Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

When a Cause Celeb is Really a Cause Celebre

A reader 'passed along' an editorial from the News-Press today that has to raise the question yet again about the wall between editorial, ownership and the news. We've had a few probable trolls lately telling us that Travis is making sense lately -- but when does Travis step aside and let Nipper write the editorial?

The editorial brings up the 'PC Crowd's' call for cutting our use of plastic water bottles by saying we are 'all wet' and that global warming is an italicized-for-emphasis cause celeb (actually cause celebre (sans les accents) not the book title Cause Celeb). I brought this issue up a few weeks ago while blogging about LiveEarth.

Why was there not an admonition of some sort that the writer (likely given the syntax) and/or at least the owner of the very newspaper that is being read is an author and known expert on the issue. Is it too convenient to not include bylines on editorials? 'Oh...Travis wrote that...not me".

Full disclosure is a part of running an ethical newspaper that keeps a wall between ownership, editorial and the news. This should have been an opinion on the right read page -- with Arthur's name on it. Why wasn't it? Anything else could be looked at as a conflict and any reader has to wonder why his financial ties to bottled water weren't disclosed. Even if TKA actually wrote the editorial, the information should have been disclosed.

The News-Press wants you to believe that they are anti-growth but goes on to question global warming like it is a fad. I wonder often about the disconnect between an editorial one day and an editorial several days later. Although it is not too scandalous, now I know it is a question of not knowing the difference between celeb and celebre.

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Blogger eredux said...

Check out this US Carbon Footprint Map, an interactive United States Carbon Footprint Map, illustrating Greenest States to Cities. This site has all sorts of stats on individual State & City energy consumptions, demographics and more down to your local US City level...

7/24/2007 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press' bottled water bit today intentially forgets to mention that the plastic water bottles are clogging landfills. A terrible environmental hazard, that von Whatever has devoted his life to...after his high school editorship. The problem is a big point made by Gore, but ignored by McCaw.

The Baroness, with her boytoy promoting plastic bottles for landfills, the reckless carbon footprint caused by her huge yacht, probably the same with a private jet, and selling daily product on dead trees, is no longer any kind of "environmentalist." That was a mixup caused by her constant gushing about furry animals.

As another blogger said, does she think "the little people" are stupid?

7/24/2007 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Norab said...

With the "bottled water" and Sunday's "be nice to others" pieces, Blond(e), Travis and the Baron are sinking to new "how dumb can the public be" lows.

Some think it's too much bubbly at work, since they seem to believe what they're writing. Others think it's just badly written but intentional parody.

7/24/2007 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget fair disclosure, printing opposing perspectives and any wall between Nip's bottled waters and his editorial positions.

It's Wendy-Press now--plenty of "fear and favor."

Don't like wacked -- then cancel.

7/24/2007 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Travis is making some sense lately and I am not a troll. I care about this city. Plus I agree the best thing is getting now the diversity of independent news sources after this NP debacle.

One of the best new ones is the SOV - "Shape of Voice" put out by the new city Teen Center - topical and gritty and insightful voices that need to be listened to. Pick one up where you can find it near the Teen Center - Chapala and West Victoria.

They write from the heart and from their experiences, which do not include hand-wringing about the NewsPress or its desposed staff.

Survival stories day to day growing up in their lives in Santa Barbara carries far more weight than the Nipper/Traivs show.

When a kid writes in response to why there is so much violence among young people in Santa Barbara today that he or she knows no other thing because it surrounds their daily lives at home, it is something you have to read. And hear.

7/24/2007 10:05 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

While this observation of Shape of Voice youth newspaper is good to see, all should understand that Shape of Voice is NOT a product of the Twelve35 (aka "Teen Center") or any other unit of City government.

Twelve35 is a Santa Barbara City program operated by the Recreation Division.

Shape of Voice (SoV) is an entirely private operation that, except for a few ads purchased, SoV so far has received zero funds from public agencies, although requests have been made. SoV is distributed at Twelve35 and many other places were youth congregate.

Donations are welcome and are tax-deductible. For more about the content and for the 3 prior SoV issues published, see the website.

