Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wonder who's sorry now?

Here's an execerpt from Travis Armstrong's column the other day...rather than staying with the spirit of apology or even not publishing Cohee's employer-induced mea culpa and leaving well enough alone, Armstrong had to swipe at Council Member Barnwell.

SAYING SORRY: Speaking of the Chumash, one of its PR reps (and former News-Press reporter) Camilla Cohee Barnwell, e-mailed me an apology for her recent personal attack on yours truly. She wrote, "I would like to apologize for the public nature of the comments I made in response to your (column) and subsequent blog discourse. Considering the position I now hold at the Chumash Casino Resort, it was inappropriate for me to respond in such a public manner. I hold the highest regard for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, and never meant for my comments to disrespect the tribe, its good works or your editorial support."

Ms. Cohee Barnwell's husband, Santa Barbara City Councilman Brian Barnwell, continues his attacks on the newspaper. (His motivation: He doesn't like our editorials holding him accountable for his actions in office.) In a low point in the community's discourse on the gang killing on State Street, Mr. Barnwell tainted his mostly thoughtful comments at Tuesday's council meeting with an oddball ending swipe at the News-Press.

Once again, he was unable to control himself, a complaint about Mr. Barnwell over the last three years. Ms. Cohee Barnwell can give Mr. Barnwell my e-mail address if he'd like to apologize as well for his lack of tact in public.

I could go on about tact in public for days -- or even being able to control oneself over the last five years -- but has he ever apologized publicly for things he has said?

Here's what Barnwell said in video format:

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Anonymous maci said...

Why would that scurrilous undesirable have any apology coming? He only shows how far removed from the heart of the city he remains.

3/24/2007 9:19 AM  
Anonymous Another Ex said...

Camie was rather misguided in issuing any kind of statement to Travis Armstrong. Doing so generally proves the old adage that "no good deed goes unpunished."

Camie had nothing to apologize for. Let's not overlook -- as Armstrong so conveniently does -- that it was he who initially attacked Camie's integrity. Where's his apology?

It's understandable, given the scurilous nature of Armstrong's attack, why Camie would respond as she did. But given her new role as a representative of the Chumash tribe, it was rather unwise.

That said, if she was pressured to "apologize" by her employers, then shame on them.

And let's be clear: She does not appear to be apologizing for what she said; only that she did so publicly to the possible detriment of her employer.

If she had an apology to make, it was to the tribal leaders.

3/24/2007 10:36 AM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

I believe the proper term for this is "pissing contest".

3/24/2007 11:16 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

That may be a gray area for usage here...and I think it is a "tehnical" term :)

3/24/2007 12:04 PM  
Anonymous MovieGenius said...

At next year's film festival in Santa Barbara, I'd like to see a local sci-fi film, "The American Riviera Hills Have Eyes," starring actors depicting the newsroom managers at the News-Press, such as Travis, who have been exposed to radioactive fallout and become mutants, dragging people's reputations through the mud, totally distorting what a newspaper should be, and devouring the remaining staff's brains while they're still barely alive.

Average folks don't realize the serious ramifications of what they thought was a little turmoil within a private business until the day Travis escapes from the News-Press building and wanders down State Street and attempts to sprinkle seasoning on and bite Mayor Blum's head and gets arrested for committing a "salt and bitery."

C'mon, Kevin Costner or Woody Allen, can't one of you direct a movie with that plot? Pleeeze! OK, last resort, how about you, Borat?

3/24/2007 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly ludicrous to think TKA could be gracious or close to it in response to CCB's apology.

As for Barnwell's council comments, so it's fine for TKA to take a public, scorched-earth policy toward those he dislikes, but a quick, little comment (that otherwise would have been heard by about 12 people) is a grave crime against all that is decent? Maybe if he'd been able to get an op-ed piece or LTTE published in the SBNP....

The issues are one thing, but TKA's lack of class/professionalism is something else... and so petty. Do people at the SBNP not realize or care that TKA comes across as childish, infantile and not terribly bright?

3/24/2007 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Follow the money. Camy knows which side of her bread is now buttered. Which is what the reporters at the NewsPress also need to learn.

3/24/2007 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so regretable for Camie and another ugly move by Travis. It doesn't take too much insight to see where he stands with the Chumash. It sure appears that Ms. Cohee got flak from her bosses at the tribe forcing her hand. Did Travis call in a chit? He sure used the letter for his purposes. So the way I see the sequence of events is that he defames her once by accusing her of fudging her time card. She defends herself. He calls her boss and then she gets the word that she needs to make an apology. The ugly part of it is that Cohee gets smeared twice by Travis.

