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A federal court has overruled the National Labor Relations Board in a case involving former editors and reporters at the Santa Barbara News Press. It's all about allegations of union busting and the First Amendment. Also, a former reporter re-visits his expose of Scientology more than 20 years later. Will his pet dog be safe? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, is Washington full of grownups… or not?

Banner image: Doc Searls

Making News Herb Wesson Selects Wife of Political Fundraiser for Ethics Commission 8 MIN, 28 SEC

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson is taking heat for appointing Erin Pak -- the wife of a prominent campaign fundraiser -- to serve on the Ethics Committee. David Zahniser covers City Hall for the LA Times.

David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times (@DavidZahniser)

Reporter's Notebook Can a Publisher Meddle in News Coverage? 8 MIN, 29 SEC

Six years ago, editors and reporters at the Santa Barbara News-Press and Publisher Wendy McCaw declared war on each other. Did she illegally interfere with their journalistic practices and fire them for trying to form a union? The National Labor Relations Board said, "Yes." But this week, the federal appeals court in Washington, DC overturned that ruling on the grounds that a publisher — not a reporter -- has "absolute authority to shape a newspaper's content." Tom Bolton was editor of the paper when McCaw bought it. He was fired, and he's now executive editor of the online news site Noozhawk in Santa Barbara. (He is not part of the ongoing legal confrontation with Wendy McCaw.)

Tom Bolton, Noozhawk (@Tombol)

Reporter's Notebook Revisiting Old Grievances with the Church of Scientology 10 MIN, 1 SEC

Joel Sappell spent 26 years as an editor and investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, five of those years investigating the Church of Scientology. It was founded by L. Ron Hubbard; its best-known member is Tom Cruise, and it's and now run by David Miscavige. In this month's Los Angeles magazine, Sappell (who now works for LA Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky) has written about Scientology again, in an article entitled, "The Tip of the Spear."

Joel Sappell, journalist

Main Topic Time's Running Out before a Fiscal Crisis Kicks In 23 MIN, 34 SEC

Yesterday, after fiscal-cliff negotiations broke down, President Obama admonished, "(T)hat we lurch from crisis to crisis every six months, or every nine months…that's not how you run a great country…. It is very hard for them [Republicans] to say yes to me.  At some point, they've got to take me out of it – think about their voters, and think about what's best for the country." In the midst of negotiations with the President, House Speaker John Boehner proposed what he calls "Plan B." But it's sure to be dead on arrival when it reaches the Senate. We hear how compromise on the "fiscal cliff" is dominated by philosophical differences, political mistrust — and personal antipathy.




David Hawkings, CQ Roll Call (@davidhawkings)
Robert Costa, Washington Post / 'Washington Week' (@costareports)
Barney Keller, Club for Growth (@club4growth)
Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute / Atlantic (@NormOrnstein)


Warren Olney

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