Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Loaded Questions from Armstrong Mirror Reflection of News-Press Standard Practice

An email exchange between Caruso Affiliated of the Miramar project and News-Press editor Travis Armstrong has been published on Craig Smith's blog.

The email asked Caruso's government affairs representative a few favorites were the following:

5) Is it policy of your company to personally attack or intimidate critics as many believe you have done here on the South Coast? Or is that just your practice?

6) How much money has your company offered local groups?

7) Besides the private parties and free lunches, what else has your company or Mr. Caruso offered, hinted at or given to project supporters?

As Craig points out -- one has to wonder what Marty Blum, Helene Schneider and Brian Barnwell would have to say about number five. Yet again, editorial opinion is being masqueraded as hard news. When will TKA learn? Dude, send a reporter!

Caruso's VP of Government Relations Matt Middlebrook answered the questions in a straightforward fashion by saying "This question is insulting and absurd. We are very proud of the relationship we have with communities where our projects are located".

Despite my opposition to the current proposal for the Miramar I have to say I don't blame Middlebrook for giving that kind of answer. Then again, unlike most of his attacks, at least Armstrong took the time to ask Middlebrook's point of view. Thank goodness for small favors.

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Anonymous Brian in Carp said...

As long as Travis leads the charge against the Miramar, you KNOW it's got to be a good project.
The old Miramar was not just a few cottages with blue roofs, it was a vibe.. a casual beach atmosphere that Caruso wants to bring back. Where was Schragger during his ownership? Where was Ty Warner during his ownership..hiding as usual. And now Travis is trying to tell you that the previous owners kept the property in pristine condition!

Caruso has been front and center during the process. What's the problem? The Montecito Planning Commission needs to come clean at the next meeting. No more time wasted trying to figure out what a basement is, what a corridor is, what the mean high tide line is,how to read blue prints or how to catch all the rain that bounces off the Miramar roofs. If they can't make a decision after all the time they have had, then supervisor Carbajal, a Marine, needs to clean house. As for Travis, like Ty Warner, he hides. As long as Wendy enables and rewards him, he'll continue to make up stories and print them as facts. He is a coward, pure and simple.

8/24/2008 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/24/2008 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Remember Name/URL said...

pport something or someone then everyone else should begin to doubt the same, even if the issue is a good one, such as an honest and legal review of this Miramar project.

As for the Sara la Guerra note in the posting, does the Newspress even have any reporters?

So many big news stories are not covered because the Newspress not only has no one to cover them but also because the ethically challenged management there deliberately does not want honest journalistic coverage because that would contradict the more objective news reporting.

8/24/2008 3:06 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I believe they have one or two still...if they can "send" a sports reporter to Beijing, maybe they could have one cover the story.

8/24/2008 3:08 PM  
Anonymous No spousal beating here said...

Doesn't McCaw know that Armstrong is tearing her paper apart, causing advertisers and readers to leave, costing her millions in lost value?

Is it her policy to let Armstrong hijack her paper? Or just her practice?

8/24/2008 9:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

If Travis spoke out against Satan, most of you would find a way to defend Satan.

8/24/2008 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Return of Pale Writer said...

For some insight to the ongoing editorial philosophy at the Santa Barbara News-Press, I'd suggest viewing the movie, "Shattered Glass."

It delves into the mind of a reporter, Stephen Glass, who fabricated most of the stories he wrote for the magazine, "New Republic," and how the untruths eventually unraveled into one of the greatest journalistic scandals of all time.

Actually, reporters at Forbes Magazine exposed the falsehoods in one of Glass's stories, leading to a probe into all of his other stories by New Republic management and staff, eager to clean house and restore their reputation.

It would be interesting if the other media in Santa Barbara would investigate the falsehoods in Travis Armstrong's news-torials. Since the News-Press has no real reporters left and a bogus "Investigator" whose forte is probing crap at sewage facilities (new definition for the word "muckraker"), the paper's editorial page editor has assumed the role of commentator on stories he makes up himself.

The only question I have is just how long will this journalistic farce of a newspaper persist in its incompetent endeavors until its blatant lies and bias blow up into an even greater scandal than what happened at the New Republic?

8/25/2008 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Brian in Carp said...

If Travis spoke the truth about Satan, like HE DOESN"T EXIST..then I'd say..way to go Trav! Gee Carson, you must belong to the All Saints by the Sea congregation, right next to the Miramar...bide a wee and pray for us, won't you?

8/25/2008 6:59 AM  
Anonymous I Thought he Was irrelevant said...

I decided unequivocally TWO YEARS AGO that Travis Armstrong and his opinions are IRRELEVANT!
So it troubles me that there are actually people who still are so preoccupied with Armstrong that they would support something primarily because Travis opposes it? That's ludicrous.

