Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ban the Bias? Another Travistorial Hypocrisy...

News-Press Editorial Page Editor Travis K. Armstrong yet again displayed a propensity to speak out of both sides of his mouth when he took on Council Member Helene Schneider for not going on his radio show in today's editorial.

I invited her and the other incumbents to spend an hour chatting with me on AM 1290.

On my second try, I got this reply:

"Travis -- I am sorry to say that I will not appear on AM 1290 with you at this time. While I would like to communicate with your listeners, I cannot trust that an interview (or its subsequent reporting in the News-Press) would be fair and unbiased. I do intend to send you a written answer to your recent question, by Monday's deadline, for the News-Press Voices section. I was happy to respond in this way to your last question a few weeks ago. I'm also willing to respond (as I have been in the past) to News-Press reporters when they write stories on city-related issues. Helene."

This disappointed me. I told Ms. Schneider that I thought she would have managed to come up with a more convincing excuse for not coming on the radio than this one.

Ms. Schneider chickened out and gave up an opportunity to speak directly to you on the radio.

It used to be that the Editorial Page Editor of the News-Press would never play a game of chicken with a Council Member or even mention conspiracies he couldn't prove. He shows such little respect for the office that I wonder how he thinks he isn't showing bias. Finally, he used this trick a few years ago with Mayor Blum -- playing the radio station versus the paper -- does he think we don't remember?

He went on to malign her about a planning issue he understands little about, calling it Helene-gate, makes a common campaign practice criminal and even takes a few shots at Brian Barnwell while he was at it.

Whether relevant or not to the campaign or Helene's term in office, TKA's approach and attitude show his bias in spades. He takes a few possibly relevant points and questions -- failing to do his homework and ask Helene herself for answers -- and then acts as if he speaks from authority. How hard could it be to simply ask her, Barnwell or her campaign manager for answers to the questions he asks?

My Momma always said -- bias is as bias does.

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Anonymous pot calls kettle black said...

Well how funny is this! Travis, who won't answer anyone's questions, complains that someone else won't give an interview? When was the last time he answered someone's questions, other than when he was in court for drunk driving or a witness in a News Press legal action?

10/30/2007 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis is a columnist reflecting his own point of view. Whether or not you agree with him, a columnist is not expected to be free of bias. I'd be happy if there were still reporters who reported the news, and then Travis wrote about it. But much of what he wrote about today--including Ms. Schneider's little modification under her husband's name (only) has long been known to locals. Bias is not caring about this if it's one of your friends, but using it as a club if it's not. Imagine how you would have gleefully posted this inormation if it had been Ms. Giddens instead.

10/30/2007 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And through it all some simple ideas remained. Leave the opinions on the opinion page. A newsroom free of owner interference serves all its readers.

10/30/2007 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helene did nothing to get the bike patrols reinstated and it is disingenuous for her to take credit for them.

She instantly rode the coattails of this long requested and long denied project only after the Angel Linares murder in front of Saks 5th Avenue.

Travis was right on this one.

10/30/2007 9:49 PM  
Anonymous fill-in-whatever-here-GATE said...

If this were such a conspiracy, then why not just have a real news reporter write up a straight news article about whatever thuhell "Helene-gate" is supposed to be?

Would that be because there is no There there?

Funny thing about how newspaper editorials should work: they first need to be based on objective facts before opining and editorializing.

In Wendy World and Travis Town, facts are not necessary, and only get in the way of their version of news.

That temper tantrum of an editorial is just the start when the rest of the public treats Travisty just a fraction of how he has been treating the whole community for years.

10/30/2007 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Hypocricy is as Hypocricy does said...

Is that the same stuff from Travis Armstrong complaining that a council member will not succumb to a biased interview, when Travis himself only a few days earlier refused to be interviewed by the video documentarian Larry Nimmer?

10/30/2007 10:53 PM  
Blogger John Quimby said...

Maybe it's just ironic that a newspaper columninst finds it difficult to play the "Free Speech"
card when the news media he works for is publicly endorsing a political agenda and is currently being sued in Federal Court for opposition to free speech.

Otherwise, I see no problem with Mr. Armstrong's opinion.

10/30/2007 11:01 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

10:53...Travis Armstrong is not a public servant. He doesn't need to grant any interview requests.

An elected official, on the other hand, has a duty to face the matter the forum. If they can't handle themselves in a radio interview, they have no business being an elected official.

