Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, March 07, 2008

Additional Screenings of Citizen McCaw

Tonight's opening night is sold out as I live blog from the Arlington. Due to such high demand, the film will be showed again on Saturday and Sunday. Here's the info from the film's web site:

...after selling out the 2,000 seat Arlington Theatre for the World Premiere, two additional screenings have been added at the beautiful Marjorie Luke Theatre located at 721 E. Cota Street in Santa Barbara: Saturday, April 5th at 8PM and Sunday, April 6th at 3PM.

Tickets are on sale now at the Lobero Theatre Box Office at 33 E. Canon Perdido Street or by calling 805.963.0761 or online at General Admission Tickets are $17.50 (including all box office fees) and a limited number of $100 VIP center section seats.

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Blogger John Quimby said...

I was there for the premiere tonight.

Congratulations and thanks to Sam Tyler, who sat in my office all those months ago and told me he was going to go out of pocket to make this film.

Nice work Sam.

Lou Cannon was in our studio recently for an interview with NPR. I hope I was able to convey the appreciation of many when I privately thanked him for speaking out.

Go. See the film. Don't Be angry.

Be glad there are people who will risk everything for your right to speak, work and know what is happening in your town.

3/07/2008 10:39 PM  
Anonymous shoreline shark said...

They wish they could sell 4000 tickets.

100 is much more like it.



3/07/2008 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Garry Owen said...

Glad there are additional screenings; I sat behind a fidgeting man determined to mess with me.

Powerful-Inspiring. Proof that money may buy you a newspaper, but the truth is priceless.

3/08/2008 7:01 AM  
Anonymous SBCitizen said...

I went and thought it was a good film. But I was disappointed with the audience questions. The film makers wanted to present different sides of the controversy, but for lack of participation on the SBNP management side after repeated requests, and because there are so few people to represent the SNBP side, they had more information to work with on the side of the journalists and editors.
Obviously, the majority of the audience was already sympathetic to the journalists going in, but their expectation that the film makers were was misleading.
Nearly all the questions assumed the film makers were experts or leaders on the side of the journalists and asked for their advice on next steps. Those questions are for the journalists or their Union. Only one question seemed really relevant - how did Brent Sumner get the overhead shots of Wendy and Arthur walking down a path.
And the audience remarks that weren't even questions but assorted rants about how Wendy McCaw had done them wrong, even Craig Smith tried his best to deflect them with a smile and a joke.

If this film is to be encouraged viewing for anyone who cares, no matter what side their on, the audience needs to understand that it wasn't designed to be strictly anti-McCaw propaganda.

3/08/2008 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

Anti-Wendy propaganda. Just as predicted. Bingo. Who is going to phone this in to Wendy in Gstaadt, because she knows living well is the best revenge.

More power to you Wendy, because your detractors were stuck in the stinky Arlington Theater thinking they were having a good time at your expense.

It is the best they can hope for, sticking the "silver fork" into you to assuage their envy. The movie carries the exact same bias you finally got rid of and yet everyone still fails to see how self-defeating this whole thing is.

Keep up the good work, Wendy.

3/08/2008 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Montecito Max said...

Snow job, you must be a self-parody. For one thing, word on the street is that Wendy and Arthur were not in Gstaad but were in town and did a "drive-by" to check out the crowd. At least one of Wendy's lawyer legion was in the house taking notes for possible future litigation targets. Given the heavy dose of lawyering evident in the film, Wendy's lawyers may pull the trigger, but the firearm will shoot blanks, and she will end up paying the attorneys fees of her adversaries.

The filmmakers tried every which way to get Wendy or some other W mouthpiece to go on the record; no one would. Tyler went out of his way to get her side, did so in text and with disclaimers, and even offered to let her statements (if under 60 seconds) stand unedited and placed advantageously within the movie. No dice. Why? Because, frankly, if Wendy has to answer an open-ended question with an essay answer, she will foam at the mouth and lose her composure, her train of thought, and barrel into a frenzy that will reveal her as the vengeful tin-ear bully faux victim that she is. All that would be missing from her modern-day Captain Queeg act would be a couple of metal spheroids.

