Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Citizen McCaw to Premiere in March 7th

World Premiere of Documentary Film about the Santa Barbara News-Press “Meltdown” Set for Friday, March 7 at Santa Barbara's Arlington Theatre at 7:30 PM

Santa Barbara, CA, January 17, 2008 – Billed as the story of “an epic struggle for the soul of journalism,” the new feature-length documentary film CITIZEN McCAW will premiere at Santa Barbara's famed 2,000 seat Arlington Theatre on Friday night, March 7th at 7:30 PM.

The film chronicles events since July 2006, when editor Jerry Roberts and five of his colleagues quit the Santa Barbara News-Press, citing owner and Co-publisher Wendy McCaw's abandonment of journalistic ethics, which McCaw denied. Since then, McCaw and dozens of her former staffers have been engaged in a fierce clash of wills that raises important national questions of journalistic ethics and media ownership.

McCaw’s attorneys assert that she alone can decide how news is covered. The other side, represented by journalists and community leaders, says that journalism is a public trust, asserting that the publisher must keep out of the news operation.

The film chronicles the twists and turns of community protests, legal maneuverings, a union vote, child pornography charges, a 25% decline in circulation, a noticeable drop in the paper's coverage of local news and issues, and numerous other events, including a surprise ruling in early January 2008, when a federal labor law judge found that McCaw's paper had violated federal law by firing six of her reporters for pro union activities. The paper is appealing the ruling.

Over 80 hours of footage were shot, including interviews with national leaders in journalism. Washington Post Executive editor Ben Bradlee and journalist Ann Louise Bardach appear, as do former NBC News reporter Sander Vanocur, Ronald Reagan’s biographer Lou Cannon, Harvard's Alex Jones, Boston University's Lou Ureneck, and USC's Diane Winston. The film was shot in high definition in Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC and at many landmark locations in Santa Barbara.

The producers have received four warning letters from various McCaw attorneys. The letters threaten legal action depending on the film's content. In 2007, her attorneys subpoenaed all of the raw footage shot for the film, as well as all of the production and interview notes. The subpoena was considered a "fishing expedition" and was immediately revoked by William Kocal, the administrative law judge who oversaw the trial of The Santa Barbara News-Press on charges of violating federal labor laws.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yawn. This whole film contest will give new meaning to the word "bias".

The NewsPress is doing fine without these goons, but that side of the story will never be shown. Just a shabby attempt to "get the blonde" with faux sympathy and bad facts.

Sorry, but we don't need junk infomercial films like this.

It will serve to only generate more sympathy for Wendy in the long run because she stepped up to the plate and bought the paper with her own money.

And it is hers to run in the way she sees fit.

1/17/2008 6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, anonymous 6:43 AM! Or should I say Timekeeper ... Or whatever alias you decide to use when you're schlepping for Wendy.

How's this for some timekeeping ....

19 days have gone by since the judge's decision.

Only 50 more days to go until a world-renowned filmmaker humiliates Wendy and honors the fired reporters for working to get their jobs back.

I will report daily on the progress.

And yes, we are still breathless with anticipation ... and loving every minute of it! It must suck to be you.

1/17/2008 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noreiga said...

Let's see now, two things come to mind.

The title: "Citizen McCaw" resonates and rhymes with "Citzen Kane" of Hearst fame. Nobody had to say that was a

And McCaw also rhymes with the sound of black ravens caw caw cawing...and makes one think of a poem: (something like this):

...Leave my loneliness unbroken! quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, 'still' is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And all his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out the shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted--nevermore!

(apologies to Edgar)

Some final thoughts on the word "Documentary":

'Documentary' has become the new sanitizing expression for political fiction. Michael Moore, Al Gore, etc. come to mind. We must, you say, BELIEVE if it's a documentary--it must be more real.

My questions for you gentle readers are: Is 'Citizen Kane' more powerful and classic critique because it is fiction? Of course it is! So why make the pretension of a documentary? Give me ART I say.
Political Art is OK. Did "Borat" need to be a documentary?

What will be the artistic equivalent of Wendy (Hearst) McCaw's little lost red flyer wagon?

1/17/2008 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone please give us the names of the producer and also of the writer of this film.

1/17/2008 10:11 AM  
Anonymous We haven't forgotten said...

What Wendy McCaw told us all:

"... I plan to leave the day-to-day management and editorial direction of our paper to the professionals who run it. An essential reason for buying the News-Press is to preserve its independence and integrity." 7-22-2000

"I respect the traditions of journalism and believe that the best way to run a paper is to hire good people and let them do their jobs, and that is exactly what I am doing." 7-19-2006

"We are in the process of hiring a new editor who is a strong journalist with impeccable credentials to be the buffer between the newsroom and the publisher." 7-25-2006

"While I don't believe that union representation is in the best interests of our employees, the paper or this community, I respect our employees' rights to make their own decisions." 7-25-2006

1/17/2008 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The front page news like Wendy P. McCaw Foundation gives a $1 million grant to sponsor Young America‘s Foundation is news worth printing. This other is socialist propaganda.

1/17/2008 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous 6:43 a.m., where were you when the film's producers made a public appeal for anyone, ANYONE, who was willing to speak on behalf of McCaw?

What, no guts to back up your anonymous empty words with saying them with conviction on film?

I'd like to see your face and look into your eyes when you say the words you wrote above. I'm thinking you'd come across as honestly as Scott Steepleton and Travis Armstrong did in two separate trials -- as big fat, yellow-belly liars.

So, just put some duct tape across your mouth and go about your day keeping your thoughts to yourself and do everyone a huge favor.

1/17/2008 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do the News Press apologists realize that the stories and reporters they allege carried so much bias were EDITED by the paper?

If their stuff was so biased, where were the editors (management) to stop it from hitting the page BEFORE it was published?

Why not hold those editors (managers) responsible for allowing biased news to be published?

The answer is obvious. The bias allegation was a ruse to illegally fire union supporters. The judge saw right through it.

To this day, has anyone on this blog or anywhere else offered one shred of evidence of bias by these reporters? Nope. Not one.

1/17/2008 12:12 PM  
Anonymous C U 3-7 said...

Who will do the movie review at the News-Press?

Not holding my breath, just feeling giddy.

1/17/2008 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yes! But only as long as she doesn't break the law, right?

1/17/2008 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Anonymous is almost right..almost as in atom bombs and hand grenades. If the New-Press was Wendy McCaw's sandbox she could kick everbody out and poo in it all she wants.

She is living proof that money does not confer common sense nor an understanding of objectivity. She chooses not to honor the concept of professional journalism and instead has turned the NP into a litter box soiled by petty editorials, personal vendettas and canned news. High school journalism students will use these past months as a textbook example of arrogant ownership rum amok.

It isn't a sandbox's a newspaper. At least it used to be.

1/17/2008 5:18 PM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

11;48 a.m.
FYI 6:43 a.m. is not the time keeper, I am.

Are you really so naive that you think there is only one news press supporter.

19 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3631 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.
Is anyone out there still holding his or her breath?

1/17/2008 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I repeat;

Would someone please tell us the name of the publisher and writer who did this movie?

1/17/2008 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Truth-will-out said...

Those who criticize the film haven't seen it!
now THAT is bias!

Wait and see; I've heard it's very factual, even uses her own quotes.

This IS an important story- hundreds of papers around the world have covered this story and will continue to cover it.

Congratulations to those with the courage to tell the story.

1/17/2008 7:30 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

7:03 AM -- follow the link! It's on the poster.

1/17/2008 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, 7:01, I guess you're right. My bad. I guess I really am naive.

I concede that there must be two of you.

And just in case you didn't hear, 50 more days until Wendy's reputation begins to get smeared in movie theaters all over the world. Enjoy.

1/17/2008 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Serious question: Why do you celebrate a sluggish legal system? Aren't you angry that justice is so slowly served - regardless of whose side you're on?

1/17/2008 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Documentaries and old classics. That's like comparing apples and oranges. If you don't like "Documentary" that's fine. I like both classics and documentary. I'm not a fan of Michael Moore's style. He represents what the market wants, not all documentary. I didn't see "Borat". If you already know you don't like something, don't go watch it so you can crank.