10/30/2007 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on 10:45

GOOD editorials are opinions based on supportable facts. Whether it is Journalism 101 or English Comp 101, the quality of an essay is evaluated on the writer being able to back up his claims and prove his point through legitimate research. Using admitted biased statistics doesn't count either. Travis has repeatedly gone off on tangents without supportable evidence and uses biased research to back up his claims.

I don't blame any politician for not wanting to talk with Travis on live radio.

10/31/2007 6:27 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

Travis is poison player. It would be a huge gesture of political good will, good business sense, and engender community healing, if Wendy would just fire Travis for incompetence. Think of it for all of us--a fresh start, the sun coming up after a dark night, birds singing, hope for the NewsPress. Make a gesture Wendy and start the road to recovery.

Things could only get better. Don't dig in and cut off your nose to spite your face.

10/31/2007 6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis Armstrong is on a search for truth.

He does not pretend to be unbiased, nor should he. Travis is an editorialist, not a news reporter. Criticizing Travis for "bias" is the same as criticizing Helene Schneider for taking a position on issues. It's a non-criticism.

10/31/2007 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara De La guerra, an obviously biased progressive herself, would not be complaining if Travis was biased in favor of the incumbants.

So just who is the real hypocrite?

10/31/2007 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh, wasn't it Nimmer who hung up because he couldn't tell the difference between Travis and Nick on the phone? This blog is getting to be like one extended game of "telephone." Fine when it's played by kids; not so much when it's not.

10/31/2007 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bullying an elected official in print for declining a radio interview? Civil discourse is being pulled down to a new low.

Didn't Travis ban Marty and Susan Rose from the radio station? Can't have it both ways, right?

No wonder there were rules against owning a newspaper and a radio station in the same town.

10/31/2007 8:27 AM  
Blogger johnsanroque said...

You can gauge the growing frustration and editorial impotence of Travis Armstrong by the childishness of his editorials and opinion columns. The News-Press is looking more and more like the town bully in its legal actions--probably gaining some minor technical victories through the legal system while clearly losing the war for acceptance. Even the judge at the latest hearings seems dumbfounded at the willingness of the newspaper to press on with charges that have no substance or consequence.

The recent editorials by Armstrong to unseat the City Council incumbents are embarrassing pieces that look like the writing of a petulant high school newspaper editor. No facts, no direct charges, no attribution—just smearing political foes with anonymous speculation. Just from today’s editorial alone which implies, but does not charge, that “city officials” are cooking the election process to favor current Council members:

“Some people might consider…”

“They worry that…”

“There already have been concerns about…”

“City Hall watchdogs say…”

“Election experts apparently advised against…”

“Now come complaints that…”

“…it leads people to speculate that…”

“One line of thought goes like this…”

I understand that editorials are opinion pieces, but is there a stray fact that might be included somewhere to support the insinuations? Nowhere does Armstrong make a direct charge against any specific individual or say that a law was broken. It’s just a series of slanted statements and innuendo that reduces the profession of journalism to its lowest level. There are valid arguments to make against the records of Council incumbents, just as there are valid questions to be raised about the qualifications of the challengers. This is one-sided and vitriolic. And it’s funny and pathetic at the same time when Armstrong self-righteously asks why one of his targets won’t appear on his radio show.

Yes, this is journalism. It fits the classic definition of “muckraking”. That is the direction the News-Press has chosen.

10/31/2007 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Time to Get out of the kitchen? said...

Yea, but----I still think the bigger mistake is Helene, not just a candidate, but an elected public official, refusing to go on his radio show. It is, for better or worse, one of the only games in town. Seems petty, childish and very Travis-like of her to refuse.

Can she not rise to the ocassion? Take the opportunity to skillfully portray herself as a mature, wise public official while expressing her concern about actions of the N-P and Travis? Others have done that, and done it well.

Helene can't stand the heat unless the questions and topics are predictable, LWV sanitized "questions"

10/31/2007 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


BlogaBarbara is effectively a newspaper.

Those posting 'news' are effectively reporters.

Boes it not make the news press case that it's fired reporters were biased when they now post biased news stories on bloga barbara.

is that not the "pot calling the kettle black"

Your constant critical and biased 'news' articles posted about the News Press are actually creating a backlash in making them look less biased than the 'newspaper" Bloga Barbara and it's 'reporters'.

