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Arthur von Wiesenberger and Wendy McCaw

Paul Wellman (file)

Arthur von Wiesenberger and Wendy McCaw


Mark One for McCaw

Federal Appeals Court Hands News-Press Owner Major Legal Win


Wednesday, December 19, 2012
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Santa Barbara News-Press owner and publisher Wendy McCaw scored a huge victory Tuesday morning when a United States Court of Appeals determined the National Labor Relations Board had blended reporters’ requests for more editorial control with protected union claims, and that the line in the sand was clear — the First Amendment protected McCaw.

This decision overturns an NLRB order to reinstate with back pay eight employees fired in 2007. That means it’s likely the end of the road for the group, which said their firing was illegal and in connection with protected union activity over employment terms. The NLRB agreed earlier this year, ordering the paper to hire back the employees.

Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman (file)

But the appellate court disregarded that, opining that they were seeking editorial control over the newspaper. “The First Amendment affords a publisher — not a reporter — absolute authority to shape a newspaper’s content,” wrote Senior Circuit Judge Stephen Williams in a unanimous opinion Tuesday. Said News-Press attorney L. Michael Zinser: “The NLRB collided with the First Amendment, and the First Amendment won.”

The dispute between newsroom workers and McCaw has been simmering for years, after the initial explosion in 2006. Then, disagreements over news coverage led to the resignation of several top newsroom employees, including editor Jerry Roberts and longtime columnist Barney Brantingham, (both of whom now write columns for The Santa Barbara Independent).

Among the disputes were how the DUI arrest of former editorial page editor Travis Armstrong was covered, as well as the reporting on the address of a proposed home for actor Rob Lowe.

After the initial group walked out the door, several remaining reporters and editorial staff sought to join the Teamsters Union. The employees sent a list of demands to McCaw, the first of which was to “restore journalism ethics to the Santa Barbara News-Press.”

As reporters slowly began leaving, residents came together to support the remaining newsroom staff, holding rallies and cancelling subscriptions by the thousands. But McCaw stayed strong.

Reporters Melinda Burns and Anna Davison were eventually fired for alleged biased reporting, while six more were subsequently fired not long after hanging a sign on a footbridge over Highway 101 urging drivers to cancel their newspaper subscriptions. They argued, however, that these actions were protected union activities.

After the NLRB agreed with that characterization in 2011, McCaw appealed. And now she’s won. “We knew all along we weren’t going to accept what the NLRB decision was because the law is in our favor,” explained News-Press attorney Matthew Clarke, who went on to say the NLRB is heavily biased in favor of unions.

Melinda Burns
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman (file)

Melinda Burns

Former reporter Burns said the group was “devastated” by the news. “This case is about workers’ rights to form a union, and it’s shocking to us that the appellate court judgment cloaked McCaw’s actions in the First Amendment,” she said. She said the decision “seems to justify McCaw’s retaliation.”

The Court of Appeals panel — comprised of three conservative judges, two nominated by President Ronald Reagan, the other by President George H. W. Bush — said the analysis by the NLRB was “tainted by its mistaken belief that employees had a statutorily protected right to engage in collective action aimed at limiting Ampersand’s editorial control over the News-Press.”

The court found a distinction between editorial control and the pursuit of fair wages, benefits, and working conditions. “Here, newsroom employees’ conduct was focused largely on protecting the quality of the relevant product, as they perceived it, from Ampersand’s editorial policies,” wrote Williams.

The only remedy remaining for the fired workers is to ask the Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision, or petition the U.S. Supreme Court. Both scenarios contain grim outlooks for the group.

The Teamsters are still fighting to represent newsroom staff, but the NLRB found in September of this year that the News-Press was bargaining in bad faith. That issue will be heard by the same Court of Appeals next year. Also coming up in the next year is a trial in front of an NLRB administrative law judge regarding allegations of more bad faith actions by the newspaper.

