Yesterday afternoon, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt vetoed a ho-hum bill that would renew OETA – Oklahoma’s PBS affiliate – for another three years.
Unless the veto is overridden by the Oklahoma legislature, which seems like a scary proposition, it could spell the end of your grandparent’s favorite free television station.
Instead of being honest about his intentions, and saying he doesn’t approve of OETA because he believes public television has a liberal, secular bias, or that it doesn’t reinforce and promote his conservative evangelical dogma, or that free educational television is for poor losers who can’t afford cable, he attempted to justify his decision by saying this:
"Although the OETA may have played a principal role in the provision of educational television services at one time, today the OETA’s long-term, strategic value is at best unclear, if not outright imagined," Stitt wrote in his veto message.
Hey, times are changing, and maybe it is it time to rethink how OETA and PBS operate in today’s digital age, but if Governor Stitt genuinely believed the "long-term, strategic value is at best unclear," he would have been forward-thinking and brought it up a couple of years ago instead of right before the renewal.
That way, he and lawmakers could have studied the issue, heard from experts and Oklahoma taxpayers, and then worked together to develop a clear long-term, strategic decision for the network.
But no, instead he pulled his typical bull stitt power play ego trip thing and waited until the last minute to veto the renewal, putting the pressure on right-wing rural lawmakers to keep the network alive.
What an asshole, huh? I know the guy is probably traumatized by all the election memes that point out his resemblance to Burt, but that’s just a dick move!
Seriously, whether you’re young or old, conservative or liberal, a wealthy mortgage banker or a poor widow who was ripped off by one, OETA has value, especially to old people.
Let’s hope Kevin Stitt rues this day for the rest of his political career, or at least gets an annoying popcorn kernel stuck in his throat next time he's at the movies. Karma is a bitch.