The movie showed what there was of two sides, but the reality is that there can only be one side when Wendy et al continuously break the law, sue and threaten those who criticize her, give lip service to respecting collective bargaining while stonewalling and playing a venal game of attrition, and smear enemies with cynical and transparently non-journalistic content in the newspaper formerly "of record" in this town.

3/08/2008 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Snow job said...

Shows you how good this anti-Wendy group is reporting news without bias.

Arthur reported on Thursday live from Gstaad he and Wendy were enjoying the good life in Switzerland skiing on the radio 1290 travel show.

He could not be as you say "cruising the Arlington in his Porche." You need to listen to 1290 more, stop spreading vicious and self-serving rumors and learn what the word bias means in reporting.

Learn not to verbally bully people when you don't have the facts. Because everyone knows you don't have the facts and it only serves to make you look both stupid shallow and mean.

3/09/2008 8:16 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

snow job -- let's pull back a bit and do away with the stupid, shallow and mean, kay? let's make our point and let people decide someone's finer points on their own...

3/09/2008 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Return of Pale Writer said...

Snow job, it's more like you are snow blind.

It amazes me that folks like you see the present shell of a News-Press as unbiased despite its glaring void of balanced news and balanced opinions. The current News-Press is the most biased paper on the planet, par with those in countries ruled by dictatorships that want the people to believe the myths that keep them in power.

Snap out of it, snow blind, and take a look at reality. I'd say the standing ovation given by the sold-out crowd at the Arlington Theatre to the former reporters and editors, along with the four brave co-producers of Citizen McCaw, was an avalanche of support by an open-minded audience.

Even Wendy McCaw's younger sister, Susan Petrak, gave the film two thumbs up. Too bad Wendy hasn't talked to her sister or niece for the last 10 years, according to Craig Smith's blog. Not even a snowball of support from her own family. What a shame that she can't buy love.

3/09/2008 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Montecito Max: Good morning!

I'm giving you my "imagism" award of the week for your exciting visual achievement in language! Bravo.

"she will foam at the mouth and lose her composure, her train of thought, and barrel into a frenzy that will reveal her as the vengeful tin-ear bully faux victim that she is. All that would be missing from her modern-day Captain Queeg act would be a couple of metal spheroids."

Can we get it on film?

"Imagism" was a school of poetry founded by Ezra Pound.

3/09/2008 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

All of you can get your reservations to Gstaad's best hotel and near the skiing slopes here:

3/09/2008 11:18 AM  
Anonymous truth-will-out said...

I was at the Arlington to see Citizen McCaw.
Excellent film which raised important issues.

The place WAS SOLD OUT. People were trying to buy tickets at the door; there may have been a few empty seats, but not many.

To those who criticize the film, I would ask first:
a) have you SEEN it?
b) what parts are inaccurate?

The filmmakers took pains to point out when McCaw or her lawyers disagreed with a rendition of the facts.

There is much more honest and integrity (both intellectual and factual) in this film than in anything on the editorial page of the News Press which seldom allows those who disagree a voice!

3/09/2008 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Montecito Max said...

Snow job, even assuming Arthur told the truth about his whereabouts, you choose to nitpick on the small items, while ignoring the material facts. SBNP files charges against the Union: all dismissed. Union files serious charges against the SBNP: the major ones (e.g., 8 unlawful firings) stick, and Steepleton and Armstrong (not to mention McCaw herself) are found to be untruthful. When people leave a workplace in droves, it usually is a negative statement about management. Clearly the SBNP doesn't know what bias is, since Steepleton admitted, in the case of Melinda Burns, that when he first edited and reviewed the very articles she wrote that he later found "biased" as a pretext fo firing her, he saw nothing wrong with them. How is a reporter supposed to know what the standards are when the editors -- who are supposed to collaborate, not punish -- are clueless?