Why not rise above your petty fued with the news press, 'get over it' and move on to posting real news. Something worth your abilities, time and efforts. This petty fued is getting real old real fast.

10/31/2007 9:54 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

For those who might miss it, Randy Alcorn has summed things up pretty well in his article...
I guess we can just acquiesce to the fact that the UC system is going to bulldoze forward with their paving of paradise. Where is the damned COG on this abominatable "taking" of "the Good Land? There's not much time left before this issue becomes fait accompli.

What good is it to have a low density enviro friendly master plan when the Barbarians are at the gate and surrounding us with high densificating multi story, resource absorbing, infrastructure taxing, intinerant student and faculty housing?

The first thousand of ten thousand "planned" will be arriving on our door step in less than a year...the other 9K over a mere six years. Sounds like El Colegio will be as wide as the interstate highway (101)in this area.

10/31/2007 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a perspective I wish Travis would consider. He has in the past talked about his sympathy for the underdog, born perhaps from seeing how Indians were treated. So you would expect that he would understand power and its abuses.

However, now that he has the power, two megaphones in the radio show and a monopoly newspaper, he repeatedly abuses the power.

How does he abuse his power? Let us count the ways:

- He is very free with the truth, connects the dots where no connections exist, repeats hearsay as fact, makes accusations with flimsy or no evidence.

- He declines to publish all the opposing opinion. By publishing only a few, he creates a false image of community attitudes.

- He readily publishes letters to the editor and columns that do agree with him.

In other words, the oppressed becomes the oppressor, hardly what one would have hoped for someone who should have more empathy.

Travis, please remember how the powerless were treated by the powerful and ask yourself if you are imitating the oppressors.

10/31/2007 6:13 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

9:54 AM -- I think extending the newspaper metaphor to BlogaBarbara is problematic in that I am not paid, do not have all day to create sources and do not profess to be a journalist.

I am a fiscally conservative socially liberal -- but I would still criticize TKA if he called a Republican candidate a "chicken" for not being on his show. It's not befitting of an editor of the great newspaper to which they proscribe...

These kind of histrionics are not befitting editorial. His opinions, which he is welcome to have, should be seen from the space of the many assumptions he makes. Why can't he tell us the whole story or why he is biased? People would have a great deal more respect for him if he did -- especially if it had a bit less attitude and mean spiritedness. Why do some of you think that's okay?

How does he know Brian Barnwell's strategy for instance? Did he speak with Jeramy Lindaman or the truly responsible person -- Brian Barnwell? I doubt it. Using the campaign manager to get to the candidate is a Fox News trick that never would have happened in News-Press' of years past.

His opinion is his opinion -- but it doesn't mean it isn't worth critical review.

10/31/2007 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the Randy Alcorn commentary on the endemic failings of this current city council trying to establish their version of "social justice" at the expense of those of us who actually live here and who are stuck with the problems and the bills. He makes excellent points.

Please throw out these incumbents who only want to keep us going down this wrong path and put some brakes on breaking the heart of this fair city with their social schemes that have only opened the door wider and wider to more problems and have solved nothing.

Since Randy left the NewsPress it shows it is not just Travis who is sounding the alarm that no one wants to listen to ....mainly because they don't like Travis. But he has been right on all these issues so cut him some slack and honor what Alcorn so eloquently says too.

10/31/2007 7:20 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

Fill-in-whatever-here-gate at 10:45 and John San Roque at 8:33AM pretty much covered the subject well.

Travis is incompetent. It's not subjective criticism but objective analysis. It's not sour grapes either.

Helene Schneider is at least three times as smart as Travis.
But both of them are newbies in Santa Barbara.

Wendy: Please make Travis go away.

10/31/2007 8:10 PM  
Blogger John Quimby said...

Excuse me?

Is Mr. Armstrong running for something?

If he were running for City Council we might expect a public debate between himself and Council Member Schneider.

Mr. Armstrong has invited Ms. Schneider to debate him on radio. But he isn't running for anything and he does not officially represent anyone who is.

Since he has no standing in this election, why should she be obliged to debate him in a public forum?

10/31/2007 9:36 PM  
Blogger Citizen Stringer said...

An elected official has a duty to speak with credible and respectful news organizations and writers, not any YABBA-DABBA EPITHET HERE who happens to have a rich patron with a vanity publication masquerading as an actual newspaper.

