Thursday, January 6, 2011

Urban Tulsa's Hot 100: Some Hits, More Misses

Urban Tulsa Weekly is out with its annual list of Tulsa's Hot 100, their pick for T-town's movers and shakers. As we have pointed out in the past, this list is always problematic when it's not downright silly.

In the past, for instance, UTW has included its own publisher, Keith Skrzypczak. Naming your own boss as a Big Shot is not exactly an independent evaluation, is it? This year, the paper named (wait for it) its associate publisher, James Bengfort. What a stretch! 

UTW also added to the tradition, naming not one, but two of its own former columnists to the list. Terry Simonson, Mayor Dewey Bartlett's chief of staff, was a regular writer at UTW for some time, as was blogger Michael Bates. Bates left UTW after he wrote a column on the circulation problems at the Tulsa World, a column that prompted a lawsuit and for which Bates later apologized.

We're not opposed to singling out deserving Tulsans, a number of which are named in the Hot 100. But this exercise is undermined by UTW's practice of naming its own associate publisher and former writers to the list.