One beneficiary of those tactics is Nick Welsh, the Independent executive editor, who recently picked up two longtime News-Press columnists who now cover the McCaw beat. Welsh believes McCaw’s objective is “to tell those in the journalistic establishment, ‘Fuck you all. I’m declaring war.’?”
If McCaw and her advisers had a sensible strategy, she would not be filing litigation against journalists, claimed Welsh, adding, “She could have reached out to the community after the initial exit of [editor] Roberts in July and said, ‘There is a problem here, let’s talk about it.’ Certainly, she would have had support against the Teamsters coming in. Santa Barbara’s not a union town. But instead, she was more concerned with letting the kids know she was driving the school bus, and not them.”
Mum’s the word: Some say McCaw’s handlers are ''insane'' for letting outside journalists tell her story. (Paul Wellman/S.B. Independent)
She has sued her lovers, her architect, her employees and fellow publishers. At the end of the day, she seems more comfortable around attorneys than anyone, but only those “who say ‘yes,’?” said Welsh.
Stuart Fischoff, a retired psychology professor at Cal State Los Angeles, believes that the crisis atmosphere around the News-Press is not helped by lawyers, and the blood spilling may be far from over. “When you hire people who live by billable hours and testosterone, all they’re going to say is ‘Top of the world, Ma. Bring it on,’?” said Fischoff.
McCaw is also not alone in the sometimes obstinate world of the super-rich, added Fischoff. “Groupthink can occur in any type of corporate entity. They only talk to each other and develop their own distorted sense of their own intelligence, power and ability to cope with things. What looks like distorted thinking — a woman taking on everybody with high-priced lawyers — can make perfect sense to her.”
If McCaw decides she really wants to resolve the News-Presscrisis in court, she’s going to have the outspoken Cappello and other advisers in her posse by her side. But perhaps not literally.
Cappello, despite being her staunchest advocate, is still not in her inner circle, whatever that really is. “I still haven’t met Wendy yet,” Cappello said.