Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

McCaw Makes Attack Letter Open Source

As a "purposely uninformed blogger", I wanted to make sure my readers weren't in the same boat as I regarding Wendy McCaw's opinion of my's her Letter to Readers which is really a blistering attack on Lou Cannon. Here's a taste:
The world has passed you by. Young people today no longer wear watches, no longer read newspapers, no longer watch TV news. They communicate by text messaging and in MY SPACE. They distrust the mainstream media, in large part because they distrust the decrepit ideas asserted by the old generation who claim to be "experts" such as yourself. You exemplify the basis for this distrust with your reference to "various inquiries" allegedly finding that we committed some journalistic sin.

I'm not even sure where to start after reading this piece which sounds a bit too similar to a property-rights advocate protecting their right to build lot line to lot line. In McCaw's view, the bottom line is more important than journalistic standards and telling the whole story. Basically, she's telling us that ethics in journalism isn't as important as protecting her assets. Interesting how you don't have to pay to read her rant.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That rant was ridiculously long and wordy. A professional business owner who claims to have the community in mind would not have stooped to such lows with personal attacks and gripes. A good writer would have been succinct and still made all the relevant points.
The owner of the SBNP is neither professional nor a good writer. Ironically, it is these two attributes, or at least the recognition that one has or does not have these attributes, that would drive the success of newspaper ownership and a newspaper publisher.

It's really no surprise this owner has driven her business straight into the ground.

What an embarrassment for all the world to see (and for free, amazingly).

- a Santa Barbara citizen

7/04/2007 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why it is so important that we continue with our efforts to boycott the newspress.

Don't read it.
Don't buy it.
Don't subscribe to it.
Don't talk to it's reporters.

7/04/2007 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Baroness' rant says at least three things about her:

-- She's so vain that she's sticking with the teeny-bopper photo, even though she doesn't look much like that any more.

-- She can't write.

-- Lou put a stake through her heart by speaking truth to power and, even though she's pissed, there's not much she can do about it.

7/04/2007 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a bad piece. If someone read it cold, not knowing any background [or truth] it could be very compelling......too bad it is fiction.

7/04/2007 9:52 AM  
Anonymous SBL said...

Dear god, that entire thing is an embarrassment to common sense and decency. Since she seems proud of it, I guess I will have to be the one embarrassed for her.

7/04/2007 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lou Cannon was great on KCRW when he talked about the role of Katherine Graham as Publisher in making the Washington Post a great newspaper. The contrast with Mc Caw couldn't more striking. Graham stood tough for her paper and its reporters against friends who were Presidents, Senators, business giants and American legends. Mc Caw caved in to Rob Lowe. Enough said.

7/04/2007 11:36 AM  
Anonymous slanted and enchanted said...

Wendy didn't write that. It's easy to tell when she's written something. Word usage is slightly off, subjects and verbs don't always agree, etc. That rant, which was about twice as long as it should have been, was written by one of her lackeys.

7/04/2007 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The crazy woman is indeed coming unglued publically for all to see (read). Her thought processes are as based in reality as that photo she keeps using.

And her assertion that the NLRB isn't legitimate? Wowee! (maybe she'll sue them too?)

This brings to mind the ruling made in an arbitration brought by Mrs. McCaw against her former employee, Greg Parker where Justice Eagleson, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court (Ret.). wrote,

"As far as McCaw's testimony is concerned she waffled, contradicted herself, was generally uncertain, suffered from unusual lack of recollection, was evasive and expressed denial of events even in the face of written evidence to the contrary."

7/04/2007 1:03 PM  
Anonymous word police said...

"That is not in keeping with the tenants of fairness and integrity."

Hmmm... Does she mean tenets? How embarassing to have ones ignorance so obvious & public. Indeed the wicked witch must be melting.

7/04/2007 1:22 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Some of the references to someone being crazy go a bit too far people! I've not published a couple of them...

