A Newspaper Publisher Who Doesn’t Like News … or Competition – OPINION
By Robert Haugh
Recently, after publishing several articles criticizing or correcting the Santa Clara Weekly Newspaper, their publisher Miles Barber sent me a threatening email on December 15, 2016:
I am going to ask you politely and only once to discontinue your disparaging inaccurate statements about Miles Barber and the Santa Clara Weekly.
I trust you will cease and desist these remarks immediately.
Should you decide to continue, you will be receiving a most unwelcome letter of invitation from my attorneys. I am sending you information on how this issue will be addressed by them to you.
Miles H Barber
Miles must believe freedom of speech and freedom of the press applies only to him. And he doesn’t seem to like criticism. This is the same guy who became known around town as the Donald Trump of Santa Clara for writing things like: “several Santa Clara Council women “can’t spell their own names” (http://www.santaclaraweekly.com/2016/Issue-44/milestones.html)
He also likes to lecture Mayor Lisa Gillmor and wrote that “she invents non-existent facts” (http://www.santaclaraweekly.com/2016/Issue-44/milestones.html)
It looks like Miles likes to criticize, but doesn’t like to be criticized.
But, he also says in his email that I’ve written things that are incorrect. So I wrote this email back:
Please let me know what you find to be inaccurate and provide evidence if you can.
If not, I will consider this threat of legal action an attempt to intimidate or censor me.
It’s been over a month since I sent that email and I have not received a response.
For those of you who may not know, I have been a journalist for 16 years. Ironically, I worked for the Santa Clara Weekly. I know Santa Clara and understand the rules of journalism.
Miles Barber is a public figure. His newspaper column makes him just as much a public figure as the elected officials he criticizes. In addition to writing negative columns, he was also one of the Santa Clara Chamber PAC board leaders who convinced the organization to make a huge political blunder in the 2016 elections by opposing the incumbent council members. He never disclosed this fact to his readers when he was writing about the elections. His actions and words are fair game for journalists.
So, I want assure our readers that Miles won’t be able to intimidate me. I know how to do my job professionally and I care about reporting news in our community, which includes opinion pieces that criticize or challenge the Santa Clara Weekly, a publication that is held in low esteem around town.