Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

TKA Attacks Former Employees

I've been asked to start a thread on the Armstrong editorial today which attacked former employees. Haven't seen it since I don't have a subscription anymore but the first few lines listed on the News-Mess web site opinion page make it look like a doozy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don’t get Travis’ column today:

What are his “colleagues” doing?

What did councilman Barnwell say?

I didn’t see the stories about the colleagues or about Mr. Barnwell in the News-Press.

Did I miss them?

2/13/2007 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Armstrong capable of writing a column without attacking long-departed Susan Rose? It's become a joke. He and Steepleton must cling to McCaw's skirts as tightly as possible, because, when she fires them, they are out of daily newspapers for good.

2/13/2007 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical Travis rant. Kind of makes him look a bit petty, don't you think? Juvenile, even. Certainly not professional.

2/13/2007 9:36 AM  
Anonymous big fat fan of travis said...

Attack? Hardly.

Travis shows compassion for his ex co-workers here, and once, again, tells it like it is.

2/13/2007 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Not only did he attack former employees, but he uses the piece to attack anyone else against the NP's 'new direction'. What a guy.

2/13/2007 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone posted it on the Inde but they will probably take it off soon so they don't get sued!

2/13/2007 11:41 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks to several of you who have passed on the editorial from today -- I don't feel comfortable republishing all of it, but here is a troubling morsel:

"In betraying the principles of their past craft, they appear to want to shut down the paper's free speech, as well as hurt the livelihoods of 200 News-Press workers and their families.

I've worked in three newsrooms where we had union representation. No one ever dreamed of stooping to such behavior. But uncivil tactics and personal attacks have been a common denominator of the Teamsters and their hired outside organizers from Los Angeles.

Growing up in a Teamsters family, I remember as a young boy listening to men talk over the kitchen table or on the phone about spreading nails or damaging trucks. It was scary stuff.

Those who have brought such an outfit to our peaceful community deserve scorn."

After that -- he took on guess who? marty Blum and Susan Rose and then the new cabalista brian Barnwell.

How can so many people be wrong in his world?

2/13/2007 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Big Fatty,
Can you please cite an example of Wrong Way's "compassion" in today's Travestorial?

2/13/2007 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion, it is really sad that the News Suppress has disintegrated and the community is left with the mess (and the ridicule that goes with it). Why would Travis and Wendy want to continue to receive the scorn and hatred of a community? Is it an ego thing? or do they just not get it?

(In case Wendy's lawyer is reading this, these are personal opinions by a santa barbaran without a big bankroll who is hopefull that the first amendment still has some relevancy these days).

2/13/2007 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Growing up in a Teamsters family, I remember as a young boy listening to men talk over the kitchen table or on the phone about spreading nails or damaging trucks. It was scary stuff." Travis .

Travis gets sympathy for growing up in a criminal envirnoment and thanks for sharing. We all have something from childhood to get over. But all Catholics are not pedophiles and all Teamsters aren't part of a criminal family. Come into the 21st century. Your spin will crumble, Travis, because it's built on sand.

2/13/2007 12:23 PM  
Anonymous jonathon not-too-swift said...

[Sara: Here’s the straight DOPE – yabba dabba do!]

“Satire is SO beastly!” – Windy McCuckoo

The DisOrganized Players and Eeyores of Santa Barbara (DOPES) is proud to present…

The Continuing Adventures of Windy McCuckoo and Baron von Weisenheimer

THE STORY SO FAR: Windy has sunk into an existential funk after being shown incontrovertible evidence of her shocking unfamiliarity with the letter “A.” Meanwhile, back at the mansion, the Baron drank a cup of water – then returned to playing with his ball of string.

ACT ONE, SCENE THREE: A dark and stormy night in the hedgerows of Montecito. The Baron, looking glum and wearing a chauffeur’s hat, is driving Windy’s Bentley. In the back seat, Windy looks stunning in a little black muu-muu by Donatella Versace.