7/04/2007 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

It's obvious that Wendy McCaw and Mayor Marty Blum are trying to 'outdumb" each other..Wendy's latest where she uses "tenants" instead of "tenets" ..and Mayor Blum's goofy "lightblueline" nonsense.. something odd is going on at De La Guerra Plaza.....

7/04/2007 2:17 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

This is all such and interesting study in human nature.

The anti-News Press crowd long ago shut their ears and closed their brains. There is no possible way any of them can see or hear anything as truthful if it comes from Wendy or Travis. They've lost their ability to think freely, and their ability to judge issues based on merit or factual accuracy. They choose only to follow those who seek out the negative and continually criticize.

These self-proclaimed free thinkers have become part of a pathetic gang of heel-nippers and back-biters. Their actions demonstrate an ugliness that goes far beyond what (they perceive) anyone at the News Press has done.

7/04/2007 3:43 PM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

I'm not sure exactly what kind of comments you deleted, Sara, but all the evidence this community has seen in the last year justifies that Mrs. McCaw is most thoroughly and definitely (if not according the DSM, which doesn't really contain such a general diagnosis anyway) C-R-A-Z-Y.

I agree that it's interesting that the referenced piece is probably the only thing on the entire SBNP website that is not behind a paid-membership wall.

Also agree that this differs in written style very much from her piece originally published in the LA Times "Blowback" to Lou Cannon. She clearly had at least one person thoroughly edit this piece (not that there's anything wrong with that).

7/04/2007 4:50 PM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

One more thing that is absolutely ridiculous about the rant: In the excerpt Sara posts, Wendy tells Lou Cannon, "The world has passed you by," and talks about various changes that the "younger generation" has adopted.

Someone should tell Mrs. McC that the world has passed HER by in regard to the outdated practice of newspaper websites in particular, and media web outlets in general, not allowing their content to be read for FREE.

As usual, hypocrisy abounds.

It's just not worth the time picking apart all the flawed logic that reigns at that end of the plaza.

7/04/2007 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

50% of what Wendy wrote made sense and it is important to hear her side of things. There was a lot of liberal bias in the old NewsPress. All you have to do is read the new Santa Barbara Newsroom to get a clear reminder of the slant of the former writers.

Yes, it is Wendy's paper and I want her to get what she wants on her dime. And it sounds like she is taking responsbility for what she has created. I respect her for that at least.

Travis has been writing some really good editorials lately about the city planning issues and this city farce called Plan 2030 - he got this charade dead on right in his editorial last week - the game is over on this one and the city staff rules with their own agenda no matter how they dress up this pig as a public hearing.

I'll keep sticking with Travis as long as he keeps exposing what needs to be exposed in city government and keeps their feet to the public fire.

7/04/2007 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Wendy McCaw takes some public responsibility for her flaws and mistakes, and recognizes that not everyone who has criticized her is wrong 100% of the time, then she will deserve some degree of credit. She will then be in a position to reach a compromise and get along with her adversaries who have legitimate gripes and legal positions. As long as she continues to defensively and delusionally rail against her critics and legal adversaries even as they win in the realms of the judiciary and the court of public opinion, she will continue to be viewed, appropriately, as a nut case.

As examples, the only illustration she can come up with re: alleged bad journalism she has "cured" is a piece written by Starshine Roshell after she left the SBNP; does Wendy think we don't know the difference between a lighthearted column and news reporting? As usual, she has nothing specific to say about what alleged bias preceded July 6, 2007, or the likely conclusion that any readership will perceive "bias" in reporting if asked. McCaw (and her prevaricating crew) is lying about (again unspecified) Teamster "antics" which she had the full opportunity to prove to the NLRB and utterly failed, partly because the union wasn't responsible for what she labelled "antics", partly because what the union did during the election campaign was completely lawful, and partly because the SBNP fully exercised its expressive rights to lie about the union during the election campaign and thereafter.

