Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, June 02, 2006

Lazy Way Out

Anybody find today's editorial just a bit ironic? Here's a bit of it for your enjoyment:

These programs appear structured to create controversy and cater to a narrow mind-set -- and nothing more. It seems the people who have pounded their chests the loudest are declared the winners, regardless of whether they had their facts straight or warped them to try to prove their case. The truth too often is missing.

This type of knee-jerk approach also too often creeps into news reporting, with the offending journalists not being held accountable as they dumb down the debate or interject their own spin into stories by selective reporting. It recalls the days of yellow journalism before the press supposedly matured.


Anonymous amused bystander said...

Sara---you're rightits as if Travis drank some truthserum and started writing an apology to the community--but then remembered he only accuses others of wrongdoing......he is really careening toward bottom and at this point is a pathetic caricature of himself.....

6/02/2006 8:58 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Obviously, this editorial is defining a clear distinction between a journalist and an editorialist. Therefore, Travis selective-facts-Wrong must consider himself an editorial writer, not a news writer who is subject to the canons of news ethics.

Travis must have changed his view of himself as a journalist, perhaps recently through the rigorous honesty of self-reflection learned in a 12-step recovery program.

To be true to the editorial today (the Blogabarbara topic here), he must no longer consider himself a journalist, changing his position from his editorial published only so recently on May 3, 2006, in which he writes:
"As a journalist with 15-plus years' experience, I help implement the policy." Of course, the "policy" was denying an appearance on any of their public-affairs radio shows without the interview guest (or at least certain guests) first appearing on his show.

If he keeps doing what he is doing, he will keep getting what he is getting.

6/02/2006 9:26 AM  
Anonymous big fat fan of travis said...

News programs like those on Fox that purported to be "fair and balanced" while dumbing down the issues and having a right wing agenda during the last presidential election have contributed to the sorry state of this country as it stands.

Opinion pages like that of the News-Press have given a voice to local citizens who are often drown out by local politics and special interests with big money.

There is a huge difference. No irony.

6/02/2006 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the co-publishers talking about their own "offending journalists" doing "selective reporting"? Primetime Palminteri?

6/02/2006 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now there's a topic the Das "grass roots machine" can't convert to its own use. Or can it...?

By the way, as a 2d Dist. resident I participated in an automated telephone pole on 6-1 about who I intended to vote for for Supe. After responding "Dan Secord" (second choice right after Das) the call ended saying it was paid for by the Das campaign. Results please.

6/02/2006 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bizarre. must be tasting something stronger than bottled water

6/02/2006 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

The NP has always taken the lazy way out concerning Das. They never look into the details behind Das's proposals. They only take the John Davies spin and there you have a story. When Das is elected there should be serious consideration given to the county purchasing the paper. Then put in a management staff dedicated to reporting the news and not the spin. And I am mocked because I dump papers.Mock me if you will but this paper's power must be curtailed.

6/02/2006 9:42 PM  
Anonymous sick of shell games said...

Yes, Mike Pinto, I think Das would be the perfect person to lead the charge for the 'county purchasing the paper'. Or, he could just have his surrogates create a new one, kind of like they are creating new variations of 'democratic' clubs every day seemingly to allow new 'endorsements'. A shell game is a shell game is a shell game. Same old shells. Same old games.

6/03/2006 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been watching and listening to the Guzzardi campaign complain about the Firefighters going against just plain Joe and I have heard the supposed reasons. One never gets mentioned, they work with him every day and just don't like him. That is the most telling thing, they are going against someone they work with on a daily basis perhaps because they know him better than the average voter. So put down the conspiracy manuals, it just might be that simple.

6/03/2006 8:49 AM  
Blogger john san roque said...

I don't think the problems people have with the NP editorials (me included) have anything to do with the separation of news from opinion. I have been lectured about that in this blog by supporters of the News-Press. Honestly--I understand the difference.

