The Boys at New Times and Ms. Velie

May 17, 2010

By DAVID CONGALTON

Allow me to expand on a Comment I posted this morning under the story by Karen Velie entitled “New Times, Old Photo.” The article has generated many comments, some directed at me for deleting some comments I had originally posted about the controversy.

So here is my response to all the Anonymice who won’t put their names to behind their accusations:

I have been accused of the horrific and inexcusable crime of deleting comments I’ve made about the New Times article. So if it will satisfy PartyDude, Octavian, and the rest, allow me to put the comments back out there in context.

First, I originally wondered why New Times is in such a pissing contest with CalCoastNews. I wish I could give you the background on this Comment, but for now, I choose not to, other than to say there has been a flurry of nasty emails coming our way from certain writers and editors at New Times. The challenge over our use of a photograph was just one in a series of incidents. I believe New Times is out to get Karen Velie. Sorry to be so cryptic.

Second, I suggested that if Lucia Mar School District was indeed correct and that the New Times photographer was passing off one of their photos as his own, then he should be fired. The only thing more prevalent than lifting photos appears to be photographers who take credit for work they didn’t do. Turns out Lucia Mar was wrong. Photographer was right. Karen took the photo down.

Third, I took an admittedly cheap shot at Executive Editor Ryan Miller for having to consult his pastor. It’s a shot that only Ryan, Karen, and I understand and it goes back to when Karen was a reporter at New Times.

Again, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it stems directly from the sexism that pervades the male-dominated New Times newsroom. Since Octavian and PartyDude are so into facts, can either of you count how many full-time reporters, editors, and photographers at New Times are women (not counting Arts & Entertainment)?

The answer is ZERO.

New Times is Bob Rucker and Ryan Miller and Colin Rigley and Glen Starkey and Alex Zuniga and Matt Fountain and Ed Connolly. Well, you get the idea. Women get to do sales and copy edit and write restaurant reviews–even write about the Arts. But that’s as far as it goes at New Times.

Say what you will about Sandra Duerr at the Tribune, but she took a sledge hammer to the glass ceiling over there and promoted women in the newsroom to every level imaginable, including Opinion Page editor.

What does this have to do with anything? It explains, I submit, the growing frustration that New Times has about Karen’s success. Instead of working with her on breaking timely, important stories, our weekly alternative paper has another agenda and it is fueled by the fact that Karen is a woman.

What else, guys? Oh, I’m guilty of deleting comments. Yes, absolutely guilty. I wasn’t aware that was a crime. In truth, I realized after posting the comments that I was only feeding the simmering New Times/CalCoastNews rift. Perhaps I was blowing off steam after dealing with yet another silly email from Mr. Miller and Mr. Starkey (I’ve kept the copies). Whatever, in the spirit of trying to tone things down, I removed my snarky posts.

So bring it on, guys. Put me in The Shedder. Be indignant all you want.

All that truly matters is that investigative reporting flourish on the Central Coast. Karen Velie is far from perfect. I am certainly far from perfect. But Karen is trying her best to put the spotlight on the Bad Guys.

It would be nice if the Boys at New Times could help.

There. I’m done.

David Congalton serves as Contributing Editor of CalCoastNews.


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13 Comments

  1. hotdog says:

    Hmmm. I just stepped into this fray but have a couple comments. Having followed CCN since the beginning some things are clear. Every time it scoops a story about the gack in our community a host of folks come on denying it, castigating Karen for character assassination, threatening to sue and so on. Then, as time goes on we find she had her facts right, the nay sayers scurry back under their rocks and that is that.

    Since Steve Moss checked out the NT has gone downhill, everyone knows that. CCN stepped into the void to bring us hard hitting current news about what we want to hear about. Often they scoop the other media. I think there is a lot of media envy going on here, which is too bad and does not serve the public well. As far as I know it is a fundamental part of journalism to see what others are doing to find out what is going on, and build on that if you can. Instead, I think we have other media around here ignoring what CCN discovers. For those who still read the Trib and NT for their news they miss out on what CCN digs up. All our media should cooperate to give us all the news.

    The latest flap about Parkinson, as factually pointed out on the Congalton show and at CCN should have been pounced on by the other media, in full. Instead, so far, all we got was an abbreviated piece on KSBY that under reported the issues. Both the Trib and NT were fully aware of the intense coverage on KVEC and CCN yet so far have done nothing to inform their readers. In fact I have it on good authority that the Trib might be looking into it finally but the NT remains resistant because of all this ‘bad blood’ going around. Very poor journalism in my view. Very lame.

    As far as reporters are concerned-I heard some years ago the NT had put a leash on Kathy Johnston-her stuff was too good and hard hitting so they slowed her down. Maybe the advertisers got nervous.