3/24/2007 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What were the comments Cohee made?

3/24/2007 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Hypocrisy is as hypocricy does said...

1. Travisty dissed Camie Cohee in an editorial full of unnuendo.

2. Cohee struck back with a long expose on what really happened, posted at the Indy and Blogabarbara.

3. Travisty then got madder and used his codependent relationship with the Casino Chumash to lash out at Cohee.

4. Casino Chumash then forced Cohee to apologize to Travisty, privately, or lose her well-paying job.

5. Not letting that be the end, Travisty then smacked at Cohee again in one of his stupid editorial columns, boasting how Cohee had to apologize, but not noting such apology was under threat.

6. Next logical step will be that Travisty will try to continue this leverage by threatening to stop supporting the Casino Chumash with his idiotic editorials and biased news coverage, unless the spouse of Cohee, Brian Barnwell, then stops jabbing at Travisty and his lame newspaper in his capacity as a City Council Member and public figure.

7. While the Newspress likes the Casino Chumash money in all the ads etc., what the Casino Chumash really want is the alleged editorial support, even though the messenger has no respect or credibility any more from the readers who matter.

8. Conclusion: alcoholism and gambling are both sick, sick addictions tearing apart personal and professional lives.

9. What will Barnwell do now?
The Casino Chumash have few friends left except for Newspress and Travisty, so will that affect Barnwell via his spouse Cohee?

3/24/2007 6:00 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Just so you know I am considering including a guideline that involves not going too far into a public figure's life -- for instance, a DUI doesn't necessarily mean you are an alcoholic and there has been no publication that has written about this. It's an important distinction that really should be made clear.

3/24/2007 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:26, there are things more important than money, a lesson that Travis, Wendy, Nipper and Steepleton need to learn. How about truth, integrity and sharing the world with others in a fair and decent way, instead of instigating and spewing venom at every perceived opportunity? No doubt Cammie felt pressured to apologize to keep her job, but that reflects poorly on the people forcing her to do so, not on Cammie. Do you believe -- based on your comment that the News-Press employees need to learn which side of their bread is buttered -- that they should just go along with Wendy's autocratic, unethical regime, run by proven liars like "embellisher" Steepleton and "prevaricator" Armstrong? What needs to happen is Wendy needs to face facts and accept that the law is not her friend. Yes, she's the owner of a powerful business, but that does not make her empress, and does not mean she's above the law, and can disrespect and harm her employees and the community without consequence to herself. When Wendy gets out of her narcissistic funk long enough to extend recognition to the rights of others who don't agree with her, and demands that her liar brigade does likewise, we will be able to make progress and see a change for the better in this situation.

3/24/2007 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While the editorial exchange between Armstrong and Cohee allows everyone to show their true colors, Cohee and Barnwell are not totally off the hook. As two professionals what did they expect to occur when she signed on at the Casino? Are they both such rookies (journalistic and political, respectively) that they didn't see this ethical train wreck coming?

3/25/2007 9:09 AM  
Anonymous City Watcher said...

to anon 909:

in answer to your question---

Cohee is no rookie when it comes to journalism; but perhaps she didn't see the bigger picture in re: Chumash/Armstrong alliance; that might be understandable given the trauma caused by the N-P actions at the time.

However, Barnwell by his actions and statements over the past four years, and especially in the last six months--ACTS like a rookie. but he should know better. He is a loose cannon and getting looser by the minute. listening to his monologues on the dais is like watching the mind of a man who knows not where his thoughts will end up. Kind of like watching a train wreck.

3/25/2007 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Hypocrisy is as hypocricy does said... said...

Actually, Barnwell is showing more courage on the dais because he does not dance around the Newspress crisis of integrity and keep pretending what it publishes matters anymore or seserves a defensive response. Grant House would do better if he just learned how to articulate the polite equivalent of a big FU to his critics who say should not care about the rights of detained teenagers in our city.

The rest of the city council and top staff officials still are afraid of what the Newspress says anymore. Barnwell is not, and certainly will not be sending letters to the Newspress to publish, as some Council members still do.

As for the Sara comment above, Travisty is about as classic an alcoholic as possible, continually in denial and repeatedly twisting and justifying his bad positions and blaming anyone but himself or his cash cow. That behavior still happens even if he is in recovery and can continue for years after hitting bottom. Based on his continual denials and fantasy views of reality, his published drunken driving arrest probably was not the bottom for him. When the Wendinator terminates Travisty and Steepleton, and it will happen eventually, only then might that be at the bottom.

