Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, April 28, 2007

So, What Happened?

Last week, an editorial didn't make it to the print edition and was only online for maybe 8.5 hours. In what was perhaps the News-Press's first online only publication, a Travis Armstrong editorial was clearly pulled. I think we can speculate that after legal review, the piece was pulled by 8:28 am the next morning.

So, what happened? Is there a content management system that published the story online and that story was pulled before it made it into the print edition? Was there no one to take it down until 8:28 the next morning because TKA didn't know how?

Whatever the case, his un-digg-able piece about "White Washing Child Pornography" hasn't seen print and he hasn't had anything published since.

Perhaps we will see it tomorrow in Sunday's the meantime, let's follow Craig Smith's lead and post The Santa Barbara Independent's cover on our window like Mulder in the X-Files. I'm getting my duct tape out now....

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe this blogger can explain in his take on The Wendy:

"Getting what you wish for"

He's a designer at a San Diego newspaper and could know how newspaper production systems work.

4/28/2007 10:21 PM  
Anonymous NurseRatchett said...

So, it seems that editorials are vanishing as mysteriously as Web site access at the News-Press these days.

Just heard that Wikipedia has been added to the list of Web sites now blocked on News-Press computers. Haven't confirmed that yet, but it made me curious, of course.

So I visited Wikipedia and found a thorough up-to-date history of the News-Press mess, very well researched and footnoted. I was impressed.

Here are two particularly interesting links at Wikipedia:

The ultimate solution, of course, is to lock all News-Press employees in the building, broadcast fake in-house TV news and post fake in-house Web site news such as Travis editorials, bring in a guru who can brainwash everyone, then send these employees out into the streets of Santa Barbara wearing toga outfits to hawk the newspaper while chanting mantras.

Once their minds are "right," like tormented members of chain gangs and folks who pose in pictorial testimonial ads praising the paper, then Santa Barbara News-Press employees will make "The Stepford Wives" look like women's libbers!

Remember how I fixed Jack Nicholson's character in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"?

My suggestions here will fix those News-Press employees whose spirits aren't yet broken and who are still trying to fly over Wendy's nest,without resorting to giving them lobotomies. See, I'm not so mean!

4/28/2007 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, indeed, the short-lived editorial must have been a vain attempt to repair some of the legal flaws in Sunday's hit piece, and was probably removed to keep matters from getting worse. It's hard to imagine that the arbitrator presiding over the NP vs. Roberts battle would be favorably impressed with the paper's outbursts, given its apparent heavy-handed insistence on compliance with a gag order against Roberts.

4/29/2007 12:36 AM  
Anonymous contradiction watch said...

I gotta tell ya--- for people who claim to have cancelled and are shunning the SBNP--- you are all more than preoccupied with every word that is written therein and seem to wait with baited breath for every article printed. Wendy must be smiling.

4/29/2007 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press wrote in its pulled editorial that Cam Sanchez's police department "blew" its investigation?

How so?

Did the paper want Roberts handcuffed?

Did Marty intervene?

There wasn't a retraction on the front page of Sunday's paper today. What about, at least, one of McCaw's "letter to readers" explaining to the public what the heck is going on?

Has hatred clouded reason?

Or is it something else?

4/29/2007 9:00 AM  
Anonymous FileSavers said...

Here are some excerpts from this short-lived, but still-published editorial that appeared at their web site early last Wenesday morning and then disappeared:

"Instead of outrage, though, certain media outlets have bent this into a story about journalism" and "journalists" after the News-Press published an article on Sunday about this child pornography. As reported, the last person to have the computer in his office was News-Press ex-editor Jerry Roberts, who's in a legal dispute with this newspaper after he resigned last July. Mr. Roberts has denied any involvement.
There's been white-washing in the media as news outlets refer to this material lightly as "kiddie porn."
In this case, the victims are forgotten at the hands of self-absorbed journalists who've perversely turned this into a tale about their industry and personalities. They'd rather deflect attention to unrelated matters, such as the author of Sunday's story or its placement.
But the News-Press is committed to determine who downloaded this child pornography.
We owe this to the newspaper's employees. But, more so, we owe this to the young children in the disturbing images found on
News-Press-owned equipment.
The primary concern should be to
obtain identification of these children by reviewing the images and conducting an intensive investigation. People who support child pornography must be brought to justice.
But the Santa Barbara police --who've had the equipment since last summer-- have been lax in their investigation. The local police found out about the pictures
after DriveSavers, a Novato-based data recovery company hired by the newspaper to retrieve deleted work-related files, discovered "disturbing images" of children in
sexual poses and situations.
The FBI recently also got a copy of the hard drive. The News-Press will be in court next week requesting that a judge allow its experts
to conduct forensic tests on the hard drive. The city attorney is fighting this request.
The police did little with the evidence and didn't execute search warrants as months ticked by. They blew it.
None of the city's needless legal wrangling does anything to help the poor children pictured in these images."