No film is for everyone. The people who are eager for this are ardent, for others it may clarify events. I think it would be terrific for Citizen McCaw to respond with her own documentary. For doc buffs The Premiere of "Citizen McCaw" is welcomed. 80 hours of footage was shot across the nation, starting soon after the 2006 meltdown. The integrity of those interviewed is commendable. This story needs to be told. It will continue.

Publisher? Ask the News-Press. The producers are in the Daily Sound. Wendy is quoted, you could say she's a writer.

1/17/2008 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one will go and see it, although i think the story would have made a better comedy ( maybe the documentay is a comedy type). The story of the NewsPress has all the makings of a great comedy. It's hard to come up with real life comedies that would translate on to film.... someone is missing a golden opportunity.
I vote for Goldie Hawn to play the role of McCaw but who should play the court jester?

1/17/2008 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bottomline: Wendy is the owner. And, you are not.

1/17/2008 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You misspelled bottom line. Your hasty typing characterizes your thinking.

1/18/2008 6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Little people love seeing Blonde Billionaires made unhappy.

It makes them happy to see what money may not be able to buy and justify their own unsuccess and lack of trying. They feel better thinking they can bring the Big Person down.

This is stock movie theme. And now we have a local version of this tired old hack film plot: little guys try to bring down the big guy. For virtue.

But there is no virtue destroying private property rights. Just like the city council did demanding 50% of new housing projects be dedicated "affordable".

That championing the little people who can't sacrifice and save ended up killing the housing market because developers found they could not make money selling housing that came with built in slackers occupying half their units.

If the little people here end up having the system destroy private property rights, everyone loses. Particularly the little people who think they have a moral right to suck off someone elses wealth.

Didn't someone make Robin Hood decades ago? Same old; same old.

1/18/2008 7:51 AM  
Blogger johnsanroque said...

Let’s see if I can summarize the situation here:

The News-Press has lost the basic legal battles.

Two judges said that Armstrong and Steepleton lied.

There is no one associated with journalism who has supported the News Press.

The News-Press slimed a nationally-respected editor on its front page with child pornography charges that no one believed.

The editor believes there is a cabal, evidently national in scope, out to get the News-Press.

But, several anonymous bloggers take satisfaction in the fact that McCaw is rich enough to drag out the appeals process to inflict maximum pain on the reporters that the hearing officer found to be fired illegally.

Did I get any of that wrong?

1/18/2008 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeffery Jones should play the court jester aka Nipper.

1/18/2008 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone said: "Bottomline: Wendy is the owner."

That is true! And as owner, Wendy has no say in whether her newsroom enjoys union representation. It's not her choice. It never was and never will be. That choice belongs to the workers there.

1/18/2008 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 7:51 AM ...

I for one did not want us to be in this situation... I did not want to see a blonde billionaire brought down. Quite the contrary, I was excited about local ownership and had the hope (nay, fantasy) that she was going to pump resources into the News-Press to make it a better newspaper.

I thought she was going to take a maternal attitude toward her employees. Instead, what we've gotten is Mommie Dearest.

She has pumped all of her resources into countless legal firms to make life miserable for a lot of those little people you talk about and, in the meantime, has let her newspaper — actually, OUR community newspaper — become a thin, vacuous, mean-spirited newsletter for animals.

I get no joy out of this. It pains me every day, and I just wish Wendy would try to mend a few of the million fences that she's splintered. But it is not in her. She declared "war" on her employees and anyone who supports them. How sad is that?

1/18/2008 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None of that's wrong, johnsanroque.

You could add that several (or a very few several times) anonymous bloggers ignore a century of labor law by insisting that McCaw can "do whatever she wants" with her employees.

Yes, it is her business, but employees have certain rights under labor law, and a judge has ruled that she violated the law. The aforesaid anonymous bloggers don't dispute that, they only revel in the ways she may be able to drag this out further.

Also, johnsanroque, if that's your real name I commend you. I can't use mine because I'm still involved in the situation.

The bloggers you mentioned -- why don't they use their names?
Fact is, I don't know the names of any of Wendy's supporters, other than the ones who are paid handsomely, like Capello, or "kept," like Nipper and Travis.

Many, many supporters of the employees are quite willing to be named and heard, for free, in many contexts, including nationally.

Yeah, Peter Noone (Herman's Hermit) was named in Vanity Fair as a Wendy supporter a year and a half ago. Where'd he go? Rob Lowe has never wished to comment.
Thus it is with social climbers, I guess -- true friends are thin on the ground.

1/18/2008 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John San Roque,

You got it right but it's not finished.

1/18/2008 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the new film will "Nipper" be Wendy's "Rosebud"?

1/18/2008 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if this film is aired it will be slander and defamation of character and the writer and the producer will finds their sorry ass in court. i hope they have millions of extra dollars to pay for lawyers over the next 10 years because they are going to end up broke even if they win the lawsuit.

What were they thinking?

1/18/2008 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proof that Bloga Barbara is biased against the News Press is the fact that Sara continuously posts a blog so that there is a new one every single week.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

1/18/2008 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:33 p.m.,

I have news for you..

There are a lot more in this town who like the news press than those who hate the News Press.

The reality is that the news press haters are just a tiny minority made up of left wing socialists who just can't stand our wonderful free market system.

1/18/2008 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Off-Leash Public Affairs said...

For a quick and low-budget version of the reaction to Citizen McCaw by the Teamsters, public, and Federal Administrative Law Judge, see the latest episode of Off-Leash Public Affairs.

This video especially highlights what the latest legal defeat really means.

Link on the commenter name here for the description and video at the OLPA website, or see it on cable TV-17 Saturday morning at 0930, and Sunday night at 8 pm, and Monday night at 6:30 pm (schedule at the website).

1/18/2008 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:51 am

I am not sure you even know what the word slacker means. Even units deemed affordable in the SB market are still pretty darned expensive. If working 2 jobs to pay rent and eat means your a slacker in your book, then what in your vocabulary defines a person who isn't a slacker? Nobody is asking for a handout when they still will end up with a pretty steep mortgage payment every month, even with a designated affordable unit. Are you just jealous because your big fat paycheck doesn't qualify you for any breaks? It doesn't make you a harder worker or a better person, just more rich and a bigger snob.

1/18/2008 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, johnsanroque, you omitted the Rob Lowe situation, pertinent to the child pornography situation that the News-Press created in a front-page article. Even though the News-Press did that, McCaw disciplined a reporter for publishing Rob Lowe's address, and Rob Lowe had a child pornography conviction:

Here are excerpts from the July, 1989 article on Lowe from the LA Times.

Actor Rob Lowe will perform community service in Los Angeles to avoid prosecution on charges that he videotaped a girl performing a sex act at an Atlanta hotel during the 1988 Democratic National Convention, the prosecutor in the Georgia city said Saturday.

Lowe had faced a possible criminal charge of sexual exploitation of a minor, with a maximum 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, said Dist. Atty. Lewis R. Slaton.

Lowe, 25, and his father met with Slaton on Friday, almost a year after he allegedly taped the sex scene between Jan Parsons, who was 16 at the time, and a female companion.

"I needed to talk to him to size him up to see if he was OK for the program," Slaton said. "I felt the young man fit in, but I had to be sure of his attitude."

Lowe will work 20 hours with disadvantaged youths in Los Angeles-area schools and "stay out of trouble," for two years, Slaton said, adding that terms of the program will be worked out in the next few weeks. The agreement was part of the state's pretrial intervention program, "a hybrid alternative" to prosecution for young, nonviolent first offenders, Slaton said.

Lowe, who is currently making a film in Los Angeles, remains the subject of a civil suit brought by Parsons' mother, who claims the actor seduced her daughter.

1/18/2008 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey timekeeper,

Only 3631 more days until Wendy has to pay backpay to 6 journalists for 3631 + ~540 (1.5 years) days. Man, I wish I was one of them, I could sit back for 10 years and either do nothing or earn double pay, all on Wendy's dime. I wish I could see the look on her face as she writes the checks to these journalists that she so hates, for work that was never performed.

1/18/2008 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meanwhile McCaw's News-Press TV covers the entire speech of Hilary Clinton at UCSB last night and is seen on the web by tens of thousands of viewers. I think you underestimate the Wendy.

1/18/2008 4:37 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

10:16 AM -- are you saying I control the flow of news? What a compliment!

There were a few other posts this week (they aren't called blogs as BB is one) should check those out as well.

