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And the Satire Winners Are….


Two Satires Win This Be-a-Reporter Battle

Sorry for the delay folks, but crafting the Indy blogosphere and running parts of a weekly newspaper proves quite the juggling job from time to time. So let’s not delay in announcing the winners for this funny little satire contest we created. (And we can’t say satire enough, because that saves us from a libel lawsuit. Right?)

The satire writer with the most votes was “Always wanted to write for Indy”, whose satire about Editor & Publisher giving Wendy McCaw the “Ultimate Supreme Visionary Award” garnered the most official votes. For those who didn’t read it in the comments of the last post, here is his/her satirical story:

Newspaper Trade Pub Creates Honorary Award For McCaw

Editor & Publisher, a print and journalism industry watchdog publication, is honoring Santa Barbara News-Press Publisher and billionaire Wendy McCaw with an unprecedented, one-time Ultimate Supreme Visionary Award.

McCaw is receiving the honor for shrewdly dismantling a high profile cabal that openly worked to generate and promote bias. She is being credited with undermining the cabal’s leader, former News-Press Managing Editor Jerry Roberts, by issuing carefully crafted orders demanding he bend the news in favor of her interests – orders masterfully conceived to undermine Roberts’s credibility and force him into abrupt resignation.

WendyMcCaw.jpg

“McCaw is a genius,” said Robert L. Krakoff, president of E&Ps parent company, VNU Business Media, in a written statement released by its Bangkok, China-based PR firm, Zhang PR & Propoganda, Inc. “When faced with the insidious truth-mutiny engineered by Roberts and his bias-churning editorial staff, McCaw did what no other publisher has ever done: She engaged Roberts in an ingenious battle of wits. Her early moves appeared to be foolish, but therein lived the masterstroke. By demanding that addresses never be printed in the paper, and by issuing a hard policy on the use of the word “blonde,” she laid the foundation upon which Roberts’s removal from the newsroom was ultimately built. And she did it all from her yacht! For this, we have created the Ultimate Supreme Visionary Award, which will be given to Wendy and Wendy only.”

E&P is withholding the date of the closed-door ceremony to be held at the Montecito Biltmore. McCaw could not be reached for comment. Fenfang Zhang, E&P’s publicist, said through her interpreter that Comedian George Burns has been raised from the dead specifically to entertain at the event.

“We felt man who play God in movies - best logical choice!” exclaimed Zhang.

Zhang said the award itself is a “significant gold block into which has been encased large stack of US currency.”

Editor’s Choice Award for Satirical Conspiracy

Yet what really caught our editors’ eyes was a last minute addition from “Raul Hernandez.” So we’re giving Raul an award for “Best Satirical Conspiracy Theory.” Such far-flung conspiratorial allegations do, in fact, mirror the sorts of allegations being thrown out there by the News-Press management. Here is his (or her?) satirical story:

