Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pandering supplicants? What exactly did you mean, Barry?

Craig Smith reports that the federal court hearing which could possibly reinstate the fired News-Press workers has been delayed again -- this time due to the judge being ill. A new hearing should be scheduled in the next week. How long must we sing this song?

In related news, the Citizen McCaw producers are planning a sequel as the News-Press saga seems far from over. In a PacBiz Times article, über-lawyer Barry Cappello calls many of us who saw the movie "willing supplicants":

“It was written to pander to willing supplicants,” Cappello wrote in an e-mail. “Many facts were twisted, ignoring the truth, beginning with the assertion that the owner [or someone at her behest] instituted a gag order which forced the so-called ‘brave’ reporters to organize a union and act to protect themselves. The entire film’s credibility is destroyed by this flaw.”

I have to admit that I needed to look up this big brain word that Cappello bandied about so easily as I only know of it in the religious sense. Merriam-Webster online says one who supplicates does so "to make a humble entreaty; especially : to pray to God". Wiktionary says the etymological base is in the Latin supplico which is to "kneel, bow down, request" has to assume that Cappello means that the producers of Citizen McCaw are pandering for money, no?

Did he just call them pimps in a major newspaper? I've heard that he has sued for a lot less...perhaps a class action defamation law suit is in order. Can anyone front the producer's some cash? Pandering to the word of the day because most people won't understand what you are talking about is no excuse for attacking someone's integrity.

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Anonymous Snow Job said...

Truth is a complete defense. This was a biased, one-sided movie. Just as it was intended. No reason at all Wendy was obligated to participate in this so save your arguments she chose not to.

There still remains the Fifth Amendment - no one is required to go to their own defense when scurrilous film makers chose to malign and destroy. Wendy you were right to stay out of this hit piece.

Or fall for their trap if you failed to defend yourself, it is your fault and this gave them license to portray you in the bad light they were intending all along. No one is falling for that old journalistic trick.

Talk about injustice, I think the balance has tipped way over in this matter. Wendy is the victim now and not the fired reporters.

I think everyone can quit now. The fired workers think Wendy is a monster and Wendy can rightfully think Citizen MacCaw is a monster. Let's all quit now that everything is even. It does not need to get dirtier.

The Citizen McCaw film team tried to do their damage and failed. I personally want to get back to thanking Wendy for her public generosity in this town. Thank you Wendy. You do have your supporters. Lots of them. And the meaner your opponents get, the more you have.

3/17/2008 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Montecito Max said...

Snow job, you are a fulltime Wendy sycophant, not supplicant. Yes, poor little Wendy and her billion dollars and her train wreck newspaper and her 25-acre ranch bluffed above the ocean that the riffraff would like to walk by, and her army of lawyers who think "cease and desist" letters are a form of dialogue, and her use of that newspaper (and accompanying video machine) to vilify her enemies and pour adulation on her friends and business allies, and her management team that lies under oath and fires employees for illegal reasons. Yep, that's what I think of when I conceive of "victimhood".

3/18/2008 6:59 AM  
Anonymous For the 60th time said...

Again, aptly-named Snow Job, what is the "bias" and the "injustice" against The Wendy?

Cite examples and details.

3/18/2008 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Greeted with Flowers said...

Why does Barry Cappello keep reminding me of Baghdad Bob in the days before the Saddam regime fell, as the Abrams tanks were breaking down the Palace gates while "Bob" kept repeating that the Invading American Dogs would die in the desert?

3/18/2008 11:19 AM  
Blogger spitfire squid said...

"Wendy is the victim now..."

I wonder if Jerry Roberts -- the former editor who wasn't invited to comment before Wendy placed on the front page a story suggesting he downloaded child porn on company computers and which neglected to tell readers she was suing him for $25 million -- thinks "everything is even."

3/18/2008 4:48 PM  
Anonymous So-Called Brave Reporter said...

We absolutely had to organize to protect ourselves. No gag order was necessary. A climate of fear, intimidation, unjust firings, insertion of certain perspectives into articles (after July 6, 2006, not before) and much more were enough .. and this was all prior to what happened to Jerry Roberts on the front page.

If you don't believe it, see the movie and decide for yourself. Anyone who was in the building knows every word is true -- no matter how you feel about unions.

3/18/2008 5:21 PM  
Anonymous Wizard of Wendyland said...

Nipperberger says in his Middle School propaganda piece (per Craig Smith’s blog) that, “Inside the company, the moral (sic) and enthusiasm and work product is much better than it was two years ago.”

