BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Where's The Wall? Not at Subscriptions...

Craig Smith had a good post on Friday about Travis Armstrong's article last Thursday that continued to attack the Goleta Chamber of Commerce and their CEO Kristen Amyx. He even brought up a conversation she had with their subscription department in his article. Where's the wall? Craig explained why this is an issue well with the following:

Suppose you called Cox Cable and told them you wanted to cancel your cable TV and they responded by threatening to put every unflattering fact or rumor they can dig up about you on the news crawl that runs across the bottom of everyone else's TV screen? Well that's what the News-Press is doing. All because someone dared to cancel a lousy subscription to an even lousier paper.


Meanwhile, the story about the NLRB denying the union rehire request made a small mention in the "Other Matters" section even though it was a month long trial and most of the day's space went to an editorial on union political dues which continues to attack those on Travis' A-List. Misplaced priorities at the News-Press isn't really news to any of us -- but here's two examples where the wall continues to crumble.

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23 Comments:

Anonymous Mike said...

What amazes me is why Kristin doesn't take some kind of action..BBB or a harassment lawsuit..what are these business people afraid of? Travis?? c'mon

6/24/2007 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is a public figure of sorts. And an opinion page is exactly that: an opinion page. Most people can decide for themselves what is news and what is opinion.

Travis can write pretty much whatever he wants about any public figure he wants in the opinion pages of the sb newspress.

Barney Brantingham did the same thing for years as has Nick Welsh at the Independent.

6/24/2007 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Cox took ANY bit of Wendy McCaw's cable customer information and used it on a news broadcast, the Baroness McCaw would -- immediately and without mercy -- let loose her $700 an hour dementors.

There would be her lawsuit against Cox (like her suits vs. the Indy, the AJR reporter and Roberts); newspaper editorials railing against Cox and cable (like those against unions); unfavorable news stories about the cable industry from Steepleton; some full page ads against Cox like those she had against the Teamsters; and standard Travis Armstrong snarkiness and meaness, adding Cox for evermore to the list of cabalistas.

Nip Nip for Now!, the "co-publisher," would sit by, on his hands, smiling like Batman's joker, doing nothing, as usual. He needs Wendy's cash and she really doesn't understand the damage he's doing to McCaw's pocketbook.

It has all become so dark, dreary and familiar. Like the recesses of her mind.

6/24/2007 6:21 PM  
Anonymous covering SB like a wet hanky said...

Hold on, Craig's gettin' a little carried away, isn't he? He doing a little creative writing, exaggerating and puffing up what "the News-Press is doing", all based on Kristen Amyx's inconsistent accounts. Hmm, looks to me like Craig just likes to keep everybody incited.

With all due respect, if so many people in this little city yearn to be pissed off and incited, why don't you zoom out a bit and take a look at what's happening on a more meaningful scale? Seriously, how important is all of this in the context of all the lives that are truly being ruined in the wars that are going on right now?

So many people have spoken the words "never again", but cultural genocide is happening now. And our government STARTED A WAR that has ramped up chaos in the Middle East and cannot be stopped.

Forget this soggy soap opera. The world is on fire while you obsess over who Travis talks to at work.
Get real.

6/24/2007 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To clarify, there has been no trial or hearing of any kind on the rehiring of the eight (plus Bob Guiliano), and no decision that they not be reinstated. What has happened is the timid and feeble NLRB has voted not to ¨fast track¨ that needed remedy as it had the power to do, before considering the firings at a hearing before an ALJ. That hearing is scheduled for August 14, and is expected to go (with skipped periods) until mid-September. As usual, the NP only reports outcomes that are favorable to it, and doesn´t even bother to contact the other side for comment before publishing, all the while reserving its right to fire employees for alleged ¨bias¨ when the firings were in fact for illegal anti-union reasons.

6/24/2007 11:41 PM  
Anonymous big fat fan of travis said...

What is the purpose of this blog?

Well, let's go back to the beginning to find out. In February 2005 this blog started with a welcoming post and immediately started railing on the News-Press. Travis and Wendy were given unflattering aliases and blogabarbara marched into its mission of discrediting the News-Press.

I do not work at any of the local papers, but it is obvious to me that this blog has its roots in the disgruntled workers and friends of workers at the NP. No wonder you are all patting yourselves on the back for causing such a ruckus at the NP last summer (about a year and a half after launching your blog). That's fine. If you hate your jobs, hate your co-workers and bosses, you certainly have the right take stand and move along your merry way. Be loud, have your say. This is America, after all.

But it has gone farther than that. Sarah and the gang continue to bash and attempt to ruin a paper that reflects the concerns of many locals. Holding elected officials and public figures accountable, publicly questioning their choices is a great service to our community. There are loads of people in town who appreciate what the News-Press does for local concerns.

I am continually grateful to Travis for holding his ground during the attempted sabotage of the News-Press. And thankful to Ms. McCaw for keeping her paper alive and serving us. You deserve the support of the community.

6/25/2007 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara has both Amyx and Michael Towbes on their Board of Directors. They serve the community by trying to build even more "workforce" housing. Thank you so much. We're so glad you are both here. Not.