Finally, she can't resist a shot at the NLRB -- which has long established in the US Supreme Court the constitutional basis for regulating labor relations in this country, frankly mostly to the detriment of labor in the last quarter century -- and lastly her pet peeve, gender discrimination, which she blames for the whole fusillade of criticism lobbed her way from every conceivable quarter, making for a healthy number of sexist pigs in and around SB, including a large number of women. She has taken the position that if she were not a woman, she would not be subject to the "stuff" she's endured, the poor yacht-owning Hope Ranch-cavorting lawyer-deploying miscreant that she is. As proof, one of her petulant arguments to the NLRB was that the union described one of her actions as having taken place in a "fit of pique", which she claimed was a sexist term, though the NP itself has used it to describe cranky behavior by males. This is just one more of the ways poor l'il Wendy has discovered to evade responsibility for her flood of depredations over the last year. Happy Anniversary, Mrs. McCaw.

7/05/2007 2:14 AM  
Anonymous snarky said...

Question to anonymous.
What does liberal mean?

Really, the publicized issue was over an address, and not over a "bias"
If you don't want people to look at the issue, you throw out the label "Liberal" and magically, people are no longer talking about the issue.

Some politicians are throwing around the word, so it now has bad connotations. Yet those politicians over time seem to be adopting formerly "liberal" causes as they become mainstream. AKA what was liberal, often become fashionable cause.

7/05/2007 8:17 AM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

Anon 10:46: There was a lot of liberal bias in the old NewsPress. All you have to do is read the new Santa Barbara Newsroom to get a clear reminder of the slant of the former writers. I do wish someone would give me a clear quote that identifies this "bias". When I look at the SB Newsroom I see Fire Burns 700 Acres; Zaca Lake Guests Evacuated. Those liberal anti-fir reporters are at it again! Council To Consider Visual Markers of Climate Change. There they go reporting something the City Council is considering. That's so typical of liberals -- they want you to know what is going on in your city! Here we go...this must be the one: - Man Arrested after 3-Hour Eastside Stand-Off. Liberals are soft on crime, want to report it all the time!

Please tell me where this "bias" is.

7/05/2007 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Sola Lola said...

A few things:

1) Anon 10:46 pm -- So, in place of "liberal bias", you want totalitarian ruler-owner bias that seeks to destroy reputations in ink-smears and courtroom cases? But hey, to each his or her own, I've heard of stranger fetishes.

2) Wendy's latest rant sounds like an angry letter from a jilted lover: emotional, irrational, petty. She knows she won't get her "paramour" back, so she's pulling out all the nasty stops.

7/05/2007 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo Wendy!

7/05/2007 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea of Operation Cold Shoulder seems predestined to fail as long as the big advertisers remain. Macys and Big Five may be nice targets, but aren't the local Realtors the bread and butter of the Newspress ad dollars? The Classifieds and the Sunday insert would be nothing without those happy mug shots begging for your MLS listing. Where does the SB Association of Realtors stand on Operation Cold Shoulder?

7/05/2007 1:18 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

Yet-another-Anonymous above at 10:46PM seems happy that a newspaper makes sense only 50% of the time.

Is that the standard now for journalism?

7/05/2007 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked Wendy's letter and agree with her.

And I read the News-press everyday.

Travis rocks.

7/05/2007 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, a "bias" is when someone puts words in other people's mouths like you just did re: the 50% comment. What was the point of your refutable distortion? Think next time before lose all your credibility.

It was interesting to read Wendy's point of view. And much of it made sense.

7/05/2007 9:55 PM  
Anonymous sola lola said...

"It was interesting to read Wendy's point of view. And much of it made sense."

Wow, is it just me, or does anyone else hear the steady hum of WM's drones trying to flood the airwaves?

They are rolling out the "She Makes Sense" propaganda, thinking that if they just saturate the media outlets with this PR mantra, the masses will eventually think that it is so.

Say something enough times and people begin to believe it to be truth, isn't that what they are trying for here?