3/09/2008 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snow Job: Me thinks thou doth protest too much....

3/09/2008 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

Montecito Max, you miss the point entirely. Wendy can turn out the worst tabloid on the planet it she wants. She can hire only part time, no-benefit workers if she wants.

She can control work product to any degree she wants. She is subject to only limited workplace Labor Code statutes. But that is all. What is it about this you still do not get?

You don't like Wendy's NewsPress. No quibble with your argument. We hear you. That is your opinion. Those who left did not like Wendy's NewsPress. This is okay. They wanted to move on and away from this particular owner. Good by. This is okay.

No one is forced to work where they do not like to work. And they did not like working for Wendy. End of discussion. Wendy did not like having them work for her. End of discussion.

Now that we have established the ground rules, please tell me how you can quibble with my position this is her paper to do what she wants with it?

You can mourn your version of it all you want. You can stand up and cheer with your cronies who hate rich people all you want. You can rail endlessly that the whole thing is unfair. You can believe in the flawed legal system before final judgement.

But so far I don't see you buying the paper, so your protestations are sound and fury ..... signifying nothing.

I just do not get people here still acting like this is their paper and they are are in control of it.

Why all the attacks against Wendy. We get it. You don't like her. You don't like the NewsPress as it is published today.

But you did not buy it when you had the chance. So what value is your opinion and why do you feel the need to defend it so much as if you still had an entreprenueureal stake in its ownership. You don't.

So chill. And stop beating up people here who point this out to you. You all keep whining as if you had an entitlement to the NewsPress that exceeds any other personal property right? Why the emotionalism to this extreme? The NewsPress was not your mother .It was a job and it got a new boss and you don't like it anymore. Big deal. Grow up and move on. Your version of the NewsPress is gone. Mourn it and move on.

And leave the new NewsPress to those of us who are happy to see your bias removed from its pages.

Now tell me again why you chose to pass on the uncorroborated rumor that Wendy and Arthur cruised the Arlington last Friday night? What chapter of journalistic ethics does this story reporting fall under?

Methinks you all need to find more purpose and meaning your lives than destroying private property.

3/09/2008 6:37 PM  
Blogger Cookie Jill said...

Excellent film. A must see for every Santa Barbarian.

One topic that was brought up in the film that really hasn't been discussed much anywhere, is that with Wendy's and Travis' dislike of City Hall, politicians and our community as a whole, and NOT publishing community news and relying mainly on wire stories and folks who don't live here to write up things, we are losing our communities "history."

Take a look back at the paper of yore and you see photos and stories of the people and events that made Santa Barbara, well, "Santa Barbara."

We no longer have a documenter of our city's history. We no longer have a documenter of events that changed the community.

We are stuck with a paper out for revenge against those who disagree with Wendy or Travis.

Such a loss.

3/09/2008 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Pale Writer said...

Snow job, simply put, everything you write makes you sound like an idiot. Actually, you sound like a member of the N-P management team.

What part of having a newspaper that prints the unvarnished truth in its news stories, and gives both sides in its opinion pages, do you not understand? You can't possibly believe that you like the current News-Press. This era is a black hole for future researchers who might want to read about Santa Barbara during these times. All they'll have for their historial time capsule will be the rants and raves of a geisha boy editorial writer.

Snow job, go live in North Korea. Their newspaper functions just like Wendy McCaw's. And you can also eat it, since there is a lack of food for their citizens, who have resorted to eating tree bark and dirt. But their newspaper reports that all is fine in North Korea and everyone is happy! La la la, la la la.

3/10/2008 5:46 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Most business can run their business as they see fit. I like that. I own my own business. However, unlike the newspaper business, my company is not protected by a first-amendment right that directly applies to me. With the rights granted the press under our constitution comes an obligation to use those rights responsibly.

