Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Investigator's Last, Unpublished Column

Robert Eringer, The Investigator, no longer works at the News-Press and although we will probably never know the details as to his being let go, we do have access to his last column. It is a rather scathing attack on Police Chief Cam Sanchez that makes quite a few allegations and uncovers dirty family laundry. Is this last, unpublished article what got him fired?

I his credit, Eringer stated that he is prohibited contractually from making statements on News-Press matters. What he could tell me is that he will be signing copies of his (limited edition) new book on March 30th at Piatti in Montecito’s upper village from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Contact the for more information.

Another look at this story is available over at Craig Smith's Blog.

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Anonymous Filling the void while Travisty is away said...

Anonymous claims that are not confirmed but then published is not "journalism" here.

3/15/2009 8:51 AM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

Thanks for this post SDLG. This is a somewhat interesting read. It doesn't reflect well on Mayor Blum either. Wouldn't that make the author in line for a raise or a least a reward of a free cappuccino? I don't know the News Press official position on the police chief. Chief Sanchez is not of the gender that has been the usual subject of News Press caffeinated editorial attacks. Perhaps that is why Eringer was "let go."

Most points of this editorial, as unseemly as they appear, could be argued easily in Sanchez's favor. With a little help of some "reporting" we could have the "other side" of this investigative gossip column, even without Sanchez's participation.

The recent Scoles vs. Sanchez's court case as reported by Eringer here>>> is much more substantiated. But still no in depth report on Scoles who is also taking some heat over at the Independent blog Anonymous bloggers (if legitimate) could have testified against Scoles. Perhaps the SBPD and DA were over-confident and didn't do a good job.

Unfortunately with our political operatives wanting to paint Santa Barbara as "being destroyed" I think this column will fan the flames of racist rhetoric that appears elsewhere regarding this Scoles and Sanchez face-off. For some it is true that "where there's smoke there's fire" and great for political rhetoric at election time.

3/15/2009 10:43 AM  
Anonymous No longer a subscriber said...

Maybe I missed this in reading the column, but did Robert Eringer make any effort to contact Cam Sanchez for his response to all these allegations? This column reads like a Travis Armstrong hit piece. Not that I should be surprised.

3/15/2009 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Looking to the future? said...

I wonder if her handlers have told Wendy to tone down the rhetoric and try to make her publication more appealing to advertisers?

Dr. Laura and "The Investigator" are gone. Travis is where? Wendy's supporters appear to have vanished from the blogs.

And real estate salesman Don Katich, who also worked for KEYT, is now top editor at the paper.

Whaddya bet that Wendy endorses Steve Cushman for mayor.

3/15/2009 2:42 PM  
Anonymous A response from the N-P said...

Don Katich, News-Press director of news, spoke with the Indy and had this to say about the general direction of the newspaper:

“I want the News-Press to be the source for information vital to the community’s needs, where we represent both sides of the issue and let our readers determine for themselves the merits of either side. Personal attacks and hearsay has not been what this paper has been about and it’s not what it will be about.”

3/16/2009 2:26 PM  
Blogger christine said...

Well Mr. Katich, have you told Wendy McCaw about this new direction? Seems you've mentioned it to Travis- as he has been absent for weeks. Could you get a memo to Jerry Roberts- he may need this information.

3/16/2009 6:19 PM  
Anonymous CRB said...

Thanks for the link.

Someone (okay, I will) should tell Erlinger that white on blue is very hard to read.

That aside, on reading, struggling, the recent Sanchez one I can see why the "investigator" was let go --- these things sound not only libelous but basically gossipy. Santa Barbara needs an investigative journalist but that column wasn't it.

Good for McCaw for letting him go.

3/17/2009 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Tinker Belle said...

The Investigator was terrible. Good riddance. Shows Wendy does care about content. Thank you. That was a well-intended but failed hire. Thank goodness that creep is not demanding his job back.

Good riddance to fake "doctor" Laura whose columns reeked of more self-serving vanity press.

Richard Minards was a little more charming and had a good attitude but he should have been canned for over-use of "tiara toss" down the road long time ago.

Again, content matters at the SB NewsPress and its readers appreciate this recent house cleaning. And Angel Pacheco is a darn good front page writer.

The columnists and the editorial page remain first rate. Welcome back Travis, keep up the excellent discomfiting the comfortable we count on from you.

3/17/2009 9:42 AM  
Anonymous The Observer said...

What is a "director of news" anyway, at a newspaper? Would you buy a used house from this real estate salesman turned Editor-in-Chief?

Since when has the News-Press stopped personal attacks and hearsay? That's Travis Armstrong's forte. Without those two vital components, the editorial page would have a blank space where his rantings usually are published.

When has the News-Press presented both sides of any issue? Look at the ongoing dispute between management and employees and the Teamsters Union. All the N-P prints are stories favorable to the N-P, and unfavorable news is buried.

Who does Don Katich think he is fooling? The News-Press is a big joke, and being its director of news is like being a court jester. Just dress up like a little clown and dance to the tune of Wendy and entertain her whims.

When will the News-Press finally fold and rest in peace? Stick a fork in it, it's overdone.

3/17/2009 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Peter Pan said...

My guess is the Newspress will R.I.P. the very second some stupid judge gives those reporters their jobs back.

If I were Wendy, I would never let that happen to me. Ever. It would show utter contempt for private enterprise and I would pull the plug, stick a fork in it and vamanos ASAP.

No way would I let some judge run my paper. We are prepared to take the loss, Wendy. We are with you. Your First Amendment constitutional rights trump any judge's flawed interpretation of federal labor statutes. You go, girl.

3/17/2009 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Got yer RIP right here said...

Peter, yeah, tell Wendy to "go, girl". Go sell the paper. The First Amendment has nothing to do with her violations of the law. The constitution doesn't buy immunity from the law that applies to everyone else. She will find that out soon enough.

3/18/2009 12:18 AM  
Anonymous whatitis said...

The News-Press may not be "what it used to be," but it is once again the best single source for news in Santa Barbara ... as Gov. Newsom says: whether you like it or not.

3/18/2009 10:17 AM  
Anonymous ARobinson said...

It is the height of hypocrisy for the News-Press to muzzle Eringer because he didn't report contacting Sanchez for "the other side" of the story. The NP routinely prints "press releases" from the police without any effort whatsover to contact the accused persons for their side of the story.

Current example: today's NP has a story (page A6) from the cops about two teenagers arrested for allegedly raping a teenage girl while she was drunk. There is nothing in it at all about the boys' side of the story. It sure looks like the NP only insists on both sides of the story when there's criticism of Chief Sanchez, but not when its anybody else.


3/18/2009 12:46 PM  

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