Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Former Gaucho Wins Gold, News-Press Lags In Reporting It

Jason Lezak, a 1999 graduate of UCSB, swam the greatest anchor leg in relay history at the Beijing Olympics Sunday night. The race concluded about 8:30 p.m. our time, plenty of time to get it into Monday morning's edition of the News-Press. But readers of the print edition of the paper or who went to the paper's website on Monday could find nothing about it.

The paper has Blake Dorfman, one of its sports writers, in Beijing covering the games and presumably on the lookout for local angles. But my source tells me that Dorfman was at a water polo match at the time and was unaware of Lezak's feat.

Besides, if the paper made Dorfman pay his own way over there then they're probably making him pay for his own cell phone calls back to Santa Barbara and believe me, those international roaming minutes from China are awfully expensive.

Of course, on a Sunday night there's probably only going to be a couple of copy editors on duty in the sports department. Since they can't access the Independent's website, because owner Wendy McCaw has insisted that it be blocked, they can't read sportswriter John Zant's story telling them who Lezak is and when he would be competing.

And of course if Zant hadn't been fired by McCaw because he participated in a union demonstration back in February of 2007, he would have been in Beijing covering the games and this never would have happened to begin with.

Chalk up another one for "the best local news to be had!"

* * *

On CNN Monday there was a discussion of the correct way to pronounce the first name of Rielle Hunter, the woman with whom John Edwards admitted having an affair and who, until recently, was ensconced in a ritzy Ennisbrook estate.

Most people have been pronouncing it "Ree-al." The CNN newscast was reporting that Hunter insists that her name be pronounced as "Riley."

I don't care how you pronounce it, to John Edwards it still sounds like "trouble."

* * *

Still a mystery man: Goletan Bob McGovern, who arranged the meeting that exposed Edwards's affair.