11/01/2007 12:05 AM  
Anonymous SBIFF2007 said...

You know, I've been away for 2 months and the peace experienced was heavenly. Returning here is same old slop, different day. Thought I'd check in as I have not done so since the blue-line fiasco. I guess the News-Press mess keeps y'all busy. What will you do when it is over? Reminds me of talk radio with each political party screaming 'you won't have a show after the election.' Yet, they don't go away either. The fights continue. People here are so miserable that on my second day back in town there was an 'incident' in Elephant Bar parking lot with behavior by middle aged adults that should put this entire community to shame. People screaming and attacking each other over a parking space to the point of calling "911" as if it was an emergency. Unreal.

Well, back to long distance, online newspapers from east coast and counting the days to retire the heck out of SB. You people are all nuts.

By the way, I was once accused of being a 'Mafioso' lover and my reply was "I knew John Gotti and I loved him." I feel the same about Travis Armstrong after reading so many negative things, stories, complaints, etc. about him from y'all. So I decided to 'vacation pack' my News-Press just to see what he is up to. I really love Travis but I don't know him and don't care about that fact. I just love that he makes all of you crazy. Wendy should triple his salary!

11/01/2007 12:36 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

I heard about this big fight over who gets the parking space over in the parking lot at the Elephant Bar! It was two members of 'Cars are US' arguing about Plaza de la Guerra parking spaces disappearing in the new plan. You have to say that these 'Cars are US' people have ATTITUDE.

If you like Travis because he annoys us, it must be an acquired taste. Do you drink Drano for indigestion too?

11/01/2007 6:19 AM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

sbiff: hilarious! but alas, isn't the behavior you detest the reason we're all on here? It's to bicker and belittle, with an occasional equal doses of pragmatism and unreality. It's the total melting pot, and I believe a fairly accurate reflection of our SB intellectual demographic. There are some smart folks, and there are some jackasses.

Oh and it's "first-tier," even if it's self-glossed.

11/01/2007 7:29 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

SDLG:"I love the smell of burning electrons in the morning, It smells Victory!"

sa1:" But SDLG, Aren't you afraid of SBNP attacks?"

SDLG:" Hell no...Travis don't surf!"

11/01/2007 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There you go again...

Feeding into Travis and Wendy's desire for attention. Can we just agree not to support them and stop talking about them. It would serve the community the best to do so.

11/01/2007 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this stuff about a candidate being obligated to do interviews is nonsense. No public official is obligated to do an interview with anyone. They have a First Amendment right to say nothing. Now, that may be bad election strategy, but if the voters want to elect someone who doesn't talk to the press, well, that's the voters' perogative.

11/01/2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey sbiff2007, Sammy "the Bull" Gravano loved John Gotti too, but when the feds offered him a deal to save his own neck and sell out Gotti, the rat jumped at the chance!

Yeah, Gotti also successfully supervised the whacking of Paul Castellano from his car, so he could replace Paul as the godfather. That softie Paul was opposed to letting the mob deal in illegal drugs, you know, the kind sold to school kids. But Gotti was all for it. The hell with "Got Milk?" Guzzle some 'ludes, dude!

Gotti was also a good neighbor. For example, one neighbor accidentally ran over Gotti's son, who was riding a minibike in the street. That neighbor wound up as an unwilling guest in the basement of the Howard Beach Hunt & Fish Club, tied to steam pipes while Gotti carved him up like a Thanksgiving turkey, using a chainsaw. Hey, Happy Thanksgiving!

Yep, sbiff2007, you choose those you love real wisely. But why bring Gotti down to Travis Armstrong's level? Have some respect for the mob, will ya?!!!

Love, one of da boyz.

11/01/2007 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truly sad thing is that, for all I know, Helene and Barnwell and Co. could be totally corrupt and incompetent, but we'd never know it by reading the News-Press. Why? Because it's lost every bit of its credibility.

This is why the wall between news and opinion is so important at a newspaper. Integrity is everything in publishing, and the News-Press has flushed its own integrity into the sewer because of its obvious paranoia and its resulting penchant for retribution.

I read Travis and wonder if he could be right. But since there is no one doing any actual investigative reporting at the News-Press, I would have to take his word for it. And since his editorial page is just a bunch of screaming rhetoric, absent of any dissenting opinion, I know I CAN'T take his word for it. I'm not that naive.

