Sunday, July 16, 2006

JOURNALISTIC ETHICS? WE DON"T NEED NO STINKIN' ETHICS

If you haven't been following the drama at the Santa Barbara News-Press, please go catch up here or here. It's just a quick 30 minute trip up the 101 from my little slice of heaven in Ventura, but it's a world away when it comes to celebrities, greed and stupidity.

Rob Lowe plays a large roll in it. Yes, Sam Seaborn from West Wing. Yes, the guy in the Brat Pack from the 80s. Yes, the guy who served community service after "accidentally" videotaping himself cavorting in bed with a teenager. Anywho, Rob wanted to build a 14,000-square-foot house with a giant wall around it in Montecito (home to Oprah!, Dennis Franz, Dennis Miller, David Crosby and loads of other very wealthy folks). Unfortunately, Rob's house wasn't quite fitting with the neighborhood, so his plans were reviewed and the press covered the event. His address was listed on the plans and which are now part of what we like to call public record. When the review was held, it appeared on Santa Barbara public access channel with the address displayed. Following so far? Everything was open to the public, anyone who was watching could see it and anyone wanting to review the plans could do so. The News-Press ran a story about it and listed his Rob's address (which is 700 Picacho Lane). It was the News-Press policy to list the address. Personally, I would have listed it is "the 700 block of Picacho Lane," but that's just my opinion and since I am not setting editorial policy, it ran as "700 Picacho Lane."

The owner of the New-Press, Wendy P. McCaw, went ape shit. Craziness (that you can read about at the above links) ensued . After loads of resignations, the NP staff has asked to be represented by the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters union. Huzzah! I am ready for some Teamster skull crackin' myself.

But I for one would like to ask Rob, "Was the bullying you or your 'people' did because the paper published your address worth it? Do you sleep better at 700 Picacho Lane now that all of these folks have walked away from their jobs?"

I know the problems at the News-Press weren't caused by Rob Lowe. He was just one of the straws that were piled on the back of that poor camel. McCaw sounds like a loon. Publisher Travis Armstrong is a kook (with a DUI!) who has knocked down the sacred wall between editorial and advertising. Both lack journalistic integrity and the citizens of Santa Barbara should run them out of town by not subscribing and not advertising. And after that, let's all go over to Rob's house at 700 Picacho Lane in Montecito to see how construction on the house is going.

3 comments:

Suebob said...

I worked with George Foulsham, one of the resigning editors, briefly at the Star. My respect for him is such that, if I heard George resigned, I'm on his side, even if I don't know the rest of the story.

And even if I didn't know him, I probably would have sided with the newspeople instead of the business people. I'm just an insane liberal wacko that way.

Leslie said...

I lived in Santa Barbara for 12 years, I miss it terribly, but I don't miss depending on the SB News Suppress for my local news.

lolita said...

Hi! I just came across your July blog on news mess. Good read. It looks like this will be going on for sometime.