Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, May 14, 2007

Lou Cannon on News-Press Mess

Here's a link to Lou Cannon's piece on the Mess today in the Los Angeles Times.

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Anonymous Reader said...

Actually this ran yesterday. Although overall it's excellent, I wonder why he falsely gave Susan Gulbransen credit for resigning before Lin Rolens? Those of us who've been following this saga know that Lin's beautifully written explanation of her resignation preceded Susan's well-written letter. After reading Lin's it was hard not to wonder, "When are Susan and Fred going to resign--& why is it taking them so long?!"

5/14/2007 10:45 AM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

I really LOVE the fact that this opinion piece ran with the reprinted image of the Independent's "Have You No Shame, Mrs. McCaw" cover. Totally unflattering image for the nation to see.

To go along with a comment on the "retraction" thread about the public reputation of McCaw and the Nip: We can only hope that someday these two career-wrecking nouveaux riches will be shamed and shunned by their society of upper-class peers like the fictional Marquise de Merteuil in Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

5/14/2007 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something to keep the new circulation manager busy:

Lots of things gone:
Itialian Market
Arlington Bakery?

San Roque:

JR Gas Station...

5/14/2007 2:42 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...

And barney still writes for the news press:

So can anyone bet that someone inside reads this blog?

Sample Coverage

Off the Beat
Local columnist Barney Brantingham dishes up Santa Barbara fare.

5/14/2007 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Snarky...

Oh yes, N-P management still reads the blogs.

Newsroom folks worry constantly that some mistake in the paper will become major fodder for the blogs.

Every time that happens, Steepleton&Co. try to connect it to one of the few remainig employees who voted in the union and accuse that person of trying to "sabotage" the paper.

5/14/2007 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

allegro805 wrote "We can only hope that someday these two career-wrecking nouveaux riches will be shamed and shunned by their society of upper-class peers"

Due to the smear on JR, there is an ever growing disdain among many SB 'upper-class' who have never considered either of these two to be among their peers.

I look forward to the public shunning as well.

5/14/2007 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the book reviewers gone, people at UCSB English Department have received letters asking volunteers (but to be paid so perhaps not volunteers) to be scabs, that is, writing book reviews for the N-P.

Keep an eye out....

5/14/2007 5:47 PM  
Anonymous boB said...

Cannon's article did have that error of chronology about book reviewer resignations. But it was a reasoned column and certainly is a valuable addition to the writings trying to put this tragedy into reasoned perspective.

I read it 130 miles east of here since I was spending Mom's Day with my Mom! (She prefers the LA Times over her local newspaper, which I delivered on my bike (my route had 127 customers) from 1952 to 1954. Thanks, Mom!)

Does anyone remember how dysfunctional the SBNP editorial columns had become months before the blood bath in the middle of last year? It really is important to go back and revisit the trash that was coming out on the Opinion page. The savaging of many local politicians most of whom were (and still are :)) women. And that was/is not the only significant connecting thread.

The SBNP had turned into a hate monger in the editorial department long before the "first" firings and resignations. Joe Cole's departure was the most obvious road sign of what was to come.

I'm boB

5/14/2007 8:41 PM  
Anonymous boB said...

So help me Dog, on a stack of VW repair manuals, I did not read Nick Welsh's online Angry Poodle until just now after I did my just submitted earlier post! Honest! I do my own material as you can probably tell! 8D

I'm boB <---- hE is certainly not nicK!

5/14/2007 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When are Wendy McCaw and her "Nipper" going to understand they haven't a clue what they're doing, except hurting many good people?

5/14/2007 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NP in a bind this morning: sports obviously wanted to report about the annual Athletic Round Table Awards, especially since Mark Patton is being honored with the President's Award for sports reporting. The tough part is that Mark is the co-recipient with the dreaded traitor John Zant, who, though fired by the NP is also being honored for his four decades of work there!!!

So the sports page ran a story including John's bio and accomplishments. Who wrote it (my guess is Patton) and who approved it? And what are the possible consequences for saying positive things about a Teamster supporter?

Inquiring minds want to know...

5/14/2007 9:02 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...

It's 8am May 15th... do you know where the NewsPress editorials are?

Not on the NP website, yet.

5/15/2007 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It must have been a touching tribute to John Zant and Mark Patton at the Round Table dinner. How many combined years of service to the News-Press? More than 50 years?

Did Wendy McCaw or her co-publisher Baron attend to honor these two fine individuals?

5/15/2007 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did it get printed?
Newswire story... at least on the website.

Athletes, coaches take center stage

May 15, 2007 12:00 AM

SBART Hall of Fame banquet recognizes achievements on and off athletic field


5/15/2007 8:20 AM  
Anonymous snarky said...

Mineards... White House pulled out all the stops for Queen
17 paragraphs
3 Paragraphs on SB connections "... of Montecito,.."

And a bit cocky

" phone was also red-hot with calls from all the major players, including ABC, CNN, Fox News and even the august Old Gray Lady herself, The New York Times."

and talking about an appearance on TV.
"No, she doesn't order takeout from Kentucky Fried Chicken!" I explained to a suitably mesmerized nation.

