Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, April 30, 2007

Shame on Wendy Demonstration

Staged just prior to the court hearing on Wednesday -- I received the following from one of our readers:

A demonstration of community outrage will be held:
Wednesday, May 2, 2007, 8:45 to 9:15 a.m.
at Santa Barbara County Courthouse Arch on Anacapa Street

Contact for public:

Supporters of Jerry Roberts and everyone concerned about journalistic integrity are encouraged to gather during the half-hour prior to the court hearing (Superior Court room no. 4) at which Ampersand (the News-Press corporate owner) will ask the court for return of a computer hard disk containing porno images that could have originated by anyone. Law enforcement officials have stated that no case can be pursued because the chain of ownership for the computer hard disk is unknown.

Through a front-page article on Sunday, April 22, the Santa Barbara News-Press insinuated that illegal child pornography found on a computer once used by Jerry Roberts somehow involved him, even though the News-Press and its ownership and management knew, in statements last January if
not earlier, that others in the building had full access to the same computer for years and that the computer also was purchased used from unknown sources.

Many people believe that this so-called news article, with no author credited, was published by the News-Press to ruin Roberts’ reputation as part of a continuing lawsuit where the News-Press is suing him for $25 million. The News-Press demand for the computer hard disk, through a court action, appears simply to be a ruse and an insulting distraction because such images are illegal contraband and law enforcement authorities cannot allow them to be possessed by anyone. The FBI already is conducting an investigation, and the News-Press seems to think it would be a better detective than the Santa Barbara City Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

People who wish to show their support for Roberts and the principled journalists, and who wish to condemn these latest News-Press insults, are invited to demonstrate for a half-hour Wednesday morning, starting at 0845 outside the Courthouse on Anacapa St. Show them, yet again, that the greater Santa Barbara community will not be intimidated and will Not Back Down to threats and innuendo by Ampersand and the News-Press.

Signs are encouraged to display, as easy as bringing and holding up the cover of the most recent issue of Santa Barbara Independent ( ).

This sleazy situation has been described in detail in recent news articles and opinions, including these:,1,4714063.story

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Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

This is lede in the top article in the Newspress today. Any problem with the numbers there?



May 1, 2007 12:00 AM

A year after hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Santa Barbara to rally in support of illegal immigrants, one local organization has vowed to bring some of the same drive back during a week's worth of scheduled events beginning today.

5/01/2007 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you make those links hot so we don't have to cut & paste

5/01/2007 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame on you. You just don't get it.

5/01/2007 10:26 AM  
Anonymous justthefacts,ma'am said...

* To first district streetfighter:

That was a sharp observation you made about Leana Orsua's exaggerated and false numbers in the lead paragraph of her front page story.

A professional journalist working with a professional editor would have simply checked last year's story to assure accuracy.

Here is an excerpt from an article that appeared on the News-Press Web site on May 1, 2006, which had the real figures on last year's protesters:

[Downtown State Street was awash in humanity this afternoon, as an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people protested against a crackdown on undocumented immigrants.]

Now you're going to wonder if anything else Orsua reports also lacks credibility. That's what happens when inept reporters are kept on the payroll simply because they dance to Wendy McCaw's loyalty drum on queue.

Readers are still awaiting the correction on the story that Orsua wrote about a teen suicide attempt, after which her main source complained that Orsua falsified key parts of that story. That complaint, originally written as a letter to the editor at the News-Press, was posted on blogabarbara after the paper refused to publish it or a correction.

Here is an excerpt of Dr. Lisa Firestone's letter to the editor of the News-Press, as it appeared in blogabarbara:

[RE: Article of Sunday, March 18, 2007
“Experts: Reconnecting vital for those feeling ‘lost’” by Leana Orsua

[To Whom It May Concern:

[Having read Leana Orsua’s sensationalistic portrayal of a recent alleged suicide attempt, I am offended and disappointed to have associated myself, and by extension The Glendon Association , with the Santa Barbara News-Press. This piece featured inflammatory and inaccurate information about a situation that demanded the utmost sensitivity.

[I wish to clarify the content of our interview which was misrepresented in her article. I never characterized this event as “a cry for help,” despite the lead of Ms. Orsua’s article. Nor did I claim it was “really tragic” for kids with parents in conflict—that wording was fabricated by the author to dramatize my position.]

So, not only does Orsua continue to get her facts wrong, she proved in that suicide-attempt story that she can't even be trusted to accurately interview a source.

Keep up providing the best quality local news that money can buy, Wendy McCaw!

5/01/2007 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could attend the demonstration, but my desk job keeps me away. Plus, someone asked to borrow my copy of the Indy and they never returned it! I have no cover to wave...

5/01/2007 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction to demonstration count, corrected.

5/02/2007 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the correction. (Love the snide comment, too).

A story on the front page of Tuesday's News-Press grossly exaggerated the number of people who took part in last year's "A Day Without an Immigrant" march in Santa Barbara. As we reported on May 3, 2006, authorities estimated about 15,000 people participated -- not "hundreds of thousands" as was reported Tuesday. Such errors of fact provide a distorted picture of reality, and play into the hands of those who seemingly benefit from the error. Our goal is to present news without error or bias. This story failed in both regards, and for that we apologize

5/02/2007 10:28 AM  
Anonymous justthefacts,ma'am said...

* thanx for the tip, anon 7:56 am.

Here is the correction posted on the News-Press Web site. Have not checked newspaper itself to see if it appears on Page A-2. Has anyone?

Editor's Note:
May 2, 2007 12:00 AM

A story on the front page of Tuesday's News-Press grossly exaggerated the number of people who took part in last year's "A Day Without an Immigrant" march in Santa Barbara.


5/02/2007 12:40 PM  

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