A free and unfettered press is this country's only guarantee of democracy. The press is the ONLY watchdog of government. Without a free and unbiased press, democracy vanishes.

And THAT is the point, snow job.

3/10/2008 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

If the good folks of Santa Barbara want another newspaper, they will support and fund one. This has not happened, so one can conclude it really does not matter what a few of you claim you want.

That was a good point there is less of a public record of local activities now in the NewsPress, but how good was the slanted version of events from the past?

It will take a while to rebuild the format with new writers but there are some very nice solid contributions to the paper now. Plus the public history of the city is well recorded in multiple other venues, like public access TV and the city website access to original source material.

So the only history being lost is the newspaper commentary on the history. And since the prior commentary was so biased in one way only, it is refreshing now to at least be neutral on this topic.

Travis is right in his editorials, as much as he is wrong. And controversy is not a bad product of any newspaper these days.

He keeps things stirred up and people talking. The paper would really be dead without him. People do keep reading him to see how outrageous he can be.

He did stimulate a major shift on the city council and this alone is a very good thing.

So stop wasting your breath about sending me to North Korea just because you don't like my viewpoints. What is that all about? What part of the First Amendment bothers you most? What did you learn in journalism school that supports your desire to banish points of view you don't like.

SDLG asked me to reign in the personal insults and I recommend you follow the same advice.

NB: Local commentary is not local history. Nothing has been lost.

Anyone here willing to retract the rumour Wendy and Arthur were cruising the Arlington in their Porche? Hate to have that become part of our local history, since it was not true.

3/10/2008 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Snow girl: I have no idea about the Porshe and Wendy and Arthur. I think I remember who said it, but without the newspaper quote to look up, I can't research it. So much for local history. Maybe google. Anyway, it's of little importance.

But I am interested in Gsaadt,the mountains of Switzerland, and how the snow was! Can we hear more about that? Did you stay in the famous palace?

The Alps are so beautiful. Were you there for the windstorm?

Tell us more. I spend a lot of time there.

3/11/2008 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

Don Jose, you mean to say you spend a lot of time on ice, right?

Mouldering away under the mission alter, occasionally rising to populate to the night of the living dead; otherwise known as the car-free DLGP.

3/11/2008 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Montecito Max said...

Snow job, you say, "Wendy can turn out the worst tabloid on the planet it she wants. She can hire only part time, no-benefit workers if she wants. She can control work product to any degree she wants. She is subject to only limited workplace Labor Code statutes. But that is all. What is it about this you still do not get?"

Sorry, sugar, but you're wrong. Perhaps you are working for Wendy, because she acts as if she doesn't have to comply with labor laws, but in fact she does. She has to collectively bargain with the Union that represents her newsroom employees, because federal labor law requires her to do so. There was a secret ballot election, the Union won, she whined to the Board, and she lost. The Board certified the results of the election, and notwithstanding her belief in democracy elsewhere, she continues to resist.

But the law clearly says that she cannot -- that's right, cannot -- unilaterally change the preestablished terms and conditions of employment of her newsroom employees, and she cannot willy-nilly turn fulltimers to parttimers and vice versa, as she once could have. She can't punish her employees by denying them raises she used to grant annually. She can't fire them for engaging in concerted activity, she can't tell them not to wear "McCaw, Obey the Law" buttons, and she can't pretend to discharge or discipline union supporting reporters for alleged "bias" when that allegation is a pretext for anti-union animus.

So, the law does intrude on management prerogative at the workplace, even as it is true that she can turn out a piece of crap paper if she wants.

That's quite a defense, though; one that she would deny she is making. She has claimed the right (under oath) to run the paper as she sees fit, but she says she doesn't fully exercise it, also claiming that she throttles back in deference to ethical concerns.