4/29/2007 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bit off topic, or maybe not, but a crowd was sitting outside at Los Arroyos in Montecito Tuesday evening, shaking their heads sadly mixed with some disgust, as they watched Mrs. McCaw and her Baron sashay into Lucky's.

4/29/2007 9:47 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Based on reading parts of that actual editorial posted above, all I can determine they really intend to do is to gain possession of that hard disk again so they then can publish some porn pictures, claim they found them on that disk, and then use that as an excuse to smear Roberts again, all the while ignoring the facts that anyone who worked in the building, and the unknown prior users of that same computer, could have placed those porno files on the computer long before Roberts every had access to it.

Ampersand secured the same computer and held it for a week in their office up the street in a different building. They had the means, motivation, and opportunity to install all the contraband porn files themselves, and now being so aggressive about getting back that same computer disk only reinforces that perception.

As I commented before, the Newspress and Ampersand doing its own investigation is as stupid and lame and utterly false and unbelievable as OJ Simpson claiming that he was going to find the real killers of his murdered wife.

The Wendy has now lost all shame and is on equal social status as OJ Simpson after the murder. Is that the reputation Santa Barbara wants and needs?

Why would anyone ever be associated with them or the Newsmess, including advertising and receiving their McCaw Foundation money?

4/29/2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy is smiling, like Nicholson in "The Shining". How loud their silence! Armstrong, Dr. Laura and Minard keep up the historic blackout. Cappello blamed the police. The public needs an explanation. We need to hear from the D.A., police and city. This is more like a hoax everyday. A hoax against a whole community. You don't report a crime against a large company and everyone clams up. We can all agree there is criminal behaviors. We need to know everyone involved. It's not right for Armstrong to remain mum, or for any of them to distract. That very act makes them culpable. Von Weisenberger has answers, he's said nothing?

If you write to Dr. Laura, do it in a public forum as well as the NP. She claims no one writes facts and they are not nice to her son. Once she pretended to answer her critics on the radio. She read one incoherent letter. It was an awful letter, stupid and unclear (possibly someone was drunk). She used it to represent everyone who disagrees. Wendy will do the same. They both use the same tactics. They will claim their enemies don't want to protect children and are attacking a mother about her son. Sometimes it is what people neglect that is of consequence.

4/29/2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

Thanks, filesavers. I can see why they took this silly commentary down. You have to laugh at the thought of the SBPD conducting a world-wide investigation -- "have you ever seen this child before? -- to determine who the children are! As if that would tell you anything about who downloaded the images onto the computer.

4/29/2007 11:34 AM  
Anonymous snarky said...

Is TA on vacation? 7 days without an editorial or opinion from TA.

Do we need to start a Travis watch?

Who was the writer of the pieces, and did the composition?
Nipper was admittedly in Downtown SB on that sat night:

4/29/2007 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given the dispute, what is the proof that the disk was even in Roberts' machine when he used that machine? The News-Press has a significant motive, means, and opportunity to put new files on Roberts' machine.

4/29/2007 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my god. the conspiracy theorists have lost all objectivity. please. please. please. stop. this insanity is doing exactly what wendy probably hoped her unethical posting of the porn on computer story would do--- create a distraction from the valid criticisms of the news press by drawing out the extremists who will twist themselves into knots to "deconstruct" the fact of porn being on the computer. please stop. it's embarassing to those of us who have supported the journalists right to organize and form a union.

