Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Was Spendy's Blog Pulled?

A blog which truly tested the limits of free speech, Spendy McFlaw's, seems to have been pulled. Whether it was pulled by the creator or by the host,, I do not know.

I wasn't comfortable with this blog in that it did go too far. Some of you may have liked it -- but I'd rather facilitate discussion than be so over the top that your readers feel uncomfortable....


Anonymous Spot said...

Spendy..come back! did Wendy get you? her goons? We love a good parody otherwise blandness becomes the norm..i'll be looking into this!!

8/31/2006 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The amount of offense this blog has stirred up with Wendy and her supporter(s) pales when compared with the years of offense she and her editorial team have manufactured in our community. If we are talking "over the line" lets talk feral pigs and meerkats at the expense of an agenda of true concern for the issues confronting this community.

8/31/2006 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or, the new thug hired by the Wendinator hacked into Spendy blog and deleted all the content? See the explanation today with this other local blog:

Blogabarbara would be next, of course.

Vanity Fair obviously needs to do a second story on all this nefariousness.

8/31/2006 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Fan of Spendy said...

I'm devastated! i LOVED Spendy's page.She was edgy, witty, and clearly posessing lots of facts about the current N-P mess. From my vantage point, her intent, and I have no idea who she really was, was not to 'facilitate discussion', Sara, but rather to allow some comic relief to a tragedy that is hurting people's lives on a daily, minute by minute basis.

Spendy, if you're reading this, do tell----where you pulled, or did you just go on holiday?

8/31/2006 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

That type of ad hominem extravaganza has entertainment value but is not really discourse. Nowadays it seems that free speech has come to encompass a wide scope of verbal outburst that includes emotionally charged vulgarity and mean-sprited personal attack. Such communication is normally an indication of a lack of an aptitude for logical rigor or simply a sign of a deficient vocabulary.

On the other hand, we should not get into the habit of censoring expression, no matter how unseemly, vulgar, offensive, or inarticulate. Art does not have to be rational and civil to be instructive or entertaining. In the end, we each can choose to look away if it offends us. As long as an expression is not exploitive or libelous, we should allow it in name of freedom.

8/31/2006 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Spendy McFlaw" was libelous drivel through and through.

Many of the comments on this blog and the Santa Barbara Independent's are barely more elevated forms of discourse.

There seems to be a bloodlust directed against McCaw and some of her deputies.

She's trying to run a professional business. Why make it so personal?

8/31/2006 11:18 AM  
Anonymous slanted and enchanted said...

If there was any doubt whatsoever about the source of the leak revealing Wendy's $500,000 arbitration claim against Jerry Roberts, there isn't anymore....

Press release


Attorneys for Jerry Roberts, former editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press, released the following statement refuting the News-Press’s charge that Mr. Roberts leaked details of the $500,000 arbitration demand against him by Ampersand Publishing, Wendy McCaw’s holding company which operates the News-Press.

On August 24, 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that Ampersand had filed the $500,000.00 claim against Mr. Roberts, attributing the information to "sources at the newspaper."

That same day, Agnes Huff, the News-Press corporate spokesperson, released a statement blaming, "Mr. Roberts or his representatives" for the public disclosure of the matter. This action came despite the clear attribution of the information to the News-Press by the Los Angeles Times-and despite the fact that it was Ampersand Publishing's own general counsel, David Millstein, whose release of the arbitration papers to his newspaper's reporter without confidentiality protection that first made existence of the claim known.

In a letter dated August 28 to David Millstein, Andrine Smith of Stimmel, Stimmel & Smith, demanded retraction based upon evidence in her possession that it was Mr. Millstein himself who had a copy of the arbitration demand delivered to a News-Press reporter.

After Mr. Millstein and the New-Press failed to retract the false allegation against Mr. Roberts, Ms. Smith released the contents of the letter she sent to Mr. Millstein demanding the retraction.

Ms. Smith stated that the statements from the News Press were, "...untrue, irresponsible and, unfortunately, consistent with the type of slanderous attacks we have come to expect from the News Press and its ownership."

In her demand for retraction to Mr. Millstein, Ms. Smith described in detail how he delivered the confidential arbitration papers to News Press reporter Vladimir Kogan on August 17.

"At approximately 4:30 on the afternoon of August 17, 2006, a reporter at the News-Press by the name of Vladimir Kogan left a message at Mr. Roberts' home indicating that he had information that Ampersand had filed arbitration against Mr. Roberts, that he had been assigned to write a story about it and wanted to give Mr. Roberts the opportunity to comment," she said in the letter.

"Mr. Roberts returned the call shortly before 5:00 pm the same afternoon. In response to Mr. Roberts's inquiry as to how Mr. Kogan had learned about the arbitration, since such proceedings are not made a matter of public record, Mr. Kogan informed Mr. Roberts that he had called you (Millstein) when he could not find anything on file and that you had had a copy of the arbitration demand delivered to the newsroom!"

Ms. Smith also noted in her letter that the conversation between Mr. Roberts and Mr. Kogan was overheard by "numerous people in the newsroom" and from there made its way into the media.

"Not wanting to taint the arbitration process, Mr. Roberts and this office have conscientiously avoided disclosing the matter of the arbitration," Ms. Smith wrote in her retraction demand.

In a response from Mr. Millstein dated August 29, Mr. Millstein failed to present any evidence that Mr. Roberts or his lawyers were responsible for the matter becoming public. Millstein did continue to threaten Mr. Roberts for leaking the arbitration information despite the fact that the Los Angeles Times reporter denied publicly that Mr. Roberts was the source.

Ms. Smith added that Mr. Millstein's actions would be included in a cross-claim, based on a number of legal grounds, that Mr. Roberts intends to file against Ampersand and the News-Press.


Andrine Smith or
Lee Stimmel
Stimmel, Stimmel & Smith, PC

8/31/2006 11:49 AM  
Anonymous hattie said...

I agree with what eckermann wrote--can't really think of anything to add since it was so well put. reminds me of the way philosophe wrote...

8/31/2006 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that woman has dug herself a hole so deep she'll never get out of it.
all of the town is laughing at her actions.
not to mention the publishing industry.
i wish she had taken the high road and apologized for her actions. she would have looked so good look at the mess she has made for all the world to see.
I guess no one close to her is brave enough to tell what is right...but then they may not know what is right or maybe this is how they make their living by creating the need for their services. this can happen to a woman is alone in the world and relies on others, they can control her and her actions.
thanks once more to this blog for keeping the public informed on issues that affect our community.

side note: i had just looked into the "spendy" blog a few days was funny but nothing to take away...what is next taking the vanity fair mag out of peoples mail boxes and buying up the mag racks?
anyway it is all funny and will make a great mini series.

hope eveyones enjoying this mess and i would love to have coffee with Spendy someday and have a good laugh about it.

best wishes to the people of SB.

a fan in NY.

8/31/2006 3:51 PM  
Blogger passing-by said...

Hmmm... poor old Vladdy! I'm thinking he'd do well to vote in favor of the union.

Anyone here really know anything about the modern unionization process? Decades ago I worked at a place where unionization came up for a vote and management hired a lot of new employees to pad the outcome their way. But when they arrived, the NLRB guys ruled that only employees with more than 90 days on the job could take part. Are things still done that way, with the government administrators making the determination of eligibilty?

8/31/2006 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

Grrrrr...I'll tell you what makes it personal, 11:18, and I'll try to do it without calling you a complete and rotten....Grrrrr.

On second thought, look for the reasons yourself - they're everywhere and have been tredged over here many times. And this "it's a private business, what's so personal about it?" nonsense is seeing the world to the point of your nose and not beyond. I have the right to dress up in a sheet and join the KKK, but that doesn't mean I should. Same with ruining a private business that supports many people - the owner has the right to run it into the ground, but that doesn't mean she should.

8/31/2006 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Vladster said...


My fellow cubbies don't get this historic reference:
That's NORMA RAE, Unionist, writing on a scrap piece of cardboard as she stood on the chair with that sign. I am thinking of doing that the day before our own vote per NLRB.

Millstein, why don't you return my calls?!

8/31/2006 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Gulliver said...

McFlaw was sheer genius, a pyrotechnic display of intellectual satiric power akin to Jonathan Swift, Thomas Pynchon, and Robin Williams all in one. Epic; world class; one had to understand the battle at hand and literature in general to fully appreciate it. Of course, her lawyers took it down.
Memo to 11:18 - if a $500,000 malicious prosecution or dragging Michael Todd through the mud just because you can doesn't make it personal, what does?
"I'll get you, my pretties!"

8/31/2006 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's still there if you check the cache ( cache for SMcF ) . Get it while you can.

Btw, parody is protected speech under Supreme Court 1st Amendment rulings but Ms McCaw's lawsuits are expensive to defend against ... unless you're a fellow billionaire.

8/31/2006 8:44 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

When in doubt, "Dr." Agnes, blame Nick Welsh.
Editor’s attorneys fire back at paper’s allegations


Attorneys for former Santa Barbara News-Press editor Jerry Roberts fired back at newspaper management yesterday, saying that it was not them who leaked details about a $500,000 lawsuit the paper had brought against Roberts, but the paper.
The Los Angeles Times, citing sources at the newspaper, reported last Friday that News-Press owner Wendy McCaw had filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Roberts for a breach of contract and for causing damage to the paper.
But the News-Press released a statement the same day saying that the paper “suspects that details may have been leaked by Mr. Roberts or his representatives since the News-Press did not make any public disclosures about the case.”
“You can’t just trust something because it’s published,” News-Press spokeswoman Agnes Huff said.
In a letter dated Monday and addressed to News-Press counsel David Millstein, Andrine Smith of Stimmel, Stimmel & Smith “demanded retraction based upon evidence in her possession that it was Mr. Millstein himself who had a copy of the arbitration demand delivered to a News-Press reporter,” according to a statement from the law firm.
The statements were “untrue, irresponsible and, unfortunately, consistent with the type of slanderous attacks we have come to expect from the News-Press and its ownership,” the letter said.
News-Press reporter Vladimir Kogan, who is a new reporter hired over the summer in light of the mass resignations at the newspaper, wrote a draft article in the event that news of the arbitration broke elsewhere.
But Agnes said that while it was true Millstein provided Kogan with a copy of the arbitration demand, there was no breach of confidentiality to allow the client or its employees to have access to the suit.
“The notion that the News-Press was legally obliged under a confidentiality provision is untrue,” Huff said. “The News-Press respected and wanted to keep the proceeding private and confidential.”
The breach, Huff said, came elsewhere, and the paper is currently investigating if it might have come from someone in its newsroom.
She said she and Kogan were the only people called by the Times, and that they both didn’t comment on the situation.
According to Smith, as Kogan was conducting his reporting for the article, a conversation between Kogan and Roberts was “overheard by ‘numerous people in the newsroom’ and from there made its way into the media.”
But Huff said she was “assured” that all of the conversations regarding the arbitration article were done in a separate and private place.
“We exercised great care that this was a sensitive and private matter,” she said.
Among other things, the newspaper also alleged that Nick Welsh, the executive editor and popular columnist at The Santa Barbara Independent newspaper, called the News-Press newsroom and stated, “I have a copy of your article on the arbitration.”
But Welsh was confused when contacted by the Daily Sound last night, and wasn’t sure the quote is accurate.
And even if he made it sound like he did have a copy when he talked to Kogan, he said he does not have a copy of the article written.
“If they have it on tape I guess I said it,” Welsh said. “But I don’t remember it like that at all.
“I wish I had a copy but I don’t.”
Welsh said he had heard about the story a few weeks ago, and knows there are “copies of the story out there” but he has yet to see one.
The only way Welsh, or anyone outside the newsroom, would have seen the copy of an “internal company privileged draft” was if it was stolen, Huff said.

9/01/2006 5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spendy, if you ever come blog-browsing to Blogabarbara, before it too evaporates, thank you for the opportunity to read some of the best parody writing I have ever read. It truly made me LOL and you never lost the voice or rapier wit. Your lampoon was the best since Alferd E. Neuman's Mad Forever! I hope you find a publishing resource so you can continue to entertain your fans and annoy the antagonist.

9/01/2006 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Hope Rancid said...


Freedom IS.

This is America, dammit. People died for the right to practice our basic freedom of speech.

Are you gone? This is an atrocity.

Parody in the most basic terms, and they can't stand the heat.


&&&& ????

If the page must die, then post on every blog you can.

You have the recognition. You own the name.

It's all about the words.

Just tag your comments with "Spendy McFlaw" and keep going.

They can't stop that.

Remember, it's the point that mattered, not the page with a picture.

I look forward to your next post on bloga, craig, the indy ...

I look forward to your first letter to the editor of the News Press, whomever that may be.

It'll happen. It will.

Yer Bud,
- Hope Rancid.

p.s. come on down for a marg, sweets. Lane P. just brought the Corniche back from its Brazilian. I could skip a painite over the hood and hit Yankee Farm!

p.s. I'm Luuuvin' what you did with the donkey barn.

p.s.s. check yer head on the video tape ...

Pearls and wisdom,

- Hopester

9/02/2006 4:36 AM  
Anonymous Hope Rancid said...

Spendy Boops,

Freedom IS.

This is America.

People have died for our basic freedom of speech. Who's to say you can't string that combination of words together? Some lawyer with a laptop?

Is this not America, dammit?


And ?????

Is it dead?


Remember, it's about the words. It's not about the page with a picture.

I look forward to your next post on Bloga, Craig or the Indy ...

You have the recognition. You own the name.

I look forward to your first printed letter to the editor of the News-Press, whoever that may be!

See ya 'round the bend. Keep it coming in the black and white, babes.

Yer buds-sickle,

Hope Rancid

p.s. Come on down for a marg, sweets. Lane P. just brought the Corniche back from its Brazilian. I could skip a painite off the hood and hit Yankee Farm! Top-down luuuuuuvin it!

p.s.s. Check yer head on the video tape ...

- Hopester

9/02/2006 4:59 AM  
Blogger Lizaronni said...

Spendy Lamentors,

For those of you who miss her, I created a bumper sticker in her honor. You can check it out and download her latest blog entries at

Design suggestions or slogans are welcome.

Tah, Lizaronni

9/02/2006 4:34 PM  
Anonymous curious said...

to Lizaronni, I'm no getting anywhere w/ address or blog... sure miss Spendy!

9/03/2006 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but why was it pulled????
or what happened still has not been explained.

9/04/2006 9:39 PM  

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