Top 69 TLO Articles of 2023 (Part 1)
11:56 AM EST on December 26, 2023
In an effort to both maintain our sanity and recharge the batteries, we're abstaining from producing new content this week.
Instead, we're going to recall and revisit the magic of the past year by counting down the Top 69 posts of 2023, courtesy of our deviant friends at Patricia's.
Sorted chronologically by the date they occurred, and featuring the standard mix of psycho Oklahoma politicians, psychic Oklahoma mediums, and psychosomatic trailer park snakes, these 69 articles summarize the highlights and lowlights of living in an affectionately backward place like Oklahoma.
Grab a cup of coffee, glass of wine, or a dram of Wanderfolk and enjoy.
What we said: Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve received word via the Ogle Mole Network that Paycom – the local tech company that outbid us for naming rights to OKC's downtown arena – is quickly moving away from its popular work-from-home policy and demanding its QA & IMS employee groups return to the office by January 12th.
I’m not 100% sure what those acronyms and job responsibilities mean in Paycom speak, but according to one Ogle Mole, the move will affect a broad base of employees who work at the corporate headquarters just north of the Kilpatrick Turnpike.
What We Said: I guess the removal of Kelly’s face and bio from the News 9 website means his reign at News 9 is officially over after 20+ years.
That’s probably bittersweet news for loyal Kelly Ogle fans, but there are some positives.
For example, it does open the door for Kelly to join his brothers Kent and Kevin at KFOR. Although that does carry the risk of the brothers uniting their infinity stones to destroy the known universe, you do have to admit it would be fun to see Kevin toss it to Kent who sends it to Kelly who hands it off to Kaitlyn who then sends it back to Dad.
What We Said: Earlier this week, Steve Lackmeyer reported that Oklahoma City has filed a lawsuit against Revolution Resources – an oil company led by an aspiring young asshole oil overlord named Scott Van Sickle – alleging the company stole water from the Hefner Canal and built a road and pipeline through the preserve without permission.
I know Oil Overlords don’t care about laws or the environment, but even Harold Hamm would admit that’s kind of a stupid and brazen things to do. The person with Revolution Resources who didn’t pay-off or bribe the right officials should be looking for a new job immediately!
What We Said: Whenever I write about a tornado or flood or blizzard or earthquake or wildfire or ice storm or inland hurricane or any other type of natural disaster hitting our state, I usually joke that the only natural phenomenon Oklahoma hasn’t experienced yet is a deadly meteorite impact.
Well, I guess I’m done joking.
What We Said: Sherrie Conley – a former teacher who is Grand Wizard of the House Higher Education Committee and a member of the House Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee for Education – spells the word clan with a “K.”
I guess we can’t be too surprised. The Oklahoma education system does suck for a reason, and as we’ve learned in the past, Sherrie is pretty reich wing.
What We Said: Susan Miller – the Department of Education’s HR director – sent an email to high-level agency staff warning them that sharing emails (a.k.a. public records) with people outside the agency (a.k.a. The Lost Ogle) will result in immediate termination and possible legal action!
Yep, let the authoritarianism begin!
I’ve heard about the email from multiple Ogle Moles, but haven’t been able to land a copy because some of the recipients are worried that a highly-paranoid Walters is tracking their every step, monitoring their whereabouts like they’re a barista taking a break at the Habour Mountain Coffee House.
What We Said: Yep. Sherri brushed off her racist Freudian slip as a simple “misspelled word” and then attempted to turn the conversation to something she’s more comfortable with – book banning.
That’s kind of funny, but only because her little avatar looks like a cartoon lesbian rapper she’d probably want to ban from the school library.
What We Said: Yep, whether it’s present-day Americana or an apocalyptic zombie future, Love’s is always “the heart of the highway.”
I don’t know if Love’s (or Arby’s) had to pay for this product placement, but it was a frighteningly realistic call by The Last of Us producers, because if a fungal outbreak ever does lead to a real-life zombie apocalypse, I'm pretty sure it would originate in a Love's bathroom.
What We Said: Jabee’s tweet – and the promise of up to $1,000 in rewards – quickly caught algorithmic winds and set sail through the OKC social media waters, putting the bone-headed thief who wasn’t even smart enough to at least wear a facemask while committing a crime front and center on everyone’s phone.
Before you could say “Back with another one of those block rockin' beats,” amateur sleuths, social media detectives, and pizza lovers from all across town quickly identified the alleged criminal mastermind.
What We Said: Thanks to a tip via the Ogle Mole Network, we’ve learned that the anti-wokester public education grifter is taking down the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame “Wall of Honor” from the halls of the State Department of Education.