And...the Lowe stuff is getting old! We know what he did and the background by now!

1/18/2008 6:18 PM  
Anonymous liar liar pants on fire said...

Anon at 10:13 warns of libel and defamation.

But truth is an absolute defense.
she said she'd keep her hands off the news part of the paper. she didn't.

she said she'd hire a great new editor. she didn't.

she said she'd honor workers' desires if they unionized. she didn't.

she's a liar, but a rich one who spends money on lawyers.

1/18/2008 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Willima Randolph Hearst said...

How did Wendy make her money? Was it from a long distinguished career as a journalist, editor and then publisher. Right? Oh no...that's right she married a billionaire then divorced him and took him for millions of dollars in the divorce settlement and then bought a newspaper as a hobby to promote her views. enough said...

1/18/2008 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 10:19 AM ...

I am not a News-Press hater, but I certainly don't like what it has become ... a mostly news-less periodical.

I am not a left-wing socialist, but I'm not a Libertarian, either. I am a Republican. So are millions of others.

I do not hate the free-market system. I, in fact, love it.

I love it because the consumer has ultimate control over the market place. The consumer can speak directly to an owner about the business he or she is running.

There has been an unprecedented 25 percent decline in circulation at the News-Press within the last year and a half. The consumer has spoken, my friend.

1/18/2008 11:25 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

To the strangly Anonymous Wendy believers: You people are scary.. as in "I like Rev Jim Jones and his Kool-Aid" kind of scary.

And Anonymous 8:33 p.m.: "Left wing socialists who can't stand our free market system?" Astounding, truly astounding narrow-minded thinking. A newspaper is NOT a box of Tinker Toys.

Basic rights are being ignored here; elitist standards are being set by Wendy and enforced by Travis "sorry I can't talk right now 'cause my lips are Gorilla Glued to Wendy's ass" Armstrong. Honorable practices and ethics are routinely ignored here. It's as if their true goal is turning the NP into the Whoopie Cushion of journalism.

And to all of you brave, Anonymous supporters of's easy to spew from a hidey spot. Grow a pair.

1/18/2008 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lowe stuff is much less old than the whole News-Press story, Sara. There has never been a thread here devoted to the details of Lowe's law breaking, while there continue to be many threads devoted to the News-Press itself.

Many of the details of McCaw's, Steepleton's, and Armstrong's actions got reposted ad nauseum, far many more times than the Lowe info.

Lowe's lawbreaking was rarely discussed until recently, similarly for the fact that Wendy's suppression of Lowe's address was the suppression of the address of someone who produced child pornography.

As uncomfortable as that fact is, discussion of it will never grown stale until the News-Press acknowledges its mistake.

The community deserves to know the address and history of Rob Lowe. That is not to say that he deserves further punishment, or that he is a bad person. Parents deserve the information to prudently regulate the contact of their children with the Lowe family.

If Lowe had honestly dealt with his lawbreaking, he would never have argued to suppress his address. He knows that all community parents need to know his record and his address to take their own precautions.

That he argued to suppress his address shows he doesn't get it, he is still in denial and/or he thinks he never really did something unlawful and of grave consequence.

As for McCaw, she is playing a long waiting game, hoping the community forgets... what is it, time lends respect to whores, politicians, and swindlers?

1/19/2008 7:01 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Mike -- if I wasn't laughing so hard I might have rejected your comment. That's quite an image.:) Was it necessary? Maybe not....

7:01 AM -- there have been a few Rob Lowe-related posts, mainly about the address issue. The background on what happened in Georgia has been reviewed ad nauseum in my opinion.... especially on recent comments in the last week or so. I see where you are coming from, however, and appreciate you wanting people to know the truth.

1/19/2008 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One can only hope time mitigates the meaness and the pettiness of the fired reporters and they move on to new lives too.

But since they show they are incapable of forgiving or forgetting anything, it appears their own lives will be mired in self-rightous muck as long as they live.

They are the ones who need to "grow a pair" and rethink what it means to be a hired employee instead of a business owner.

Wait for the final court ruling and then see what the law does for this dreary situation. Just stop whining now. You are getting very irritating. Move on.

1/19/2008 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:13: "if this film is aired it will be slander and defamation of character and the writer and the producer will finds their sorry ass in court."

First, anon, you haven't seen the film, so you have no idea whether there is anything slanderous or defamatory in the film.

Second, of course, Wendy's lawyers are more apt to file suit and ask questions later, as long as there's something offensive to Wendy in the film, regardless of whether it's libelous. That is her and their m.o., which is why they lose in court most of the time. Mark my words, Wendy's suit against Sue Paterno is about to go down in flames, with Wendy paying Paterno's lawyers.

Which brings me to my third point. If The Wendy Warriors do file suit -- and they may have a large number of potential defendants to choose from, in addition to the producers, writers and other contributors -- they will face an anti-SLAPP motion to beat the band, and she will hardly get to first base before the ACLU, the SB Lawyers' Alliance, and others are all over her and their sorry ass to toss it out of court and make her pay their fees. So, while she may not care about wasting her money, she won't get to intimidate and burden people involved in this film for very long. That's what anti-SLAPP is all about.

Fourth, exactly what negative remark could be said about Wendy these days that would be libelous (i.e., maliciously untrue)? She is a public figure, in the midst of a labor dispute, so her challengers would have to be found to have deliberately or recklessly told a lie about her. But not only did two judges find Steepleton and Armstrong to be liars; Judge Kocol found Wendy herself to be a liar. And she certainly has broken the law, both through her minions and hatchet man, Steepleton ("SS" is an appropriate set of initials for that fella), and personally as well. So, there are few names and epithets affixed to Wendy now that won't stick. If there were no anti-SLAPP law to make fast work out of suits like the ones we can anticipate from Wendy, it would almost be fun delving into her closets to prove every last negative allegation and opinion ring true.

1/19/2008 9:42 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

9:42 am -- let's leave out the SS comment next time!

1/19/2008 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the filmmaker's previous credits is "Good to Great," inspired by Jim Collins' best selling management book about how good companies become great.

Citizen McCaw is a film about a business heading south, bringing the Teamsters to Santa Barbara, dumping local news and commentary with 20% of readers quitting, and spending a fortune on lawyers in losing cases.

If the News-Press was owned by the New York Times or another rational business owner, wouldn't McCaw and von Whatever have been fired by now?

1/19/2008 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The five writers are going to be sued for slander and defamation if character.
it does not matter who wins the suit.
All that matters is that the writers are going to be forced to each spend $100,000 of their money on lawyers to defend themselves, and to be subjected to a few years of emotional upset and worry.

This is exactly what they deserve!

1/19/2008 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Sara...I'll try to cut down on the explicit imagery in the future. But it's really hard sometimes. Example of why:

As in Anon 8:00 a.m.'s "..rethink what it means to be a hired employee instead of a business owner." Hmmm. How to explain it? In person one could talk slower so the Wendy folks would have a better chance at understanding a concept they clearly struggle with.

Okay, try this: from the Los Angeles Magazine: "Print journalists like to brag about the notion that a newspaper is a “public trust. For all the self-righteousness that accompanies the phrase, it still means something." And this "Thomas M. Storke, publisher and owner of the News-Press for much of the 20th century, put it: “The interests of the people must come before those of the publisher and his newspaper. To me it is a fact that if the public benefits, so does the newspaper.'

The magazine goes on to say: "The idea of public trust means that a newspaper is more than a business, that in some essential sense it is owned by the community it covers. Therefore the writers and editors who work there owe their allegiance not to the person who signs their checks but to the person who reads the paper. That’s the idea, anyway."

You see, Anon 8:00 a.m., this is the idea that Wendy, Travis and y'all just don't get, and from the sounds of it, never will.

(Offered as a helpful tool: If you Google 'Journalism for Dummies,' it brings up 227,000 entries. There should be something for any of our journalism-challenged friends).

1/19/2008 3:03 PM  
Blogger budlawman said...

Anon 8:00 a.m. -- The reporters who have been unjustly treated should just "move on"? Take their licks because they are mere "petty" servants of Her Imperial Highness, who, by virtue of her wealth and capital has the power -- not the right -- to run roughshod over their rights and the public interest in seeing to it that collective bargaining is part of this country's fabric?