3/25/2007 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No news on yesterday's rally?

3/25/2007 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

If you think Armstrong is mean, try "Dr." Laura. Armstrong is a school boy compared to Laura. This week, we learn she supports imprisoning 14-year-olds for life, she is willing to finance the death of anti-war activisits, and working moms are inferior.

Fake Doctor's Sunday Funnies

Warning: R-rated material ahead.

3/25/2007 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respectfully suggest (1) Cohee sold out for a "well-paying" Chumash job and (2) Barnwell has a better future as a Chumash consultant on municipal planning and municipal matters than he does as a second term council person for $30K+ a year.

It seems others here so ready in the past to defend quitting jobs for ethical reasons can't get their head around the idea that same someone can just as easily sell out those very same ethics -- if the price is high enough.


3/25/2007 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Empress Wendy on any given Tuesday can close up the NewsPress and sell the building for a homeless shelter.

It remains stunning how many here still believe the NewsPress is a public institution. If Wendy does not like the operating rules, she simply does not have to play newspaper owner any longer.

She can afford to walk away. What part of this equation do you not get. There is no public obligation to force a newspaper to keep publishing.

3/25/2007 4:41 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

4:39 PM -- the issue I brought up didn't have to do with their jobs. These are two wonderful people who through the guise of anonymity, or even editorial, some feel like you can say anything. Barnwell doesn't need that, neither does Cohee-Barnwell -- she did what she thought best and he is paying for TKA's insistence on making everything about his enemies. It's so transparent!

I like that -- the guise of editorial :)

3/25/2007 6:09 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

worker bee -- thanks for the warning and the attempt to make your comment related to the post at hand. It's a good thing I have a place in my heart for what you have to say :) Keep going with your work at the Fake Doctor Sunday Funnies -- there is certainly enough material.

3/25/2007 6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a couple of posts here already indicate, Bloga Barbara will once again be the favored site for character assasination for the upcoming City Council race. Barnwell is this year's Falcone. Let the foolishness begin.

3/25/2007 7:34 PM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

I have due respect for Cohee, but her apology either has meaning that escapes me, or indicates lack of backbone: "...never meant for my comments to disrespect the tribe, its good works or your editorial support."

Exactly how did her rebuttal to Travis impugn "The Tribe" or its good works? I am obviously missing a big connection here between her original "public" words and some perceived "disrespect". Please help me understand.

Also, I agree with others who imply that Cohee, in her new job, may find her self in some new personal ethical dilemma if it means "playing nice" with Travis in order not to jeopardize her current employment situation. I certainly hope she didn't leave one situation where soul-selling was required only to enter another.

[Also, Sara, I believe your headline should say "who's".]

3/26/2007 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Mic DeNiro said...

allegro805 at 3/26/2007 8:32 AM said...

I certainly hope she [Camilla Cohee Barnwell] didn't leave one situation where soul-selling was required only to enter another.

Three quotes from my commonplace book come to mind, possibly apropos to some of the players involved in the incident under discussion on this thread, and also to those involved in the overall News-Press situation.

I leave it to the reader to choose which applies to whom.

The first, from a book review I read a long time ago in the New York Observer: "All of us are whores. Some of us just get better corners to work."

The second from the film Debby Does Dallas: "I can't believe I have all this money and all it cost me was my soul."

The third from James Baldwin: "People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply; by the lives they lead.”

3/26/2007 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In these times of slap-happy lawsuits how do we know if a public apology was required in a lawsuit or a counter-suit settlement offer?

3/26/2007 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see the NP often. Does Armstrong write the same things over and over, like a broken record? I can onIy image the turmoil in the lives he carves up. He's on the same issues as the Fake Doctor? Has the Fake Doctor given up on her moral nags about "shacking up"? She's only political now? I get a kick out of worker bees perspective, and need to hear her toss it up a bit. It helps to get a few chuckles out of all the diasters.

3/26/2007 2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with allegro805. This doesn't make any sense to me and it's as if some of the people here are in the know of something else. Care to enlighten us?

3/26/2007 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FakeDoctor X-rated Sunday Funnies link at least shows the good Fake Doctor with a smile on her face and looking like she is happy, trusting, and very much in love.

It is not porno to see a woman so happy, and in a way that does not come across in that pinched-up fake face we get now in the NewsPress.

I am glad Laura was a young girl happy and in love once upon a time. It puts her in a far more positive light. She has nothing to be ashamed of having these photos made public, since she herself made herself a public personality. It was a relief to see that she was normal at one time in her life.

3/26/2007 6:55 PM  

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