Monday, March 10, 2008

Ah, Cappello, You're Singing an Odd Tune

In case you missed it, the Los Angeles Times ran an article on Citizen McCaw today, which means, for those scoring at home, it's LA Times 1, News-Press 0. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the article is the end, focussed on McCaw's attorney/mouthpiece Barry Cappello:

Cappello said McCaw had "no interest" in seeing the documentary bearing her name and will continue to run the News-Press as she sees fit, regardless of criticisms from filmmakers or former employees.

Or from the 2000 moviegoers who booed her first appearance in the film while cheering for every journalist and then giving the former N-P employees at the screening a good 3-minute long standing O after the film.

Or from the 10,000 subscribers the paper has lost since "the troubles" began in July 2006.

Or from Ben Bradlee, Sander Vanocur, Lou Cannon, Ann Bardach, or any of the university journalism faculty interviewed in the film who condemned what Wendy McCaw has done.

"This is, literally, like water off her back," Cappello said of the film. "Barking dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on."

Perhaps we should cut Cappello some slack for having a duck (aren't they the ones with water off their backs?) in a caravan (which should be trucks or camels or a great Duke Ellington song or something). Of course that Cappello says "literally" makes it much harder to cut him some slack, especially when you know he's billing a good $600 an hour or whatever his rate is (anyone, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). I guess it's easier to pile up a metaphorical mess than show how Citizen McCaw actually gets anything wrong or misrepresents the official News-Press position.

Ultimately, though, we can't be too surprised that the News-Press hasn't covered the film. I don't think it's because they refuse to give Citizen McCaw any publicity. I simply think it's because they don't have any journalists left to do the job. Then again, Travis Armstrong could write one of his ed-port-orials about it.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Smitty said...

So...this is a local paper or something?

I have always wondered this: are you a journalist?

1:47 PM  
Blogger George said...

Indeed, it's Santa Barbara's daily since the 1850s. (There's a relatively new daily start up, but it doesn't have home delivery and has no Sunday edition and therefore isn't really a paper. Sorry.)

I've written for papers for over 25 years now but never worked for one as my only job, if that makes sense. But when I taught I did teach a course called Nonfiction Prose Writing for Magazines, among many other courses.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Smitty said...

Awesome. Your writing is impeccable. I enjoy your blog a lot, even if I don't always get it.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cappello does "team billing" which means you are always being billed by two lawyers at the same time. Whenever you get a phone call it is from two lawyers, etc. $600 is just a base price.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Newshawk said...

Your definition of what makes a paper — Sunday edition and home delivery — is quite intellectual. I always thought a newspaper covered the news. By your definition, the News-Press is still a real newspaper. What a joke.

Oh, and by the way, santabarbarasblog.com is reporting that the Daily Sound does have home delivery. Looks like it's one step closer to being a real paper. I bet the two reporters — who cover more news than the 6 the news-press has — would be thrilled to know the paper they work so hard for is one step closer to being an actual paper.

11:31 AM  
Blogger George said...

Newshawk (and here's hoping you don't get sued by Noozhawk for copyright infringement), I didn't mean to offend The Sound, but was trying to describe the lay of the land to someone in Michigan in the first comment. Clearly from everything I've written about the News-Press mess I don't think the entire definition of what makes a paper a paper is home delivery and a Sunday paper. Please.

And definitely Colby and Eric do great work. But it's still just 16 pages and I can't get it at my door in my bathrobe.

12:51 PM  
Blogger McSeas said...

Didn't the center seats at Cit.McC cost more than the sides? If not, I should have crashed the center portion.
mcc

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rows A through G were GA, H through LL were $200 or comped in the center section.

karl

10:32 AM  

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