4/29/2007 4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I didn't bookmark this, but I saw something in a list of brief blurbs about Jerry Roberts (disclaimed, yet painting Roberts name with child porn). Anyone see that? I think it was an out of town blog or light news jokes? I can't find it now. If I only knew of the papers front page story and things like that blurb, it would be planted in my brain that Roberts and child porn crime are the same. I think the WendyCo business will get very dirty. They don't need to write anything again. They have ways to get misinformation out. How can Roberts know all the places where it's implied he downloaded 15,000 images? And who will be next?

We don't have a daily paper. What can citizen journalists and photographers do? Where are the rules on the internet? I know Richard Mineards and the Schlessinger family are all world celebrity and pop culture. What about Travis, Wendy and Nip? What are the differences in the rules for celebrity and public figures? WendyCo is very aggressive in what they do.

4/29/2007 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if EVERYONE who has been libeled or slandered or had their reputation or business damaged by the N-P filed a lawsuit?

What if Wendy&Co. were inundated with suits?

4/29/2007 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:13pm... I think it is just hardheaded (not conspiratorial) to question the chain of evidence for the disk in question. It is equally hardheaded to point out that the News-Press was in a dispute with Roberts at the time the disk was turned over to DriveSavers. In fact, the dispute was the cause of the disk being turned over.

I've been on a few juries, and I can't imagine not thinking hard about those points.

A conspiracy would be a bit more baroque.

4/29/2007 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:13 PM:

I'm not always able to keep up with things as they happen. I try to catch up when I have the time, I like to read what people are considering. This string is about what happened to a mysterious message that went missing, from a source that does not answer questions, complete stories et al.

We all want valid answers. There will be a court request next week. Ampersad's past of embellishing provocateurs creates hypothesis and guesswork. The public will speculate again, many of us are seeking trust and to comprehend the scenario. A town of anxiety ridden citizens will look for ways to express the uncertainty. This string is a positive release for some of us.

You have choices besides embarrassed. Please be an example if you have valid criticism to offer now, that will be more apropo in other strings. So, what would you say happened? That's why you're reading this string. Now get your duct tape and post The Santa Barbara Independent's cover in your window, Mulder.

4/29/2007 7:48 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

I think when you ask yourself how the material got on the disk, it kind of breaks down like this:

1(Most likely). Was on the disk when it was bought.

2. Was downloaded over a period of time by a nighttime employee. (Was it located in a private office?)

3. Was loaded on the disk by an outside source -- hacker -- for the purpose of distribution.

4. Was downloaded via an automated program, under the control of a reasonably savvy person with access to the building.

5(Least likely). Was downloaded by a day-shift News-Press employee.

Of course these conjectures are based on a limited number of facts. I understand the files do not have date/time stamps. I don't know what condition the files are in, or where they are located. I also wonder if other drives in the company were checked -- is this the only drive so infested? (If the material is on many drives I would thing this might raise #3 -- the hacker -- into position #1. It would also practically eliminate choice #1 -- unless the drives were all purchased from the same source it would be unlikely for them all to have similar material on them.)

4/29/2007 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this the chain of use and control of the hard drive as first reported in the story on page 1 of the Sunday News-Press and then in the documents that Jerry Roberts released for public inspection?

First: In the possession of a person or persons unnamed in the page 1 Sunday news article who sell a used disk drive to the News-Press. The porn could have been on the disk at this point, but "erased" before the disk even arrives at the News-Press. Doesn't Wendy McCaw have records of who sold her newspaper the used hard drive? Doesn't the newspaper have the money to buy its top people NEW hard drives?

Second: Used by an Editor, unnamed in the page 1 Sunday story, or by anyone else with access to NP offices.

Third: Used by a second NP editor, unnamed in the story, or anyone else with access to editorial offices.

Fourth: Used by a third NP editor? (She's had a few.) Or just by two other editors before it gets to Roberts?

Fifth: Used by Roberts, or anyone else with access to his office. He's named, of course; but without mention of the $25 million in damages McCaw is claiming in court that Roberts owes her.

Sixth: Either before or after she went after Roberts in court, under the custody and control of McCaw for a week, after being removed by her and taken by her private investigator to another building.

Seventh: With DriveSaver.

Eighth: With the SBPD next?

