Sunday, May 13, 2007

Requested Clarification to Partly Cloudy

If you're interested, you can go see the lamest CYA of all-time at the News-Press (if you buy the print paper, more on that in a bit). As everyone knows, they called Jerry Roberts a child porn connoiseur a few weeks back, and Roberts, rightfully, got a bit pissed. So today the N-P ran a front page "Requested Clarification." Yep, not a retraction, or a correction, but a "requested clarification"--i.e., "someone asked us for this statement because they didn't quite get it when we insulted them in the first place." As in, "we have to continue deniability, so the legal industry we keep afloat still has language to bicker over."

Here's all you can see if you go the N-P website:

REQUESTED CLARIFICATION: Our April 22 article on Jerry Roberts
On April 22, 2007, the News-Press published an article reporting that images of child pornography were found on the hard drive of a News-Press computer.

In today's column it says, how can anyone think we said it was Jerry Roberts and Roberts only who had the child porn on his computer? But look at today's "Clarification" it says the article was "on Jerry Roberts"! Isn't that proof enough they're slinging mud with a howitzer?

Note, too, that if you only look at the paper's website, where you can't get very far if you're not a subscriber, here's what you see if you look up the original charges:

News-Press seeks exam of computer used by ex-editor Roberts containing child porn
April 22, 2007 1:12 PM
Ampersand Publishing, owner of the Santa Barbara News-Press,

While other editors used the computer, and while the computer was bought used, and while the computer did not have sufficient security systems to be locked down, it is only identified--in a headline--as a computer used by Roberts.

What's sleazier than a person who looks at child porn? A person who accuses another of looking at child porn just to make them look bad.

And, after this latest "requested clarification" attack, it's time to pull the gloves off. If you still work at the News-Press, as a staff person or as a freelancer, you have accused Jerry Roberts of these terrible things. Yes, you are all "staff report" now, whether in news, life, or sports, as those of us out in reader-land have no way of knowing which staff made this report. How do you feel? What's your requested clarification about how you sleep every night?

Seven people quit since the last charge against Roberts. If another seven don't quit over the next few weeks, it's time to start calling writers out by name. Starting next Sunday, INOTBB will list every freelancer and writer on staff in the paper the previous week and then all of us in the blogosphere can ask these somehow still News-Pressers--why do you think Jerry Roberts should be attacked this way?



Blogger Ironicus Maximus said...

Wow! We've been following your NP posts with a sort of long distance interest given the fact that the local rag is about as interesting as yesterday's unwashed oatmeal bowl, but this is out there man!
Go get 'em George!

5:34 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

NP reporters who don't agree with the NP ownership's sleaze--let's hope they are numerous--can no longer hide in their columns. Go get 'em George.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous kusala said...

I think Lin Rolens said it best in her resignation:
"...when we encounter a direct affront to decency and what we value, we have two choices: We can be part of the problem or part of the solution."

Anyone who is still content with working at the SBNP (or who isn't at least very actively looking for another job that allows them to pay their mortgage/rent and put food on the table for the kids) is seriously lacking in ethics. As others on the blogosphere have mentioned, I wonder how a certain scab reporter squares all this sleaze with her supposedly "moral" education at Christian Westmont College.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All well and good but why pick on the small fish? Why not go after the Queen Sow, McCaw herself. Why not start confronting McCaw when she dares to venture out in public - with signs, with shouted questions, with demonstrations? It should be made clear to her that she is an affront to journalism and to common decency - by unleashing her attorneys and her other lackeys to threaten and harass the merchants and citizens of this town, she has severely damaged us all. She should be made to feel some measure of the discomfort and pain she has so freely caused others, from Jerry Roberts to the growing list of former NP employees to the citizens of Santa Barbara at large.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Reader of Conscience said...

Why limit the calling out to writers there?

Why not also expose contributors to the editorial page and adversiters?

2:29 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...

High profile person whom has a radio show, and recent article.

A good bottle of wine makes it oh, so easy to look cool
Gabe Saglie
May 3, 2007 8:47 AM

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, everyone needs to be called out continually. In everyway legal. Wendy is reclusive. The Farmer's market could have street theatre groups. Whether they show up or not. Lazy Acres protests, paraglider banners, the Yatch Club, marina and ? I have a high power zoom but don't know the laws.

George has a reasonable start here. Advertisers need to do something significant NOW. And the tourists are coming! We all need to sacrifice something or Wendy will sacrifice Santa Barbara.

4:56 PM  
Blogger George said...

Other people, often on Blogabarbara, have been listing advertisers, so I didn't think I needed to bring that up. Trying to protest McCaw herself is too hard, as it's too much to find the recluse--it wasn't like she was a public figure in town even prior to the meltdown. Plus this isn't about harassing people--it's about asking them about what moral decisions they choose to make. We know what choice McCaw made, but what about those who still work for her? And I say this as someone who largely changed careers based on a stand I had to take, so I know it's not easy.

10:46 PM  

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