5/15/2007 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lou Cannon's piece in Sunday's L.A. Times is a national indictment of McCaw's News-Press.

A normal personality would smell the coffee and make the changes needed to right the boat before it sinks lower.

Denial is a frightening thing.

5/15/2007 8:53 AM  
Anonymous friends of bb said...

Has anyone talked to the students and administration in Michigan where Dr Laura sent her kid? You might understand her better. She has problems with left coast liberal schools and parents. When he was a drop out he would hang out and annoy others. I doubt he wrote for the college paper. He did vent his agressions. You'd understand what it means to be a Dr Laura "warrior" if you hear from his peers or read his rants.

She did check out and write about the Nexus last year. Underage students and blaming leftist parents. Read the column. After it was discovered her son was arrested (for her image they keep these things hidden, she couldn't talk of bad parents if she is one) she did drop the bad left coast parents rant when her kids arrest was out. Read the books she recommends about schools. She's not her public act. Her son may not have written sexual satire. It was worse.

Now that she is in with the Newspress demolitian club it would pay to know who she is behind the mask. Wendy has deleted most of her life. Dr Laura has managed to delete but more people are out there who know the family. Know your enemies.

The Orthodox was a passing fancy, she got caught violating the law. The homosexual was for show and ratings. That's not to say she doesn't have negative beliefs. She's always worked with and has homosexual friends.

5/15/2007 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Sara: You might want to think of censoring this "Friends of BB" crap. After all, here you are slandering Dr. Laura on the blog with no apparent connection to your posting on Lou Cannon. Why should we have to rip into Dr. Laura..and her son serving in the military???

Inquiring minds want to know.

5/15/2007 5:07 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Let's be clear that I didn't write the above and her son's military service, although commendable, does not create a shield around her. Most of the above is in the public domain...right? I have seen most of this written about in the past from other sources...

What I will say is that I rejected worse this morning from several commenters and it really is off topic and I should have said something...SO, let's get back to Lou Cannon's article folks!

5/15/2007 8:17 PM  
Anonymous friends of bb said...

It's always good to hear from Mr.Cannon. He made me a little misty. It is about the trust. My apology to Mr. Noriega. I made a mistake, I meant that to be where there was more discussion of Dr Laura. We know of her from a long time ago. Now she's in another mess, it's not right what she's up to. We always felt bad for Deryk, he should be proud of all he's overcome. This is not about him. If someone comes out, it'll be because of how she is towards other parents.

5/15/2007 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lou Cannon somberly concludes:

“But what has been truly lost in Santa Barbara during the last 10 months cannot be quantified. For decades after Storke stood up against the John Birch Society, the Santa Barbara News-Press under different owners provided a forum for diverse points of view and earned the community's trust. That trust is now gone, and with it one of the most vital aspects of life in Santa Barbara. It's a sad story.”

The first section of Wednesday's news-press is a case study in how firmly animal rights extremist Wendy McCaw has extended her rigid control over the news.

On page one, “Associate Editor” Steepleton writes about money for “a tiny bird” and other wildlife – a favorite subject of de facto editor-in-chief McCaw.

Page three, a local story about plastic bags.

Page four, local news nearly exhausted, the page is given over to two big pictures and two stories about sea lions and elephants.

Page five the whole page is devoted to a pesticides story, another opinion page favorite.

On page eight, Travis Armstrong is back, taking another whack at Jerry Roberts and his news crew over Armstrong’s now famous drunk driving arrest. Travis writes, “Thankfully, it’s a new day at the News-Press as management has moved to correct problems in news coverage seen in the past.”

As Nick Welsh points out at, the News-Press is down to ONE South Coast hard news reporter, which is McCaw’s “move to correct problems.” She plainly likes animals better than reporters and editors.

With all her lawyers now milling about and the number of papers sold plunging, what problems anyway, dahling?

Astoundingly, or maybe not, she hasn't let one letter to the editor favorable to Roberts be published about the paper’s porn attacks.

McCaw can do what she wants behind the screen of lawyers, but she should know the public doesn’t buy her claims that she’s ended bias or that she hasn’t gutted the Santa Barbara News-Press.

Lou is right about Wendy losing the public’s trust.

5/16/2007 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy McCaw's unapologetic iron grip on the News-Press’ local “news” reminds one of the infamous "porkburger" essay written by the co-publisher Nipper von Wiesenberger on his thong-selling website,

The Baron wrote that, among other atrocities including graft, Roberts and the journalists under him were guilty of driving down the quality of the News-Press by metaphorically mixing pork into beef hamburgers against the wishes of the owner. It was, at minimum, a poor parable about bias.

Forcing a deluge of furry animal stories into the news pages, as a companion to the gush of furry animal editorials, merits the same comparison.

5/16/2007 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you trust a Reagan Neocon?

I don't blame windy. This is a hit piece.

5/28/2007 7:52 PM  

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