So, Nip Nip, why are good people still bolting? Word is one of your top printing execs fled the asylum yesterday.

You also say, Nipman, that your readers continue to flee. No kidding.

Good thing your restaurant gig is still hot.

Word around the Plaza, Nippiest, is that you spend most of your time hiding in your office, afraid to mix with those who earned their spurs without sleeping with the boss.

Moral and morale will both soar soon, when Melinda, Dawn & Co. walk through your WendyLand entrance, past your door, Nipkoochie, under protection of a U.S. Federal Court Order signed by a U.S. Federal Court Judge.

3/18/2008 7:54 PM  
Anonymous McMurphy said...

Barry's big words ... but what happened to Sam from San Francisco, and Agnes, and Millstein? Estranged like Wendy's sister?

A good one is Barry's mixed animal metaphors bit in the L.A. Times:

"This is, literally, like water off her back," Cappello said of the film. "Barking dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on."

Leaving the ducks out of it, the caravan is getting smaller as the barking dogs pick off advertisements and subscriptions.

When will Wendy turn around on her lead camel now wandering aimlessly through the desert and find that everyone else is estranged?

3/18/2008 8:17 PM  
Anonymous A pandering supplicant said...

Great story today "above the fold" so we didn't have to buy a paper:

"Pet bird found"!

Wonderful coverage, Wendy. Really.

Can't wait for several days of follow up stories.

Almost as good as the front pager earlier this week about the turtles coming down with something.

Of course the bird is a macaw. No bias. Just coincidence.

3/18/2008 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

If you did not like the working conditions, you needed to leave. Wendy didn't like you either. Where do you get your sense of entitlement to Wendy's paper? I still don't understand that. If you start with the proposition Wendy owe you a living, I can see why you are upset.

But you the employee owed Wendy as your employer yet you refuse to see acknowlege this perspective. You didn't do what she wanted and it was time for you to leave, or stick around and get fired.

How hard was this to figure out?

3/18/2008 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Al Bonowitz said...

We all know that Cappello is bought and paid for. Whatever.

One day--hopefully soon, probably later, but certain to occur nevertheless--Cappello will fall into disfavor with Wendy by word or deed and Wendy will withhold what Cappello apparently craves.

That is a fight that I would pay to see.

3/18/2008 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Montecito Max said...

Snow job, contrary to American entrepreneurial myth, employees don't shed their human rights and dignity when they walk through the doors of the News-Press or those of any other employer. Supporting a union, seeking collective bargaining, are international human rights, admittedly too often disrespected and discounted in this country, where it is common, though it shouldn't be, for employers to fight against that basic right tooth and nail.

People like you and Wendy's sycophants worship capital, and that's fine, but labor has an awful lot to say about the quality of life in and out of the workplace, and has built this country, and I daresay, gave the SBNP a good name for a while until Wendy blew it to smithereens. Unfortunately from Wendy's perspective, she has to hire others to do the work which, quite frankly, she is incapable of (and probably not really interested in) performing. Those workers of all types have a legitimate and legally protected stake in their workplace, their conditions and their integrity. That is the law, that is ethics. Ownership obviously has its prerogatives, but there is more than one choice in America. One can leave, or one can try to improve one's work environment and enhance a great institution through hard work and a call for collaboration. Obviously inconceivable to the Snow Jobs of the world, though once upon a time, Barry Cappello allegedly believed in (or at least advocated for) employee rights.

3/19/2008 6:51 AM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

Max, you keep arguing contradictory points. I am glad you no longer write for the NewsPress. Parse yourself out, list the elements of the argument at hand, consider the other side and see if you can balance your perspective. Your bias is really annoying. And that is exactly what NewsPress readers were sick of when it was run by the old pack of former employees.

No one is claiming there is no Labor Code. Yet you are claiming there are rules before final judgement simply because you have interpreted them and your final judgment is the only one that counts. This is injecting huge personal bias into the situation.

No one is arguing the former employees were not happy working for Wendy. What you refuse to acknowledge is Wendy was unhappy with you. You keep only presenting your own perspective: you were unhappy and Wendy owed you happiness.

I don't buy this. When you are unhappy, you either find a way to make your employer happy or you leave. You don't burn the building down just because you are unhappy and you want to make your employer pay. (metaphorically)

Please, get over yourself. You are giving journalism a bad name and you are refusing to recognize plenty of readers are happy people like you are gone and no longer writing your biased articles any longer.

