Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, May 04, 2007

Leana Orsua Salsipuedes or Saving Face?

The Independent Media Blog (IMB) is reporting that News-Press reporter Leana Orsua has apparently quit the News-Press over the non by-lined article about Jerry Roberts alledgedly linking him to child pornography. After several posts and dozens of comments this week about her "hundreds of thousands" error, it is hard to believe that "The Chocolate Fountain" caterer didn't resign over the "Editor's Note" which called her article a "distorted picture of reality". As the IMB's Matt Kettman points out -- why didn't Scott Steepleton catch this error himself?

That leaves Hannah Guzik with less than a year of experience as one of the most senior reporters next to Nora Wallace -- a veteran, strong reporter who has traditionally focused on North County. With Maria Zate, that's three and sometimes four, when Steepleton writes a "Staff Report", reporters when the News-Press used to have 15 reporters. First District Streetfighter commented on this article that 250 years of combined experience was lost and is now replaced with so few -- local news has been anemic of late at the News-Press, how can they cover the County with three reporters?

In the meantime, I'm looking for Travis Armstrong on the side of my milk carton -- where is he? 11 or 12 days without an editorial from Her Man at De la Guerra? Did he get a slap on the wrist or is he a prior casualty that was launched with no fanfare?

As always, our goal at BlogaBarbara is to present news without error and a bias we are open about.



Anonymous boB said...

I was told by a "friend" who likes to rub things that are nasty in my face that TKA had a columnist column with pic yesterday.

I believe that his pic is on the columnists SBNBP web page as well.

I'm a little leery of the direction that things seem to be going here, Sara. I am fully behind your politics and leanings and etc, but the tone seems to be shifting toward, ahh, is gloating too harsh a word?

I believe that the horrendous SBNP actions and happenings speak for themselves. The power of this blog may get diminished if it becomes too flip. Or if it contains errors.

I'm boB

5/04/2007 9:38 AM  
Anonymous snarky said...

he's back... at least in un-attributed form, or maybe not. The former NP employee is not even mentioned by name.

Our Opinion: Something doesn't compute its own admission
May 4, 2007 8:12 AM

Then imagine that the government lawyer says there's nothing illegal about your property -- in this case a laptop computer -- but nevertheless refuses to give it back.
[snipped summary - laptop contains only adult p0rn, so give it to us]
[conclusion section]
But what's behind the city's resistance to returning a laptop computer that reportedly contains nothing illegal?

One conclusion you could draw is that the city doesn't want to give back the laptop because the city did an inadequate job of examining the computer in the first place. The city also appears to want to ultimately destroy the equipment.

What's going on?

Why are City Attorney Steve Wiley and others so vigorously using public resources and your tax dollars to fight this newspaper's requests at every turn?

Because a judge said you are in arbitration, so the property goes through... the party that parties agreed to utilize in case of a dispute.

And tell us... we heard how the desktop hard drive came into law enforcement possession, but how did the laptop drive get there? Did you give it to them, or did they subpoena it?

5/04/2007 3:54 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

boB, you hardly have read how flip or snarky these blog comments can get!

The real gloating will happen when Sara Miller McCune becomes a majority owner of the recovered News-Press and the masthead adds the subtitle: "without fear or favor of friend or foe."

5/04/2007 6:24 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Maybe this blog should be renamed BlogaBarbaraNewsPress. Not a whole lot on politics and culture, yet very heavy on one media outlet: the SBNP.

5/04/2007 9:53 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Bill -- c'mon, media is the message. It is also politics and culture. You think the stories this week aren't about politics?

5/04/2007 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy McCaw “Dear Staff and Friends” July 18, 2006

An excerpt: “We are rapidly moving to complete our new team in the newsroom. While there are still some difficulties ahead, we are picking up momentum and should be back on track very shortly. Our search for a new editor is well underway.”

Commentaries at

5/05/2007 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Commentaries at

Wendy McCaw “Opinion: Setting the Record Straight” July 25, 2006


“We are in the process of hiring a new editor who is a strong journalist with impeccable credentials to be the buffer between the newsroom and the publisher.

I am gratified that in July our new subscriptions exceeded cancellations, resulting in a net subscription increase of 406. While the vocal minority has tried to make a lot of noise, the quiet majority are showing their support.”

5/05/2007 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opinion: McCaw: Setting the Record Straight


July 25, 2006 7:34 AM

The opening sentence: "Since the recent resignation of several newsroom staffers, I have done my best to take the high road and not involve the paper in a name-calling contest."

5/05/2007 12:50 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...

If TA had a column in the paper, then it is not reflected on the NP website.