In fact, I've got to imagine that many people are going to vote for the same old politicians because Travis' bully pulpit is so transparent. He makes you end up feeling sorry for Helene, Barnwell and Das.

This is why Wendy needs to take a different tact. Otherwise, her newspaper will remain irrelevant.

11/01/2007 6:10 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

SA 1: Apocalypse Now is one of my favorites! Yes, I am afraid of SBNP attacks -- otherwise I wouldn't be an anonymouse :)

Still, people need to point these things out no matter how tired some are of the issue. Is issue fatigue a reason to give it all up? I don't think so.

Napalm or Barrels of Ink -- what's the difference?

11/01/2007 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter if you believe Travis is right or not about what is going on in this city.

Too many other people feel the same way, whether they read TA or not. Look at all the neighborhoods with campaign signs for the opponents this election.

There are plenty of people out there that feel the same way and they don't care whether Travis agrees with them or not. Watch your precinct numbers and watch the neighborhoods fall, one by one for the opponents.

The Golden Triangle no longer belongs to the incumbents this time. Not by a long shot.

11/01/2007 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, 6:10PM, well said!

11/01/2007 7:48 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Anon 6:10pm brings up some great points.

Believe me or not. I know Helene,Barnwell,Williams and the rest,and I know Travis. Travis may be assertive. He may be blunt. And he may be relentless. But he is right. He is right as rain.

The N-P has not "lost every bit of it's credibility". Anon 6:10 makes this statement based on blind faith that the council members are the honest ones. They are not.

Stop to think...the current political machine has worked hard to convince the community that Travis is the bad guy. This is the same tactic they use on any opponent that gets in their way. In order to protect their existence, they need to try anything to divert the scrutiny of the new N-P.

Travis hits the nail on the head in each of his columns. They know it, they hate it, and this is why they try so hard to discredit him.

11/01/2007 9:28 PM  
Anonymous SBIFF2007 said...

By popular demand from my 'peeps' seeing your website, I am back tonight to refer y'all to Travis today... which I note here many have seen. I proudly tell you I am the 'quoted' person in his rant today. Hilarious is right, MCC. I am taking your advice and lightening up with Blogabarbara. Especially because the person who asked if I drank Drano... (I use it for a CHASER) and tonight I fell over trying to make sense out of "one of da boyz" as he has no clue what I meant using John Gotti as an analogy to loving a despised person because so many others do. Almost forgot... the autos in EBAR lot were SUVS and Pick-ups.

As for Travis, I will continue to GIVE to him all facts I can (and I can) just so you can see he does NOT make this stuff up.... I love being a mole which this place allows people to be.

Yep... y'all are hilarious! Thanks for the 'lift' MCC, the intellectual one.
Like minded intellectuals find each other here after all. My husband has told me for years "There are more A-H's than people." He's right.

11/01/2007 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

SBIFF2007 (aka: 'Drano drinker'):

I note that the SBNSuppress position is morphing into subliminal messages on the great car questions of the day.

It would appear (I have no opinion polls to back it up alas) that slowing down traffic with roundabouts and bulbouts (the poetry works ON this issue!), is a very bad thing as judged by Mr. 'Cars are US' Travis' and backed up by misread polls.

Is he really advocating a rapid speed-up and clear ways for SUVs and pick-up Trucks with oversize tires?

Woe to all of us if a citizen is in a hurry.

Note also today, that the street riot story has morphed too into a tale of hooligans who are none other than--the evil riff raff of those who work against cars on State Street who came out of... EGADS!! Plaza de la Guerra where anti-car plots are already notorariously afoot and worse--organized by the nefarious City Council and city staff.

Yes, says Travis, look, these rioters are part of the anti-car constituency. (Nobody loves a riot and look at the clean-up!)

What's Travis' opinion on boom boxes and leaf blowers--that's what I want to know.

Tomorrow there will be a letter proposing shutting off state street to traffic and an editorial hammering away at the evil plan for Plaza de la Guerra--and those traffic stopping bollards.

11/02/2007 8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Bill Carson ...

My point is that there is no real scrutiny by the News-Press — just a bunch of yelling by Travis — because the only reporters who work for that paper now are just a bunch of kids. And they are getting no coaching and no leadership because the middle management at the News-Press has been gutted. Money is being spent on lawyers, not experienced journalists. Maybe they should ask Barry Capello to come down and coach some of those kids, he's getting paid so much.