7/05/2007 10:49 PM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

Oh, all you naysayers!

Mrs. McCaw and TK Armstrong are true shafts of golden light attempting to illuminate the dark, biased morass of "so-called professional journalism" and the pawns of l'ancien régime.

Some day, history will vindicate McCaw-Armstrong, Ltd., and show that they were true visionaries on the leading edge -- nay, in the vanguard -- of a New Media Revolution.

You heard it here first.

7/06/2007 9:05 AM  
Anonymous MisterBear said...

Anon 10:46pm wrote: "50% of what Wendy wrote made sense...". And so this same supporter is effectively admitting that 50 percent of Windy's rant was utter nonsense. Gee, what a comfort it is to know that the publisher of my local newspaper is only half crazy. Perhaps having her spend every second day in a padded room and restraints will resolve the News-Press mess.

The same deluded soul further contends that "Travis has been writing some really good editorials lately...". Wow, if that's the case, I'd hate to see him off the leash. One basic tenet of modern journalism is that an editorial should clearly advocate a responsible position or course of action, without resorting to mean-spirited or condescending rhetoric. It seems as though TKA was absent from journalism school on the day that standard was explained.

7/06/2007 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

even the most irrational things make sense after you've swallowed the kool-aid

7/06/2007 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Travis T. Simpleton said...

I completely agree with this morning’s editorial in the SBNP, but it is too modest. If City Hall is serious about reducing traffic congestion and energy consumption and improving air quality, it needs only to look to its friendly neighbor across De la Guerra Plaza—the Santa Barbara News-Press—as an example.

In the past year, the SBNP has reduced commuting and energy consumption by trimming its workforce by more than 50 employees, including reporters who also drive excessive miles during work hours. It has gone further by reducing the number of days it reports any news. It has saved even more energy and natural resources by reducing the circulation and the size of the paper.

The SBNP’s leaders lead by example. The owner and publisher sails her yacht in the Mediterranean rather than befoul the Santa Barbara Channel. The editorial page editor has given up driving and used public transportation or shared rides for the past year.

And, yet, the next time you use your Friday lunch hour or take time off to travel to the SBNP office, there’s a 100 percent chance you will find it open for business and customer friendly. The SBNP shines as an example of leading the community by deeds as well as by words.

7/06/2007 5:01 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...

Bill Carson,
I think you missed the point of view, there is not an "anti-News Press crowd." What there is are people who want the old NewsPress, old "bias" and all.

And honestly, many would be satisfied if they could have a conversation in the editorial pages of the NewsPress. If the NP has an editorial on a subject, then it should allow letters to the editor, on both sides of the issue.
The Newspress needs to be a community paper. The NP is not a XXX-wing zine where all letter go pip-pip cherio... oh wait,

It's gone from a paper with a nationally recognized editor, and peer recognition for it's work, to a paper with a internationally recognized gossip columnist, and peer recognition for ...

7/07/2007 11:54 AM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Snarky: Your characterization of the previous version of the N-P is based on assumptions that not everyone agrees with. And your characterization of the current version is based on your view of the world...which is very different from the tens-of-thousands of folks who still subscribe and actually like what they read.

You may not like to hear this (understatement), but many of us think that the quality of the content of the paper has improved. For example, Travis is pretty much right on with his opinion(s) about local politics.

7/08/2007 6:57 PM  
Anonymous jqb said...

"You may not like to hear this (understatement), but many of us think that the quality of the content of the paper has improved."

Why wouldn't we like to hear that? What's surprising is that anyone would want to admit to such intellectually dishonest foolishness.

"You may not like to hear this (understatement), but many of us think that the quality of the content of the paper has improved."

Since Travis has been writing editorials before and after the meltdown, it's more than a bit silly to point to his opinion pieces as in indication that the quality of the paper has improved. The very fact that you do, rather than point to some actual improvement, shows how ludicrous the claim is.

7/10/2007 1:30 PM  

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