The Miramar as brought to us by Caruso is bad planning at its worst especially in the absence of an EIR. My 5 yr old son could see that, if I explained it to him, I'm sure. So the fact that Travis A. opposes it means nothing to me. I oppose it on its own merits. I'm sure Travis A.likes ice cream. Does that mean I'll stop liking ice cream?
People, let's move on......can we analyze anything in this community without having to be influenced---directly or indirectly---by what Travis Armstrong believes or writes???

8/25/2008 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Brian in Carp said...

Travis is not long as Wendy gives him a forum to comment on community issues. The analogies about ice cream are sophomoric. The Miramar property is huge and the project should be allowed to be built. It has had plenty of reviews and the fears the few neighbors have are mostly in their heads..I say hold the next Miramar/MPC meeting on site with full camera crew, take a walk around the grounds and you'll see the complaints are baseless.

8/25/2008 9:00 AM  
Anonymous los olivos gal! said...

Craig Smith is reporting that Blake Dorfman QUIT the paper while he was in China!!!!!!!!!

8/25/2008 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Native Son said...

I hear from some coaching friends of mine that Dorfman is starting a local sports web site with former News-Press sport writers and editors... they've already received major investment (from rich family) and have been arranging stories with local coaches. They are also in the process of wooing the Athletic Round Table, which has been stiff-armed by Wendy and Arthur for reportedly letting Punzal (the sports editor they laid off last spring) speak at one of their press luncheons

Supposedly, the News-Press is pulling its support of the non-profit Round Table, whose sole purpose is to recognize young local athletes. Unbelievable that they would cut off their nose to spite their face this way, but it's true.

But this union vs. News-Press battle is starting to become comical. It's like they were once fighting over this precious, Ming vase, and they dropped it and broke it, and now they're fighting over the shattered remnants. Have you read that newspaper lately? There's nothing local in it except press releases.

At this point, their fight with each other is now only about pride — about the union sticking it to the News-Press by making them take back the fired employees, and about Wendy proving that she will compromise with no one. The object of their struggle — a once fine local newspaper — has already been utterly and totally destroyed.

And when you read the Saturday morning News-Press the day after the first Friday of high school football games, and can't find anything more than a score from the Santa Barbara High or Carp High games, this reality will finally sink in for all of you.

8/26/2008 11:20 AM  
Anonymous over the river said...

>> Just how long will this journalistic farce of a newspaper persist in its incompetent endeavors until its blatant lies and bias blow up into an even greater scandal than what happened at the New Republic? >>

Well, hey, check Google or the archives here or Vanity Fair or American Journalism Review or the L.A. Times or the New York Times or Citizen McCaw or Los Angeles Magazine or the SB Independent, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera for the sordid details. More than 70 journalists quit or resigned v. some guy who made some stuff up v. illegal surveillance of employees, illegal firings and, oh man, there's just too much to list right now. An even greater scandal? I think it we passed that threshold around August 2006. No. Make that July.

8/27/2008 12:00 AM  
Anonymous and through the woods said...

What you describe as "this" struggle is hardly comical. There's more to a newspaper than the Sports section. "They" did not drop the vase. The union is not "sticking" it to Wendy. Pride? The law is the law. A thank you to all its champions.

8/27/2008 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Native Son said...

The law is the law? What law-law land are you from?

The law is not enforced when the litigant is worth millions and can protract the case for years and years. I know those people who were fired, and their lives have been torn apart and the law has given them empty victories. They are not working yet and they are not getting paid by the News-Press, and won't be for a long, long time. The law had the chance to make this right, but the law denied the injunction to put those people back to work. That's the law you worship.

I hope they are still alive when this finally plays out, but it will be too late to save that newspaper, and it won't be able to repair what has been done to the employees. I got out when I could, but others are stuck there, or have been blown out of there by the maniacs in charge who have been so emboldened by your legal world.

The law? The law has been designed for rich people like Wendy, not for working people. Haven't you been paying attention?

8/27/2008 8:22 AM  
Blogger Grace said...

If you haven't seen it yet, please check out the new and quickly expanding website for truthaboutmiramar.

If you agree with the petition, please sign it. It's basic. It's easy.

And please attend the Montecito Planning Commission hearing tomorrow. The hearing might last all day, but your presence for any amount of time will show the Commissioners, the County Supervisors, and the community that we want a new hotel that fits the Montecito Community Plan. We want a hotel that enhances our beloved, semi-rural environment, not one that appears to be the gateway to Orange County.

Montecito Planning Commission Hearing for the Miramar Hotel
Thursday, August 28th, 9AM
County Engineering Building (123 E. Anapamu), Planning Commission Hearing Room.

8/27/2008 3:22 PM  

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