BvW: (pouting) It’s bad enough I have to drive, but I still don’t see why I have to wear this beastly hat, darling.

WM: I told you, darling. The Lowes are expecting a sophisticated crowd and none of the other IMPORTANT guests will be driving themselves.

BvW: (still pouting) I don’t know why you couldn’t just order the editor fellow at the News-Thing-y to drive us. Then I could sit in the back with you and play with the power windows!

WM: But darling, you know he had his driver’s license suspended. Don’t you remember? We read all about it in the Thing-y.

BvW: (more pouting) Well, I wish you’d at least have let me write down the Lowes’ address on a piece of paper instead of making me memorize it.

WM: (exasperated) Darling, you KNOW the Lowes have a thing about people writing things down about them. (becoming suspicious) You’ve haven’t forgotten the address already, have you?

BvW: (sheepishly) Awfully sorry, darling, but all that water is beastly on a fellow’s synapses!

[Six hours later. After searching Montecito for the Lowes’ house without success, the Bentley turns into De La Guerra Plaza.]

BvW: Right, darling. I’ll run into the Thing-y building and grab a copy of the paper. We’re sure to find the Lowes’ address in there somewhere. (perking up) Maybe we’ll also find out if the editor fellow ever got his driver’s license back! Then I won’t have to drive!

WM: Darling, look! Those delightful people marching up and down in front of the building are waving at us!

BvW: (doubtful) Actually, darling, I don’t think they’re waving.

WM: (shocked) Look at the horrid things they’re saying about me on their signs! Quick, take me back to the mansion!

[The Bentley lurches abruptly, before picking up speed and hightailing it out of the Plaza]

WM: Darling, you really should slow down for the speed bumps.

BvW: That wasn’t a speed bump, darling. Just one of those beastly fellows with the rude signs!

WM: Oh, thank goodness! For a moment there, I thought you’d run over one of those adorable little endangered squirrels!


2/13/2007 12:32 PM  
Anonymous David Pritchett said...

I see Travis Armstong saw my video, and is characteristically reacting, about the remarks by Brian Barnwell:

copy and paste the URL for the video link

2/13/2007 12:36 PM  
Anonymous big fat fan of travis said...

Anon 11:51am, try reading the first two sentences (Sara left them off her reprint here.)

2/13/2007 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Bush contributor Craig McCaw, reportedly buying a $10 mil second home, on Park Lane in Montecito, according to Barney Brantingham's column, will start up a new newspaper.

2/13/2007 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some one who is moving on in a new direction, Travis sure can't stop looking back. Gonna turn into a salt statue if he keeps that up. Lesson? Sadly, the News Press is over, we all better move on to a new source of news. You can't argue his irrelevance if you worry about his paranoid screeds. I am sorry for the employees but she is never going to pay them or rehire them even if they prevail in court. She will delay, as her history shows, until the reporters have had to find new jobs and start new lives to support their families. It is a tragedy, but you can't argue with crazy. And that current group at the News Press is about as crazy as you can get.

2/13/2007 1:05 PM  
Blogger The Observer said...

Why in the first place does the Trav have to even spend time writing something as such? Isn't there something else going on in the world that he can dedicate his Travestorial to?

2/13/2007 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why in the first place does the Trav have to even spend time writing something as such? Isn't there something else going on in the world that he can dedicate his Travestorial to?

Yeah, he should be diverse, like this blog, which covers a wide range of topics like:

1. accusing Travis of sexism.

2. The News-Press is bias in a bad way, but the Independent is bias in a good way.

3. Not being able to print Rob Lowe's address is the most atrocious crime of the millenium.

4. Hanging signs over the highway, telling people to unsubscribe to their employers newspaper, demands our utmost sympathy and respect.

2/13/2007 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took a look at Pritchetts video.

