Thursday, November 06, 2008

Those Un-Influential Editorials

Regardless of how the tight race between Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland, for the 19th District State Senate seat turns out - there are reportedly 40,000 to 50,000 absentee ballots which still need to be counted - the big loser is the News-Press opinion pages.

Throughout the campaign, the paper ceaselessly drubbed Jackson both in it's editorials and in Travis Armstrong's op-ed page columns as "Taxin' Jackson." It willingly let the Strickland campaign co-opt the nickname which it claims it was the first to bestow upon her.

And anti-Jackson readers seemed to go straight to the front of the letters to the editor line, while the letter writers who supported Jackson seemed to get blocked by a firewall.

McCaw turned the power of her press against Jackson. What did she have to show for it in the end? Jackson won Santa Barbara County, the News-Press' supposed sphere of influence where one-third of the Senate district's voters reside, by 11,000 votes.

Why did the opinion page overload backfire? Perhaps because too many other people around here have been victim of the same cheap tricks that the News-Press used against Jackson.

Take the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce for example. They know the hatchet job Armstrong has been doing on them lately, all because they canceled one lousy subscription to the paper. They are more than predisposed to take anything and everything Armstrong says about Jackson with a grain of salt.

Wendy and Travis need to learn, you can't go after people on your editorial pages just because they canceled their subscription to your paper or, as was the case with Jackson and Congresswoman Lois Capps, because they showed up in De la Guerra Plaza when the community was protesting what was happening at the News-Press.

Between the editorials the op-ed page columns and the letters to the editor, the News-Press opinion pages have become a chat room for haters.

And no, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that situation to change.

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And it wasn't just the Jackson/Strickland race where voters declined to follow the News-Press' recommendations. Although the News-Press was rabid in its opposition to Measures A and G, both passed handily.

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By the way, I couldn't find anything on the website Wednesday about the race between Jackson and Strickland. At least not anything that could be seen by a non-subscribing viewer like myself. Was the News-Press embarrassed by the fact that apparently so few Santa Barbaran's followed their recommendation in the race?

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With no McCain victory party to attend, Gov. Schwarznegger evidently stayed up late Tuesday night and appointed some judges. On Wednesday it was announced that Jean Dandona of Santa Barbara and Kay Kuns of Solvang, were appointed to serve on the Santa Barbara Superior Court.

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After a hiatus the Daily Sound's new website is up and running. Very nice!