No column of record since April 22nd on the local>columnists page:
and nothing on the editorials directly attributed to TA... although the May 4 " Our Opinion: Something doesn't compute" has his marks of poorly supported "facts" and swipes at third parties.

While there are 15k questionalble images, he now says there are 700k images on the computer to be examined. Where did this information come from? Anyone ever get the actual NP lawsuit document?

"They also were asking a judge to allow outside experts to conduct forensic tests on the hard drive of a newsroom desktop computer said to contain more than 15,000 images of child and adult pornography. The true extent of the pornography on the computer is unknown.

The police have only reviewed 250,000 of the 700,000 images on the desktop computer, despite having the computer for nearly nine months."

5/05/2007 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're always probing, Snark. TA MIA? That's BIG! He could return Sunday. If not, it's up to Dr. L. If ever the paper and it's victims needed that therapy touch. All is not well behind closed doors.

5/05/2007 5:38 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...


There are so many other topics...such as (1) Barnwell reinventing himself as a friend of neighborhoods just in time for the election, or (2) the Trustees shutting down Noel's (great) Academy idea, or (3) the (excellent) effort of Mahan and his buddies to restrict building heights in the city, or (4) the Mayor's efforts to squeeze another year into her term just to have the city run their own election, or (5) the upcoming General Plan Update, that can help shape the future of SB, or ANYTHING other than the obsessive compulsive discussion about how much people hate the News-Press.

I've been participating in this blog for quite some time, and I enjoy the debate.....but for the sake of variety, and the importance of so many other topics, please mix it up a bit.

5/05/2007 6:15 PM  
Anonymous boB said...

I stand corrected. I don't get the paper as of April 23 and I made two mistakes based on things that were said to me by people who do. Obviously I waded in where I was uninformed. Sorry about that.

I did get the AvW letter in response to my cancellation. Pretty pathetic. Unlike the experiences of others, my paper did stop the day after my cancellation and there are very few on our street these days. I feel sorry for the carrier.

I hope that First District Streetfighter is prophetic in his "prediction" that the paper will be sold. I feel a deep sense of loss that this paper has disappeared from my life.

We moved to SB in 1998 after many years of weekend B&Bing. Two highlights of our SB weekends were grabbing a copy of the Independent as soon as we rode into town from "way down east" to see what cultural gems might be out there for Friday and/or Sat night. The second one was the SB NewsPress at our B&B breakfast or at Max's when we stayed on upper State Street.

So it was a great privilege and pleasure to look forward to that newspaper in my life. It hurts like hell that it has been twisted away.

On the other hand, I must say that my hurt is hardly significant in comparison to that being experienced by the outstanding former staff of the SBNP.

I'm boB

5/05/2007 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excerpt from New York Times story. July 10, 2006:

"Ms. McCaw and the new acting publisher, Travis K. Armstrong, did not return calls seeking comment. Sam Singer, a spokesman for Ms. McCaw, said the resignations came as a result of the owner's plan to increase local news coverage."

With Leana Orsua leaving, the once proud and respected News-Press is down to Hannah Guzik as the ONLY south coast hard news reporter.

Dozens of local reporters quit or were fired "as a result of the owner's plans to increase local news coverage"????!!

Yeah, right, Wendy, right.

Having trouble telling truth from fiction?

Right from wrong?

What we have here is one the most spectacular collapses in American Journalism.

5/05/2007 10:21 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

bill -- been working on one of those that I am not quite done with and will post tomorrow. Also been busy of late and haven't had much time to blog! I actually do have a life elsewhere :)

I agree with you and some of these stories stood out this last week -- thanks for the input and you will see some of those soon.

5/05/2007 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

I really like Nora's story this morning on the wedding of the two soldiers-- given without cost after praying at Poor Clare's. She does a very good job telling us about our soldiers. Now if we just all prayed at Poor Clare's...

5/06/2007 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what did happen? Has Travis returned?

5/06/2007 9:40 AM  
Anonymous harping said...

Snarky mentioned "the May 4 " Our Opinion: Something doesn't compute""--what page was this on? I managed to get ahold of the May 4 N-P & the only "Our Opinion" piece I see is titled "School board charts the wrong course."

5/06/2007 9:56 AM  
Anonymous snarky said...

If it is not in the paper, then it is online only.

5/06/2007 1:43 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...

Craig Smith report that Lin Rolens, Book Reviewer, resigned.

One question to be discovered, with all the gossipy ongoings at the NP, is Minard's enough of a gossip columnist to cover the events?

5/06/2007 1:46 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

I recently was speaking with someone who had the original print edition.

That "Doesn't Compute" editorial, which was Sour-Grapes, Poor-Loser whining after their defeat in court on Wednesday, was published Thursday, May 3, in the print edition. It did not appear at the web site until the next day, Friday, making that editorial appear like Friday had two editorials.