3/19/2008 7:42 AM  
Anonymous eggs_ackley said...

I thought the parrot story was heart-warming. The newspress was not first on the scene on this one so to say its just another example of aniaml bias is false and misleading. I like reading good news on occasion and the brilliant picture was eye candy.

The whiners lost my sympathy long ago when they did the overpass thing and demonstrated how much they hated their jobs. After all that has transpired, how can they expect that their jobs will be rewarding if they get them back? A pyrrhic victory at best.

3/19/2008 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Bob Guiliano said...

Snow job, your vision of the newspaper business appears to be obscured by a blizzard of blind faith in Wendy McCaw.

Allow me to share my vision. I entered this profession with single-minded determination to right wrongs, pursue justice and try to make this a better world. Unfortunately, I often had to fight editors and publishers who did not give a damn about social issues.

Only one person impressed me over my 30-year journalism career -- a southern belle from Alabama who wanted her own newspaper because she grew up with a newspaper-publisher dad and loved the profession. She shopped until she found a little weekly paper in Clifton, Ariz., The Copper Era.

When I interviewed with her in 1978, she told me the town was corrupt, from the mayor and city council, to the police chief and city/county attorney. She needed a news editor to help her clean it up. I jumped at the chance.

We took on corruption on all levels through hard-hitting reporting and editorials, knowing that we risked being whacked in our efforts. We could not even trust the police department for our safety!

Working for her for two years made my whole career worthwhile.

Another publisher in Athens, Texas, once agreed to let me investigate drug dealers, but once I did and all hell broke loose for several weeks as the paper published my investigative series, he then reassigned me to write nice stories about the community to attract more residents, businesses and advertising clients.

Other times, getting editors and publishers to allow me to do controversial investigative reports required wheeling and dealing and great efforts of persuasion. What I would have given to have just one other publisher in my career to let me loose on investigating social issues and trying to improve this planet.

The southern belle publisher some years ago sold her newspaper and opened a home for battered women. She has rescued many women from abuse over the last 15 years or so.

I recently offered my freelance services to Newsday to spend two weeks in Laredo, Texas, to investigate the warring drug cartels on both sides of the border. I also wanted to look into the missing 60 American citizens and murders of law enforcement officials on both sides of the border. I got a polite reply that this was not the type of story they would assign to a freelance reporter, but rather to a staff reporter. (Yeah, right!)

Oh, Newsday is now owned by a real estate magnate who truly values the bottom line. What was I thinking!

3/19/2008 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

The old NewsPress pandered to the ultra-liberal city council when they should have been asking them the hard questions and holding them accountable. Which is what the new NewsPress is doing.

You might want to rethink working for Wendy so you can again clean another city up.

3/19/2008 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Went to Missouri said...

The New News-Press doesn't allow their reporters to report -- TKA does that when he really shouldn't as an editor. Editorials are asking hard questions without knowing how decisions are made or even thinking about what the public might want. Just because you believe in opinion pieces as journalism doesn't mean it is true journalism.

3/19/2008 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Montecito Max said...

Snow job, you know not whereof you speak. I was never a News-Press employee, and I don't play one in any movie or on TV. I am a very interested observer, and not a Wendy sycophant.

You state rather curiously and incongruously, "When you are unhappy, you either find a way to make your employer happy or you leave." Nope. That's your fantasy world, my friend.

And I'm not just talking about cases in progress. Wendy and you may not want to face it, but the union is the representative of the newsroom employees. By law. In stone. Done. Certified.

Also in stone: Steepleton is a liar. Armstrong is a liar who made stuff up for the purposes of the hearing in January, 2007. In stone. Done, finito. The News-Press' legal appeals and evasions on those issues are over. Kaput. Is that clear enough for you?

And the rights that employees enjoy -- resentful as Wendy is about them -- are not in doubt. Employees have the right to a voice in their workplaces, they have a right to collectively bargain, they have a right to complain about their terms and conditions of employment, and they have a right not to be disciplined or fired for making those complaints or organizing to try to improve their lot while working for a proto-fascist. That is the law. Period.

You and Wendele need to get over the fact that ownership is not dictatorship, and entrepreneurship is not a plantation or a libertarian delusion world where one bucks up, sucks up, or leaves. As pro-capitalist as America is, there is more to the workplace and the laws governing it than "my way or the highway".

So, when you figure out what the law really is, and accept that there is a dollop of human/workers' rights and dignity along with the (un)healthy helping of managerial autocracy you prefer, and when you can get past your psychoanalysis and false conjecture about who I am or was, get back to me.

