Press and politics in Santa Barbara
Re “Santa Barbara’s news mess,” Opinion, May 13
The very rich seldom understand their limitations. Santa Barbara has its share of billionaires, but Wendy McCaw is in a league of her own.
She assumed that, by buying the News-Press, she also owned the news. Yes, owners can run businesses as they see fit, but a newspaper is no ordinary business. McCaw destroyed an institution that added cohesiveness to the civic life of this small city. Sooner or later she will tire of this hassle, and her yacht, jet and lawsuits will be a distant memory. And it will not be a day too soon. Thank you for highlighting the plight of the dedicated journalists who gave lifelong service to our community, only to be repaid in such a callous manner. H. Alexander Pujo
In his article about the internal problems at the Santa Barbara News-Press, Lou Cannon provided respectability to a highly curious charge about the John Birch Society. He pointed to claims made 46 years ago that members of our organization “used anonymous phone calls” to harass some of Santa Barbara’s local leaders.
Either Cannon is clairvoyant or he should be terribly redfaced. How can he or anyone know who placed the calls that he admits were made anonymously? Or how can he be so sure that anyone who made any such call while claiming to be a John Birch Society member actually held membership?
Whoever made those offending calls has never been identi- fied. That such an experienced journalist as Cannon would repeat this long-standing inanity is surprising. Perhaps he doesn’t like our organization enough to ignore how ridiculous he makes himself appear.
For the record, the John Birch Society has repeatedly stressed to all members that foul means (such as anonymous phone calls) should never be employed no matter how praiseworthy the goal.
As a cardinal underpinning of our effort, this policy has never changed. John F. McManus
President John Birch Society