Is that really your view of justice? Does it matter to you that Wendy and her management have been found to have "flagrantly" violated the law and exhibited a "widespread disregard for the rights of the SBNP's employees"? They have a right as "hired employees" to reinstatement, and just as much of a right to bring their plight to the public's attention as does Wendy to downplay it and you to ignore it. But those who ignore such severe injustices acquiesce in a raw and unfettered power that has no place in a civil society.

Is it OK to discriminate on the basis of race, gender or ethnic origin? McCaw's lawyers have made arguments to the NLRB -- e.g., that being compelled to reinstate the reporters would violate the SBNP's First Amendment rights -- that, if adopted, would immunize it from having to comply with any such anti-discrimination laws, at least with respect to its newsroom. Is that the society you want to live in? That's the one Wendy McCaw would like to bring to you.

1/19/2008 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The film is just a rehash of what has been on Channel 17 for the past year and a half. I don't think it will be any more interesting seeing Melinda Burns, Dawn Hobbs and friends with duct tape over their mouths on a big screen than on TV.

1/19/2008 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Huey Chapala said...

So now we should blame the victims. According to Anon 8:00 a.m. the employees who were wrongly fired and publicly disparaged are 'mean and petty' and should just "move on".

It never fails to fascinate how we always hear this from those who attempt to deflect culpability and shift it onto the victims of their mistreatment. It is a transparent and shopworn tactic.

The time is coming for accountability,consequences and penalties for illegal behavior. It is the perpetrator who should be punished, not the victims.

1/19/2008 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duct tape must do one heck of an upper lip wax.

1/19/2008 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Sara and the bloggers who added the comments about Rob Lowe: I have followed the News-Press mess religiously but didn't know the skinny about Rob Lowe until I read it here.
To the blogger who believes the film will be "slander and defamation." First, slander is the spoken form of defamation. Redundancy aside, I remind all that a true allegation is not defamatory. In other words, Truth is an absolute defense to defamation.
The the pro-McCaw bloggers who repeat the argument that it's Ms. McCaw's paper and she can do whatever she wants. Carried to its logical conclusion, does this argument mean Ms. McCaw could execute workers who violated her peculiar notions of bias? "Off with their heads." These people can't seem to get their heads around the fact that we are a nation of laws. Like all of us, Ms. McCaw must respect those laws or suffer the consequences. These comments add nothing to the debate.
To the blogger who would cast Goldie Hawn as Ms. McCaw. Brilliant. I would suggest Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Von Wiesenberger.
Enough said

1/19/2008 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the NewsPress haters fail to see is Wendy took the job of being a public trust very seriously.

She felt the past writers were violating that public trust. Her readers let her know the same, as she stated many, many times.

As a subscriber, I also saw the public trust was being violated by the former writers.

So don't assume Wendy has violated any sense of public trust .She hasn't. It is just that she did not trust "you". And there is ample evidence to support her opinion.

Find a new horse to beat. Wendy as owner gets to define what public trust means.

What about that last sentance do you still choose to not understand?

A public trust also includes following federal labor laws so until this legal matter gets its final resolution in the courts, give your posturing a rest. But all it doesright now, is expose you as the exact partisan, biased reporter Wendy and her readers wanted to get rid of.

I trusted Wendy to clean up the paper. And she has. I am a member of the public. Your problem is you think only you gets to define what public trust means. Wendy has not violated any public trust.

In fact, Wendy's and TA's exposee's have finally been a step in the right direction exercising public trust and voters in the last election agreed resoundingly.

Brian Barnwell violated the public trust and he got canned. And we can thank the NewsPress for getting this right. I trust them and so did thousands of voters. I look forward to more hard-hitting local political stories and a heck of a lot more new faces on the city council. Because public trust is important.

Your version of public trust is an echo chamber for your own prejudices.

1/19/2008 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Anonymous 7:49

Your right. "Public Trust" is an essential issue in this long running discussion about the newsSuppress.

Let's assume that as a matter of 'public trust' your on target and Wendy truly felt the rats, and pigs, were getting a bum rap when compared to what her reporters wrote regarding the eagles and foxes on Santa Cruz Island... where, I ask you is the public trust now?

Wendy is showing us a public world where money and legal guns are all that matters. We know she's got all the money and lawyers she needs to keep it up. She buys the law. It doesn't matter what people get in her way.

She's got the money, the newspaper, and more power than than rest of us.

This is George Orwell world we've read about where some piggies are more equal than others.

Wendy is making a big mistake to not make any gestures to the "Public Trust" and to speak only the language of money and power.

Somebody ought to tell Wendy about soft power and the public trust.

She seems to like a fight where she can hurt and destroy weaker people. Ugly. Very ugly. What exactly is this public trust principle she is defending?

Somebody ought to teach her about the "Public Trust" and Pyrrhic Victories. You can win the battle but lose the war for public trust.

What about the value of public confidence?

1/20/2008 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goldie Hawn playing the role of Wendy McCaw! now thats a movie i would go see.

1/20/2008 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 7:49 ...

You blend Wendy's fight against City Hall with her fight against her own staff? They are two very different, unrelated things. Or are you suggesting a conspiracy pact formed between the mayor/council and the News-Press writers? If so, where do the UFOs and aliens come into play in this theory?

And you repeated Wendy's mantra about "bias" again. OK, for the millionth time, I'll bite ... What bias? Seriously. I would like some examples.

Bias against coyotes? Feral pigs? Trees on State Street? Did I cover it all, or is there more? Please, I am truly serious about wanting to know about this bias of which you speak.

1/20/2008 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One aspect of the public trust is the archives the News-Press has... the full record of paper editions back to the 1800's, all the photographic plates, etc.

Those are the history of our community.

Wendy McCaw owns them. She has the right to destroy them or sell them to a South African investor who would keep them in a vault as an investment.

But IMHO, if she did, she would be violating the public trust.

Now if she wants to turn a profit on access to the archives, that is certainly within the range of her priviledge.

One terrific occurrence has been the availability of the full archive of the NY and LA Times via the internet, via subscription.

One can only hope that Wendy invests some of her billion to make that possible for the SBNP archives (and News and Press archives) someday. Fine if she wants to charge for access.

In the here and now, the News-Press is not recording at a reasonable level the news in our community that is going on right now. Heard any news from the Goleta San lately? It is no longer a fair approximation of the newspaper of record. A future researcher will have to get access to the Indy, SM Times, Noozhawk, etc.

1/20/2008 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Don Jose de la Guerra, who asks, rhetorically, what exactly is the public trust Ms. McCaw is defending.
The answer, simply, is the public trust according to Ms. McCaw. Indeed, very Orwellian.
Separately, has any commentator noted that the Kocal decision is undoubtedly the worst defeat of Barry Cappello's legal career? His firm was involved in every step of this process, including having an attorney present when those reporters were terminated. The wholesale repudiation of the legal arguments he presented must have been a significant blow to his firm and to his ego.

1/20/2008 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Anon 7:49 and pals--

Unbelieveable! "Wendy as owner gets to define what public trust means." Actually, should be no real surprize...but as Raymond's dad would say: Holy Crap!

Where did you learn your civics? Where did you hear that one person's opinion carries more weight than that of the public? Oh, never mind...I almost forgot. Wendy has a lot of money and she owns the NP. THAT allows her to set a different moral standard for herself.

Remember Joseph Pulitzer? His name is associated today with U.S. journalism's highest award, the Pulitzer Prizes (that's for the benefit of the Wendy groupies). In 1904, he published an article titled "The College of Journalism" in The North American Review. In it he said ""Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together," Pulitzer wrote. "An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery. A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself. The power to mould the future of the Republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations."

"A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." 104 years ago a man described as a "visionary" in journalism described what we see in SB today...a demagogic owner with her own agenda and without scruples in how she completes it.

Wendy McCaw has built a very tall, very thick wall between herself and the "public." She has surrounded herself with people who have no will but hers. Her definition of "public trust" was created in a vacum devoid of any opinion but hers. And the fact that she has money, power and owns the NP does not grant her any special ability to define anything.

All said, Anon et al., I know this won't change your mind or Wendy's. But take care anyway. The next time you see Wendy, don't drink the Kool-Aid.

1/20/2008 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the public who keeps demanding the NewsPress be a "public trust", then get the public to step up to the plate and buy it.