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Independent Discussion Guidelines

I still quit the News Press.

geeber (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 4:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I do agree that the formation of the union needed to be a separate issue from the content of the paper. Some may not like it, but the editorial content is the perogative of the publisher. The employees have a right to form a union, but that right is limited to negotiate pay, benefits and working conditions, not the content of newspaper.

Botany (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 7:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Anything wrong with this statement by Creepleton?

"We will continue to publish the best newspaper in the country, free from any attempted interference - government, union or otherwise. We will continue to strive for unbiased coverage of the news and to serve the readers of the greater Santa Barbara area to the best of our capabilities."

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 8:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

'serve the readers of the greater Santa Barbara area'......all eight of them.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 8:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

NewsPress has become a wonderful newspaper in the past few years. Lots of variety of opinion, few to no animal rights stories or editorials and one or two actually interesting investigative articles by Peter Lance.

So anyone trotting out the typical string of non-complaints we see here only proves they have not even looked at the paper in years. Plus time has shown Travis Armstrong was right on just about every issue, but readers were not ready to hear the truth.

Keep up the good work and sorry you got abused by the obviously biased NLRB. Thank you for having the resources and courage to see this through to the First Amendment and private property issues that indeed were always core to this entire sordid Teamster union-driven debacle.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 11:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

According to Noozhawk, it was director of news operations Don Katich who provided the written statement about the "best newspaper in the country". Maybe "John_Adams" read differently in the News-Press, but he should be aware that kindergarten level name-calling taints his comments.

Even so, it's a bizarre statement by Katich: the News-Press better than the Wa Post, the NYT, et al? I don't think so.

at_large (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 11:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Fact:
Subscriber numbers for News Press are down, have fallen off far more and faster than other daily papers in the region or nationwide.

Fact:
Advertising revenue appears to be way down for News Press.

Fact:
Wendy had to pay Jerry Roberts' legal fees plus interest, a sum that was in the $1 million neighborhood.

Fact:
There are still outstanding NLRB rulings against the News Press.

Opinion:
News Press won the law suit at Federal Appeals Court but they are losing in court of public opinion.

wallymoon (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 12:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sports page has definitely improved. Zant is a nice guy, but there the secton is much better now. Was literally down to nothing a couple of years back.

Scooter (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 12:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Scene beats the Independent for local events and entertainment any day of the week, including Thursday when the Independent comes out. Credit to that vastly improved part of the NP too.

Opinion columnists are among the best and varied out there. A daily treat to read every morning And news stories and headlines are factual and neutral which does put it in better stead than the NYT, WaPo and LATimes.

Home delivery makes the NP a total winner and an important daily part of our lives. You miss out if you are not reading the NewsPress. Be prepared to see a high quality product and not what you read about only from this small band of detractors.

No one expects breaking news from their morning delivery paper any longer. That is not the NP's strength. Excellent local coverage and excellent range of media opinion and features is where the NP excels.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 1:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The Free Press should be a check on tyranny, not a partner
in propaganda.

Rinconer (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 1:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I cancelled our NP subscription in 2006 and haven’t missed it a bit. I do miss the old, ‘pre-Macaw’ NP. I've since gotten all the news I need from the Independent and other sources. I admit that I couldn't resist looking at the NP’s 2012 election recommendations: I found it interesting that their recommendations were essentially opposite of how SB voted. In contrast, the Independent reflected our community well. Another indication of how poorly the NP now represents the region it is misnamed for.

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 2:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Charles Krauthamer, Thomas Sowell...great columnists?! Please!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 2:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Np got rid of David Brooks, and seldom prints Geo. F. Will...they don't even have decent conservative columnists.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 2:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Scene is pretty good, wide-ranging.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 2:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oblati is Scott Steepleton.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 2:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Then why is he providing free content for a competitor?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 2:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Like a moth to the flame, he can't refrain from engaging in real dialogue.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 3:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll continue to not buy the paper until the current ownship changes. I do miss the pre-McCaw NP though.