Ninth: Now with the FBI?

How could the DA convict anyone "beyond a reasonable doubt" given potential tampering at different stages?

Who's Wendy McCaw after disrupting the chain of custody by taking sole control of the hard disk for a week in a different building to claim in a newspaper editorial that the POLICE "blew it"?

4/29/2007 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy McCaw is suing Jerry Roberts for $25,000,000?

Is he that rich?

Has she lost that much money?

Did he cause it?

I don't ever recall reading about that lawsuit in the News-Press.

Did I miss it?

I did read the story last Sunday about Roberts and the porn.

The News-Press demands, over and over and over and over, that local institutions practice transparency.

Can Wendy McCaw answer this simple question: who wrote and edited the story about Roberts and the porn?

4/29/2007 8:51 PM  
Anonymous boB said...

I wrote a couple of pieces a few weeks ago about alcoholics and how they behave and what they do and what they don't. I've been thinking about those, and this post has prompted me to share some more.

People are asking about the editorial that appeared and disappeared, people have commented on the last minute story that appeared just before the press run last Saturday night/Sunday morning. That savage story in the lower right hand corner with its strange headline in an atypical "last minute amateur font". People are wondering what has become of the Editorial page editor.

We hear stories just like this at every meeting of AA. The story-tellers are talking about themselves and what it was like then, what happened, and what it's like now. The stories of the out of control behavior fueled by alcohol, the things they did (learned later from others or the police) during blackouts. The sad twisted wreckage of the practicing alcoholic.

Everyone is making the assumption that what is happening at the SBNP is under the control of all in charge. But we alcoholics who did our own incredibly bad behavior weren't directly aided or directed in our destructive or illegal or unsavory behavior by others, we were more often enabled by people who covered for us or who made excuses or who tried to pick up the pieces.

It is so incredibly difficult for someone who is enabling an alcoholic to let go of that enabling. For the alcoholic to begin to see that there is a problem, the responsible enablers surrounding the practicing alcoholic must say "no more". I will not enable you further. You have done the damage and now you alone must abide the consequences.

This is so hard, because pride and ego gets in the way of everyone. No one wants to admit that they enabled a practicing alcoholic to wreak chaos and destruction on all things that they touched. But the time comes when even the enabler in the greatest denial must say enough. Often this occurs when they stand to lose very very large sums of money because of the out of control behavior of the person they are enabling.

I'm boB

4/29/2007 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press editorial above states,

"As reported, the last person to have the computer in his office was News-Press ex-editor Jerry Roberts, who's in a legal dispute with this newspaper after he resigned last July."

Is that true?

I thought it was reported somewhere that the last person to have the computer before it went to DriveSavers was Wendy McCaw, who had it in one of her offices for a week?

4/29/2007 9:31 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

boB, I always spell your name right...

Although, as you know, I am not quick to want to talk about someone else's alcoholism - you had a thoughtful comment.

9:31 pm -- reports are that McCaw and Company had the computer for a week before DriveSavers. See above for more info....

4/29/2007 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Cigarette Smoking Man said...

The Syndicate of Elders has determined that the whole Ampersand organization and its representatives are entirely alcoholic and the true enablers are the advertisers who give McCaw money and the grantees who accept McCaw money.

Now pass me another Morley, so I can direct the Colonists to each home with the duct tape in the window.

4/29/2007 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and what everyone seems to be missing is that the FBI will more than likely be able to narrow the field quite judiciously---- at least to the time frame that the photos were downloaded, and when they were erased.

4/30/2007 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy McCaw spends a fortune on lawyers and private investigators and none of them explain proper custody and evidence procedures to her before taking Jerry Roberts' computer off-site for a week?

4/30/2007 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy is spending her own money to solve this crime. Court and city expenses are on the rest of us. To listen to the request in the courtroom could be interesting. I'd like to hear citizens from both sides report.

The public needs a press conference and less concealment. Not about ongoing crime investigaton but these crime fighting techniques of Ampersand and a second opinion. The city and police need to address the public that pays their salaries. What is their position on handing over evidence to the place of suspicion? What about the costs we're paying?

Wendy can afford to use the courts for theatre. We also pay, I hope we get our monies worth.

