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The Paper-Informed Public Act was apparently just a joke…

oklahoman subscriber

Don't subscribe to the newspaper just yet.

Last week, we told you about HB 2389. Introduced by State Rep. Ben Sherrer and dubbed "The Paper-Informed Public Act," it would require Oklahoma adults to subscribe to local newspapers like The Oklahoman, Duncan Banner or Valley Brook Pasty in order to stay more informed about local issues.

Since our original story published, the bill was ridiculed and mocked by just about everyone. As a result, Rep. Sherrer has now stepped forward and claimed the whole thing was simply one big inside joke designed to humor his local newspaper publisher, and in the process, probably get some free classified ads. What a funny thing to do, huh?

Here's a comment Sherrer probably left on our website last week:

Just wanted to let you know this isn’t serious. Since being elected in 2004 one of my local publishers always joked with me about mandating newspaper subscriptions because we mandate auto insurance. He’d say – “a well-read public is surely safer than an insured public.” Over the years he’d gig me about how I was coming along. I decided I’d file the bill my last session – and I did enjoy laying it on his desk.

I never actually thought anyone would take it seriously and apologize for causing angst among my fellow Oklahomans.

But thanks to The Lost Ogle for always giving me a good laugh.

Yeah, he wasn't being serious at all. He was just joking around... kind of like guy asking a girl he's just friends with if she wants to make out.

"I'm bored. What should we do?"

"Want to make out?"

"What?! Gross?! No!!!"

"Ha ha. I know. I'm just kidding."

Seriously, old Ben is a laugh riot and prankster. Maybe next week he'll go pull the fire alarm in a movie theatre, or better yet, introduce a joke bill that will give State Rep's who waste the public's time a raise. Everyone will get a laugh out of that!

Sherrer's statement is very similar to what he told KOKH Channel 25's investigative reporter / lead storm chaser Phil Cross:

Yep, it's official. We've become a verb in the Oklahoma lexicon. That's big time. It makes me want to go Pioneer Woman a cake and celebrate.

Anyway, I guess we should give Sherrer props for punking all of us. Maybe the next time he does something like this it will actually be funny and he'll use irony to expose the hypocrisy of politics, not just humor a friend. I'd suggest he contact Connie Johnson for tips.

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