Gray-bearded interviewer (is that Pritchett?) can't stop grinning, he is so full of glee watching Barnwell rant about the Newspress. Oh my, what a hatefest you are all having!

NEWS for Barnwell: You prattle on about losing Molina, but he wasn't fired -- HE QUIT!!!!

NEWS for Barnwell: Travis is a treasure to this community. You may not like what he says, but he stands for opinions that are often held down and ignored by local government. SUSTAINABILITY you say??? Building the h*** out of Santa Barbara against the wishes of the residents in the name of sustainability??? Is going solar a priority in the Cottage project? NO. But going against the wishes of the neighborhood certainly prevailed....and Travis continually speaks out against this stuff....but you don't recognize his service to this community...???

Barnwell, wake up and start serving the people. Stop playing insider politics, PLEASE!

2/13/2007 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this line from Travesty: "I've worked in three newsrooms where we had union representation. No one ever dreamed of stooping to such behavior". Did he ever work for a paper where the management did its best to overturn a fairly run and won union election, using the most ludicrous and flimsiest rationales? I am *so* looking foward to the NLRB judge tearing the NP management a new one, which should be happening pretty darn soon. I wonder if Travis will write about that (ha!).

2/13/2007 4:30 PM  
Anonymous michelle dunoire said...

Reading today's editorial reminded me of something I read once in a book review, "The only refuge for the deluded is consistency."

2/13/2007 4:30 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Wow -- emotions run deep with you related to the sexism issue, why? I've apologized several times and I think most people are clear that that's an opinion which you can take or leave. It certainly isn't the biggest crime of the milennium either.

We've gone over bias before too -- everyone has bias, what matters is how you are with it. The Indy doesn't call public officials or non-profit organizations names, demean their employees or try to instill fear into their readers about a rather benign chapter of a union that just wants to be recognized.

Lowe's address is an issue in that it was unfairly applied due to his status as a celebrity. Joe Blow on the Westside who is putting on an addition to his home of 20 years wouldn't get the same treatment.

As for the signs -- I'm not sure it's the best strategy myself and don't have to respect it or have sympathy for it, but employees do have a right to do what they did. Retribution for such actions on an employer's part is just that.

What would I want from Travis Armstrong? Go ahead and give your opinion -- but be civil and back it up with facts. Also, giving the whole story can only make your argument stronger if you are in the right....

2/13/2007 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say what you will about this blog and the Indy, at least they are more than willing to print and give voice to people who oppose their view points. It's deeply ironic that TKA can claim that the former employees are against free speech when he runs an editorial page that only runs sycophantic opinions that are in-line with their owner.

2/13/2007 4:44 PM  
Blogger david said...

To the anonymous...
If you are with the newspress, you've opened the dialog, now please accept the community letters, and publish a few on them for once.
And since there are probably many, maybe a tally of pro, neutral and con would be appropriate.

2/13/2007 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would think Pritchett was the one actually holding the camera that recorded the same video.

Obviously, two cameras were recording Barnwell at the same time. Duh.

2/13/2007 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Moreno said...

Michelle DuNoire, I humbly beg your forgiveness. In previous posts I have savaged you for your apparent allegiance to the N-P. Clearly, I was wrong. You, counselor, rock.

2/13/2007 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole News Mess is spun out of control.
I have never seen anything like this in my adult life. This very public display of embarassments by the News Press owners and the people who support them.
Hope Travis is getting paid very well for his work at the News Press.

2/13/2007 9:29 PM  
Blogger The Observer said...

Hope Travis is getting paid very well for his work at the News Press.

He would have to, because once Spendy has an itch and figures out he's been hiding under her skirt all these years, and he's escorted out of the building, that will be the end of his career in 'journalism'.

2/13/2007 10:59 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Travis Armstrong tells it like it is. Brian, Marty, and Susan deserve his criticism. There are many in our community who are not group-think lemmings. We see the same obvious flaws that Travis sees. We appreciate his honest and accurate editorials and we hope he keeps up the good work.