    (14) 24 Total Votes - 19 up - 5 down
  2. addiva says:

    I am embarrassed that you all keep going back and forth and Dave I can’t believe that you are attacking New Times in regards to women versus men running New times. As you know we have had both award winning women and men writers over the years. and NO I am not going to go over the past 25 years and bring out all of the wonderful stories that have been written so we can dispute that fact. Come on one of the founders was a woman and ran New Times for many years right along side Steve Moss, they were partners. and i can remember many wonderful stories being written by women and who cares if someone only works part time does that mean she is not a big part of the team. maybe she works smarter and does more part time then some people that work fulltime.. . My God isn’t there enough news out there to keep people busy.. As you know writers, sales people come and go and sometimes the sales staff , the editorial, the production team can be more women at one time and then more men..it kinda depends on who applies for the job and who is qualified.. and I must say that it does bother me when you make digs about checking with someone whether it be a counselor, a mentor, a person of faith and discussing things with someone you value their opinion, because I am not aware of anything like that happening and I have worked there for 18 years. but if someone did value someones opinion that they respect whats the problem..the president has to do it for almost all of the decisions he makes.. But we should all have opinions but must we attack people when we don’t agree with their opinions and must we make low blows when something has nothing to do with the issue being discussed. This world is is such a mess as it is must we spend energy attacking each other back and forth..isn’t that how wars get started. i usually say nothing unless it relates to animals and then i have many opinions but I wanted to see what the fuss was about and I must say I was disappointed.. i think it is time to get back to work and let’s all do the best job we can and do it our own way and respect the job each and every one of us is doing..Life ain’t easy and it is harder when you are arguing back and forth and making life more stressful.. so that is my opinion as a woman and i only make one statement like it or not.. I like to spend my time rescuing and saving animals and giving back to the community the best i can.. so good luck and good night

    (-1) 23 Total Votes - 11 up - 12 down
    • Nancy says:

      I don’t think Dave is talking about the day’s when Steve Moss was around. He is talking about the day’s since Ryan Miller has been around. Ryan believes that woman should be seen and not heard. Woman who work at NT know this all too well. He is a bible thumping believer in the God given dominance of man and the subservience of woman – walk behind me 2 steps woman.

      (16) 28 Total Votes - 22 up - 6 down
  3. Medialogue1961 says:

    Dave – what is this all about? Seriously, you are babbling.

    Point #1 – “KVEC has been totally supportive of Karen’s efforts” – Is it possible that KVEC is taking advantage of her? I mean she isn’t on the payroll right? Are there days when you think – “I gotta fill a four hour show today…I hope Karen has something”. I listen to your show often…I even call in…some days you have the stage set well…other days seem more…’improvised’ invariably these are the days that Karen appears – Ready or not. Whenever you point a finger four point back at you – try and do a month of shows without the free help of Karen…better yet pay her prevailing freelance wages. OR did she make you an editor on Cal Coast News as some sort of quid pro quo, put me on X times a month and you get this? Hmmm…

    Point #2 – “how many full-time reporters, editors, and photographers at New Times are women?”, I used to work at a magazine – it takes an army to put those things out…the editorial department is but one of many…printing, sales, distribution, art, accounting…try putting your show on without Ron Roy’s dynamic sales effort or the transmitter not working after a storm, impossible! You really sound like an ill-informed nut on this one – I have a copy of New Times here looks like 70% of the staff is female!!!! In fact I placed an ad there last year for a new business and as I recall everyone I saw in the basement office was of the female persuasion…like Aretha said “you better think”

    Point #3 – an editor deleting their own comments – very bad, illegal no, but very, very bad and very, very, very unethical. So now you are Dave “I delete my blog comments” Congleton…very sad….dump this Cal Coast stuff – your radio show is pure, you are best at that and you can’t delete stuff…

    As I am currently employed by the State I prefer to remain ‘a. nonymous’

    See ya around nipomo,

    Medialogue1961

    (2) 18 Total Votes - 10 up - 8 down
  4. Cindy says:

    Oh Geeeeez, Dave why did you have to go and write this piece? The NT is obsessed with Karen and this site. They are literally obsessed. Now we all get to listen to more of their ranting on yet, another thread. I’m outta this thread, I don’t want to read one more of their relentless, childish, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’s. Have fun Dave, I have no doubt your slapping your side, you must have been board or something.

    (1) 19 Total Votes - 10 up - 9 down
  5. Scarlet says:

    I’m enjoying this thread way too much.
    After the New Times’ meth story and then a myriad of puff pieces, I was thrilled to find CalCoastNews. I remember listening to Ryan Miller go after Karen on the Congalton show about that beastiality story. He was anything but objective in his criticism.
    And then CalCoastNews added the events calendar and Eye on the Coast and I realized that she must be trying to use new media to cut in on New Times’ turf.
    The way this is all playing out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Miller use his publication to try to discredit Karen. If that day does come, I’ll be sad for New Times.

    (5) 19 Total Votes - 12 up - 7 down
  6. walk the talk says:

    Hasnt Kylie Mendonca been gone for quite some time?

    (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
  7. solar says:

    KVEC Staff box online….