7/25/2007 12:10 AM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

And about those plastic water bottles... the main reason they are becoming "banned" is because of all the energy and oil consumed to manufacture the bottles, and also landfill volume if the bottles are not recycled.

In typical fashion, that editorial, if anyone really cares what is there, left out major facts that did not fit its thesis that the evil Cabal is the source of all their problems.

7/25/2007 12:13 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Anonymous no. 8, explain how "Travis is making some sense lately."

Every Travistorial is missing three of the five sides of a typical issue.

7/25/2007 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A complete scam at worst and a polluting luxury most of the time, bottled water holds very little justifiable H2O. No wonder the Baron's self-issued degree is in a fake field of his own invention - his premise is, well,
Penn and Teller put it best in their piece that debunks the Baron's bogus bag.

(I'll admit that it comes in handy during natural disasters, relief efforts, etc. It has utility. It is not a field of study.)

7/25/2007 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it possible for someone who purports to be something of an environmentalist to have such an editorial in her newspaper, no matter who wrote it or what wasn't disclosed?

Al Gore, if you're not running for president, would you like to buy the News-Press?

7/25/2007 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the editorial in the library yesterday - and was wryly amused: I doubted it was by Travis who can write much better than that. Bias, indeed!

It's sort of ironic that on the one hand there's strong support for wild animals, especially sea animals, and plastic, some of which pieces from plastic water bottles, is the greatest cause for seabird mortality. Check out some of the Michael Cousteau films on the Pacific Islands and the proliferation of plastic ... and what's found inside turtles, birds, fish, marine mammals.

But, then, again, it's probably foolish to expect too much consistency: gotta hold the line against the city council; anything they, especially the hated Blum, advocate must be wrong. But, hey, that's being consistent, too.

10:05 - thanks for the reference to the Shape of the Voice --- had not heard of it; I'll look for it.

7/25/2007 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article is no worse than all the op-eds bashing the coastal commission which have gone on for years before the meltdown. And not once did those mention that Wendy had been in litigation with them for years...the paper hasnt been following journalistic standards for a long time.

7/25/2007 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My hunch is that the bottled water editorial is at least partially in response to City Hall's recent edict to eliminate bottled water from City meetings for environmental reasons.

7/25/2007 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are plenty of us who do not raise our children in a violent environment at home and we do not appreciate having violence foisted upon us in public. We protect our kids, teach them wholesome values and know them well enough to encourage their talents and provide them with creative outlets. Parents have this sacred obligation to their children. Rasing children is far different than simply breeding...

7/25/2007 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Like it or not, we all have to live in a world where many children are "bred", and not raised. Then these children do become our problems and if you ain't part of the solution, you too are part of the problem.

2. Never understood why the same people that freak out over mercury in their dental fillings think it is perfectly okay to drink water out of a petro-chemical plastic water bottle.

3. Do take a look at SOV - "Shape of Voice", and hope it gets put in news stands next to the bus transfer center and where young people use the public busses. What is its origin?

7/25/2007 6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bottled water is not the problem, it is our disposable society. Rather than buy a case of water and throw the bottles away, buy a 1 liter bottle to carry and keep a large container of filtered water in the refrigerator. The bottle will last for months, and they aren't that difficult to wash. If you must discard the bottles, use a recycling bin.

7/25/2007 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better yet, buy and fill a Nalgene bottle that you can wash after each emptying. Sorry to be a downer, but you can easily pollute your own water with backwash, and there are way too many nasty bugs around that can really make you sick!

7/26/2007 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least the news side of the News-Press (remember Jerry Roberts?) covered Wendy's fight with the Coastal Commission over access to the beach below her property. Anyone with access to the Web site can find the articles online.

Probably another reason she wanted him gone.

7/27/2007 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:21 PM said...Better yet, buy and fill a Nalgene bottle that you can wash after each emptying

I like your idea, a Nalgene bottle is easy to wash, holds more and a lot cheaper to fill. I use a Brita filter to get rid of that "Santa Barbara" taste and minimize the backwash.

7/27/2007 2:43 PM  

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