Num1UofAn (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 3:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The point of the NLRB cases is not about the content of the paper, but about a court loking for a reason to help out an outlaw employer, even when its own lawyers were not up to the task of defending it. The DC Circuit reached beyond the comprehensive evidentiary record and the confines of precedent from SCOTUS and its own annals to help out a miscreant employer, in unprecedented fashion. The only thing missing from McCaw's First Amendment defense was evidence: the NLRB found, relying on evidence, that the reasons for which the eight reporters were discharged were either pretexts (i.e., lies to cover up anti-union motivation) or retaliation NOT for alleged attacks on managerial prerogative, but for protected activity. McCaw's half dozen lawyers mustered not a shred of evidence to contradict that conclusion, and Steepleton admitted that all of the reasons for firing the eight were contained in the letters he wrote and gave to them. None of those letters said word one about McCaw's purported concern about threats to her editorial prerogatives. So the First Amendment was a "post hoc" defense cooked up by lawyers who didn't bother to prove it.

People sucking up to Wendy claim the NLRB is biased; all of the judges favoring Wendy thus far have had an "R" next to their names, and one Republican NLRB member voted in favor of the employees and union. Republicans are supposed to believe in the force of precedent, but these three pretended the Supreme Court's ruling saying newspapers had to obey labor law, and the DC Circuit's precedent saying employee boycotts are protected, never happened. These judges' hostility to unions, collective bargaining and the NLRB, and willingness to bend over backwards to help employers and discard the deference they're supposed to show to NLRB rulings, have been demonstrated time and again. This decision is a travesty of justice, nothing less.

JoeHill (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 10:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think what is really interesting is that "the best newspaper in the country" only has 11 people even interested in commenting on it. Bwaahahahhah.

"Best newspaper in the country." I think you could remove an "r" from "country" and still be wrong.

readabookeveryday (anonymous profile)
December 19, 2012 at 11:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Things could be worse than being a Republican in this town. You could be a chick with duct tape over your mouth.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 9:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Charles Krauthammer + Thomas Sowell = Brilliant columnists

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 3:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Krauthammer brilliant? You need a dose of Robert Hughes or Camille Paglia.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 4:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Paglia's latest, GLITTERING IMAGES, has been been panned, but I liked it. Oblati, you should be throwing Star Parker and Michelle Malkin at me, come on! They're much better than those two geezers you note; better suit your extreme right wing position. The Mont. Journal likes to print Ward Connerly, recently with his archaic critique of "diversity", why didn't you bring him up? Let's hear more about the sources you rely upon.
What unites O and these columnists is a never-to-be-satisfied wish for the 1950s AND a complete fear of bigger government. They like to quote F. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, forgetting it was a propaganda blast vs. the excesses of Stalinism in the USSR. It was not the major or best work of this important Austrian economist. We have rampant robber baron capitalism now, so I'm hardly worried a monolithic socialism is about to take over the USA. Gawd.
KV's right: O and these strident critics are remnants of R. Hughes's CULTURE OF COMPLAINT.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 5:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

McCaw is FAR from blameless, but having observed the self-righteous behavior of Ms. Burns and her ilk, it is quite clear that they believe that they, and not the paper's owner, have the right to control content. I frankly consider this to be a bigger issue than alleged labor law violation, esp in view of the fact that the journalists were actively and publicly encouraging subscribers to drop their subscriptions (illegal labor practice in itself). And as the Court stated, alleging labor law violations does not excuse the journalists (in this case, aka propagandists and polemicists) their own missteps; this bunch was obviously depending on a far-left-leaning NLRB to carry their water. Ironically, it was Burns' statements that gave the Court their best ammunition on this. And now she cries foul. Typical...

