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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Panel: How a Blockbuster Story Trashing SB City Hall Wilted Under Scrutiny; Covid, Schools, More...

It was seven days ago when digital links to an explosive magazine story started landing in email boxes across Santa Barbara, igniting a weeklong wave of indignation, shock, protest and questions over its deeply serious assertions of City Hall corruption.

By the time the weekend was over, however, local journalists who flyspecked the article's sensational allegations, were reporting factual inaccuracies, false innuendo and gaping holes in the 4,000 word piece, by fiction-writer-turned-reporter Mitchell Kriegman, while also reprising their own past coverage of key issues, some of which had been subsumed into the story's polished narrative.

By week's end, when city officials finally responded, stories about the story had largely eclipsed the substance of the piece, as key characters -- most especially SBPD spokesman Anthony Wagner, who's been placed on paid leave pending an independent investigation -- angrily defended their integrity and sought correction, if not retraction, from Los Angeles Magazine, which published the article, headlined "In Sleepy Santa Barbara, City Hall Insider Raises Eyebrows" (stop the presses, Maude, there's eyebrows lifting all over town!).

Nick Welsh, Josh Molina and Delaney Smith join the host on Newsmakers TV this week, to analyze, sound off and spiel about the Article That Ate The Week, offering insights and commentary on what it says about the modern media ecosystem and such matters as confirmation bias, agenda journalism and media literacy.

The gang also offers updates on Santa Barbara's long-awaited move into the Covid red tier, the latest on public school kids returning to classrooms and the political rivalry between Supervisor Das Williams and City Council member Meagan Harmon, who are competing for a vacant seat on the California Coastal Commission.

If it's Friday, it's Newsmakers TV -- all here, right now. Watch the show via YouTube below or click through on this link. The podcast version is here.


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