2/13/2007 11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Carson said...

"Travis Armstrong tells it like it is. Brian, Marty, and Susan deserve his criticism...."

All politicians, all government people deserve our scrutiny and - at least occasionally - our criticism. Who's perfect? And it is good to have a watchdog out there for the rest of us who don't have the time for all the meetings.

However, to be acceptable that criticism, in a newspaper which is the voice-the platform of the citizens, after all, should be fair, that is, not personal and petty.

However, also to be meaningful, it should be fair - that is, balanced, not clearly from an agenda.

An example of many: the editorial of yesterday, calling against density in housing. Fair enough, and that is the opinion of many in this city.

But wouldn't it have been fair to point out that the N-P and especially its editorials strongly endorsed Iya Falcone in the last election and she has voted consistently in favor of more market rate and other ("moderate income" ie. $65K- $100K) housing? And when criticising the Mayor, to note that Mrs Falcone also used her city e-mail for campaign matters? But that has never been mentioned, so anxious is Armstrong to zero in on Blum for whom he has apparently a personal hatred.

(Barnwell, the present Armstrong hate object, also has consistently voted for more dense housing - but is zeroed in on probably because his wife is the former NP staffer criticised heavily by McCaw for her attempted-to-be-fair story on the former Carp. mayor, Jordan.)

In fact, that's one of the things that's so very objectionable in all of this: it is so very very personal. At first, a couple of years ago, it was hard to believe that a newspaper editorial section, especially the mis-named "Voices" section (lol!), would be so consistently petty and personal and now it is simply repulsive.

2/14/2007 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think about this for a second Bill. You can post freely on this website critisising its content. Can the people who oppose the views of the News-Press Editorial Board depend on this supposedly free press to print opinions in contradiction to their own?

The simple answer to that is no. Aside from the fact that their editorials resort to juvenile name calling and petty tit-for-tat paybacks, they do not give the subjects of their crisitism a fair shake. Instead it's Wendy's own personal Pravda.

2/14/2007 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow -- emotions run deep with you related to the sexism issue, why?

Not really. The emotions don't run deep. I just thought it was a real cheap way to attack someone, and it is apparently reflective of your character. And your apologies are meaningless, because of the very purpose of this blog.

What would I want from Travis Armstrong? Go ahead and give your opinion -- but be civil and back it up with facts.

Coming from someone who runs a completely uncivil blog, that has an ever-present double standard, where facts are scarce.

2/14/2007 9:27 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I figured this was the response I'd get...the truth is that News-Press editorials have been cheaply attacking dozens of people in our community for the last few years. Often without getting their side of the story. At least I give you a chance to rebut.

As for civility -- emotions do run deep here as people's livelihood are at stake. I've done my best to keep my rhetoric down and haven't used, for instance, sarcastic names for people like TKA or for any politician in maybe 8 months to a year.

Should bloggers be held to the same standard as Editors of a newspaper anyway? Here -- people know they are getting into when they visit -- and can have their say too.

I'd feel a lot different about the opinion section of the News-Press if a contrary opinion such as what you just expressed showed up from time to time -- it would give the paper a lot more credibility and I would be the first to praise and defend any editor there that did so.

2/14/2007 10:15 AM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

...Coming from someone who runs a completely uncivil blog..

Ladies and gentlemen, this "Anonymous" most perfectly fits the definition of what's known in the blogosphere as a TROLL. They lurk and comment merely in the hopes of riling the majority of readers and the site administrator, do not really make rational or logical comments, and their raison d'être is to get the biggest possible rise out of people with their incendiary comments.

The wisest (and only effective) method of dealing with them is to ignore them.... or as some like to say "DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS."

