GUEST LETTER: Pound the Table and Yell Like Hell


****Editor’s Note: We are publishing this letter because it’s an important community issue, and we would like to ensure that community voices are heard. We have heard that some letters submitted to the Santa Clara Weekly are not published. We welcome opinions from all views. ****

GUEST LETTER: Pound the Table and Yell Like Hell

By Burt Field

In last week’s Santa Clara Weekly, Publisher Miles Barber argued that our grassroots organization Stand Up for Santa Clara is unfairly criticizing his publication.

Mr. Barber is offended that I sent a letter to City Clerk and Auditor Rod Diridon asking these simple questions:

  • Is the Santa Clara Weekly a paper of general circulation as is required of publications where the city places legal notices?
  • If so, what is the audited circulation?
  • And is Santa Clara wasting money by advertising in the Weekly when other publications with greater audited circulation may be less expensive?

I guess Mr. Barber doesn’t want to answer these fair and basic questions so he’s accusing me and Mayor Lisa Gillmor of being against freedom of the press. Seriously, he takes a shot at the Mayor, too, with no reason or evidence. We expect more of a journalist.

However, this isn’t a freedom of the press issue. Mr. Barber may freely print his opinion in his own publication even if he’s frequently wrong. This is a government spending issue and possibly a government waste issue which I would have gladly explained to Mr. Barber if he called me before writing.

Mr. Barber’s column reminds me of a Carl Sandberg quote:

“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”

Mr. Barber is yelling like hell instead of just answering the questions. It should make us all wonder about the city’s expenditures in the Santa Clara Weekly. If Mr. Barber won’t answer these questions, let’s hope for the sake of all taxpaying Santa Clarans, that City Clerk and Auditor Rod Diridon will do so soon.

Burt Field


  1. Isn’t Miles Barber the guy who threatened Robert Haugh about printing critical comments about him? So he’s okay with criticizing others, but doesn’t like it when the light is turned on him? That’s not the behavior of a journalist. That’s the behavior of a cockroach.

  2. Great questions and excellent letter.
    It seems Miles chose sides in the last election and fought viciously for his side.
    Part of the motivation might well have been his stake as a lobbyist supporting a high density housing project.
    But give him credit for sticking to his guns, even when he loses and is shown to be wrong.
    Many of us will watch developments with interest.

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