Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Diversity, Social Justice--Yes
Starshine--Not So Much

One of the last remaining bastions of real journalism at the News-Press had been the Life and Scene sections, which seemingly remained out of the line of Wendy McCaw's wild fire, except when book reviewers chose to skewer self-righteous, or that should be self-wrongeous, Dr. (of Physiology) Laura. Tom Jacobs, the paper's best flat-out writer still prints there, for instance. But today we got to see more bias creep up in an article entitled "Women's lit (on the)101: The Women's Literary Festival celebrates diversity, literacy and social justice." (No link, because a sharing of ideas is not what Wendy is about. Not only do you have to have ideas for that--and blaming 9/11 and everything else on the Teamsters doesn't count as an idea--but you have to think someone else in the world matters.)

It seems the festival might celebrate diversity, literacy, and social justice, but the N-P article surely doesn't. For while it twice lists the speakers the event includes, the one name missing both times is former News-Press columnist Starshine Roshell. I can't imagine she was left off just by accident, or because someone hated all musicals and especially Hair. Nope, it's most likely because the Women's Literary Festival website bio for Roshell includes the following:

Starshine was one of many newsroom staffers who left the News-Press after eight editors resigned in protest in July of 2006. Her resignation letter, posted at http://www.starshineroshell.com/, is regarded as poignant and candidly accurate.

You would think that in a 1042 word article, you might be able to work in a mention of a well-known local writer, especially when she's the only local presenting. Somehow Carolyn See got mentioned twice, even though the festival website announces that she's had a medical emergency and won't attend.

So, who operated on the article, and made excising any mention of the renegade Roshell essential? Was it the writer Bethany Hopkins, who was just an intern when the first 6 left the paper in July? Recently appointed assistant Life editor Charlotte Boechler, who is married to Scott Steepleton, since pouring the fuel of conflicts of interest on the bias bonfire seems like nothing to this compromised crew? Or was it Steepleton himself, still upset Roshell used a dirty word when she quit and her very name makes him get the vapors?

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6 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

This News-Press shit is about the ugliest thing going.

And it seems to get worse and worse. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've always thought of SB as a "progressive" town. I continue to be shocked that folks don't boycott Wendy's rag paper and get her in line.

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Cabalista said...

Mike, you are a little late on current events. See this
http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles/2007/02/22/news/centralcoast/news10.txt

However, "get her in line" is hopeless wishful thinking. Anyone halfway rational would not have interfered in the news content from the start.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Queen Whackamole said...

I continue to be surprised by how petty the News-Press can be...

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a member of the Women's Lit Fest committee, I am outraged that the NP has sunk to such depths lacking "journalistic integrity". McCawful is getting desperate and thus has proved that she truly does stick her manicured little fingers in all that is printed in her rag. I'm sure Starshine is getting a good laugh out of this--she truly knows firsthand just what they are capable of.
If you haven't cancelled your subscription, it's way past time…

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. (Speechless, shocked silence.)

That is incredible -- beyond comprehension, absolutely beyond the pale. Is anyone still paying for the outrageous distortions and omissions that the News-Press tries to pass off as news? I hope not. This is really just TOO much. Censorship and distortion and bias. I am disgusted. That's absolutely disgraceful conduct by the News-Press. They truly have earned the "News-Supress" name now.

(Thanks, George, for bringing to my/everyone's attention!)

K., an outraged former News-Supress reader

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet another appalling and deeply hypocritical move on the part of News Press management.
But I did giggle at the idea of Steepleton getting the vapors.
Great blog entry, George.

6:19 PM  

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