As far as credibility goes, I'll believe it when I see the News-Press print even one dissenting point of view in its letters and op-ed sections. Until then, it's no more than a propaganda sheet.

If I were Giddens and Hotchkiss and the others, I would ask the N-P NOT to endorse me. Seriously. The N-P approach turns so many people off while catering to just a small segment of this community that would have voted for them anyway. Believe me, I work in communications, and I know how this works.

11/02/2007 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing honest about this city council that ran on neighborhood protection platforms and then crammed down every possible social utopia scheme that quickly destroyed many of them. Who are they coming for next with their egregious long-arm reach?

When are they going to rezone the entire Golden Triangle to multi-family affordable apartments in all that wasted open space?

When are they going to modify every single front yard set back to zero or dedicate to car parking?

Where exactly are they going to put in all these affordable apartment rentals? Name the exact streets where this is supposed to happen and then explain how they are going to keep them from being degraded neighbhorhoods like the rest of the dense apartment zones.

Take a look at what happened to Greenwell Acres off Modoc Road if you want to see the city's neighborhood protection in action.

11/02/2007 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I want to be a mole too. Where do I sign up? Travis Rocks!

11/02/2007 2:02 PM  
Anonymous SBIFF2007 said...

Right on, 2:02 PM. You are already a mole... Just keep your eyes and ears open.

Travis for President!

11/02/2007 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Fred & Lamont Sanford said...

TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION "Where are they going to put in all these affordable apartment rentals?" How about Wendy World, Travis Town, Crazytown, and Nuttyville .

GREAT PARAGRAPH: "By the way, I was once accused of being a 'Mafioso' lover ... I feel the same about Travis Armstrong after reading so many negative things... I just love that he makes all of you crazy. Wendy should triple his salary!"
- True dat!! I bet that TA personally generates more audited eyeballs than any other news writer in SB. Y'all read him before Dear Abby or your Horoscope!! What a great investment. IN FACT, it's also nice to know that you all also read DR. LAURA word for word in your efforts to find the hidden agenda.

That's why QUADRUPLE U (with a V in the middle) THANKS YOU!!! BECAUSE AUDIENCE, bloody audited audience, is what sells major advertising contracts at newspapers. So, congratulations, and this blog is evidence of it, you are all a great audience for the venerable 250 year old hometown favorite, the Santa Barbara News Press. And maybe if you keep reading DR LAURA maybe your marriage will be better too!

IT'S JUST PHENOMENAL that TRAVIS has become such a phenomenon. Who knew that a DUI could do so much for a guy? Congratulations to TRAVIS for his staying power and to all of you LOYAL READERS who continue to form the core of the News Press audience even if it is to simply attempt to repudiate every single word printed!

OH, AND IF YOU THINK A BLOG IS NEWS, AND BLOGGERS REPORTERS... You just simply couldn't be MORE WRONG, it's not even funny.

11/02/2007 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

Dear Sanfords: Despite the point you are making, it would seem to me, that you folks, like everybody else here, are talking about Travis. I also take it you don't like Dr. Laura.

We just can't get around certain annoying realities. I feel the same way about Democracy Now,, and Veterans for Peace.

As the song says: "Helpless, Helpless, Helpless."

11/03/2007 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By this time the NewsPress powers-that-be are so hopelessly confused and isolated that they have no clue what they want or why.

The most glaring example today: TA continues to use sketchy "survey" results to support the common sense ideas that most Santa Barbarans favor maintaining a "small town esthetic character". I don't doubt that is true, yet it is astounding that the SBNP could twist logic to use those assumptions to justify an endorsement of Michelle Giddens, aka Ms. McMansion, who has never seen a house too big for a neighborhood. If Giddens ennthusiastically embraces homes with .67 FARs on tiny mesa lots, what does that imply for her ideas about downtown development?

Again, no matter what dissatisfactions we may have with the state of the city, our municipal government is a model of organizational efficiency when compared to the disaster which is the NewsPress. These people are the laughing stock of the world of journalism, they are much more concerned with pursuing meaningless lawsuits against their perceived enemies than providing a viable product to their customers. The paper is kept afloat only because Ms. McCaw has millions of dollars to squander on her personal fiasco. These are people voters should rely on for guidance?