And BTW, folks, the fact that some of you dislike some (not always the same) columnists is evidence that the NP is providing views from multiple viewpoints. It is, after all, an article of faith with the Far Left that anyone writing from another viewpoint is an idiot and unworthy of print. Personally, I thought that Molly McIHateBush belonged on the cartoon pages, but I didn't question their right or wisdom to include her - just another viewpoint, after all.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 5:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Starshine Roshell could eat Star Parker for breakfast.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 5:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

JL, the same holds true with the Far Right. If W. Bush were able to read Molly McIvins he might've learned something useful. Probably still stuck on that goat story!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 5:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@JohnLocke: "McCaw is FAR from blameless, but having observed the self-righteous behavior of Ms. Burns and her ilk, it is quite clear that they believe that they, and not the paper's owner, have the right to control content."

And it speaks volumes that while Burns et al were at the News-Press, it had some semblance of integrity. Now, it's a laughing stock that barely functions as a vanity paper to which no self-respecting journalists would put their name - and continues to function as THE lesson in how to destroy the reputation of a newspaper in the shortest amount of time.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 6:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nobody but the Duct Tape Seven think the NewsPress is a laughing stock. Before Wendy cleaned it up, it was a joke however.

There was no integrity in how Josh Molina wrote his biased articles. There was no integrity in the style pages when Gina was trotting out all her friends gal parties and uber-rich playgrounds. Barney's trite homespun favored any progressive party rally he could find, so no loss there either.

Starshine is a good writer but she shot herself in the foot on this one. Star Parker and Michelle Malkin do join the diverse list of great, thought provoking NP syndicated columnists, along with plenty on the left who leave me irritated but enlightened. You can keep Maria Hinajosa and the McFeathers duo, but they get read too. The gal from San Francisco and Dan Walters from Sacramento - all tops in their game.

We still get that Unitarian minster guy too - the NP provides a lot of thought to our mornings. The list of columnists is quite long now that I try to recall them all. I read every one of them and appreciate the new editorial policy that bring them all to me for my breakfast.

Some of the local columnists are superb (all guys?) - the sailing guy who is a great yarn spinner, the emergency preparedness guys, Bruce Sallen, the guy who does the restaurant reviews is tops, and the guy who does the neighborhood explorations opens up new worlds for the readers too. They do their homework and write exceedingly well.

Features on local business, cooking, excellent local volunteer opportunities, arts and theater scene, on the street interviews ..... there is a lot to like, read and savor.

This paper is no laughing stock. The NewsPress is one heck of a good local paper. You are missing out if you no longer read it.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 7:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Starshine Roshell could eat Star Parker for breakfast.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 20, 2012 at 5:24 p.m

So you're saying she outshines her?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 3:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Eat: The NP had some semblance of integrity only if you believe that news articles laced with liberal opinion is the same as factual reporting.

@Ken: I'm no fan of the Far Right, either. But there is a difference between the reasonable of both parties and the lunatics of both parties. Around here, people tend to equate all Reps with the nuts. Heck, to be a centrist in the Peoples' Republic of SB is to be considered a rabid rightie.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 9:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

[Oblati aka Scott Steepleton wrote;]
"There was no integrity in how Josh Molina wrote his biased articles. There was no integrity in the style pages when Gina was trotting out all her friends gal parties and uber-rich playgrounds. Barney's trite homespun favored any progressive party rally he could find, so no loss there either."

And when the News Press' co-publisher's boozy buddy Peter Lance writes sixty pages front page personal attack on a Santa Barbara police officer (included pilfering her wedding photos to smear on the seamy pages of the News Press) to try and duck a DUI ticket, that ISN'T biased journalism? Get off your high (and delusional) horse, Creepleton.

readabookeveryday (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 10:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What's interesting is that NOT A SINGLE major new source is covering this "victory" of a vindictive news publisher. Apparently a walk-out by a newsroom of profession journalists claiming ethical interference and intimidation on the part of their publisher is of nationwide interest. It made many headline. However, a billionaire's hollow victory as the result of endless litigation and the biased ruling by all GOP appeals court, seems to be of NO INTEREST AT ALL to the press McCaw is feigning to be protecting in the name of free speech. I believe McCaw thought she would be boosted onto the shoulders of Karl Rove and carried about the Capitol to the cheers of a Tea Party Congress. Guess what, people see this "victory" for what is it: bought, bogus bit of horsepucky from a purveyor of frivious lawsuits.

