Top 69 TLO Articles of 2023 (Part 2)
9:02 AM EST on December 28, 2023
We're continuing our year-end retrospective today with the middle third of the TLO 69 – a comprehensive look back at our 69 best and most popular non-award-winning articles of 2023.
This part of the countdown starts in April with racist Oklahoma politicians doing racist Oklahoma politician things and ends with the ceremonial start of Oklahoma fall, and a coach not knowing who Dean Blevins is at OU football media.
You can relive all the glory below.
If you want to check out the first 1/3 of the countdown, check it out here. Enjoy.
What We Said: Over the weekend, a screenshot of this bombshell story in the McCurtain County Gazette – a paper that covers the remote southeastern Oklahoma outpost of McCurtain County – tore through the local interwebs.
The report details a jovially racist, homicidal and inadvertently recorded discussion between McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy, District 2 Commissioner Mark Jennings, and other county officials following an open meeting discussing county business.
In the discussion, they talked about the best way to dispose of the dead bodies of journalists for the McCurtain County Gazette, the similarities between charred human remains and barbecue, and a sweet longing for the good old days when the local sheriff could smack around Blacks in the county jail and then hang them down at Mud Creek.
You know, typical backwoods Oklahoma racist type of stuff.
What We Said: I don’t think anyone wants to fly – or even drive – to Pauls Valley without a windshield, but I haven’t heard Jim Gardner that upset since he was covering the 2020 protests in downtown Oklahoma City! I’m surprised he didn’t accuse the hail stones of being secret ANTIFA agents who were up to no good.
What We Said: I’m not a fan of telling people what they should do with their own money and/or things of monetary value, but if the only down payment you can afford to pay is a litter of pit bulls, something tells me you should probably try saving a little more cash before making the purchase.
What We Said: I received a batch of open records via The Ogle Mole Network about that trip.
They detail the Walters Administration's desperate attempts to get Ryan booked as a speaker at the conference; network with Senator James Lankford’s staff; score interviews with right-wing media outlets; and – perhaps most importantly – get Oklahoma taxpayers to pay for it.
What We Wrote: That’s pretty badass. If every televised golf tournament included a golfer getting pummeled after shooting a double bogey, I bet more people would tune-in! And just imagine how fun MMA would be if they gave the fighters golf clubs to use as weapons. Maybe then it would be worth ordering on pay-per-view!
What We Wrote: Let’s hope News 9 doesn’t send the Sassy Momma to check out some Indigenous Tacos at the next Tavf fundraiser, or we may hear her say something like “Hey, being forcibly removed from your land and taken to reservations to live poor and penniless isn’t great, but it did provide the ingredients for fry bread!”
What We Wrote: During a quick look through, I found eleven errors in the document, not including the lack of semi-colons in paragraph two.
I think my favorites were “Deliver effciences,” “Cristomer-focused” and, best of all, “Oklahoma's state employees preserve puble salety and the health of our dititzens.”
Obviously, you have to wonder how these blatant errors not only occurred, but also slipped through the cracks. I know Stitt likes state employees about as much as he does Georgia mortgage banking regulations, but at least read the stuff that has your signature on it!
What We Wrote: I guess we should thank the guy on the motorcycle for achieving the rare feat of making an asshole cop and hothead pickup driver who ran a stop sign sympathetic figures. That's difficult to do!
What We Said: It looks like the Real Ron Ron is in some real trouble trouble!
Earlier today, we were bombarded with reports via the Ogle Mole Network informing us that Ronald "The Real Ron Ron" Causby – an ultra-right-wing Oklahoma GOP social media “influencer," podcaster, and bonafide Ryan Walters super fan – was arrested late Sunday night in Tulsa on stalking and burglary charges.
According to the inmate lookup on Tulsa County Jail, Ron Ron is being held on a $10,000 bond and his address is listed as “homeless.”
What We Said: We'd like to congratulate a young pretty Oklahoman for finding success outside of Oklahoma!
Thanks to a tweet by Wendy Suares with a S, we were made aware that Ada native Margo Martin – the younger sister of former KOCO news babe Markie Martin and daughter of plastic surgeon David E. Martin – is a central figure in the Trump classified documents scandal!
Unbeknownst to us, the photogenic Martin – a former all-state tennis player from Ada – apparently became a key footsoldier of the Trump propaganda team over the years.
What We Said: We’ve had a lot of fun over the years on TLO showcasing the adventures of local Johns and prostitutes. I think my favorite was the famed Doritos hooker from 2009 who took payment in the form of a bag of Doritos, or the former OU cheerleader prostitute and her former football player pimp who were busted at the Biltmore Hotel back in 2017. People LOVED clicking on that one.
Is the coverage kind of mean? Are we publicly humiliating people who are probably experiencing hard times and simply want to fulfill an addictive animalistic urge or make some money?
Yes, but in all fairness, I’m not sure any of us want to live in a world where we can’t poke fun at people who were caught doing something a lot of people get away with doing. How else will prudes who are too scared to conduct a financial transaction involving sex feel good about themselves?
What We Wrote: Hal French – a wealthy Oklahoma oil overlord and/or mustard mogul – announced he's rescinding his offer to donate land and money to build a $61-million Poor Man’s Gathering Place (not the coffee shop) near 2nd St. and Coltrane.