Now, at 2 pm on Sunday afternoon, the web site shows that Thursday editorial in the Friday spot, and the Friday editorial in the Saturday spot, and NO EDITORIAL in the Sunday spot, an all-time record for lateness.

As their TV ads once chimed:
"Thanks News-Press!"

5/06/2007 2:05 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...

Well, the timestamps for the editorials seem to be generally in the morning at 7 or 8 am, but the Letters to the editors, 12am.

So based on inconsistent times, someone has to push the button to publish the editorials, it's not an automated process... or has the process be un-automated to prevent the release of editorials, accidentally.

5/06/2007 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only does Craig Smith report on the resignation of Lin Rolens, he provides her letter of resignation, which likens the NP situation to Nazi Germany, when German citizens compromised their moral values and let the genocide continue in their name. Pretty strong stuff.

5/06/2007 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm totally confused with the editorial "time stamps". Capello wants the N-P to determine the time the illegal images were placed on their computer.

Is Travis speaking? I heard Dr. Laura ripped Wendy a new one. Has she changed positions? When does Minards column run?

I believe what Sara does is important. The N-P and what the citizens think and opin matter. Rememeber N-P is 99% gloss and Wendy has no childhood. If the fed's don't do a thorough backround check we may never understand the whole story.

5/06/2007 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An excerpt from Lin Rolens well-written resignation from the News-Press, as reported by Craig Smith:

“The obvious lesson is that, when we encounter a direct affront to decency and what we value, we have two choices: we can be part of the problem or part of the solution.”

Didn’t Hannah Guzik go to Westmont, where values are stressed? How long will it be before she walks as well?

5/06/2007 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Cabalist said...

Here is the excerpt from the column Sunday by Laura Schlessinger. Clearly this means that a real law enforcement agency should figure this out, with the original hard disks from the computers in question.

"Child pornography on News-Press computer: If it were me, I'd be the first in line to push for the Police Department and FBI's determination of the time frame during which the child pornography was added to the computer's memory. I'd also make sure that no one could access my work computer ever without my password -- which I'd never give out.
I don't understand anyone standing in the way of this investigation. We all should want to get to the bottom of any situation wherein children are misused and abused. Instead, this situation is just a continuation of the "big bad NP" and "picked-on employees" tug of war. Everyone should get over themselves and think only about the exploited children."

5/06/2007 9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What did Dr. Laura have to say on the Vazquez case, where the kids were allegedly locked in cages? Not one thing. She rails against unions and jihadists, claims to be for the children, but the only SB kids she ever commented on were the children of Beth Goodman.

5/06/2007 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DrL makes more sense than Cappello. I doubt she's heard of Vazquez. She doesn't show any sincere concern for children. She'll exploit anyone to make a point, children are easy for her.

Is she talking about Wendy when she says: "anyone" standing in way of this investigation? If she had morals she'd really give it to the "big bad NP" and resign. She often uses her family WWII experiences to illustrate. Lin Rolens letter touches human beings. Laura's not in need of the money. She could stand up for what's right & do the right thing. She's in a position to tell what she really thinks and resign. Anything less and she's as guilty as Wendy.

5/07/2007 12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that TA did not do his "live" radio show last Wednesday. Any reason given?

5/07/2007 10:03 AM  
Anonymous snakry said...

"Any reason given?"
The News-Press does not comment on personnel issues... but it's what 15 days without TA.

So prediction time:
On Day 29, we either see a retraction of the un-attributed column, or a scathing editorial from TA.

5/07/2007 11:17 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

That might be a bit too snarky or "snakry" as it were...let's not take that too much further as it is unsubstantiated...

5/07/2007 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the meantime, two more longtime N-P columnists have bailed.

Lin Rolens and Susan Miles Gulbransen have submitted their resignations -- both citing the smear piece on a former editor.

5/07/2007 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did news papers stop writing brief notices when regulars are away? Maybe TA is selling tickets at the Kentucky Derby ?

5/07/2007 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Relax, even TKA gets to take a vacation sometimes.

5/07/2007 4:23 PM  
Anonymous rrf said...

I hope TKA gets dinner with the Queen. We do miss the old days of when some newspapers were courteous. Wendy is one for generating attention and gossip.

5/07/2007 8:25 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...

" Letters: Note to readers: Daily editorials will return the week of May 15."

Although the letter is "Caring ER knows patient priorities"

Should have put it on the top of a letters are 250 words...

5/08/2007 6:36 AM  
Anonymous snarky said...

- notice removed.
- Letter new document with different ID.

So someone has access to blogabarbara ;)

5/08/2007 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's funny snarky

5/08/2007 9:22 PM  

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