Created by state law in 1986, the hall is located in the only publicly accessible hallway in the State Department of Education, and honors teachers, educators, and other leaders in Oklahoma public education.
Or, as Walters would put it, evil left-wing indoctrinators who want porn in schools.
What We Said: here’s some free advice to any young oilmen or women aspiring to become an oil overlord through criminal means. If you want to develop a scheme where you obtain another company’s confidential information and then use it to acquire and pump up the price of mineral rights in a specific area, stick to traditional methods and write it all down on the back of a disposable cocktail napkin at Junior’s.
What We Said: I asked around the Ogle Network, and although more easily accessible, less complicated film incentives from other states definitely have something to do with Tulsa King and other productions not choosing to film in Oklahoma, there are other reasons, too.
In fact, there are so many that it begs the following question:
What’s the point in trying to compete with the Georgias and Californias of the world if we can’t compete with them?
Not only can these states offer better incentives, but they also have other built-in advantages, like fully equipped and accessible studios, access to more crewmembers, better weather, and not as many batshit crazy politicians.
What We Said: This isn’t the first time News 9 has messed things up since they moved to their new downtown studios, fired most of their production staff, and switched to an automated robotic production system.
Their debut broadcast was such a disaster that they had to scrap another broadcast later that week. In addition to that, the station’s new set has been widely panned by people in the industry, becoming a point of contention with station’s ownership.
As a result, News 9 has apparently parted ways with Todd Spessard – their Vice President of Content.
What We Said: For the most part, the 90-minute-long production went off without a hitch until a disheveled Ryan arrived (once again) an hour late with his OHP security detail in tow. He then proceeded to stumble his way through the ceremony like a new barista starting their first shift at the Harbor Mountain Coffee House.
What We Said: Jon Stewart – former host of The Daily Show turned fledgling Apple TV content creator – undressed a limelight-loving Dahm with some liberal logic and reason during a recent interview for his new show The Problem.
Even though nothing productive will come from the interview and it only serves as a boost to Dahm’s national profile, it’s kind of fun to see Nathan and his warped right-wing hypocrisies and double standards get exposed on the national level.
What We Said: Thanks to a tip via the Ogle Mole Network, we're learned that layoffs and a big staff upheaval have hit the group responsible for operations at Tower Theatre, along with its partner venues Pony Boy and Beer City Music Hall.
According to our Moles, the operating group behind Tower Theatre – the landmark on NW 23rd St. that anchors the uptown district – has fired at least nine people over the past couple weeks, while other employees claim they’ve had to re-interview for jobs and/or face demotions and pay cuts.
In addition to that, Stephen Tyler – co-operator of the facility – has stepped down from day-to-day duties, leaving popular OKC social media grandstander Chad Whitehead as the main person in charge of things.
What We Said: I guess we finally know the man who inspired the hit Taylor Swift breakup song – “That’s not my kitty litter in the bathroom.”
What We Said: Oklahoma lawmaker Dean Davis – a State Rep from the radioactive wasteland of Broken Arrow – was arrested late Thursday night on public intoxication charges in Bricktown after he refused to leave the Skinny Slims patio after 2am.
It’s the second time Davis has been arrested on alcohol-related charges while serving as a state representative, with the first being a DUI charge in 2019. The mugshots from both arrests look similar.
What We Said: Ryan got back to the office and rubbed out an email to the Oklahoma legislature that contained a PDF of the porn he claimed has been found in Oklahoma libraries.
Before most lawmakers could lock their office doors and grab some lotion, screenshots of the email quickly spread across the Oklahoma media ecosystem.
What We Said: As a guy who spent most of my weekend dancing in my living room to Trolls music videos, I think Stitt’s attendance at the concert shows the lengths men of all ages and political persuasions will go to make their daughters happy more than anything else.
What We Said: The son of some wealthy event supply operators, JP is a local magician who worked closely with Joe Exotic, was featured in Tiger King (which I guess explains why Falcone’s had the “Honk If You Think Carol Killed Her Husband” sign on their marquee) and has performed magic at numerous Thunder games.
What We Said: Thanks to a tip via the Ogle Mole Network, we’ve learned that historic, limited-edition Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Kitchen merchandise and apparel is starting to hit the local thrift shop and consignment store circuit.
What We Said: Last week, we were the only local media outlet to report that Shelley Zumwalt – the fast-rising, media-friendly star of the Stitt Administration who currently heads the Oklahoma Tourism Department – is being accused of age discrimination dating back to when she led the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission…
Thanks to the Ogle Mole Network, we’ve learned that Zumwalt is also the focal point of a different age discrimination claim that dates back to 2019, when she served as Chief Communications Officer for the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority!