This new “COMMENTARIES” section backfires in that it’s better defined by what’s missing, than by what Wendy McCaw (owner and publisher) selectively includes from the ongoing debacle:
MISSING: The statement of public concern signed by the distinguished group of local clergy, eventually published in the Independent after rejection by the News-Press.
MISSING: Arthur von Wiesenberger’s (McCaw’s live-in boyfriend) disrespectful reply to that group of clergy.
MISSING: David Millstein’s (San Francisco lawyer now sitting in editor-in-chief’s office) ignorant letter to Edhat asking that it “cease and desist” from linking to free public portion of the News-Press’ website.
MISSING: Millstein’s dumbfounding “don’t you dare represent journalists” letter to 44 local prominent lawyers and ex-judges.
MISSING: A courteous response, or any response, to the request of several respected national journalists, living locally, to meet with McCaw and von Wiesenberger.
MISSING: Travis Armstrong’s (editorial page editor and sometimes publisher) DUI sentencing story.
MISSING: McCaw’s July 13 “note to readers” – published on the front page of the Santa Barbara News-Press -- where she attacked her own editors and reporters for inaccurate biased reporting, causing more talented journalists to walk out.
MISSING: McCaw’s written apology (never made) to her remaining newsroom staff for her gratuitous July 13 public attack.
MISSING: Copies of the slew of “cease and desist” letters sent by Millstein to a variety of past employees demanding them to refrain from their constitutional right of freedom of speech.
MISSING: Von Wiesenberger’s libelous essay posted on his nippers.com website claiming that his newsroom employees are like dishonest hamburger cooks.
MISSING: The spiked story about the newspaper’s $500,000 lawsuit against Jerry Roberts (former editor-in-chief), even though the information ran in a L.A. Times story after Millstein leaked it to the press.
MISSING: A photo of the 56-year-old McCaw, looking her real age, rather than the sorority shot with pearls used now.
MISSING: The court document dropping the ridiculous lawsuit against Michael Todd (former business editor) seeking a restraining order arising from a terrible joke involving an ex-photographer who is now only being kept on the payroll as a reporter, but not working, to maintain legal standing to keep the action against Todd alive.
MISSING: A copy of McCaw’s warning to the Daily Sound demanding that it stop, well, looking like a newspaper.
MISSING: An even cursory listing of the 16 new reporters, for the benefit of readers, in case someone wants to contact one of them about breaking news.
MISSING: A copy of the written policy that keeps the elected county Supervisor representing the News-Press and the elected Mayor representing the News-Press from being on a News-Press radio show, after an invitation, to talk about the homeless problem in parts of the city including the News-Press.
MISSING: The written acknowledgement (doesn’t exist) that McCaw’s “I’m scared” national press release – issued two days before the union vote -- about a quickly removed anonymous comment several weeks ago on Blogabarbara, was a poorly conceived attempt to improperly inject fear into the union ballot.
MISSING: An explanation why, when publishers go on vacation, the opinion page editor must be appointed acting publisher with special authority to start editing news stories.
MISSING: The July 7 “note to readers” by Armstrong saying that the editors and columnist walking out on July 6 was sort of an internal family tiff, even though he grabbed Roberts by the arm and escorted him from the building physically.
MISSING: The news story, written by Scott Hadley (departed senior writer), about the editors and columnist resigning, that was spiked by Armstrong in favor of the not credible July 7 “note to readers.”
MISSING: The results from Nick Montano (private investigator hired by McCaw) and the results from the examination of the hard drives pulled from the computers of the editors walking out on July 7.
MISSING: McCaw’s letter of thanks (which doesn’t exist) to Mike Martino (night security guard of several decades) for his long service, before replacing him with her own troops.
MISSING: The list of local celebrities with whom McCaw is star struck, so Scott Steepleton (Associate Editor, there’s no Editor) can be sure to know when to not publish addresses arising from public zoning hearings.
MISSING: The original Carpinteria councilwoman story before interference by then acting Publisher Travis Armstrong.
MISSING: The complete McCaw style book, staring with: Ms. vs. Mrs. vs. Miss; blonde vs. blond..
MISSING: A specific example from McCaw, just one, of the “agenda” or “bias” in stories by her reporters and editors that resulted in 21of them walking out, compared, perhaps, against the specific examples of the ethical breaches by McCaw of the SPJ Code provided in detail and in writing by the departing journalists.
MISSING: Stories and photographs about last Sunday’s protest rally occurring steps from the front door of the News-Press.
MISSING: A clear and credible corporate mission statement (doesn’t exist) from McCaw to her employees and her readers detailing what course she plans to sail with the Santa Barbara News-Press and what plans she has – if any – for restoring respect to her and her newspaper.