Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Faces and Names, I Wish They Were the Same

How exciting--Wendy McCaw herself opted to write for her paper this past Sunday, as you've probably seen on the Independent or Craig Smith's Blog, since I assume none of my readers still take the News-Press and therefore can't read its lock-boxed website where all the holy of holies are kept. Seems McCaw needed to attack Lou Cannon, since he had the nerve to characterize the meltdown of her paper properly in the LA Times a couple of weeks ago (she was probably most mad the Times used the cover of the Indy with an unflattering image of her mug on it, but she didn't say that). As usual Craig Smith does a fine job dissecting the editorial line by line, but I want to chime in on this moment (italics are Wendy's words, non-ital are Craig's):

"In order to keep our paper running smoothly, we reviewed the two computers Mr. Roberts was using to determine where we could locate the stringers and freelancers, information that apparently was kept only on his computers." Excuse me but you pay those stringers and freelancers don't you? Wouldn't that information have been with human resources or your chief financial officer at the time, Randy Alcorn?

Evidently there's an argument that they actually don't always pay their stringers, or so rumors go, but separate from Craig's good point, don't the issues of the papers themselves make it clear who writes for the paper? After all, last week I ran a list of writers that generated plenty of discussion, but no one argued I put a name on the list that didn't belong there. I managed to do this just by looking on line at material not sequestered away behind the pay wall. I would hope that people at the N-P don't have to pay to have access to their own website (or else Jack Benny better move over and make room in punchlines for Wendy).

If that "read the paper to see who writes for it" method seems too tricky, don't section editors probably know what people write the work that goes into each section? Are we to assume that Josef Woodard, wearing Groucho glasses and moustache, leaves his half of each Friday's Scene in the stump of a hollow tree on the Douglas Family Preserve and Keri Bradford goes and picks it up and leaves a check in its place?

Just because McCaw and von (of Physiology) Weisenberger probably don't know the names or recognize the faces of any of their writers (after all, mere employees aren't invited on the yachting trips unless they're there to twist off the caps of bottled water for the tastings), that doesn't mean no one else in the building does.

Which means, of course, the only reason to pore over Jerry Roberts computer was to find (or place?) something incriminating. Which also means that even if there was bias in the News-Press once, it probably beats the out-and-out lying readers get there now.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Overheard at the dentist's office:

"What is she trying to do, sabotage herself...?

2:54 PM  
Blogger Marty said...

Interesting side notes, one material, one off topic, but strokes for George. First, Nancy Cleeland of the LA Times resigns to protest her own paper's lack of labor coverage:


And if you google "Turley Parker ratings wine" a link to a post from this blog appears on the first page.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One has to ask whether the woman is truly crazy.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Al Barcara said...

When you're wealthy, you are eccentric, when you have No money, you're crazy; when you're Wendy, you can try to impose your version of reality on everyone else. The ONLY people 'buying' it are the ones she bought. So her friends now are Sue, Spin, cease, desist, appeal, smear, delay and de-mean. Why aren't you cooperating? You're taking all the fun out of bullying.

2:03 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Wow, she's really a hideous person, isn't she.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Numfar said...

If freelancers aren't being paid it's because the editors who hire them are doggin' it. Say all you want about Wendy, but the folks pushing the papers inside take care of business. I know that if an editor submits a freelancer's invoice to accounting it'll be handled promptly.

8:27 AM  

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