame might have a bit of cognitive dissonance these days.

Bates's mental gymnastics could be the result of the tongue-lashing he got recently in the pages of, believe it or not, Urban Tulsa. The Dec. 20-26 edition of UT featured a new Bates column published adjacent to a column highly critical of a previous Bates column.

The critical piece was written by Tulsa County Commissioner Fred Perry, who had plenty to say about some errors in a Bates column in the Nov. 29-Dec. 5 edition.

Perry starts by noting that "for someone who writes often on the subject of local government" Bates's column "was extremely misinformed and inaccurate."

Perry points out that Bates was in error in writing about the responsibilities of county commissioners. A little research, Perry suggests, would have shown Bates that his statement "was very wrong about the county commissioner's job responsibilities being being limited to unincorporated areas."

Perry has more bones to pick with Bates, including comments that Perry says are based on "wild generalizations and assertions not based on facts."

But the news isn't all bad for Bates. Perry admits that he's a "smart man." Bates also has the good fortune to write for Urban Tulsa, which, to its great credit, was open and honest enough to give Perry a chance to challenge its most prominent writer.


Tulsan said...

Bates tends to let his politics and religion do his thinking for him. He then employs his brain in the subsidiary role of justifying what his gut has come up with.

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Tulsan said...

Sorry, I left out Bates' other thinking tools: his ambition to get into public office, and his never-ending grudge against the World. (That's the newspaper, not the planet.) He invariably and wearyingly refers to it as the "Whirled," in hopes other bloggers will pick up the term. He seems to feel he was slighted by the paper in his run for city council several years ago, and hasn't forgotten.

His greatest moment of glory as a blogger occurred when some puffed-up VP at the "Whirled" had the legal department send a threatening letter to Bates and other local bloggers telling them to desist from linking directly to the PDF version of the paper. Bates of course had done it out of malice, but the VP, knowing nothing about the ways of the internet, went for the legal solution rather than just blocking the link technically. The VP reaped a heap of bad publicity for the paper on the internet and even CNN (how did Fox miss out on the story?) but Bates got a lot of attention for a cycle.

It doesn't appear this ballyhooed "ban on Christmas" at a state university will be the ticket back into the limelight. But that didn't stop him and the other right-wing bloggers from doing "The Wave" on the "story." Oh well, maybe Gibson or O'Reilly will send new marching orders soon.

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