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Oklahoma’s conservative politicians are setting up camp on indefensible territory. In the space of two days, Gov. Kevin Stitt and former Oklahoma Attorney General and Trump Environmental Protection Agency head Scott “Tactical Pants” Pruitt whined about being confronted with their own political histories, claiming that reporters reporting reality constitute hit jobs. 

The question is: will Oklahomans believe them when the lies fit so comfortably in their mouths? 

Stitt was caught flat-footed with his mouth hanging open on the May 15 edition of “Fox News Sunday.” Anchor Shannon Bream quoted a 2014 Pew Research Center poll that found 51 percent of Oklahomans favored abortion. Then she opened up a fusillade of facts about the state’s children, 21 percent of whom live below the poverty line and make up 71 percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients in the state. 

OPINION by George Lang

“What is the plan in Oklahoma to help women if you’re advising them to carry through on these pregnancies when they are up against some real challenges?” Bream asked.

Stitt appeared to be rocked back on his heels by some real journalism taking place on Fox News Channel. His response was a chaos cloud of name calling and obfuscation. 

“Well, I mean, here’s the deal,” he said. “Is the answer to the socialist Democrat left to abort poor kids? I mean, that’s just ridiculous to even kind of quote those types  of stats. We have a free market in Oklahoma. We believe that God has a special plan for every single life, and every single child. And we want everybody to have the same opportunities in Oklahoma. And aborting a child is not the right answer.”

Is it really ridiculous to “quote those types of stats” or just really uncomfortable to hear the toxic results of your leadership on Oklahoma’s women and children?

Pruitt, now a U.S. Senate hopeful after a thoroughly embarrassing run as one of the Trumpiest appointees in the Trump Administration, claimed in his first ad that, “I had enemies. The New York Times. The Washington Post,” Pruitt said. “They think they canceled me, but guess what? I’m back.”

Responsible members of the press do not “cancel”; they report. However, they often report on entirely cancel-worthy offenses, like Pruitt being an abject paranoid who spent $4.6 million on security, kept his entire floor of the EPA locked down, ordered a sound-proof booth for his meetings and a 24/7 security detail, traveled first-class to Italy and spent $3,000 on “tactical pants” and “tactical polos” to protect him from environmental bogeymen living rent-free in his brain. 

I mean, Rep. Elise Stefanik called for Pruitt’s resignation from the EPA, and she’s the worst.

For a while, it seemed like the rise of technology like YouTube would protect us from political liars. When U.S. Sen. George Allen, R-Virginia, called S.R. Siddarth, an Indian-American political operative who was filming his campaign “macaca” during a stump speech, he denied saying it, even with rapidly spreading digital evidence. 

But now Stitt and Pruitt are emboldened by the conservative media apparatus that has thrived since Ronald Reagan repealed the Fairness Doctrine, and so they blame their failures on the “socialist Democrat left.” 

Gary Hart, the former Democratic presidential hopeful who dared reporters to follow him while he was deservedly dogged by infidelity rumors, is 85 now. Pruitt and Stitt should take a waning opportunity to query his eminence grise about what happens when you challenge the press on facts.

Last Updated May 18, 2022, 6:49 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor