by Max Brantley
First it was an Oklahoma radio station owner who gave the cranks free air time so they wouldn't show up at the funeral of Oklahoma State basketball coaches killed in a plane crash. An offhand remark that they might be present at the funeral for Razorback Garrett Uekman has now produced an offer of free air time from a Saline County AM station recently purchased by Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson and Grant Merrill. The radio station proudly announces that they've struck the deal.
I don't think you negotiate with the likes of the Westboro crowd. You ignore them, even when they turn up in your town. To take them personally and lash out at them, outrageous as their signs might be, is to empower them.The veterans' motorcycle posse that often forms a shield around the Westboro crowd has proved effective for those who can't abide the sight of them.
Now, two radio stations have given them keys to the broadcasting booth, something far more valuable than a stretch of sidewalk 300 yards from a funeral. Of course, you can turn it off.