Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wendy Takes the Stand!

News-Press owner Wendy McCaw took the witness stand this morning at the NLRB hearing and has been testifying for about two hours prior to the proceedings recessing for lunch.

I'm going to be briefer than usual for this mid-day post as I have to get back to the courtroom and seating is tight today.

So what's she like you ask? I don't want to use the word "cold" to describe her but I find it difficult to identify anything warm in her demeanor as a witness.

Dressed in an olive drab pantsuit with her gray hair up and piled on top of her head she strikes me as a very old fashioned looking, perhaps even Victorian in appearance, from the neck up.

She appears to be very focused and serious. The only time she came close to cracking anything close to a smile is when I detected the corner of her mouth turn up in response to her attorney Barry Cappello mistakenly referring to her boyfriend Arthur von Wiesenberger as "Mr. McCaw." With that exception her demeanor has been deadly sober.

Most of her testimony has revolved around her trying to establish the history of her concern with what she perceived to be biased reporting in the paper and with former reporter Anna Davison in particular. A history that predates any effort to unionize among newsroom employees.

There have been flashes from the stand of her intensity and if I had more time to write this I'd search for a better word, but since I don't I'll use the first one that pops into my head, her "rabidness" when it comes to issues involving animals and wildlife. She has answered questions in this regard by focusing off into space while responding to the question, eyes momentarily bulging as if they are about to pop out.

While people may disagree on whether it is justified everyone will agree that her passion is undeniable.

There was a mini-paparazzi scene as McCaw and her attorneys walked a block and a half from the Bankruptcy Court to Olio Y Limone for lunch. Cameramen both still and video followed her and got in front of her.

Her testimony will likely last the rest of the day. Back to the courtroom for me. Full details later.

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