6/25/2007 10:46 AM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

Nobody has to attempt to ruin the News-Press. The current owner and management have succeeded quite nicely at that. I think it's a darn shame. Maybe I have just been here longer than BFFofT, but I can remember a News-Press that actually reported the news and really served the community. It wasn't like this version.

6/25/2007 6:52 PM  
Blogger johnsanroque said...

To: Big Fat Fan of Travis:

There are people who write in to this blog that spew pretty loudly against the News-Press and Armstrong. And there are people like yourself who take the other extreme approach of unreserved support. But there are many reasoned voices who complain in a measured way about what the News-Press has become. This blog represents all views. It happens that supporters, like you, are definitely in the minority. That's not a fault of the blog.

This blog did not influence my thinking about the News-Press. I decided several years ago that it no longer represented what I considered to be journalism--before I ever heard of Blogabarbara. You say that News-Press critics bash the paper for its positions and for holding politicians accountable. While some people may do that, what I see much more often is people, like myself, who respect the right of the owner, editor, and publisher to take whatever stand they want, but to use standards that define what a newspaper is all about. You say that Blogabarbara has torn down the News-Press, but Blogabarbara does not influence judges, the NLRB, and editorial associations across the country who find misrepresentations, lies, vindictive dismissals, countless lawsuits, and selective news coverage to be tools of those who manage the paper. What can you be thinking when you see how the News-Press has slimed Jerry Roberts and attempted to break him financially? Is that the price that a nationally-respected editor must pay because he refused to go against his principles? Can you cite anyone connected with journalism who has voiced support for the News-Press actions?

Maybe you can delude yourself that this is all about people who think the News-Press is too tough on local politicians. It has nothing to do with that--and you know it.

6/25/2007 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy brought this on herself.

Sadly, the N-P's few remaining "real" journalists are leaving. Latest to go is Alan McCabe, a copy editor/page designer who was there 13 years. His departure was reported on Craig Smith's Blog.

Former co-workers say Alan is a damn good editor and all-around nice guy. He'll be missed.

6/25/2007 7:41 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...

Humm, things get quiet, and it starts to look like the NP is astroturfing.

You may not like the housing decisions, but the solution to traffic issues on the 101, is not more lanes, it's less traffic. How do you lower traffic, stop commuting, live locally. which is more housing... and that reduces the need for oil, too.

As for the developers who whined about losing money because of the affordable component... Towbes is a good person, yes, he is a despised developer. But he is local, he cares about the people and the community.

6/25/2007 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Craig Smith and Barney B's crotchety reports are getting old. Give it a rest.

6/25/2007 9:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

I agree with BBFofT. I've probably been here as long as "wineguy", and I remember, oh-so-well, the previous version of the News-Press (aka New York Times). They played the local game, made-nice with the politicians, fed the readers the usual pabalum day in and day out, and never really acted like the watchdog they should have been.

Despite all the manufactured hysteria...I for one am still an ardent fan of the SBNP it's supremely competent editorial page editor.

6/25/2007 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Fat Fan, just because you see a conspiracy doesn´t mean that the News-Press hasn´t proven itself worthy of being conspired against. The SBNP has mistreated its workers, has descended into both mean-spirited and unethical journalism, and has lied, cheated and stolen from its workers, from its readers, its advertisers and from the community at large. As one example, have you forgotten Judge Schmidt´s findings that Travis and Steepleton were liars?

This isn´t about holding one´s ground; it´s about being responsive to the entire community, including those with whom you disagree, and those whose rights, even when lawfully exercised, conflict with those of management. The proper reaction is compromise and coexistence, though the SBNP has practiced nihilism and playing the victim both, an impossible tightrope to walk. SBNP´s attempt to walk that line has caused it to sacrifice its credibility and esteem within the community. These are, in fact, a largely self-inflicted series of wounds by the SBNP.

6/25/2007 10:38 PM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

Yeah, big fat fan, because you type it in a comment and put it in bold print (spiffy!), it must be true that "loads" of people appreciate the News-Press.

There are also "loads" of people who think Fox news is fair and balanced, that Ralph Nader might someday be president, and that the world was created 6000 years ago.

I'm sure we're all just making up this fuss. Eight "disgruntled" workers manage to mobilize communities every day around the nation just to "discredit their employers," right? I suppose the National Labor Relations Board's decision to prosecute (yes, that verb is prosecute) the SBNP is just all hype too, right?

YOU and the "loads" of supporters may believe Mrs. McCaw deserves the support of the community, but guess what? She doesn't have it. Get real.

6/26/2007 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anon with Yabba said...

Big fat fan of Travis said "Sarah and the gang continue to bash and attempt to ruin a paper that reflects the concerns of many locals."

Hey, Fat, the idea isn't that the paper should "reflect" the "concerns" of anyone. Rather, it should report the news, straight and without bias, not reflecting the "concerns" of anyone. When there so few news reporters left that the editor in chief has to report the parade on Saturday himself, and when someone gets slimed with child porn on Sunday's page 1 in a "staff report," without having a chance to comment, even you, Mr. YABBADABBA, would admit the paper has slid downhill since last summer. Except for lots of furry animals, there's no there there any longer, so I'm cancelling after 20 years.