According to The Oklahoman, the park was supposed to have giant statues of galloping horses along with lots of other fancy park things like indoor and outdoor event spaces, an observation tower, performance stages, a large pond, a community garden, fitness/endurance courses, dog parks, and play areas.
Basically, something that’s way too cool for Edmond.
What We Wrote: I don’t know if Jarrad has used his metaphysical powers to see the upcoming housing market collapse – or if Disney dumped him for a younger, more diverse voice – but the home can be yours for a cool $1.5-million.
And for wealthy people with only the most tackiest of tastes, Jarrad will listen to offers to sell the home fully furnished. You know, just in case you want some hard-to-find, attention-getting, very uncomfortable chairs.
What We Wrote: The former CEO of Dippin' Dots is a bigger piece of shit than we originally thought.
Last night KFOR reported that Scott Fischer – the entitled Oklahoma brat who served as CEO of Dippin’ Dots after his dad bought him the company – was arrested on domestic violence, indecent exposure, and other charges after he attacked and strangled his girlfriend in their Nichols Hills home, and then greeted police while standing in the nude in his front yard.
What We Wrote: In terms of human physical existence, 26 is young and awesome – the point in life when most of us reach our physical peak just before years of high-fat processed diets and alcohol abuse finally start to catch up with us. But in the pageant world, 26 is an ancient, fossilized age, usually reserved for people competing in fringe minor league events like Miss USA World America Planet Pageant or something like that.
In fact, Sunny was ineligible to compete in Miss Oklahoma until a few months ago, when the pageant raised the age limit from 25 to 28, guaranteeing her a chance to be the silverback of this year’s competition. Fortunately, outgoing Miss Oklahoma Megan Gold knows a good retirement community that Sunny can call home.
What We Wrote: For suckers of local nostalgia, Kliff invited a who’s-who list of OKC D-list celebrities to celebrate the big Seven-Five with him, including former TV news anchor Cherokee Ballard, Color Me Badd vocalist Mark Calderon, former Sooner great Marcus Dupree, and our favorite, Diabolical Facebook Weatherman Aaron Tuttle.
Sadly, Gan Matthews couldn’t make it because he never ventures outside of Cleveland County.
What We Wrote: Yep, while Tulsa deals with the fallout of a “mesoscale convective system” that walloped the city with sustained 80mph+ winds, and left hundreds of thousands of people sweltering in June heat and humidity without power and A/C, Governor Stitt is going full Clark Griswold in Paris at the World’s Largest Air Show.
As they say in France, imagine ça!
What We Wrote: Developers claim the theme park will be open and operational by 2026, a totally feasible, realistic and very obtainable deadline that I’m 100% sure will be met, especially if you’re playing a game of Sim Theme Park on your old Sony PlayStation.
The project seems ambitious in size, scale, and scope, and has a lot of questions attached to it, like, “What’s the catch?”, “Why?” and, most importantly, “How will it benefit Kevin Stitt and Brent Swadley?”
What We Wrote: In all seriousness, it’s good to know Matt is alive and (hopefully) safe. I felt like I got to know the guy as a drove around town this summer and was worried the campaign would end without us ever learning his fate, so it’s nice to get some closure.
Anyway, now that Matt’s ad campaign is coming to an end, I guess my old Clash of Clans leader Joey “Brooks Clinic” Morris will resume his title as the most visible face in the OKC billboard scene – a title he’s held since Ug bowed out of advertisements a few years ago.
What We Wrote: I’ve tried listening and have watched some clips of the show.
For the most part, "I've Had It" mimics what it's like to eavesdrop on mean Nichols Hills housewives who are high on Xanax at Flip’s, only without the Italian Nachos.
The show is boring an not in any way original, groundbreaking, or thought-provoking, and some of their one-liners are clearly contrived and rehearsed, but… it works pretty well in short-form scroll video form, and with most Americans being dumb and easily entertained, it's a bonafide hit.
What We Wrote: Despite his best legal efforts to close an open meeting and keep his many critics stuck in the hallway, some people were still able to slip through the cracks and give Ryan Langston-Walters a piece of their mind at yesterday's State School Board Squabble.
One of those people is Erica.
Dressed up like a Hideaway Pizza employee, she marched to the podium and scolded Ryan directly to his droopy face, reciting a pointed monologue that called him out for neglecting his official duties, politicizing his office, and making the Oklahoma Department of Education a battleground for today’s American culture wars.
What We Wrote: Yesterday afternoon, some guy named Brian Carr from Tulsa thought it would be a good idea to make himself look like a world-class asshole and share a long Facebook post about a bad experience he created at Mexicali Border Cafe near Downtown Tulsa.
I guess Brian stopped by the eatery with a large group of church friends this past Sunday afternoon.
Naturally, they had the server split the bill into separate tickets, and when it came time to pay, Brian didn’t appreciate the $4.55 18% auto-gratuity that was applied to the tab.
As opposed to just paying the tip and being on his way, he caused a scene, complained to management, and threatened not to pay it. Since the auto-grat policy was clearly printed on the back of the menu, the restaurant called the cops on him!
What We Wrote: Obviously rattled by not being recognized by an OU assistant coach, Dean quickly scurried away once Chavis stopped speaking, likely going to the handicapped bathroom to get on the phone with Barry Switzer, take a leak, and cry.