    Program Director – Mark Mitchell
    News Director – King Harris
    Host of Hometown Radio – Dave Congalton
    Producer of the Dave Congalton Show – Mardi Hall
    KVEC Morning News Board Op – Travis Emerson
    Webmaster – Greg Russo
    General Sales Manager – Ron Roy

    I guess a woman “gets to” produce your show. Apparently the glass ceiling is a little thick over there.

    (14) 26 Total Votes - 20 up - 6 down
    • Dave says:

      Nice try, Solar. But why don’t you ask Karen about King Harris and how he has mentored her over the last five years? Why don’t you look over my schedule and see how many times I’ve put Karen on my radio show?

      That’s the critical difference, sir. The male-dominated KVEC has been totally supportive of Karen’s efforts. New Times goes out of their way to bring her down.

      (5) 23 Total Votes - 14 up - 9 down
      • partydude says:

        You mean Karen is on the KVEC payroll? You are talking about a guest not someone kvec employs. If you are going to compare content (guests on your program) versus content (articles in NT) to judge sexism that would be interesting. I suspect you may have something, but you cannot use the fact you frequently have her on air to point to how liberated kvec is.

        (1) 17 Total Votes - 9 up - 8 down
  8. solar says:

    Wow! Pretty serious claims Dave! Do you actually have someone on record, documents or anyone who would be willing to back up your claims of “pervasive sexism”? Someone other than “your crack reporter” who used to work with them (years ago and couldn’t attest to what exists now) and was supposedly fired anyway? This would be a huge story if you did. Dave? Let’s see it. Or is this another put something “slanderous” out there and let your groupies chew on a while whether it’s true or not. Let’s wait and see.

    Nice finish though… “spotlight on the bad guys”. She really nailed that with “New Times, old photo” story. What a waste of time that was. Actually Dave, I really think your opinion is all sour grapes because she whiffed on that story. You thought she had NT good and you blasted your malicious comment to slam them down. Only to find out that she wasn’t quite accurate with her story. Now it’s all justification from here. It seems that it is you that obsessed with NT and will do and say anything to keep any type of “controversy” going. Maybe it’s an indirect way to create material for your show?

    Oh, by the way, just because someone doesn’t agree with you, CCN (and it’s loyalists), doesn’t mean they work at New TImes. Don’t you think there is anyone else who might want to know the real truth without all the barbs? If New Times is sexist like you claim, I’d like to know that for sure. It would affect their credibility. I’d also like to know if it’s not true. Labeling me as someone who works for them is just another example of the generalizations that come from you and this site.

    Find the truth, verify, then expose. You’ll find you won’t have to defend yourself so much.

    (6) 26 Total Votes - 16 up - 10 down
    • Octavian says:

      There you go again

      Once again you are lashing out without presenting supporting evidence. I did a little research – less than 10 minutes of research, in fact.

      “Women get to do sales and copy edit and write restaurant reviews–even write about the Arts. But that’s as far as it goes at New Times”

      Who are Kylie Mendoca and Kathy Johnston? Are they men with woman’s names, Dave?
      These News reporters have written extensively for the New Times, including many cover stories it seems. This Kathy Johnston seems to be an award winner- a first place award for environmental reporting from the National Newspaper Association for a cover story in the New Times.

      10 minutes using Google to show how you are once again promulgating nonsense.

      As far as sexism at the New Times- who are your sources? Perhaps the single source you used to accuse New Times of stealing a photograph?- the source that was wrong, as I recall.

      “Instead of working with her on breaking timely, important stories, our weekly alternative paper has another agenda and it is fueled by the fact that Karen is a woman”

      Are your sexism accusations based on a single source? Is it a disgruntled former employee? How do you know that this is true? My research using Google has produced very little mention of you and Karen in their paper- what i found was mild and nothing like the bile I find here about them. How can we take anything you say seriously?

      I am retired now but I used to work (on the business side) for a woman named Katherine Graham. She allowed “her boys” to use anonymous sources but their stories were right and true. Just like Kathy Johnston, a female news writer for New Times, they won some awards. By the way, Dave, my old boss would have fired your sorry ass for this crap.

      You started throwing slurs based on the back of story that was wrong- really shoddy journalism, Dave. Now more accusations based on what? If we look at your track record I think it would safe to assume that you are once again wrong.

      Yes, Karen has done some good work.
      I wonder, behind the scenes of what you call “investigative journalism” how many reputations has CCN trashed unnecessarily. How many lives have you ruined based on gossip and innuendo?

      As far as me not putting my name behind my accusations- I back up my criticisms with verifiable facts just as I did above. Anyway, if all your “sources” can remain anonymous, why can’t I do the same?

      (4) 24 Total Votes - 14 up - 10 down
      • Dave says:

        Kathy Johnston is part-time.

        Mendonca writes mostly feature articles. She does very little hard news stuff. it’s mostly Rigley, MacDonald, and Fountain.

        (1) 21 Total Votes - 11 up - 10 down

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