(OKLAHOMA CITY) — In the ever-evolving realm of Oklahoma’s media, a singular voice has risen above the fray, challenging conventions and inserting himself into the issues of his begrudgingly beloved state. Patrick Riley began writing as “The Lost Ogle” in 2007, and it became a vital fixture in Oklahoma City’s media landscape as an independent outlet, using both humorous hot takes and investigative journalism to provide an unfiltered look at the state’s news.
While some readers find Riley’s style too casual and think he incorrectly inserts himself into his stories, he demonstrates his journalistic skills by using informative interviews to cover diverse topics and build trust with his community through his trademark style. Regardless of that, people come to The Lost Ogle for news. It has more than 53,000 followers on Facebook and 64,000 followers on Twitter. One of the most significant testaments to The Lost Ogle’s influence is its ability to break news stories with the help of the “Ogle Mole Network,” his nickname for his tipsters.
In January 2021, a “mole” offered Riley a tip about Norman Ward 3 City Council Candidate Kelly Lynn, who had failed to disclose he once pled guilty to a felony when filing for candidacy. Riley’s swift reporting brought this important issue to light before any other outlet, telling voters it “may be something to consider when you go to the ballot box here in a few weeks.”
Riley seldom shies away from criticizing Oklahoma media in addition to politicians. Many of his articles use screengrabs to point out mistakes and laziness from major metro news sources.
In December 2022, Riley Tweeted photos of an ongoing large commercial fire and then watched CBS-affiliate News 9’s coverage of the same event. He expressed confusion at their inclusion of footage of yule logs in a fireplace next to a live stream of firefighters, saying, “I’m sure News 9 had plenty of stock fire footage available and I seriously doubt News 9 viewers would have noticed the difference.”
The Lost Ogle also explored media beyond the written word for a few years. In 2019, Riley began a podcast, the Lost Ogle Show, which ran through 2022. He interviewed influential Oklahomans, ranging from politicians to community activists to artists. Riley’s relaxed style often opened up his interviewees, offering an easy listening experience for fans. In a 2020 interview with Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Riley’s approachability and practical questions allowed Chief Hoskin to break down the complexities of tribal gaming.
At that time, Governor Kevin Stitt began contentious relations with the tribes when he attempted to force them into renegotiating their gaming agreements for a greater percentage of casino revenue, creating what Chief Hoskin called a “concocted pressure cooker situation.” Whether discussing Black Lives Matter protests or writing a listicle about Oklahoma restaurants, Riley engages the public and challenges the mainstream narrative. He relies on more gonzo-style journalism, inserting himself into the news happening in his neighborhood and state – a style not largely present in Oklahoma City.
When The Lost Ogle first emerged, it was often compared to The Onion, thanks to its witty and satirical approach. He poked fun at the Miss Oklahoma pageant this summer by calling the winner a “26-year-old geriatric pageant contestant” after recent rule changes allowed for participants up to 28 years old.
Even referring to himself as “The Lost Ogle” is a joke that points to the crucial void in the greater Oklahoma City area’s media landscape he aims to fill. The platform’s name pays homage to the Ogle family, a fixture in Oklahoma television news for generations. The Ogles, including the Ogle brothers, their father, and their daughters, have been staples in delivering news to Oklahomans for decades.
In an era where local papers have been gobbled up by media conglomerates, many have withered away. Independent voices like The Lost Ogle stand out as readers seek alternatives. Armed with a keyboard and an unapologetic personality, Riley remains true to his mission and voice as the outlet’s founder and driving force. His writing is filled with sarcasm and snarky jokes at almost anyone’s expense, often with little regard for their political title or affiliations. Riley’s humor and bluntness engages his audience, turning provocative headlines into clicks.
Take, for example, this article from June of this year about Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s tumultuous relationship with the state’s tribes: “Stitt returns from Paris just in time to shit on Oklahoma Tribal Nations.”
While Riley’s choice of words may seem audacious, it draws attention to the intricate realm of state-tribal politics and sovereignty that often goes unexamined. As the site’s self-proclaimed “muckraker, showrunner, smartass,” Riley began The Lost Ogle as a hobby 17 years ago, and 5,000 articles later, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to his craft and his community.