11/03/2007 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Fred & Lamont Sanford said...

We can always find something to criticize. It's not limited to Travis and Dr Laura. And we don't really like or dislike them more than other writers at other outlets. They are all fellow voyagers on this juggernaut and we respect their right to an opinion.

We think it's really pretty funny that the core of the News Press audience now appears to be those looking to bash anyone who's name appears in print there.

Even more laughable are those who think that it was simply a News Press editorial that quashed their little Blue Line and other pet projects that died on their own lack of merits. This was topped by Montecito Mavens going out of their way to be rude at public events with "offers" to purchase an asset not even for sale... which took comedy excuse me, nonsense, to another level.

We respect the right of the owner at each media outlet to publish what they see fit and even more so, we respect the right of the market to ignore it.

Why not support ethical media and allow those who do not meet your own standards to sink into obscurity by ignoring it and moving on with your lives.

Aren't you News Press haters FEEDING THE HAND THAT BITES you. You continue to provide it a viable, audited audience, even if it's just so you can find conflict and controversy in each and everything printed!

11/03/2007 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious about the connection of Sbiff2007 with the film festival which is commonly known as sbiff. Any connection or just an odd co-incidence?

11/03/2007 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred & Lamont Sanford said...

"We can always find something to criticize. It's not limited to Travis and Dr Laura. And we don't really like or dislike them more than other writers at other outlets. They are all fellow voyagers on this juggernaut and we respect their right to an opinion."

Question: By "we" do you mean yourselves, or are others included as well? Also, what do you consider to be the "juggernaut?"

You also write that, "We think it's really pretty funny that the core of the News Press audience now appears to be those looking to bash anyone who's name appears in print there."

Question: Can the core of anything consist of its detractors?

And on this statement: ". . . took comedy excuse me, nonsense, to another level . . . "

Yes, regarding this, can you please describe an earlier level of nonsense that predated this particular level?

And further, about this: "We respect the right of the owner at each media outlet to publish what they see fit and even more so, we respect the right of the market to ignore it."

Any chance you might also respect the right of "the market" to air any opinions along the way?

Look. Ethics themselves dictate that it's not enough to allow those who do not meet ethical standards "to sink into obscurity by ignoring it and moving on ... " Besides, a publication in wide distribution defies obscurity by definition, be it shunned or celebrated.

Fred and Lamont, I come to one conclusion. Y'all "continue to provide it (BlogaBarbara, that is) a viable, audited audience, even if it's just so you can find conflict and controversy in each and everything printed!"

11/04/2007 12:48 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

Being a soothsayer, and one who can tell the future, is a snap--if your talking about the NewsSuppress.

Here's the letter to the editor today that I foretold for you, and which points doom at gloom at the Plaza and threatens the closing of lower state street. Note that the writer mentions it's all city council's fault.


November 4, 2007 12:00 AM

The plaque at the front of the plaza commemorates the location by stating that near the site on Aug. 26, 1850, two weeks before California statehood, a Common Council was duly elected. It goes on to state that the first official meeting was held in 1875. The California Centennial Commission in 1950 erected the plaque.

This is why it is an historic landmark. The experiences of this last week have informed me why the historic character of Santa Barbara is being lost.

The only way to preserve De la Guerra Plaza, avoid the closure of lower State Street and stop the massive projects shadowing our town is to turn out the incumbents. They are responsible for the radical changes to our city and the loss of the unique charm and small-town character. Don't believe otherwise.

Dennis Rickard"

OK. Now we just have to wait for the Travis Editorial on same revealing why we should throw the rascals out.

Poor Dennis Rickard.

11/04/2007 6:10 AM  
Anonymous Fred & Lamont Sanford said...

Question: By "we" do you mean yourselves, or are others included as well?

+ We're speaking for ourselves here and of our own opinions. We won't try to speak for you, but we'll retain the right to tell you what we think if we want to. Anyone else can post their own opinion, as you did. (We also respect the owner of the blog and her right to post our comments or not.)

Also, what do you consider to be the "juggernaut?"

+ Our dear planet, amigo. (Earth.)

Question: Can the core of anything consist of its detractors?

+ Looks to us like thats the case with the News Press. We have spoken to only a few in the past several months who still subscribe/read the News Press for news and other content they desire. We know many more who profess that they detest the News-Press yet still read it daily (because they
seem to have some perverse love/hate relationship with Travis and/or Dr Laura.) So, from our obscure and most biased perspective, yes, it seems to us that the core of the audience is now reading the News Press only to find something to criticize. Of course we could be wrong, usually are.