readabookeveryday (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 10:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@JohnLocke: "The NP had some semblance of integrity only if you believe that news articles laced with liberal opinion is the same as factual reporting. "

As compared to today, when it has zero credibility and it's only contributing lesson to journalism is demonstrating how owner interference can entirely destroy a newspaper's already meager reputation.

And anyone who defends that rag after what it attempted to do to Jerry Roberts should be ashamed of themselves.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 12:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@JohnLocke It is NOT illegal for employees to advocate boycott of their employer; it is in fact activity protected by federal labor law. Indeed, two of the three members of the same cynical panel that decided the News-Press case this week said as much in a case they participated in 20 years ago. The fact that they didn't even refer to their own precedent that was squarely against the result they wanted to reach -- which was cited to them by the parties and would not have escaped their notice -- shows the political character of this decision.

Moreover, the panel deliberately and consciously distorted (and omitted certain of) the facts, equally to suit their preordained purpose.

JoeHill (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 12:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Katich, Wendy's frontman to provide a layer of insulation, is a "yes!" man thru and thru..No wonder you get fictional commentary on how awesome the News Press is. His job depends on it. Poor guy, surrounded by over the top controlling women. The other point here being, why are Regan era appointed judges still ruling on this stuff? Shouldn't they have been put out to pasture by now?

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 1:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The only missing voice here is the Teamsters union lawyer who told the fired employees it was protected speech to economically sabotage their employer.

If the Duct Tape Seven have any lingering gripe, (duh?) it should be against that dude who led them astray and then dumped 'em when the going got bad. No wonder the Teamsters had to dump so much cash in this fool-hardy defense and make-up gesture to those intentionally misled employees under their command.

Poor babies. Here is a clue: if it sounds like a stupid idea and a union boss tells you it is okay, it is a stupid idea.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 3:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oblati
Posted on December 20 at 7:18 p.m.

Remind me what name-calling is as rebuttal, Volok. Escapes me right now. Oh yes, bankruptcy of thought.

"If the Duct Tape Seven have any lingering gripe"
"Poor babies."

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 3:32 p.m

Maybe its a Holiday office party..

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 3:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Any paper that takes Andy Caldwell seriously needs to have a good long look at itself. Geez, even his writing is squeaky and whiny!

Walter (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 3:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I used to read the paper online,including the advertisements...until the PAYWALL...which sucks pretty hard. to me the SB news press no longer exists. nothing.

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 4:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Defending the right of the owner of the paper to dictate editorial policy is not the same as defending the owner or defending the policy. Is there anyone out there capable of logical debate?

Do you believe in free speech? Do you believe that gives the KKK the right to spout the horrible things they say? The ACLU says yes to both.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 5:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Caldwell was brilliant today. He has greatly surprised me because I did previously think he was a shallow nut case from his early CoLab days.

Again, like Travis Armstrong, over time he has proven his worth. So one has to assume anyone trashing Caldwell's editorials has in fact not been reading them and just spewing trite nonsense into the wind..

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Locke, you are hardly alone here. Jump in and join the debate.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 5:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The News Suppress Swallows..What a bunch of Ball face lies!

Byrd (anonymous profile)
December 21, 2012 at 6:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I love a good debate, but this string is mostly character assassination and name-calling. The McCaw haters seem unable to debate principles or perhaps don't understand the concept.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
December 23, 2012 at 9:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I worry more the McCaw haters still do not understand the concept of private property rights. It was their sense of entitlement to someone else's duly purchased private property that never made sense and was finally confirmed in the last court ruling.