And interestingly, her own journalistic expert during the NLRB trial last summer agreed that newspapers are a "public trust." So, I think you and WM have some reconcilin' to do. You, with the idea that Wendy has to restrain herself if she wants to have a truly ethical and decent paper (which admittedly she doesn't have to have), and Wendy, who has to start complying with the law of the workplace, which she has violated over and over and over.

3/11/2008 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

Actully Wendy can do a lot of the things you claim she cannot. These are things you do not want her to do, but most of your list is well within her rights.

No, she cannot defy the final ruling of a labor law ruling. But there is no final ruling yet, so you need to slow down a bit.

And as long as her employees work so hard to financially ruin the paper, they have to worry about killing the very bonuses they claim they have a right to, which they do not.

You presently border on defamation, so chill a bit and wait for the legal process to continue. Unless you can actually present one fact that supports her defiance of a final labor law ruling.

What you are claiming is you don't like Wendy and you are still licking your wounds, self-inflicted. I hope your wounded bias never sees employment at this newspaper until you bring better balance and perspective into your life.

I am sorry you still hurt so much. This happens to those who do not yet take responsibility for their own choices and actions. Blame continues pain. Please heal. Thank you.

3/12/2008 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...


Your right to mention how hard life is for Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega.

Not only must I haunt the the SB Mission near the Alter, but I must also keep my eye out on the Plaza. My spirit is also often called to Europe, especially Santander in Spain where I must keep my eye out for trouble from the Moors. After all, I didn't get my name (De la Guerra) for nothing.

Yes, I even frequent the Alps. Did you know the Sarrasins invaded the Alps too?

Gsaadt in Switzerland is a wonderful town. Your boss has good taste.

Lately I have been going around photographing and studying Plaza's in the old mountain towns.
Why just last summer, I was in Bourg St. Maurice and saw some wonderful pneumatic bollards that would be sensational for stopping cars from going on the loop on our Plaza...out and down, in and out, so easy!!

Snowjob: Considering your deep interest in automobiles, I was wondering, if this isn't too indiscreet, what you think of sex in automobiles?

3/12/2008 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Pale Writer said...

Don Jose and Snow Job sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

Make up, you two! Geez, Snow Job, Don Jose was trying to be nice, and you call him things like a old fool, and liken him to the living dead. Unless, Snow Job, that's your idea of being romantic! But I think that might be romance, North Korea-style, Ha! Ha!

3/12/2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Montecito Max said...

Snow job, you don't specify which of the things on my list Wendy can actually do consistent with labor law that governs the workplace. So you can prattle on, but it's clear that you're whistling in the dark and fatuously attempting to counter established fact and rulings with name-calling and unsolicited advice. FWIW, BTW, I am not a former or current SBNP employee, as you seem to suggest.

Again, perhaps Wendy had the absolute right, before the union came on the scene, to grant or deny bonuses and raises at her whim. Once the union won the election, however, the SBNP was dutybound to respect the status quo, which included granting bonuses for those with a certain evaluation score. She can't discriminatorily lower an employee's score because of their union activity and support, and that's what Judge Kocol found that Steepleton did.

It's noteworthy that you resort to threats of the sort Wendy's lawyers are so good at tossing around, though they seldom get anywhere beyond letterhead skirmishes. Given the state of all the decisions that have gone against her and her management team, it could not be libelous for me and others to say that she has committed illegal acts, as she has, and that she and Travis Armstrong and Scott Steepleton have all been found to be not credible witnesses. Those kinds of credibility rulings are seldom overturned, and in the case of Steepleton and Armstrong in one case, are final and unappealable at this point.

No, we don't have a "final" labor law ruling that W has defied, though she is not bargaining in good faith as she must, and she surely will be found to have violated the law in most if not all of the respects cited by Judge Kocol (and probably more, since there are more ULP charges pending against her). Most people, however, read the writing on the wall at some point, and that doesn't seem to apply to Mrs. McCaw or her lawyers.

3/13/2008 2:54 PM  

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