Sincere Wendy "crimefighters" have an opportunity to participate and bring support to the children that need help.

Courthouse Arch on Anacapa Wednesday, May 2, 2007, 8:45 to 9:15 a.m.

4/30/2007 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Co D said...


I agree with your comment, as one of those enablers. It took a long time for me to get it but not as long as some I know (thanks to someone close to me who was in recovery & helped me to look at myself - not just the other person-this was so very important!!!!)

This is what I experienced- an enabler who continues supporting the alcoholic in spite of the increasing, clearly obvious signs that the person is not being helped but only getting worse, is deeply invested in not rocking the boat. For a variety of reasons.

I have met parents who have supported a child actively practicing their addiction/alcholism for years. I was shocked to find out these 'children' were in their mid forties & these parents talked about them like they were in their teens! Parents buying cars & homes for their children, mortgaging their own homes, draining their retirement accounts in hopes that this would help their adult child stop.

4/30/2007 10:11 AM  
Anonymous put that in your pipe said...

Substance abuse is a legit possibility effecting the situation. Having worked with pharmacies I don't see alcohol as the extent of these problems. Believe it or not, the rich have as much addiction as on the streets. More likely far worse because medications aid the denials. Addiction effects everyone and the enablers are a part of the problem. When the enablers wake up, it can begin the healing for others.

Addictions can be shopping, food, gambling and so on. The 12 steps helpful and healing for abusers and enablers. Intervention is a valuable tool.

Sad when people like an Elvis become isolated. Those are the tragic endings.

4/30/2007 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s maybe ironic that the L.A. Times – with a Carpinteria reporter no less – wins the Pulitzer prize this year for covering the environmental damage to our coastal waters. So much for McCaw making a positive difference through inspired leadership and management.

After firing Melinda Burns, Anna Davison and their editors, McCaw can't even know where to begin with this kind of “explanatory journalism.”

As long as she keeps investing in aggressive lawyers rather than skilled journalists, she will never be able to find out.

Tragedy, really.

Read all about it in the Independent:

“Pulitzer Winner Ken Weiss at UCSB”

"Reporter Talks About His “Altered Oceans” Series"

Monday, April 30, 2007

An excerpt:

"Carpinteria resident Ken Weiss, winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, was a brilliant fisherman as child, or so he told an audience at UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion on Saturday, April 29. His luck diminished as he grew older, but the reason for this reversal of fortune didn’t fully dawn on him until he started covering the coast and oceans as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times."


4/30/2007 8:08 PM  
Anonymous boB said...

I sometimes think I am so smart, but then someone like Cigarette Smoking Man comes along and sort of shakes me up. He raises a scenario that is both extremely reasonable and extremely frightening.

I was thinking about the common scenario in a family or company of one alcoholic and multiple enablers. Of course that is just ONE possible scenario. The one portrayed by Cigarette Smoking Man is certainly worth considering.

And his remedies are also logical and reasonable! Advertisers rule!

BTW, Cigarette Smoking Man, it's been awhile for me, but it sure sounds good right now! Got one of those old romantic "4 packs" that used to appear on airline food trays to go with the $1 drinks? Mmmmmmm! That was good living!

I'm boB

4/30/2007 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about the enabling of those addicted to child porn?

4/30/2007 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Times sees dropping circulation numbers
Los Angeles Business from bizjournals - 1:11 PM PDT Monday, April 30, 2007
Print this Article Email this Article Reprints RSS Feeds Most Viewed Most Emailed
The Los Angeles Times is not immune to the trend of declining newspaper circulation, according to a report released Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The paper had an average paid Sunday circulation of 1,173,096 and Monday-Friday circulation of 815,723 for the period ended April 1, according to the report. That is a decrease of 4.7 and 4.2 percent, respectively, versus the same period a year ago.

According to the report, 15 of the nation's 20 largest newspapers experienced a drop in the period. USA Today and The Wall Street Journal were among those who experienced an increase in readership.

The nationwide average decline in circulation was 2.1 percent.

Wonder what the Newspress numbers will look like!

4/30/2007 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the FBI can obtain more information off the disk. Maybe that is what the Wendy is afraid of and why she wants her disk back so badly.

5/01/2007 1:04 AM  

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