6/27/2007 6:03 AM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

Just a note to Bill Carson: I always figured the NY Times people were basically carpetbaggers, although they did have an idea of how to run a newspaper. They moved the printing plant out of the De la Guerra Plaza building, which was a good move. But I was referring to the News-Press in an earlier era -- the days of oil spills, student riots, and wayward DA's. Wendy has taken all the News out ... all she has left is the Press.

6/27/2007 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, for one, appreciate what Travis and the News-Press has done for the community.

You may not like the housing decisions, but the solution to traffic issues on the 101, is not more lanes, it's less traffic. How do you lower traffic, stop commuting, live locally. which is more housing... and that reduces the need for oil, too.

As for the developers who whined about losing money because of the affordable component... Towbes is a good person, yes, he is a despised developer. But he is local, he cares about the people and the community.


And this quote is exactly why I appreciate the presence of the News-Press. No entity has done more to combat the development machine's twisted wordplay.

6/27/2007 9:24 AM  
Anonymous boB said...

"johnsanroque" has it right in my opinion. Well put, John! Do we know each other from a former life?
;-)

However! I believe that the town must move on!

We must have a new daily paper that arrives at our houses either in the morning or in the afternoon.

It doesn't have to be big in size, but simply big in heart and spirit and intellect. Is there a way?

I don't think that the present SBNP trinity deserves all of the attention that it gets. Can TKA survive without vocal critics? I'm guessing he loves the attention.

I'm boB

6/27/2007 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Measured response re: NP

1. Home delivery still gives NP huge advantage

2. Travis, when not personally bashing personalities, has been hitting home runs lately in the editorial department. More, Travis, more invstigative editorials and fewer personal attack editorials.

3. Not enough local coverage nor on the ground reporters at the NP -need to do more factually based and supported "process" investigations. Earn right to be our independent Fourth Estate. WE NEED that.

4. Nice to get rid of prior "liberal" bias in news reporting, which now shows up on SB Newsroom - proof it did exist. Stop romanticizing criminal behavior of homeless and vagrants.

5. Too many animal stories and editorials in NP.

6. Too much star gaga in NP.

7. Good mix of national columnists, regardless of personal distate for PhdLaura.

8. PipPip guy at least is trying to do local things, when not being insufferable and 1000 times better than Buddy Winston, but no way, no how ever a Barney substitute for local color.

9. Ads are now huge -showing they have a lot of white space to fill and it is a cheap place to get big marketing coverage, depending on accuracy of circulation numbers

10. Still delivering expired subscriptions for free, to tweak circulation numbers. Thank you

6/27/2007 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press is the whole reason we have huge subdivisions of housing on the South Coast at all.

Storke and the News-Press lobbied long an hard for Lake Cachuma. The water from Lake Cachuma is what makes so much local housing possible.

What a hypocritical joke it is for the News-Press to now turn against housing, which is what they championed in the first place.

Want open space and a better environment on the South Coast? Take personal, direct action. Donate your land to the land trust, raise your home and remediate it to how it was in 1750, and move away.

If Wendy McCaw really cared about the South Coast environment, she'd do that with her Hope Ranch blufftop.

6/28/2007 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press is the whole reason we have huge subdivisions of housing on the South Coast at all.

Storke and the News-Press lobbied long an hard for Lake Cachuma. The water from Lake Cachuma is what makes so much local housing possible.

What a hypocritical joke it is for the News-Press to now turn against housing, which is what they championed in the first place.


Or maybe they have changed their minds. If that's the case, I'm glad they did.

Want open space and a better environment on the South Coast? Take personal, direct action. Donate your land to the land trust, raise your home and remediate it to how it was in 1750, and move away.

Or tell Towbes to retire and stop building, whichever comes first or is more realistic. I'm guessing my plan is.

If Wendy McCaw really cared about the South Coast environment, she'd do that with her Hope Ranch blufftop.

Sounds good. You go first.

6/29/2007 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the News-Press really had changed their minds, they'd point out that all the existing homeowners were subsidized off the public teet... the Feds gave interest free loans and other credits for the construction of Cachuma.

All modern housing around here is government-subsidized, and anyone who now criticizes subsidized housing without pointing out that fact is a phoney.

If the News-Press really had changed their mind then they would refuse subscriptions from any housing that gets water from Cachuma.

If the News-Press had really changed their mind they'd have run an editorial saying so.

In the 1930's the Press ran in their Editorial Masthead `A home for every family'.

Towbes, Linehan, Bermant: all of you retire and stop building more housing.

As for me, I remediated my 2 acres years ago, and I live in a yurt that I decamp and move around the property every few weeks. I'm down to 8 gallons of water a day, and I grow my own food using my own compost. The San won't let me disconnect even though I compost my own waste. Haven't had a car for 11 years, just a bike and trailer. I'm looking into a permanent underground structure because that would not be apparent at all on my land.

Would be glad if Wendy got serious about environmentalism and did the same with her land. Ditto all the hypocritical south coast homeowners.

7/01/2007 9:46 PM  

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