Editorial: Silence on gambling’s destruction

The media manipulates public opinion more by what it doesn’t report or de-emphasizes than the actual news.

The liberal media in Tulsa – the daily paper, the TV stations, most magazines and most radio stations go out of their way to protect the casinos by minimizing the social destruction caused by gambling. They mute the criticism because they get so much advertising from the casinos.

Recently, a pastor who had resigned in a Tulsa suburb was arrested and charged with getting thousands of dollars from church members under false pretenses.

He is innocent until proven guilty but it seemed strange that a man who was devoted to shepherding a congregation would be so greedy as to be accused of bilking parishioners out of cash. Part of the accusation is that he kept borrowing money.

If you read to the bottom of the published account, you see that he was trying to cover gambling debts. He told police he was on painkillers.

Here is a common scenario. Someone goes to a casino and bets a bit of money to have fun. He wins a little bit and gets excited. Then he bets too much and it is a problem. The only solution is to grab some cash and keep betting until you get back to even.

For the vast majority of gamblers, they never get back to even and the financial hole just keeps getting deeper and deeper. (They say the longest lines at the casino are at the ATMs).

Here is a story idea for the 6 p.m. news: What percentage of people who gamble have their lives ruined? How many wreck their marriages? How many lose their jobs? How many wind up in jail? How many wind up penniless and homeless?

Oklahoma has 130 casino operations. They destroy lives on a daily basis and the media makes sure the public doesn’t hear the truth.