Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

After Hours "Journalism"

Craig Smith reports today that the Roberts story on Sunday was snuck in after hours and after all but one copy editor had gone home for the night.

The story was literally stuck into the paper after everyone else had been sent home. Yep, the copy editors, except for one, were allowed to go home on Saturday evening, while the other was told to stay behind because there would be one more story coming. That was the Robert's smear piece. It made it into the paper virtually unchecked by any editors, which also explains why it did not make it onto the News-Press website until very late on Sunday.

Clearly, this 'staff report' was more of a 'management report' -- and is yet another example of there being no wall between the newsroom, editorial and management.

For someone whose editor goes on and on about eliminating 'bias in the newsroom', McCaw's hand print is certainly all over the front page. What was their motivation? Do they think this is a political campaign and smear tactics will work? Unfortunately for Jerry Roberts, as with negative political campaigns, the label will be associated with him because it was in the newspaper. This kind of vindictiveness at the cost of journalistic integrity will eventually come home to roost. The question is when...

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Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Barry the C clearly has nothing left to argue except that Amersand and The Wendy only are trying to help The Children. Seems to me that is as credible as OJ Simpson saying he now is looking for the real killers of his murdered wife.

As the latest in my series of Other News Article Excerptions, here is end of article in Los Angeles Times today:

###start excerpt:
"Bryce Nelson, a professor of journalism at USC's Annenberg School for Communication, said the News-Press story had "the appearance of a personal attack."

"The first sentence of the piece links Roberts to child pornography, but it doesn't seem that it is in any way proven or supported by the authorities, who did not press charges," Nelson said. It seemed unusual to run such a story with so little proof on the front page of a newspaper and without a byline, Nelson said. "These are not things reputable journalists do," he said.

But A. Barry Cappello, a lawyer representing the newspaper, said Monday that the media focus on Sunday's article missed the point.

"The company had a crime being committed on its premises…. Somebody at that paper at some time — maybe it's a current employee or another former employee — did this, but it is a crime. And we are going to root it out."
###end excerpt###

4/24/2007 11:09 AM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

Jerry passed his lie detector test, with flying colors may I add. Let's see if McCaCa, Nibblets and Travisty pass theirs.

They hate Jerry.
They hate Beach goers.
They hate the Community.
They hate Journalistic standards.

Why the h**l do they even pretend to own a paper?

4/24/2007 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

May I make a suggestion about what to do? It is remarkable how many good and talented journalists have fled the Newspress and are now working and writing for other outlets. Some of you are looking for stories. I am amazed at how many blogs and other internet sources are carrying on the duties of reporting what's happening here in Santa Barbara. Wendy McCaw does not own nor control Santa Barbara. However she is an obvious story needing to get told.

I don't understand why one of you who is a fine journalist doesn't take up the task of writing about her. You have not only the inside story at the Newspress and lots of sources, but you also have her growing landholdings in Santa Barbara, her contributions to various causes, her positions on various issues like preservation, animal rights, and coastal access--not to mention a raft of other political questions and topics. Her doings with boyfriends and personal life even seems fair game in the context of her responsibility for the attacks on Roberts. And what about her past marriage history and the rest of her life? Let's put her out there for some public viewing and study. Who is Wendy McCaw?

But make it good, make it journalistically responsible, make it a story written with high journalistic standards, and let the chips fall where they may. There are plenty of readers in Santa Barbara who would like to learn more about Wendy McCaw. Who will take up the task?

You might take up the story of "Freeing Willy."

4/24/2007 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barry Cappello is wrong: it could have been someone with the used computer -- off the "premises" -- before it was sold to the News-Press. Even if there was a crime committed at the paper, the newspaper, on its front page, pointed its finger at Jerry Roberts in the public mind. That's the point that Barry is trying to finesse. Doesn't work. The feeling on the street is one of shock and disbelief. Barry's "superlawyer" persona is cracking as he becomes publicly associated with Wendy McCaw.

4/24/2007 3:09 PM  
Blogger The Observer said...

Wouldn't this be classified as a personnel issue? And as I believe I read before, they do not discuss personnel issues.

