To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Observercast

Saving OETA

on

BY NORM ROURKE

An open letter to Sen. Roger Ballenger, D-Okmulgee, and Rep. Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs:

I won’t insult your intelligence with a litany of the benefits of OETA. I know you’re both well aware of them.

Instead I will plead with you to fight for the continuance of OETA [Oklahoma Educational Television Authority] as a viable and valuable alternative to TV programming. Like many other OETA fans, my children and grandchildren have benefitted from the educational and entertainment programs offered by OETA.

At a time when it seems our Legislature is determined to dumb down Oklahoma on all fronts, OETA is the last bastion of quality television offering programs that rise above the usual clap-trap presented on commercial television.

Why is this assault being waged against OETA? Why is its existence being politicized? These questions are beyond my comprehension. Is OETA just another campaign year political football? Is it another campaign smoke screen to divert voters’ away from serious issues of the economy, education and other matters that impact the state?

While Oklahoma receives poor marks in almost every measurable facet [education, economy, job opportunity, et al] legislative time is spent promoting and arguing about issues that add little or nothing to the advancement of our state and the improvement of our peoples’ lives.

OETA is one of the few entities left that offers viewers alternative programming that enriches our lives and helps to take Oklahoma out of the backwash of poor performance in those things that make a difference. It should not be subjected to political posturing and political philosophical pontificating. OETA serves ALL Oklahomans regardless of their political preferences.

Please don’t let OETA fail.

Norm Rourke lives in Beggs and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

 

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Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.