Can you please describe an earlier level of nonsense that predated this particular level?

+ Sure. Among others:

1. The notion that the City of SB could weaselword its own termlimits ordanance to keep Conklin mayor in early 90s, only to be wacked by the private citizen who sued them.

2. The notion that the News Press could or would be purchased by a group of locals (supposedly including Mike Towbes), that probably precipitated the instant comment.

3. Viewed through a forensic filter, the original sale by the New York Times to Ampersand also comes to mind.

Any chance you might also respect the right of "the market" to air any opinions along the way?

+ Absolutely and totally. We'll question opinions, but obviously we can't quash them.

Look. Ethics themselves dictate that it's not enough to allow those who do not meet ethical standards "to sink into obscurity by ignoring it and moving on ...

+ If something doesn't meet YOUR ETHICAL standards we certainly respect YOUR right to complain about it. However if your complaint was based in a desire to control something that does not belong to you or exert influence over someone elses expression of their own opinion or legal operation of their own business, well, we would tend to think you're wasting valuable time that could be used for more positive pursuits.

Besides, a publication in wide distribution defies obscurity by definition, be it shunned or celebrated.

+ We stand corrected on the definition of obscurity. Here's a question for you: If the critical mass of audience shuns a publication (based on discussion here, one would think this has already happened to the News Press,) when does it become irrelevant or obscure and thus no longer an important part of public discourse? Does it actually have to disappear to achieve this status?

Fred and Lamont, I come to one conclusion. Y'all "continue to provide it (BlogaBarbara, that is) a viable, audited audience, even if it's just so you can find conflict and controversy in each and everything printed!"

+ That's what this is all about, Anonymous... conflict and controversy... the name of the game in modern journalism... and our respective opinions thereof.

+ We plead guilty as accused to being a part of the Blogabarbara audience. (If that means audited audience and viable advertisers for Sara De La Guerra, then more power to her.)

+ Sara, we love it. What's not informative is almost always entertaining.

the Sanfords

11/04/2007 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sanfords.

Thanks for answering my questions. In your follow up, you ask "if the critical mass of audience shuns a publication ..... when does it become irrelevant or obscure and thus no longer an important part of public discourse? Does it actually have to disappear to achieve this status?"

My answer: I don't know. I can't find a measurable benchmark in these concepts. I do see a great deal of nuance. I also consider irrelevancy (as opposed to obscurity) to be the more operative concept relative to what I think you are attempting to get at. I don't know how to measure irrelevancy, though.

Here's another question for you: Since the law is the law, do your concerns about attempts to control or influence free expression and legal rights extend to when a business owner illegally subverts an employee's Constitutional right to engage in federally sanctioned actions or expressions?

Lastly: Newspaper journalism at its best aspires to a set of ethics that go beyond the established legal framework that governs the industry. Do you hold what a newspaper owner SHOULD do under these widely accepted tenets in a higher/lower regard than what a newspaper owner CAN do under the law?

11/05/2007 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Fred & Lamont Sanford said...

No problem, Anonymous. We agree on irrelevance and obscurity. Let's leave them to the eye of each beholder. Now, to answer your questions:

We believe that the law should protect those whose rights are illegally subverted. NLRB opening a case is significant.

And yes, in the case of a business with the community presence and history of the News Press, we believe in the HIGHER standard you speak of.

This is not a legal issue but goes hand in hand with the marketing of the product, cultivation of audience, as well as increasing value to the investor.

But we cant stress strongly enough that we sincerely respect the owners right to publish what they see fit and what they believe is important and compelling whether or not we feel the same way.

Con mucho gusto,
The Sanfords.

11/06/2007 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sanfords. I've enjoyed this conversation. You make some good points, and articulate your arguments well. I hope to read more from you in the future.

11/07/2007 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Wendy McCaw.
She is a hero in my book.

She has done more for Santa Barbara with her Editorials on preserving Santa Barbara from the insidious concept of smart growth than any other person.

if smart growth and its urban density plus transit were really good, thewn doubling the density of LA will make it a wonderful place to live.

Smart growth is a pile of _______. You fill in the open space and all you get is more.

11/13/2007 1:14 PM  

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