2/14/2007 1:30 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

Anon. 9:27 am, the very fact that your comments & those of other similar-minded people get posted here undermines your own agenda. And your statement that this is a "completely uncivil blog" is laughable. Compared with the rants of Travis Armstrong--which go unchallenged in his paper because he refuses to run anything critical of his opinions--this blog is a model of civility. But you know all this already--I suspect you are posting such easy-to-disprove silliness as an attempt to distract us from more interesting &/or important issues. Thanks for the laughs!

2/14/2007 1:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Sara says that Travis has been "cheaply attacking several people in our community for the last few years".

The cheap attacks don't come from Travis. They come from mediocre politicians who care more about their own narrow agendas than the community they should be serving.

Those who Travis writes about have been guilty of breaking their trust with the citizens who elected them. They abuse their positions of power, and vilify those who disagree with them.

I for one am thankful that the News-Press is willing to expose these people for what they are and what they do. Travis is a brave and capable watchdog who serves a very useful purpose in our community.

2/14/2007 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's one thing to critisise. It's another thing to use your position as an editorialist as payback in vendettas. How else could you explain TKA's incessant attacks on Susan Rose that didn't stop during the year she was a lame duck and continue on despite the fact that she's out of office? This sort of irrational derangement reminds me of all the people who continue to invoke Bill Clinton everytime something goes wrong in government, even though he's been out of government for 7 years.

Any politco not in Wendy's good graces gets the cold shoulder. They didn't even interview Pedro Nava before endorsing Bob Pohl. Their antagonism of our local officials goes beyond a mere disagreement in policy - it's clear that they hold grudges that they can't let go.

2/15/2007 11:13 AM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

And Marty, Susan and Brian don't hold grudges? Please.

Stop holding Travis to a higher standard than you hold the politicos. He's fighting fire with fire. Why else do you think they're so upset with him.

2/15/2007 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Don't try to shift the issue to Marty, Susan, and Brian. Whether or not they are effective representatives is an entirely different issue altogether. What's at hand here is the journalistic integrity of the Santa Barbara News-Press, of which there apparently is none.

You tacitly admit that Travis is biased and is unwilling to give any of these politicians a fair shake. Beyond that, you try to justify it. As an journalist who works in an institution that is supposed to judge everything and everybody on it's merits, it is beyond reproach.

Critisism is good and warranted, but ad homniem attacks and vendettas are not. Since you can't tell the difference and that you're willing to defend this blatant lack of journalistic integrity and common decency proves that you're just another NP apologist.

2/15/2007 7:08 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Being another NP apologist almost sounds like a bad word...let's be careful not to attack Bill as a person versus debating what he has to of the best things about BlogaBarbara is that you can disagree with others. I'd rather not drive people away :)


2/15/2007 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't consider "apologist" to be an insult or a bad word. It simply means "a person who makes defense in speech or writing of a belief, idea, institution, etc." which I think is fitting.

2/15/2007 8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, looking back, in context it sounds like a borderline insult, so I apologize for that. Still, the remainder of my post stands.

2/15/2007 8:23 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks 8:23 -- and 8:22, you have a point. It's hard to figure people's intent online sometimes -- thanks for responding and understanding.

2/15/2007 8:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Speaking of intent, allow me to explain why I support Travis and most of what he writes.

Many of our local politicians get elected by promising to represent the people, to make improvements to our community, and to be good public servants.

Once elected, however, many seem to have amnesia about the promises made during their respective campaigns. Not only this, but they become arrogant in their actions -- a "let them eat cake" attitude if you will. Furthermore, they begin to cultivate a special interest agenda that slowly but surely moves them further and further away from what the people want, and certainly further away from what the original voters wanted.

This has happened with every politician who has fallen under Travis's scrutiny.

Travis has written many (yes, hard-hitting) editorials exposing these amnesiacs for what they really are. He "calls them" on their actions, and he brings to the forefront their failure to conduct themselves as honest public servants.

This is why I support Travis. I am not an apologist. I simply appreciate the fact that he has been, and continues to be willing to keep these people honest!

2/16/2007 9:24 PM  

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