Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, July 07, 2006

Print the News and Raise Hell

We got a view into what the future of the News-Press will be today in Travis' quote of Civil War editor William Story (did he really edit the Civil War? -- maybe he was a Civil War-era editor? and you are the Publisher now? Was that Mister Armstrong? -- sorry, I wasn't sure how to use the title -- I'm just a dumb blonde):

"A newspaper's duty is to print the news and raise hell." We feel that we have achieved this in some measure and will continue to do so in the future.

When I read the quote, I see a slash, a wall, a line of fire between the words "print the news" and "raise hell". We know here at BB that like so many National Enquirers, Travis will continue to raise hell at the expense of reporting the news and then mix them together in a menage of contrary political leanings and what he sees as good government (hey, did you hear about that email at City Hall and maybe even that lawn sign at the fire station?). It's already happened and will continue...more fodder for these pages, I am sure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

heard on the street,.. can anyone confirm if gerry spratt, the sports editor, quit today?

7/07/2006 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calm down, Sara. This Newspress business is very exciting for you, as we can all see. But why the dig about the fire station? Second district residents are getting Janet Wolf crammed down our throats!

Janet has leaned on the establishment for as many power plays as she can to woo the casual voters. Firestation workers were ordered to participate in her campaign. That, honey, is NEWS. The fact that it was brought to the public spotlight is what brought the action to a halt. As it should have.

Opinions and editorials about the incident appeared in the EDITORIAL pages. As they should have.

7/07/2006 10:06 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Ordered? What's news is an editor of a paper spying on the fire station rather than a real reporter asking questions. That is news, my dear honey bumpkins.

7/07/2006 10:15 PM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

The Snooze-Supress "raise hell?"...I don't think so. Unless of course it starts reporting REAL news without sparing The Wendy or her jewelry rattling friends any "inconvenience"

7/07/2006 11:12 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Too bad the Secord Soldiers are not getting any traction bashing on Janet Wolf.

Sometimes, it is not about you.

7/08/2006 12:17 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

A comment entered at the Indy blog by a "David" predicts that the News-Press news staff soon will join or form a labor union to protect themselves.

Raising Hell, indeed!

7/08/2006 12:40 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

And it they reported on Wendy that way, they'd find themselves escorted out the building. It would be nice to have news that wasn't whitewashed, sanitized or otherwise!!! dd

7/08/2006 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ordered? What's news is an editor of a paper spying on the fire station rather than a real reporter asking questions. That is news, my dear honey bumpkins.

He wasn't spying, Sara De L'Agenda. He got tipped off by an email that was sent to him that was rather alarming. Unless of course, you believe Travis acquired the email himself by infiltrating the fire station computer system.

No matter how many threads you start about this business, or how many times you falsley accuse Travis of sexism, it's not going to erase the pain you feel by not getting hired by the Newspress.

7/08/2006 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, since you are so persnickety about word choice, especially when someone disagrees with you, let's go over the details before you accuse me of having my facts wrong.

From Merriam-Webster, here's the definition of the word "order":
verb: give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority

And here is a portion of the email sent to firefighters, as reported by Mr. Travis Armstrong:

"I expect 100 percent participation from our newer members. The longer tenured members of this local continually outshine us in participation and overall effort. Maybe we've had it too easy when it comes to our wages and benefits. . . . A lot of hard work has gone into securing a voice for us and our political involvement is crucial to maintaining our current course of improving our own security and the department's future."

It adds, "Station 13 will be the hub for the Janet Wolf campaign. We have polo shirts and yard signs available there now. You can choose to walk any day between now and the election. Fri. and Sat. this week will be our focus."

So to answer your question, blondie, yes, a fellow fireworker did indeed order the others to support the campaign.

7/08/2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks for including the email -- and to say even "as reported by Travis Armstrong" points to how thin the line between reporting and editorial has gotten at the News-Press. The firefighters definitely made a mistake and did something they shouldn't have done -- but should Wolf have to pay for it?

7/08/2006 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 830 conveniently left out the part of the email to firefighters, from their union reps, that mentioned CENTENO signs and precinct walking. BUt then, to include it wouldn't have served the needs of the Secord camp, right, anon?

can we move on and get back to the issue and subject of the blog......?

7/08/2006 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The firefighters definitely made a mistake and did something they shouldn't have done -- but should Wolf have to pay for it?

How is Wolf paying for it? Is she getting pre-recalled? Tell me where to sign up for that. You're dodging the point. You make it sound like Travis is more condemnable for writing an editorial than the firefighters are for committing the act.

Travis didn't do anything wrong. He's the editor. The real fault goes to Barney McManigal. He is a reporter, not the editor, and he is the one who shouldn't be crossing the line, as he painted the situation as heavily diffused and isolated. He also wrote that the firefighters will be severly punished with "substantial discipline", but the punishments will not be disclosed and no one will be fired. Sounds real severe.

7/08/2006 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes- it's her campaign, she is responsible for what goes on.

And if she can't run a legal campaign and look after her staff, then how will she be able to lead the county?

7/08/2006 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes she should have to pay for it--it's her campaign and she should be responsible for what goes on.

And if she can't do that, then how would she lead the county?

7/08/2006 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Indio Muerto said...

Why should Wolf have to pay for a dumb thing the firefighters did? Should she be expected to monitor their internal emails? They are firefighters not politicians and it sounds like they took responsibility for the mistake and got hammered for it as they should have. Suggesting they should be fired sounds pretty over the top. These are the same guys who will be giving you the Heimlich Manuever while you are choking on your sour grapes. Also, does anyone else think it's a bit tawdry that the editorial page director was probably involved in setting up the little fire station sting in the first place? Especially considering he was an unabashed Guzzardi Guy? I thought reporters were supposed to report the news, not make it.

7/08/2006 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple points.

1. Armstrong is not a reporter, and I am not aware of a background in actual journalism. He was the editorial page editor and is now publisher. Having already spent a couple of years spreading his opinions, it is now impossible for the paper to have credibility since he decides what is news and what isn't. It doesn't matter whether he is acting publisher or if he takes time off writing new editorials - the damage is done.

2. Armstrong selectively allowed/obstructed letters to the editor and had a fuzzy policy when it came to what was acceptable to be printed. It is all too easy to imagine him sending reporters out to write stories from the angles he wants and adding or deleting text from the articles that detract from his point of view.

7/08/2006 11:42 PM  

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