Otherwise, it remains Wendy's property, lock, stock, plates and barrel.

Land trusts buy land they feel belong in the public trust. Why is a paper anything different? Who else was bidding on the NewsPress when Wendy wrote her local check for the paper? Was one of them a publically funed public trust?

If my memory serves me, Wendy rescued the NewsPress from being purchased by some national tabloid chain.

I am sure the stalwart fired writers would have also howled at the change of direction that would have gone as well. And quit. And be defended by large corporate interests as well.

And to the fired writer who keeps bleeting for examples of bias, when you are handed them on a silver platter in prior posts you scream bloody murder that they are not examples of bias.

Kind of puts a chill on further discussion so you will get none further. Take my word for it, you are fatally biased as every word you write here drips with your self-inflicted corruption of neutrality.

Wendy's paper is doing just fine. You all need to start reading it again. It is coming back just fine. Readers are happy and Wendy is happy. Sounds good to me.

Let the liberal lefties who infected the prior NewsPress who found harbor in the Independent and its endorsement of lightweight Obama find refuge together.

Thank goodness they are not writing the political headlines in today's NewsPress. We get neutrality and balance at the new NewsPress. Thank you, Wendy.

Now excuse me while I go gag at having to keep repeating myself over and over again to the continual anti-Wendy bait that will not quit here. Shame on me for continuing to respond to it. But it just does not seem fair to have this sordid voice keep rehashing and rehashing the same old issues ad nauseum. So I nauseate.

1/20/2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is just so very sad. Mrs McCaw could have invested her money in making a huge difference in the world & our community by helping the less fortunate, whether human (probably not) or animal.

Instead of being honored & respected, she is laughed at & reviled by so many who live here.

It really has less to do with the NP as an institution, but much more to do with how she treats people.

1/20/2008 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

9:33AM Anonymous...(another late sleeper!)

Excellent, truly excellent point to have thought of the archives at the Newspress!!

There is a idea that needs to come to fruition. Let's get those archives on line...all of it in an easily accessible searchable database.

Wendy...there you have it! Here's a way to do something really good for the community. You can garner a little public confidence. Put the SBNP archives online for anyone and everyone to use.

I can overlook a few stumbles if you get busy quickly.

Otherwise it's the old prison under the County Courthouse for you dear.

1/20/2008 3:19 PM  
Anonymous David Pritchett said...

Tickets for this film really cost $18. No place, including Arlington Theater Box Office, sells the tix for less than a $3 surcharge for the privilege of them taking your money.

Still, I bought the tix considering the source of the production and their nearly volunteer efforts so far.

Just advertise they cost $18, cuz no place sells them for the face value.

1/20/2008 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 1:26 ...

You were responding to me, and so I should tell you that I am NOT a fired reporter. I still work for Wendy — as scary as that may be. The surveillance and air of oppression there is unbelievable, but I am not here to whine about that -- I desperately need the paycheck and so it's my choice. So far, anyway.

But forgive me, I have not read these claims of bias in prior posts. All I've heard about is claims of reporters being "anti-coyote, anti-feral pig, anti-Rob Lowe, and anti-State Street tree." So I'm asking, is that it? Seriously. Or did I miss something else? If that's it, then it's a tempest in a teapot.

And don't give me crap about Barnwell and those other so-called "socialists" because they never worked for the News-Press, and even Barnwell's wife quit the paper -- she is not among the fired of whom you speak or part of any legal proceedings.

And by the way, your lack of sensitivity and dismissal of a large number of good, hard-working people (I know because I know them and you don't) is truly sad.

You should be ashamed of yourself for supporting such a destructive and mean-spirited person as Wendy McCaw, especially since she has the resources to make a positive difference in the lives of people — and not just coyotes and feral pigs.

1/20/2008 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say the former reporters "bleet" ... for examples of bias, when ... handed them on a silver platter in prior posts [then] scream bloody murder that they are not examples of bias.

I haven't seen those posts.

Could you please list on this thread some of the examples of bias to which you allude, for those of us don't have time to sift back? Perhaps you could list the dates of these alleged posts?


Genuinely Curious

1/20/2008 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see, there are 34 special districts in Santa Barbara County. 8 cities. A University of California and an Air Force Base. The Chumash. A huge national forest and a lot of State parks and beaches.

81 County boards and commissions.

The News-Press hasn't covered those well in the 20 years I've been here, but since July 2006 the situation has been completely atrocious.

When you look at the archives, there was quite frequently a few pages per week just devoted to all those entities.

Now if the News-Press systematically covered all those entities, with a 50 word or 100 word report on each meeting, and once yearly in-depth reports on the budget process for each entity, I'd be really impressed.

Many other local newspapers have a page devoted to local law enforcement: a few arrests over the past few weeks, the census of folks in jail, stuff like that. Never seen that here.

1/20/2008 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trouble is, Wendy wants it both ways. She wants people to believe she is operating the newspaper in an ethical manner, and thus, she will accept the concept of a "public trust" in the abstract. But in reality, before the NLRB and other venues, she says this is my paper and no one will tell me I don't have a right to stick my nose into any area I want to, including telling the reporters to be consistent in their news reporting with her bias, to tell the business reporters to find and write stories that promote the businesses of present and potential advertisers, and to publish the press releases of politicians she favors. She has all of those rights, but if she exercises them -- as she apparently has -- she loses the ability to claim the "high road" of journalistic integrity, and hence, her paper's value and credibility sink, just as has the credibility of her main flacks, Steepleton and Armstrong.

She has mouthed the words about leaving the news reporting to the pros; her own expert at the NLRB hearing, John Irby, agreed that the newspaper should be a "public trust"; she claims she has entrepreneurial rights she chooses not to exercise, but she has also made it clear that if you don't toe the line, if you are not perfectly loyal (meaning not a hint of criticism or negativity or disagreement), you are gone.

That is not the law, that is not ethical, that is not healthy for a newspaper or most other institutions, and it is internally contradictory. None of this really came to light until she decided to be co-publisher, losing the buffer that kept her at a safe arm's length. Once she became publisher, her meddling became a problem for all the world to see, and while she has the right to do so, she has undermined the credibility of her institution, devalued her business, and it has been left to the reporters to try to restore that credibility through their efforts.

1/20/2008 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. You claim prior to circa 2006, the NewsPress covered local politics and has not after.

And what we got with all that former "unbiased" NewsPress political coverage was a pack of bleeding heart socialists running the town into the ground.

Yet, after the NewsPress stopped covering local politics, voters finally tossed out one of the scoundrals and gave two more of them a real run for the money.

I'd say we are doing just fine in this town without all that former biased local political coverage.

The voters are the only local political show to cover anyway, and they spoke loud and clear this last election.

Thank goodness the former news tyranny of the left in the old NewsPress has been sent packing.

PS. No job is worth hating as much as you claim. Change your heart, before your body betrays you stuffing down all the vitriol.

1/20/2008 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 6:48: Wendy McCaw doesn't believe in blotter-style journalism. The prior regime (Roberts, Foulsham, Hulse et al.) was about lazy pro forma reporting mixed with personal bias.

Since mid-2006, the journalism in the News-Press has turned a spotlight on institutions rather than reporting meetings or agendas. The News-Press is no longer the personal ideological playground of reporters and editors, it is an organ of honest and straightforward journalism that had been lacking in Santa Barbara. The community is better for it.

1/20/2008 10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UH, Council and board meetings are where items are voted by the. These are the things that affect the citizens of the community, or don't you understand how government works? So what if there was a changing of the guard at the council? That happens every few years anyway. It is part of how democracy works. Don't give yourself so much credit. This group will be voted out in a few years to. It is just the natural cycle of democracy and that is why it works.

Reporting the facts and different sides of the issues may seem boring to the current regime, but it is how truth is deseminated most accurately to the people so they can make educated decisions. That is one way the public trust is maintained and it is responsible journalism. Witch hunts by newspapers, like what 10:56pm and 9:46pm suggest, were common during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was called yellow journalism, remember W. R. Hearst. The one sided agenda of the NP management insults the intelligence of the citizens that the newspaper serve.