3/19/2008 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Nouveau Press said...

Angel Pacheco is doing a fine job reporting. Clear, factual and to the point. The line between opinion and reporting is no longer blurred.

TA has his opinions and they are labeled as such. He hits the mark sometimes and is off the mark sometimes, but that is his right as editorial page director.

Most people are getting breaking news off the internet and no daily delivery paper will compete with the immediacy of the net. Home delivery papers get read today for their soft news and opinions.

Refiguring a daily home delivery paper in the age of the internet is a challenge. Nostalgia for what was won't change anything.

Best wishes NewsPress, you have a major challenge maintaining a place in the new media. Thank you for trying. TA is the first thing I read to get the morning juices flowing. Sometimes I love what he writes; sometimes I hate it. But read him I do.

And there you have it.

3/19/2008 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Shiek Lawerence said...

Despite what the Baron tells junior high kids, there's not as much local news as there used to be in the News-Press. Becasue of that, not because of The Mess, mornings have changed. I just go to my computer, not needing to pick up a paper from my driveway. The great national newspapers are free, as are free emails of local news. A free press is the disaster facing Wendy's caravan as she leads it around the bleak desert -- not barking dogs, not her mirages of "bias."

3/20/2008 6:30 AM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

Montecito Max, unions do not get a blank check. They can regulate limited working conditions, but not content or quality of product. You err and intentionally misrepresent. You have a dog in this fight. You have to be an ex-employee.

3/20/2008 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Ray Hathaway said...

Not to move on, but in Travis Armstrong's rant Wednesday, after beating up Camie and Brian Barnwell, again, he rehashes Measure A:

“Voters said no, no, no.”

Is “Wrong Way” channeling Amy Winehouse’s hit, “Rehab”?

“They tried to make me go to rehab
I said, no, no, no
Yes, I been black
But when I come back
You'll know, know know”

3/20/2008 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Montecito Max said...

Snow job, what did I misrepresent? You correctly (finally) concede that workers can "regulate. . . working conditions" -- I don't know what you mean by "limited" -- but assert that they can't regulate "content or quality of product". Well, SJ, that depends. For example, if the SBNP says, "Reporters, you'd better produce a product of X level quality or else", then the union can negotiate over that, because it affects their terms of employment. This is not abstract where the rubber hits the road.

As for who's got a dog in this fight, Mr. Vick, methinks you protest too much (and you are still wrong about me). Do you have a little office space with a shark named Cappello?

3/21/2008 5:43 AM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

Max, you err. Labor Codes do not control work product, only working conditions. Never have I said the Labor Code does not apply to the NewsPress.

Do better fact checking because you prove again your bias interferes with your work product. You're fired.

3/21/2008 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Montecito Max said...

Snow "Donald Trump" Job, your reading comprehension skills are overcome by your antagonism. What you are referring to as "Labor Codes" is in actuality the National Labor Relations Act, and its ongoing interpretation by the National Labor Relations Board and the federal courts.

In my example, and in many such examples in the real working world, an employer's demand for a certain quality work product directly affects the working conditions of real live workers. That is especially so when the "quality" demanded is subjective (and management defines it poorly, vaguely, and with an eye toward maintaining punitive power and discretion more than toward producing a better product), and when the consequences of not meeting that standard are disciplinary. In short, SJ, the lines you try to draw are not as clear as you assert.

It is heartening to see that you are so in tune with your master/mistress Wendy that you, too, fire people based on gossamer and poorly-drawn conclusions that have little to do with fact and nothing to do with compliance with the law. In the cyberworld, and on "The Apprentice", whatever is entertaining may hold sway, since you can no more fire me than you can comprehend that Wendy has no right to harm those who work for her. Back to that real working world, however, SJ, and Wendy is a labor outlaw, as are her faithful dishonest servants, Steepleton, Armstrong and Nipper. And for that, there is a legal price to pay.

3/21/2008 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Ice Berg said...

Robber Barons built America and we are a darn fine country because of them.

Go to church (temple, mosque, sweat lodge) if you want your kumbiyah fix.

3/21/2008 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Eddie Neilson said...

The Neilson Poll results are now in on whether Snow Job is a man, woman, munchkin or attorney:

47 percent say woman; 33 percent say man; 10 percent say munchkin; and another 10 percent say Snow Job is a member of Barry Cappello's legal team.

3/21/2008 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Snow Job said...

S.....sssssssssssssss, I'm hot.

3/22/2008 9:04 AM  

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