However, nothing yet shows the McCaw "get it yet". Which is prima facie evidence how deeply their own journalistic biases ran.

When McCaw hater impresario Sara Miller McCune arrogantly claimed she was going to buy the NewsPress at a NewsPress event no less, when the NewsPress was not even up for sale, it only demonstrated the stigma against private property rights runs very deep in this town from the mover/shakers down to the grunters and grinders.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 23, 2012 at 1:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Not gonna get far in this town badmouthing Ms. McCune, for good reason. She has used her own resources and time to enrich the community without seeking personal glory.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 23, 2012 at 1:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Seems I see McCune's name over the portals of many a recipient activity, even to the vanity of her own magazine. She is no role model for the reluctant philanthropist. Her snarky bad manners denouncing the NewsPress at their own event well earns her public rebuke.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 23, 2012 at 5:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You're only person rebuking this alleged incident. I've also seen Ms. McCaw's name over "the portal of recipient activity" and I don't see you criticizing her for accepting well deserved acknowledgement, for example the Granada Building. But someone you imagine as a villain darenot show her name in public? How are you in reality any different than the "Wendy haters"? And why do you care if she actually did do what you describe? I'm quite certain you don't own the SBNP, what skin is it off your teeth?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 23, 2012 at 5:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oblati, I've lost confidence in the ability of a certain group of locals, reflected in other groups nationwide, to understand the concept of private property rights. Old saying from the Left: " what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine to take."

And ref previous posts for more shining examples of comments re personalities rather than issues. We get it, folks, you don't like McCaw. Now, can you debate issues?

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 9:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm glad I know enough not to judge Ms. McCaw by the words of some of her supporters.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm surprised the INDY isn't a Union shop.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 12:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Seriously Caldwell is an embarassment to this community, via the news press the radio whatever....even when he jumps the podium in front of various groups and want to listen to his own horn as he toots away. The logic would make Fox news blush.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 1:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You win some and you lose some. However the NP remains at best a third rate newspapaper. I can't be bothered to read it and it serves only a minimally useful local function. Between the LA Times (good but not a great paper) free online news and the Independent I have all the news i can handle.

Noletaman (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 3:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Good point, Ken_Volok. Hey, Nick Welsh, why isn't the INDY a union shop?

But I'm glad I know enough not to judge Ms. McCaw by the words of some of her detractors

And not to beat a dead horse, but the issue isn't McCaw; it's her right to run her privately-owned newspaper as she sees fit. The McCaw haters insist on making it about McCaw personally - apparently unable to distinguish principle from personality..

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 4:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

No matter how any media outlet strives for objectivity, bias will always seep in because in the end it's all run by human beings.
I don't think it's unusual for an editorial to appear on a front page as long as it is labelled as such.
In terms of public reception of content, every issue is a gamble for every publisher. Advertisers rarely care about content as long as their target audience is drawn to the publication in sufficient numbers.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 4:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's an idea: Just report the news, (which is what reporters are paid to do) and if you want your political viewpoints to be heard than you can write them in your paper and/or run syndicated columnists who represent your point of view.

Why McCaw had to purge the newsroom is still a mystery to me.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 4:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@JohnLocke: "And not to beat a dead horse, but the issue isn't McCaw; it's her right to run her privately-owned newspaper as she sees fit. The McCaw haters insist on making it about McCaw personally - apparently unable to distinguish principle from personality.."

So McCaw is entitled to run her paper the way she sees fit, and those who object to the way she runs her paper are making it about her. This is a primary example of why people who support that rag should be entirely ignored.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 9:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This case was never about private property rights; there is not one word about that in the DC Circuit case. What it was about was McCaw trying to destroy the union and banish its supporters, which is supposed to be illegal in this country, as it has been for more than 75 years; the First Amendment offers no special defense or protection for newspapers, as the Supreme Court declared in 1937. And as I note above, the DC Circuit, including two members of the panel who decided this case last week, stated in 1992 that boycott activity is protected by the same federal labor law. What this Court did was decide, for the first time ever, to unprotect activity that has long been held protected, and expand the First Amendment to turn it into a weapon by which newspapers can lash out against union supporters, rather than just use it for protection against government encroachment into what it may or may not publish.That is the very definition of judicial activism, which conservatives are not supposed to practice, but often do in the name of anti-unionism. Regardless of what the law dictates.