fbi.gifMillstein%20%26%20von%20Wiesenberger%20Web.jpgDateline Santa Barbara — An FBI investigation showed that the Santa Barbara News Press was infiltrated by terrorists posing as journalists who with the help of a fake journalism organization and corrupt state officials tried to take over the newspaper. After a year-long investigation, the FBI said they were alerted the the situation by owner Wendy McCaw who became suspcious after she found reporters taking out prayer rugs in the newsroom and facing east to pray during the lunch hour. “Initially, Ms.McCaw first contacted our office because she kept insisting that aliens had taken over the newsroom,” said FBI regional head Jay Ambrose. “I told her, ‘girl, everybody’s got the same problem. You need to go to the the Border Patrol or Homeland, we are FBI and we don’t do aliens.’” McCaw told the FBI that the aliens were from space who had stalked her and her companion, head wine taster and cheese consultant — Arthur Von Wiesenberger, said Ambrose. “The space ship hovered around their yacht one night earlier this year. The couple said they believed the reason they weren’t snatched and examined is because Wiesenberger threatened to sue the aliens,” Mueller said, adding. “I guess they heard about all the lawsuits and the aliens wanted no part of it. I don’t know. I mean who wants to be tied up in court.” McCaw was persistent. She returned to the FBI a month later. This time, she had a videotape that showed the prayer rugs and the “reporters’keisters” up in the air. “It was very revealing,” said Ambrose. “Especially, when we zoomed in.” The videotape also showed editors, the financial chief, the comptroller and columnists stepping over these people as though they were oblivious to what was happening. “We knew we were on to something big,” said Ambrose. A law enforcement task force of 200 local, state and federal officers fanned and made arrests in several counties, soup and unemployment lines early this morning. A columnist was arrested at Casa Esperanza near her shopping cart. FBI agents said hours of newsroom videotapes were analyzed and what they found, Ambrose described, as “shocking.” Ambrose said a judge can be seen on the videotape meeting with editors and newspaper higher ups behind closed doors. “They were so brazen, the judge was wearing his robe during the meetings,” said Ambrose.”Apparently, they were discussing how they were going to plot against Ms. McCaw at a NLRB hearing.” That justice later was identified as Judge William “Sit down and shut up” Schmidt with the National Labor Relations Board. Schmidt recently held hearings on the vote by reporters to join the Teamsters Union. An NLRB spokesman Mindy Christy refused to confirm or deny the existence of Judge Schmidt “However, we are puting him on administrative leave pending an investigation,” Christy said.”He is in Equador or one of those countries near the equator that I can’t spell.” Meanwhile, McCaw has turned over paperwork of a bogus organization set up by the maverick reporters and editors called “The Society for Professional Journalists,” said Ambrose. “There could be links to Al Qaeda. We are still investigating,” he said. “Terrorists and crazy people know that if you can take over a newsroom you can influence a community.” The FBI is also checking into claims by McCaw that some Santa Barbara small businesses they are supporting terrorists by hanging signs that read: “Wendy Obey the Law “She said this is actually a hidden message that says ‘10 percent off here for Arab guys and aliens,’” said Ambrose. “We are taking this latest allegation seriously.” David Millstein (pictured here with Nipper, Wendy’s fiancee), the paper’s general counsel, said in an interview that McCaw is still hurt that people in Santa Barbara are being “so mean” and hopes the FBI investigation will vindicate her. McCaw is proud that she foiled a plot that would have destroyed her and her newspaper, said Millstein. “She is a hero, and so is Travis, Yolanda and the others who saw right through this diabolical conspiracy,” said Millstein. McCaw refused to be interviewed for this report. “How can she trust any journalist after this?” said Millstein. “She is going to write your own story about this and quote herself to make sure the article is accurate.” In response to a question, Millstein said, “If there is an error in her story, we can always run a correction. But she’ll tape the interview with herself to make sure she gets it right…I don’t believe she can sue herself for libel, no.”

So there you have it, Santa Barbara Media Blog readers, the results of our first ever Be-a-Reporter satire contest. Sorry for the typos, misspellings, and the like, but aspiring journos don’t get the type of copy edit treatment you may expect from us. Maybe we’ll do another one soon.

More Media News

Meanwhile, if you haven’t been following the other blogs, a few important developments happened recently. One, Travis Armstrong called his last five years at the News-Press as “great.” And two, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is defending Blogabarbara author Sara De la Guerra, whose identity is being sought after by attorneys for the News-Press. As a leading defender of First Amendment rights in this digital age, that’s some big help, and the News-Press legal team should not take their involvement lightly.

Also, Craig Smith yesterday published a story about a nice chat with Vladimir Kogan, the much maligned young reporter who was on the News-Press staff after the meltdown. Kogan explained to Smith that he was helping The Indy in our legal case against the News-Press. That’s something I heard over here awhile back, but did not want to report for strategic reasons. Thanks to Smith for releasing that cat, and thanks to Kogan for standing up to bullies.

In other media news, the Daily Sound went all tabloid on us this week. I guess they’re not afraid of The Indy suing them for likeness (and they shouldn’t be).

And lastly, if you hadn’t yet realized, the Santa Ynez Valley Journal was sold by the Montecito Journal‘s owner Jim Buckley a little while back to Nancy Crawford-Hall, a rancher from Santa Ynez known for her outspoken manner and rootsy, conservative ag-at-all-costs beliefs. Just recently, the paper’s editor, who I believe was Alison Hershon, quit out of nowhere, and the paper is currently seeking a full-time editor to run the paper. Since there are so many pros in town that no longer have newspaper gigs thanks to the N-P meltdown, I figured this would be a good place to drop this news and see if anyone’s interested. If so, email matt@independent.com and I can get you a phone number and better explanation.

Until the next time the News-Press does something silly and makes us throw up another column, that’s all for now.

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