The issue for me is that opinion can be given in both fair and unfair ways. In my own opinion, the editorials and other pieces by Armstrong don't address the issues on their merits; they resort to selective facts almost constantly and intentional distortion frequently. It seems as though Armstrong believes that repetition, not analysis or debate, is the way to bring others to his viewpoint.

That doesn't work with a fair-minded and educated readership.

6/03/2006 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mike, das is qouting travis in his tv ads - is you got to admit your are wrong

6/04/2006 12:58 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

John San Roque brings up an interesting point - constant repetition in the media is a subconscious form of persuasion - as a historical example only, Hitler used the media as an effective form of indoctrination to convince the masses of the need to go to war.

If the media continuously repeats the same mantra over and over, pretty soon the general public will begin to believe that a POV has crossed from a personal belief into true fact.


6/05/2006 7:16 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

In the Saturday (June 3rd) opinion column by Travis selective-facts-Wrong, only 9 of the 711 words, or literally 1 percent, were about Secord and his campaign donations. "Dr. Dan Secord accepted $50,000 from a long-time friend."

Wow. What investigative journalism there, reporting what has been published in his own newspaper months ago, with no naming names of the donor(s) this time. But in the same opinion-editorial, a full dose of innuendos and nothingness about endorsers and donors to the two candidates feared by the editorialist.

The rest was a mix of legitimate criticisms about how Wolf and Williams received their in-kind donations, along a huge dose of speculative innuendo.

Real journalists do not bite on nothing, leaving open the question that Travis indeed is not a journalist despite all his enterprise calls to the staffers for Capps. So instead of finding out the name of the FEC official himself, Travis just whines that the target of his criticism will not do his work for him.

But this opinion-editorial does hint at a broader theme that actually can be analyzed fairly: who really is deciding on these endorsements and how to they decide what their endorsement is? And do voters really cares about endorsements, considering how diluted they are becoming?

The friend of Das (Courtney Weaver, a political activist who graduated from UCSB just a year ago) seems to be just one or two people for the endorsement by her organization. Conversely, League of Conservation Voters is a broad organization not tied to any one candidate ahead of time. Sierra Club, is just lame and endorses two candidates because they cannot make a tough decision. (Or, was the local cadre of Sierra Clubbers actually smart and wants both Das and Janet in the November election, as a way to have them outcompete each other on which is the most enviro greenest?!)

The public employee unions, of course, endorse who will give them pay raises a bigger budget next time, with the grunt work foisted on the newly hired. Retired or retiring politicos tend to endorse as a way to repay favors from the past. Printing companies tend to be all about repaying favors a step removed from those retiring politicos. Political parties endorse by whichever operative can deliver some butts in the chairs during the endorsement decision meeting of the "central committee" which seems like a vestige name from Communists.

The value of endorsements is becoming less and less meaningful. That would be an excellent posting topic for Blogabarbara a few days after the election day tomorrow.

6/05/2006 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

12:58, with Das on power your kids will be able to learn the grammar you never did. Sorry you were failed by the school system.

8:28, the only shell game is Capps funneling money from developers into Wolf's campaign.

7:16, the repetition of which you speak may be the only way to liberate innocent animals from slavery, and is the NPs only redeeming feature. In fact, I didn't dump the "save the horses" issue. Wendy, stick with the animals and dump Travis and Das might stick with you.

6/05/2006 11:35 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

What has wearied many a voter is the creation of committee's created specifically to endorse a particular candidate.

The one that sticks in my mind is the "Sheriff's Administration PAC" or whatever they call themselves - no one in the SD knows who they are, but that they are a loosely held group that "forms" when the actual Sheriff's Admin (Lt. and above) group chooses not to endorse the phony PAC's choice.

Those kind of shenanigan's with phony PAC's or endorsement groups have soured the public and that's one reason why endorsements hold they weight they once used to.


P.S. Read Bill Brown's website finally - impressive vision for a troubled department.

6/06/2006 7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When do we hear about Travis' BAC level and sentence?

6/09/2006 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heard he was in Court yesterday---yet no report in today's daily news???

6/10/2006 11:45 AM  

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