4/24/2007 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Al Bacara said...

When all else fails, go for a nameless [by-line] smear. The BTW connection previously seemed like a bunch of paranoid, vendictive, hostile types, who enjoyed all the bully legal tactics that a large amount of cash would allow.Funny on some levels [they really can't think they are above the law, can they?], very SAD for the SBNP, the fired, and the community. Spin master PR, pit bull legal eagles, denial and delays; all seem to be SOP in Wendy's world. Is anyone really surprised? I'm not. That they don't have real legal hope other than delay and now a smear in the name of a trying to 'solve a crime?' I guess all of the 'plumbers' from the Nixon era are gone and Wendy can't find the 'right' PI, for some dirty work. Resorting to the old 'Do you still beat your spouse[or fill in another question]? type move. They certainly have forgotten about fair and balanced journalism [except when THEY feel wronged, ouch another SLAPP to Ampersand]. But Travis and and their CSI-SB County wantabees, are going to help solve this 'crime' and to ruin someone they are SUING at the same time? Well, they can at least multi-task. Maybe that new Sheriff is part of all this, or the police, you know they have "UNIONS". Forget that the Police have investigated the matter, BTW will solve the 'crime' and expose the hidden agenda regardless of the truth. A question I have [not having the access to the vast resources of the NP's crime lab], what IT department buys a used [Wendy where's all that cash?] G4 either doesn't immediately re-format the drive, or if not, even monitor the HD contents through back-up or routine maintence? Hey Barry, child porn found on a HD or anywhere, certainly IS a crime, but isn't slander and libel [two of your favorites, along with cease and desist] a CRIME too? I guess like the labor laws and other laws, they really don't apply to WW, well only if YOU can use them.

4/24/2007 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Jose, How about adding "The Nipper"? We've always heard stories about his daze at "Nipper's" and he said something in Vanity Fair about lots of women and VF cut paragraphs about him out of the article. He IS the co-publisher of the Roberts/kiddie porn piece. If that's how he wants to do it, shouldn't everything be put on the table?

4/24/2007 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A black day for Santa Barbara."

Well put.

Does anyone remember any other attack this disgusting by the News-Press within the last 50 years?

4/24/2007 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is only one test.

Was there Malice?

They are in a law suit, Roberts is a big problem and needed to be taken down.

There are huge grounds for a law suit and fancy pants with the big huff and puff Cappello cannot make it happen.

4/24/2007 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sue Paterno wrote about Wendy and the Newspress.
She got sued.

4/24/2007 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion, for what it's worth, regardless of a byline (even if there was one) there is really only one person who is completely responsible for this unethical and diabolical stunt --- and that is the paper's publisher. That's not just to say that any newspaper's publisher holds the big umbrella of responsibility for all that goes on and goes to print in the paper they oversee. Far beyond that, the NP publisher has gone on record, through her legal representatives, that she is personally the decision maker of what is published and what is not, and that it is absolutely her right to do so, as she's the one that shelled out the bucks and bought the paper. She is the owner, publisher, chief, nothing-goes-to-press-without-my-say person-in-charge. It's been apparent for some time that this includes: determining what news, and which side of any news, will be published; what will be purposely ignored and left out; as well as wielding direct and complete control over her editorial lackey. She solely is---has solely become---the SBNP. So, regardless of who was ordered to write this piece---it is her piece, her decision, her responsibility. Of course, the writer bears their own responsibility in agreeing to do so, as so many have shown they are not willing to do by resigning. But regardless, the story and it's transparency, as well as the order to write and publish it, is a very clear manifestation of this publisher's ethics, motives, and personality. When you demand absolute control over anything, absolute responsibility comes along with it. Sadly, the NP is no longer a locally published newspaper that reports local, national, and international news that can be trusted as accurate and unbiased, along with an editorial forum representing the balanced opinion of the community. It has rather become a locally published journal of the publisher's sole viewpoint, ethics, values, and personality, for which she solely makes all decisions, and is solely responsible for all of those decisions. She is the one that should directly, above any one else, be held accountable for this action and any repercussions.