1/21/2008 5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anons 9:46 and 10:56, you miss the point. We can argue all day long about the accuracy, fairness and impact of the News-Press' unalterable editorial stances, which include despising Marty Blum and certain of her colleagues on the council, the "pull up the ladder" view of development and immigration, the pandering about crime in the City, the attempt to please the wealthy conservative few with Dr. Laura and fluffy pieces about gossip and yachts. The question is, how do we make sure that that permissible bias in columns does not infect the NP's news coverage, including coverage of itself and its prominent personalities, such that the reporters have to watch their backs and the readers have to question the reportage? That is what changed with Wendy's invasion of news coverage.

1/21/2008 6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 9:46 and 10:56 ...

I see. Thanks for clearing that up. As long as the News-Press bashes people and institutions with whom you disagree, it is a great newspaper.

Wow. Are you sure you wouldn't rather live in Iran or South Korea rather than the United States of America?

1/21/2008 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I meant North Korea.

1/21/2008 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

Today's (January 21, 2008) Newspress has one local story (what would you do with your tax rebate?), one "man-on-the-street interview about cloned beef, and two obvious verbatim printings of press releases. That's it! Whether one is a supporter or detractor of the Santa Barbara Newspress, by any measure of quality, such a dearth of local news is a rather sad journalistic display. Such diminished quality can only speak to the lack of talents and abilities of publisher and editorial staff. By any objective standard, this newspaper is of the lowest quality, which is sad for our town.

1/21/2008 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "yatching" column you dismiss as fluff for the wealthy is in fact an extremely interesting column. I thought it would be too narrowly focused too when it first appeared. But since we are a coastal city and the sea plays a large part of our history this column has been a rich, deep, interesting and surprising addition to understanding our heritage on the South Coast.

So your knee-jerk reaction and class envy bias rejecting this column out of hand without savoring and reading it (it is very well written stylistically as well) shows how much that old attitude had infected the former NewsPress, and the writers did not even know they were doing it.

Their bias so permeated their very being they lost all ability to be balanced, curious and objective.

It was like the incumbents of the all "progressive" Democratic city council looking around at each other and claiming they thought they were a pretty diverse group of individuals. Gag. They simply could not see past their own limited sense of entitlement and bias.

Dressing up their bias as virtue and public trust reminds me of patriotism being the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Drop this whole public trust violation argument, because it fails to serve the protesters well at all. You don't own the paper and you do not get to decide what public trust is until you go.

Readers decide and anyone who claims the "yatching" column is nothing but fluff is sure not going to decide what is in the best interests of public trust for me.

1/21/2008 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps, according to a recent KEYT Channel 3 broadcast and Edhat, Mr. Cappello and associates cannot lick their SBNP wounds too long - it seems they must turn their attention to a local well-heeled nursing home administrator's woes. Sad and ill-informed (intentionally?) when Cappello's office found it neccessary to impugn an 'Oxnard' attorney - as if taking up the cause of abused elders is some kind of turf war....aren't attorneys licensed in CA able to practice anywhere in the State? Further, his office was quoted as saying, amoung other vitrolic things, that these cases were filed to "collect fees"... the truth is elder abuse, medical malpractice and other types of cases are straight contingency (meaning no recovery if the case is lost, and the plaintiff's attorney bears all expenses) -- as such, these cases expose a plaintiff's attorney to the risk of significant financial loss. The CA legislature has passed important legislation to encourage attorneys to take these cases, and to make the settlements thereof a matter of public information for sound, well-thought out reasons. Public policy and the safeguarding of our vulnerable seniors demands nothing less. We will all be there soon enough, and in increasing numbers.

1/21/2008 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Anon 10:56:

Thought you were refraining from further comment--I'm glad you couldn't keep quiet. The loss of your sycophantic bleatings (the correct spelling, by the way) would cut into my daily reality check. It's raised my level of awareness that even in Santa Barbara bigotry, insensivity and greed exist at surprising levels; that they are embraced by so many people supporting Wendy McCaw.

Employees have a right to seek Union representation without fearing reprisal 10:56. The fact that many besides you recognize this and are willing to fight for it is heartening. The fact that they need to is sad.

The hypocracy factor is off the charts 10:56. You can't claim obecivity and practice bias. While it is likely true that no reporter can fully keep personal opinion out of their writing, I do believe the fired NP staff made a very serious effort to do so. Their is NO doubt the current editorial staff isn't even trying. Quite the opposite.

10:56, your convenient cross mixing of issues (NP and city politics) is self serving. But I see where it makes sense for you. It allows you to ball all your bile up and throw it around so it bounces off as many honorable people as possible. You've found a soul mate in Wendy.

FYI: Look in a mirror; your nose is dirty and I don't think it's dirt.

P.S. to Anon 6:38, 1/20. Good luck. Your're in a tough spot and I admire you for the effort

1/21/2008 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did Wendy want to leave her computers vulnerable?

1/21/2008 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:56 if the News-Press is taking on institutions, why does it ignore coverage of 98% of those institutions?

The coverage of UCSB has been embarassingly weak.

The coverage of the Goleta Water District has been absurd... they tripled a lot of people's rates at the end of last year, and hardly a peep in the News-Press.

They did cover the Frimpong trial pretty well, but really, who cares compared to tripling rates and taxes.

Sure there has been a lot of huffing and puffing from the editorial page. Fine, the op-ed page is a good place to huff and puff from.

But if that was all there were, it would be called an `Opedpaper', not a `Newspaper'. Or change the name to the `Santa Barbara Opinion and Editorial Press', from the `Santa Barbara News-Press'.

There needs to be news in a newspaper. Fine if they cover the Vector Control District and the Montecito San and the Cuyama Rec from a right-wing or libertarian or pro-coyote viewpoint.

But for goodness sakes, the News-Press should at least cover those institutions to let people know how their tax money is being spent and what decisions are being considered and taken!

I must say the News-Press from 1987 (when I moved here) to 2006 was really not very good at covering local stuff, although it was way, way better than it is now.

When I've read in the archives from 1946-1964, there was a lot more and better coverage of the basic insitutions that define our local community. There was also a good Goleta Newspaper (was it the Citizen-Gazette?) run by a good guy (Buffum?) who moved to the LA Times back then too.

Now maybe the reporters fired by McCaw were not the very best possible, and maybe they had a left-wing slant. If McCaw really wanted to get to a terrific final product she has chosen a completely ineffectual route. The News-Press is less informative now than the high-school newspapers.

1/21/2008 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Cat Lover said...

Where can I read The "yatching" column?

"Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both. Now, when I say question the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problem of racism, the problem of exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated." MLK DAY

1/21/2008 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use to count on Travis Armstrong and Dr. Laura to support the McCaw position.
This is not the time for them to clam up. Mineards might be Wendy's choice, I'd like them all to do a movie review and state their bias.
They could attend the premiere with good sportsmanship. The bias of ignoring the obvious is too Mussolini or Kim Jong-il.

1/21/2008 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please help me understand how the front page smear against jerry roberts re child porn on a used computer used by many people was honest journalism?

"Since mid-2006, the journalism in the News-Press has turned a spotlight on institutions rather than reporting meetings or is an organ of honest and straightforward journalism that had been lacking in Santa Barbara." 1/20/2008 10:56 PM

1/21/2008 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 11:25 AM and anyone else who is willing to accept the drivel that the old News-Press and its reporters weren't very good (at least since 1987) ...

Well, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the Associated Press News Executives Council and several other organizations put together judging panels consisting of the top journalists and editors around and bestowed countless awards on the old News-Press newswriters (like Hadley and Hobbs), and photographers (like Eliason, Malone and Maldonado) and sportswriters (like Patton and Zant).

And there was no leftist slant in any of it. The last thing an award-winning journalist would do is lean in any direction -- if you're not objective, there's no way they'll give you an award.

So Nipper or Travis or whoever you are, stop posting this crud.

1/21/2008 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Sadly, it occurs that those good folks still working at the NP can't watch the movie. If Travis will stalk the aisles of a courtroom taking names, he'll certainly have somebody taking pictures at every screening of the movie. So, if those who remain wish to keep working they can't attend. Hope someone supplies them with an opportunity for a private viewing or a copy.

As for Dr. Laura and Travis' visible lack of public support, at first I was a little surprised. Travis has certainly broken some land-speed records in his nauseating efforts to ingratiate himself with Wendy (NOTE: But as much as I disagree with him, I don't wish to see him hurt. Shouldn't Wendy buy some brake lights and turn signals to wear around her waist so TA can avoid breaking his neck in a rear-end collision?)

