Beat the Press
Regarding Ross Johnson’s brave article about Wendy McCaw [“Wendy’s Posse,” Jan. 12–18]: Thank you for having the courage to write about this shameful abuse of the legal system to shut down free expression in Santa Barbara. Yes, we are a small community, but the damage inflicted on our civic discourse by McCaw and her “posse” is immeasurable. While there remain a number of good and courageous journalists who have stayed on at the News-Press to fight, the paper itself is now worthless to us because it is not perceived as a credible or reliable source of local information. The recent National Labor Relations Board hearings highlighting McCaw’s union-busting efforts provided a good window into how these people tick, and confirm to observers that McCaw is getting terrible advice, but it apparently remains what she wants to hear.
Thanks also for the comments from the psychologist you interviewed. We need someone like him to help us figure out how to break through the “group think” and persuade McCaw that she doesn’t need to be afraid of dialogue with the community. At this point, we don’t care whether it is the Teamsters or a U.N. peacekeeping force; we will take any help we can get to have our daily paper back. Or a new one. How does David Geffen feel about being a big fish in a smaller pond? Would he sign a pledge not to suppress unpleasant news about his friends, to keep his editorial positions off the front page and let a diversity of views be heard? That’s all we really want.
Ross Johnson’s article about Wendy McCaw states that the Santa Barbara News-Press is the only daily in town. This is not accurate. The Santa Barbara Daily Sound is a new daily that has recently hired John Leonard to head up ad sales. He was the director of ad sales at the News-Press for more than a decade. The Sound is growing rapidly, and many residents refer to it daily for accurate and nonbiased reporting of local news and events.
Hoopla: Harrumph, Hurrah
Regarding the Hoopla column [“Is There Anybody Out There?” Jan. 5–11]: If Libby Molyneaux has such a low opinion of the film (and director Allison Anders), why feature the American Cinematheque’s Border Radio screening in the “what to do” guide in the first place? What’s more, has she even seen the film? Her secondhand mini hatchet job suggests otherwise. If the Weekly is determined to indulge Ms. Molyneaux’s petty pissing on someone else’s efforts, it would seem to be only responsible journalism for her editors to insist she at least see the film first.
Hooray to Libby Molyneaux for her reference to Jethro Tull in her ice-skating tidbit [Hoopla, “Smuckers or Smothers?” Jan. 19–25]. That was a canny observation — and actually quoting the lyrics, wow! I’m impressed.
Location, Location, Location?
Poor Ms. Ward of Hollywood. All she wants is some advice on where one can get clam chowder in a bread bowl. Yet the best Jonathan Gold can do is suggest such out-of-the-way locations as Malibu, LAX or Disneyland [Ask Mr. Gold, Jan. 12–18]. Good lord! Why not direct her to the local Quizno’s, which offers chowder, chili and various soups in bread bowls? Although, to be frank, I didn’t find their soups all that palatable. But I should imagine Ms. Ward would prefer the option of a quick hop to the nearest Quizno’s versus following Mr. Gold’s pricey and time-consuming advice. And this guy is supposed to be a food expert?
For more, see www.laweekly.com.
A Weekly article about the sale of a Malibu estate to Teodorin Obiang Mangue, son of the Equatorial Guinea dictator [“Malibu Bad Neighbor,” Jan. 19–25], incorrectly stated that Pepperdine University’s Graphic was the only Malibu paper to portray Obiang as a controversial figure who attracts global coverage. The Malibu Surfside News was the first local paper to report claims that Obiang and his father keep the people of Equatorial Guinea poor, funneling the riches from natural resources to themselves. The story also mistakenly identified Murphy Way as Paradise View Way.
I am very sad to read the finale to Confessions of a Video Store Burnout [“The End,” Dec. 29, 2006–Jan. 4, 2007]. Every week I have looked forward to Paul Malcolm’s offbeat and original selections. My first stop every Thursday is to check out his list. I have been pleasantly surprised many times. Sometimes the films were a little strange (read, The Woodsman), but I don’t know where I am going to look now. Thank you, Paul, for all your work. I enjoyed it. Ciao.
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Knowledge Is Powerful
I really appreciated the informative articles on Islam’s free thinkers [Jan. 5–11]. It is time we got some good writing on Islam and Muslims in Los Angeles. Keep up the good work, because we need to know more.
Rancho Palos Verdes