4/25/2007 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

How can I find the piece about Wendy and the Newspress written by Sue Paterno? I would like to read it. I haven't seen it. If you just write about the Newspress struggle, the author will always be accused of taking sides in the dispute that led to the resignations. One must take a larger perspective.

I certainly hope the journalist who takes up the task of writing about Wendy McCaw will do so in a much larger frame of reference, with quality research, and will do it in a way that informs us about what is really at stake here with this woman who seeks to move the community levers of power. What are the historic dimensions of Wendy's character? Has anyone reseached her recent land purchases--what she is buying up downtown?

One of the most curious things to me was the war she initiated against the policies of the National Park, the Nature Conservancy, and others on the Channel Islands. But that's just me. There's certainly more I could bring up. Let's give her a fair but an intense and probing scrutiny.

I think we're looking for some journalist who can do a biographical piece based on good research. Anyone out there willing to take up the task? What about the Wendy who existed before she got to Santa Barbara?

4/25/2007 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does any of this have to do with stopping global warming?

We need to focus on the real issues, not silly squabbles.

4/25/2007 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vanity Fair tried to write about Wendy and the News Press, and a team of McFlaw lawyers hosed them. In the end, the monthly mainstay of investigative magazine style reporting, who had loads of dish on Nip and McFlaw, published a bland, hardly worthy, watered down story. This travesty perpetrated on employees and a community by this dame is a great story…but it will be hard to get the true to see the light of day.

4/25/2007 10:32 AM  
Blogger pythonista said...

This story made the NYT online but never appeared in the local print edition!

I emailed the journalist but have not heard back.

The retraction also made it into AP.

4/25/2007 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something very interesting on the NP website today. This morning I logged on to see today's editorial, and there was another rant against "certain media outlets" who are conspiring to deflect the issue away from kiddie porn blah blah blah. I thought it was odd that there were no comments on any blogs regarding this rerun of Sunday's fiasco, so I just logged on again-- and see a reprint of the April 3 editorial regarding charter schools. This morning's editorial was removed!

What happened to the "snarky" opinion of this morning? Was there a showdown at the De la Guerra corral? Have the NP big guns finally come to their senses?

4/25/2007 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, I saw it, too.
Wonder if it because it was not yet published?

Tried to see if I could get it out of my cache, but... I failed.
Think this will be the URL:

4/25/2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I saw that as well. "A crime has been committed against this newspaper" the opinion piece began. It was removed when I checked later. As a non-subscriber I could only look at the opening line. It was gone soon after it appeared. I have to agree that a crime was committed against the News Press: the Mc Caw purchase has been a felony.

4/25/2007 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, would like to read the history, a book, about Wendy McCaw. It comes with the territory when you live in a town that loves history. Don Jose, it may be awhile. Could something be published overseas? Sold in Mexico and Canada? Most places are allowed to know about people who influence their community. I find it alarming she has no childhood. Alot could be explained. Craig and Susan McCaw have a house here? They'll be keeping the dark McCaw secrets? What a pity if they are that shallow and in contempt of their new neighbors. They will join Wendy's destructive force. I understand people don't want to tell medical diagnosis, but some conditions have severe backlash.

4/25/2007 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps some excellent journalists with time on their hands could write this in-depth article about Wendy and publish it anonymously on Blogabarbara.

There would be no fame and glory, but the truth would be out and everyone would be extremely grateful.

4/26/2007 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy seems to have gone to great lengths to cover up her life. She would probably get wind of someone poking around in her past and all hell would break loose. She is a scary person and not afraid of hurting people. As much as we would like to know more about the lady, I doubt if anyone would touch her story. I wouldn't look for anything in print for a long time, if ever.

4/26/2007 12:51 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...

If not Wendy, then how about the Little Nipper.

And rather than bashing articles, how about covering the status of some of the people that have left the NP.

And stories about some of the good people in town.

Shared news, showing up on all SB news outlets. Whenever wendy does something stupid, have an article about one of her rivals in all the local outlets.

4/26/2007 8:43 PM  

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