Then it occured to me that even rats will eventually desert a sinking ship. Why should these two be any different?

1/21/2008 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fluff in the old NewsPress was that absurd Gina A-List nonsense and that fawning Smilgas chick's celebrity worship. That was fluff for "high society"; not Minard's at least factual personal bits and support for local events.

Thank goodness both Gina and Smilgas are no longer ruining this town and this newspaper.

They ranked among the lowest - there was a time when the past NewsPress tried to compete with being a front page skin flick. There is little to be proud in the old NewsPress.

Some here are having bad memory problems. The public trust was violated in the bad old days of the NewsPress. I don't see why people are still getting this all backwards.

Just because a few writers hated their boss and complained about not running the paper the way they wanted does not mean a public trust was violated. Reign in your hyperbole.

1/21/2008 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:36pm sorry, you've overreacted. There was surely some good reporting at the News-Press. However, even 1987-2006, the overall reporting and organization of the Newspaper was really not so good. There may have been some terrific specific reporters, but the overall coordination showed a shocking lack of knowledge of how the major institutions in this community really worked.

Maybe the News-Press got the Santa Barbara City Council covered, but there are just so many boards and districts in this County.

Boy, now Bob Sollen's coverage of the APCD in the archives, that was impressive. Circa 1975.

Local government is exceedingly complex and Balkanized here. It takes real work to decode it. A State newspaper organization would never appreciate that. Their awards (for a Newspaper in the size range of the News-Press) are nice, but somewhat irrelevant to what really counts.

THe current News-Press is godawful. Don't call me a fellow traveler of the ****'s who now run that place.

1/22/2008 7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:08 PM I'd also like to hear more about the front page smear against jerry roberts re child porn on a used computer used by many people as honest journalism.

Wendy does what she wants. She wants the entire story and the child victims left hanging. So much for her claims to care for the children.

Dr. Laura is a child advocate, it's her number one passion. I know she writes a local column and about abortion, has she taken up the child victims of porn and abuse? Wendy or the lawyers want Dr. Laura to wimp out.

Around our water cooler, we're excited to see the film. We get a few laughs from the useless Wendy trolls that don't produce back up. Since Wendy won't allow an official N-P review, their comments will again be pointless.

1/22/2008 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The former News-Press regime received journalism awards from some of the same self-important, left-wing organizations that spawned the likes of Lou Cannon and Sander Vanocur. Far from demonstrating the quality of the old News-Press, these awards show that the newspaper was conforming to outdated and agenda-driven journalistic "principles" that have driven the profession to near-irrelevancy.

The new News-Press is meeting technological challenges head-on, it is eliminating bias from news coverage and restoring trust with readers. That is more important than any award.

1/22/2008 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why no reporting on this blog about the shocking decline and fall of the L.A. Times? Reporters fired, longtime beloved columnists let go, and most recently, the third editor in three years has parted ways--the latest under the new ownership of another billionaire. Tumultuous times in the newspaper biz everywhere you look.

1/22/2008 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I remember it, we covered the Supervisors meetings, school board meetings and city council meetings. We also covered coastal commission meetings and all sorts of other civic functions. Again, you can't always cover everything because your sources are limited, but I believe the there was an effort to cover what they could, especially when a hot agenda was scheduled. When resources and space are limited, and choices must be made, a paper has to choose the most generally newsworthy story. Sometimes that means a reader's personal choice is not included, but that happens. It is not a perfect world, though I believe the effort was made to publish fairly and factually.

1/22/2008 3:21 PM  
Anonymous worker bee said...


Listen here, you old golf bag - wash Wendy's feet with your hair and grovel at the alter of her millions all day long if it fills your pants. Just don't clutter the blog with comprehensive nonsense concerning imaginary left winged regimes comprised of journalists.

And if you need an insult to hurl back, allow me to provide you with a couple of choices:

1. Weak chinned carpet bagger
2. Star gazing stone tooler

1/22/2008 8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:21pm... well, that is why a comparison of the 1945-1965 era with 1987-2006 is useful. I found just a lot more pertinent local stuff in the 1945-1965 archives. Seems to me the tradition carried on through the `70's a bit too.

Somehow focusing on `hot' issues messed things up. I think a better model for newspaper readers is regularity... when you move the comics or eliminate a seemingly out of style comic, you find that out. Newspapers when successful were about regularity, blended with some `hot' issues.

Local politics is trench warfare, with battles that last for years and years. Focusing *only* on the `hot' misses that. A better model is regularity modulated with the hot stuff.

A good model is: any agency that spends public dollars needs to be reported on regularly. The Goleta West San. The Cemetery District. The Human Rights Commission. When there is really *no* reporting of these entities, they get weird.

Another sore point with me: newspaper reporters are really bad with numbers. Descriptions of the budget process are often totally hampered by this, as are technical discussions.

1/22/2008 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 12:27 pm ...

Now I know why you've been all ticked off at the old News-Press ... because they won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing you're beloved John Birch Society.

Let it go, man, before you pop a vein in that red neck of yours.

1/22/2008 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:10 Coverage may have seemed better back then, but there weren't as many councils and organizations to cover either. The community was less complicated before 1980. SB was a small town and still operated like a small town. I moved to SB in 1974 and got a front row seat to watch SB lose it's local identity over 3 decades. For those of us who remember locally owned businesses like Ott's Hardware and Hughes department store, it has been painful seeing STate ST. turn into an upscale Los Angeles strip mall.

I will totally agree about journalists and numbers. They are definitely math challenged.

1/22/2008 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, some day Wendy will look back over her life, how short it is, how precious, how fleeting and what will she have to show for it? Bitterness, vitriol, lawsuits and hatred...what a waste of time. She would have been admired, doted upon, loved and instead she has chosen isolation. She is a pariah in most circles. What a waste...

1/22/2008 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy is not a pariah. That is only your wishful thinking. She is admired by many who support what she is accomplishing and her generousity to this city. You travel in a very small world to wish such ill upon her. You are the one still filled with vitriol.

$18 a pop for maybe 100 or so stalwart NewsPress protestors for this film will bring in $1800 or so for its producers. This is not going to be a block-buster, but a bust.

Though their is always the vicarious envy crowd who may come out to see the little people try and bring down the wealthy and enviable Blonde. This is always a big selling hack movie theme appealing to those who feel powerless about the choices they have made for their own lives.

But this film will not be professionaly journalism's finest moment. I can guarantee you that. It will only serve to exacerbate an already disturbing situation with continued bias and hate.

1/23/2008 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:17 a.m.

You're right!
It is the news press hater "losers" who feel powerless about the poor choices that they made in their own lives.

And it is they who are filled with evil vitriol!
and you're right in that these losers number less than 100. That's why they are powerless and ineffective but they don't have a clue. they can rant and rave until hell freezes over for all the good it will do them.

1/23/2008 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 7:17 a.m. ...

You just reviewed a movie that sought both sides of an issue .... and which hasn't even been SHOWN yet, let alone seen by you.


1/23/2008 8:25 AM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

23 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3627 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.
Is anyone out there still holding his or her breath?

1/23/2008 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog is so funny when the topic is the News Press and Wendy.
The supporters of Wendy don't look so good as all they can say is she ownes the paper and the supporters of the workers seem tired of having to state the facts.
But please don't stop it's great reading and very entertaining.
Look forward to the movie should be a laugh.
War of the Roses?

1/23/2008 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will someone explain why Craig Smith accuses Wendy McCaw of blocking access to certain websites. Her computers were not blocked for thousands of illegal kiddie porn. She either blocks what she wants blocked or not. She and Arthur have some explaining to do.

I once read the NewsPress for the business section. That's history.

1/23/2008 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Slimekeeper ...

If your timetable is accurate, then Wendy will make all those fired workers rich — for having to do absolutely NOTHING — when they collect that many days of back pay.

Man! Where do I sign up to get fired by Wendy?

1/23/2008 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:03pm... the Goleta San and the GWD date from te 1940's, Goleta West from the 1950's, and I think all the Montecito Special Districts are even older. Most of the school districts are very old here... when was their last regular coverage of the GUSD in the News-Press? I suspect the MTD dates from the 1950's too, although the APCD may be a 1970's thing.

