As I’ve said before, I’m hesitant to comment on the Oklahoma City initiative regarding the Ford Center. After all, no matter what comment I make, it will be taken as interference in something which is, truly, none of my business.
But setting aside the merits of the initiative, you have to marvel at the propaganda being produced by Clay Bennett’s wife’s newspaper, the Daily Oklahoman. From the ads on every page of the site urging people to vote YES on the initiative, to the multiple editorials in support of the measure, to the dearth of investigating into whether this is something the city actually needs to do, you get the feeling the Oklahoman is, well, just a bit biased. You can imagine the conversations at the daily story meetings:
Cub Reporter: Hey, I was reading some stuff about how stadiums aren’t the economic drivers they’ve been made out to be. How about I do some writeups on that? I could study the situation in other cities, do some comparisons, you know that sort of thing.
Editor: Shut up.
And that brings me to this opinion piece from Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry. Henry tosses out the standard adjectives regarding the improvements (“astounding”, et al), but focuses the latter half of his piece on motivating voters to build upon the existing momentum in downtown Oklahoma City. As Henry puts it, by renovating the Ford Center, Oklahoma City will have a chance to be a, ugh, “big league city.”
You know, like Green Bay. Or Jacksonville.
But the icing on the cake is Henry’s final line, wherein he admonishes his constituents to heed the words of Will Rogers: "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.”
Sadly, Henry neglected to mention another quote from Rogers, one I feel is closer to how the late independent thinker would feel about this particular flim-flam act. I’ll let Will tell it:
"There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."