I really appreciate the care and thoroughness you put into researching your stories. I also appreciate that you grasp and are willing to report on the larger issues arising from this dispute. I think that Tulsans should be outraged not only that Tulsa World misled them regarding the growth and success of BBI, but also that at least one of their editors assisted a local businessman in his vicious and unprofessional public attacks on a critic who was simply speaking the truth .
If you do a follow-up story or stories, I would humbly ask that you be cautious not to fall into the trap of “false equivalency,” ie thinking that each side in disputes of this nature generally has valid points and that the truth must lie somewhere in the middle. Sometimes writers pull punches because they think veering to one side or the other is a betrayal of objectivity, and a violation of being “fair & balanced.” But in some cases (like this one), there is no equivalency and to pretend there is is just inaccurate.
I say this because no one, and I mean no one except my friends and supporters, has acknowledged the outrageous and vile nature of Mr. Rutkauskas’ public Twitter attacks on me, my attorney, several former clients, and people he thought were speaking out against him on Twitter. I invite you and your readers to visit the link I have posted below, and read the tweets that resulted from the reports Ziva Branstetter provided to David Rutkauskas, and leave a comment on your impression of them.
I am not posting Rutkauskas’ tweets simply to win points for my side or discredit him further. It’s not comfortable or pleasing for me to post these Twitter messages. But I think that there’s another way to look at this story, and that’s that this is a man who is in some sort of personal and professional crisis. Instead of trying to reason with him or hold him back, people like Ziva Branstetter and, in my opinion, his legal counsel are spurring him on, encouraging him, and fueling the fire of his very public displays of self-destructiveness.
If Ziva Branstetter and Robert Sartin were truly concerned for Mr. Rutkauskas’ welfare, they would encourage him to stay off social media, to drop the meritless lawsuit, and get the help he needs. I think anyone who reviews the “ZivaGate” post below will agree that there’s something not right about a CEO making these kinds of attacks.
ZivaGate: Tulsa World Editor Fueled Twitter Attacks on Blogger