I think there was just a lot more civic responsibility and coverage here until the late 1970's. We all got anasthetized and lazy during the Reagan era.

1/23/2008 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:17 and 8:20 -- what exactly has pariah Wendy "accomplished" with her newspaper? Yes, I've seen reports about her contributions to various charities, but it begins at home (or in her case, the office), where she is vindictive, spiteful and (to put it mildly) unappreciative. And none of it in the service of a better newspaper. In other words, she is making her staff unhappy for the pleasure of exercising her prerogatives, and wreaks revenge at every turn, without reaping any visible benefit for the readership or her business partners. That's enlightened management for ya.

By the way, timekeeper, it is possible that the NLRB may cut through the endless appeals process and go directly to court to put the illegally fired eight back to work. That would be justice, delayed, but not ad nauseum. Stay tuned.

1/24/2008 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it have been amusing if "Citizen McCaw" had been scheduled to premiere during the international film festival.

1/24/2008 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fired workers (if ever re-instated) have to show they tried to mitigate their damages finding other employment during the time they were out of NewsPress employment.

They don't get to be unjustly enriched being lazy and doing nothing during that time.

1/24/2008 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 3:13 PM ...

Done and done. They're way ahead of you, pal.

1/24/2008 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe that Anonymous 3:13 is correct about mitigation of damages. In a wrongful termination case in civil court, mitigation of damages is an issue. It's usually the employer's burden to prove that the fired employee failed to mitigate. In any case, this is an NLRB prosecution of Wendy and her minnions. The same rules don't apply.

1/24/2008 6:45 PM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

25 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3625 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.
Is anyone out there still holding his or her breath?

1/25/2008 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy IS running her business anyway she wants.

What you see are the results.

Don't like them?

Hmmm ... Well, maybe you don't like the way she runs her business after all.

1/25/2008 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Slimekeeper ...

Wow, you know how to count! Your momma must be so proud.

You have any other skills?

1/26/2008 2:40 AM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

2;40 a.m.
Yes, my other skill is laughing at the likes of you.

26 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3624 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.
Is anyone out there still holding his or her breath?

1/27/2008 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as Timekeeper keeps their honor and does:

I will report daily-

-on the progress,
is impossible without progress.

We also enjoy the laughter.

1/27/2008 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Slimekeeper ...

So you're only other skill is laughing at the likes of me?

Yeah, pretty much what I figured.

1/27/2008 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Timekeeper, Slimekeeper, keep singing your song...

You supply humor, though spiteful and wrong.

But the movie will bare Wendy...

Not pretty to see...

Then, Timekeeper, Slimekeeper, will you sing Swan?

1/27/2008 11:46 PM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

Mike 11:46 p.m., 3:02 p.m. and 8:43 a.m.
Your response to the timekeeper just proves that the reality of how long this is going to be drug out is really getting to you! Otherwise you would not be frustrated enough to feel the need respond.

Also, that lame documentary is not going to speed things up one bit. You idiots don't seen to realize that the way to negotiate and find resolution and compromise with with someone is NOT to keep insulting them. that only makes one more determined to drag things out and to "win".

27 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3623 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.
Is anyone out there still holding his or her breath?

1/28/2008 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Timekeeper 11:05 et, al.

My, my. You surprise me. Frustrated?, Nah, not at all. That was my rather lame attempt at humor. Hadn't participated much lately and wanted to; it was late, and I'm not much of a poet.

But as bad a poet as I may be, I must have touched a sore spot or you're about to pop a circuit breaker from all that negative energy. You speak against insults in the same sentence in which you insult. You speak against response when you respond daily. Is it that the only response you approve of is the one you agree with? I sense an internal struggle within you, Timekeeper, so let me help you see through the brain fog. defines hypocrisy as "a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess." Is any of this ringing bells, Timekeeper? They should be giving you a migraine by now.

More help: It doesn't matter if it's 10 people or 10,000 that see this movie Timekeeper. What matters is that it's seen, period. It gives voice to the principle that money and power can't hide the truth forever. That's a pretty good deal by me. It's also the kind of thing you can understand with an open mind. The fear of it reminds me of Jack Nicholson great line "You can't handle the truth!"

Mr. Timekeeper, annoying as your opinions are, as thick as your thinking is, keep going pal. Opinions are like belly buttons; everybody's got one, they're all different and some of them are kind of funny lookin.

1/28/2008 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me again, Slimekeeper ...

I make you more determined to drag things out and to win?

Wendy, is that really you?

1/29/2008 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The timekeeper is right.

A victory deferred is a victory denied.

How does it feel to lose, fired reporters?

Keep stewing, keep stewing, negativity suits you so well ...

1/29/2008 5:36 AM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

11;51 p.m. and 12:32

You guys just don't get it.
I am not speaking against response.
And of course we all are individuals and each has their own opinuon.
And of course its its O.k. for both sides to equally be able to say mean things.

The whole point is that you guys start it by constantly posting these negative, nasty, and evil blogs about the News press.

All the news press supporters are doing is responding in kind. Giving you back some of your own medicine.
it is not us who are frustrated. We all have a life. We would not be saying the things that we are saying except to p ut you guys in your place when you spout off about the news press.

Now maybe the News Press is not being run in the best way. there is a far better and far more productive way of dealing with this rather than this public campaign to totally trash the reputation of the owner. What you are doing is far far worse that any mismanagement or poor management decisions by Wendy. She, right or wrong, was making a business decision with no evil intent against the individual. You however are extremely evil in your hatred and your slanderous comments.

Therefore you guys deserve to be frustrated by having this whole mess dragged out for the next 10 years. Dragging it pout sure does not hurt any news press supporter. But we sure get immense pleasure by watching you guys be frustrated by what is going to be an extreme 10 year delay.

As for that movie: All I can say is that making this nasty movie is the most low life thing i have ever seen in my entire life. I believe in Karma. What comes around goes around. Someday You nasty guys are going to get what you deserve. It might be cancer or the death of a loved one. When it happens think back to your bad karma that caused it.

28 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3622 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.
Is anyone out there still holding his or her breath?

1/29/2008 9:12 AM  
Anonymous t.r. said...

The funny part is the "you guys start it" see "negative, nasty, and evil" coming from the News-Press.

All the arguments are mute because it is pointless. Therefore, it goes to the judge and where it is in the system.

This far, Wendy is losing regardless of spin. The judges have said she is breaking the law. Like anyone convicted, she can appeal. At the end of the appeal, you'll see if it changes.

You could say only the first 3622 more days Wendy is a lawbreaking criminal. The rest of her life will be the same. Plus her future failures in court.

Lawbreaking criminal is a technical established fact. Not naming calling, as Timekeeper does. I believe in karma or reap as you sow.

1/29/2008 10:05 PM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

10;05 p.m.
You are right when you say 'reap as hyou sow'.

That means that those 4 nasty guys who produced that nasty documentary are going to "reap what they sow".
since they did a horribly nasty, evil, and slanderous thing karma probably has something very nasty in store for them. At this time nobody can forecast what karma has in store for them, or when it might occur, but they are going to know karma when they experience it.

29 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3621 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.
Is anyone out there still holding his or her breath?

1/30/2008 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

t.r. 10:05

You are absolutely right when you say that all arguments from both sides are mute and pointless.

But the point still remains that this is going to be in the appeal courts for the next 10 years. This is not an argument but just pointing out a fact of how the news press haters are going to be denied any sort of a resolution or victory for a long , long time.

And this fact is quite 'sweet' for the News Press supporters to be able to watch the news press haters be frustrated and impotent to get any resolution or satisfaction for the next 10 years.

This extensive time delay is in fact a victory of sorts. None of this is argument but just stating fact.

So the news press haters might as well move on to a more productive activity for all the good that their hatred is getting them.

1/30/2008 5:46 PM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

31 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3619 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.
Is anyone out there still holding his or her breath?

1/31/2008 1:01 PM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

32 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3618 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.

2/01/2008 11:17 AM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

33 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3617 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.

2/01/2008 7:55 PM  
Anonymous the timekeeper said...

34 days have gone by since the judge decision.

Only 3616 more days to go until the appeals are exhausted, and the fired reporters get their job back.

I will report daily on the progress.

2/03/2008 12:03 PM  

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