JoeHill (anonymous profile)
December 24, 2012 at 10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oblati wrote earlier "I worry more the McCaw haters still do not understand the concept of private property rights." So DrDan93101 worries that the McCaw-lovers [O, JL] still do not understand the concept journalistic integrity. A reporter like Burns had at least two layers of editors above her: she reported from the field about what she saw, she would dig into the actual situation and write narrative declaratory prose describing the situation for readers (e.g. her award-winning series in Mexico).
Sure, JL, there should be reporting of facts. In assessing them and reducing the situation to 1000 or 2000 words, it requires some interpretation (KV makes this point above). The issue at the News-Suppress was going the opposite direction involving owner/editors attempting to change basic reporting. The celebrated Rob Lowe case is only an example.
The owner and top editorial staff (Steepleton) intervene in straight news report at their whim, and inflict story after story upon readers based on...Wendy's obsession with animal rights.
As other posters have noted, since the current NP claims it really serves and helps and reflects its local community of Santa Barbara, how is it that almost every single ballot recommendation they made for Nov 6 was NOT followed by voters?? How out of step can that be?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2012 at 7:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan: It could be that the EDITORIAL opinion of the owners of the NP is not far left, but the majority of the area population is? Serving the population to me means factual reporting of the news, not pandering to their politics.

Apparently you're one of those who can't distinguish the personal from the principle. Far from being a McCaw lover, I find her rather off-putting.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2012 at 8:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

JL you're apparently one of those who can't distinguish "far left" from progressive, thus it is you who has lost your way by morphing your personal into a principle. No, the issue isn't "her right to run her privately-owned newspaper as she sees fit", but it IS about her illegally firing several excellent journalists for attempting to unionize. You ever skip the true issue.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2012 at 9:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Merry Christmas, that's both a fact and an opinion.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2012 at 11:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry, DrDan (Secord is it?), we'll just have to bear our disagreement. I certainly didn't consider those dismissed to be "excellent journalists (again, a matter of opinion), and it seems that the Court decided that her firing them was not illegal (the decision is a matter of fact).

"Progressive" to me means a viewpoint that espouses progressively less individual freedom and responsiblity, and the "what's yours is mine" path of progressively higher taxation and government interference. What does it mean to you?

Far left goes beyond that to a land where facts are what one perceives them to be, everything is opinion, and those who disagree with the far left view are called all sorts of things none of them flattering. Rooted in the 60's.

Merry Christmas to all.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2012 at 11:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ha, you're as wrong on "Secord" (he's 93109) as you are on most everything else!
Happy Winter Holidays to one and all, and Prost Neu Jahr!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2012 at 12:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for your kind thoughts. Based on Secord's public political statements I'd have been surprised if you were he.

Wrong on most everything? You mean of a different opinion than you. Let's not burden differences of opinion with moral right and wrong judgements.

Happy New Year.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2012 at 12:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Ha, you're as wrong on "Secord" (he's 93109) as you are on most everything else!
Happy Winter Holidays to one and all, and Prost Neu Jahr!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2012 at 12:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

But if YOU'RE not Dan Secord...who IS...?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 25, 2012 at 3:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Right Wing = Wendy McCaw. (ugh!)

girlslocker (anonymous profile)
December 26, 2012 at 9:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Cuckoo+spiteful=Wendy McCaw

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
December 26, 2012 at 9:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Cuckoo+spiteful=Duct Tape Seven

Oblati (anonymous profile)
December 27, 2012 at 8:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Saudi Oblatia

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
December 27, 2012 at 11:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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