A roast of Jerry Roberts, a former editor at the Chron and Santa Barbara News-Press, drew more than 167 people to a swanky lounge at AT&T Park and raised $30,000 for Roberts’ legal defense fund to help him and other journalists being sued by News-Press owner Wendy McCaw. Molly Freedenberg of the Bay Guardian wrote this account of Tuesday’s roast for the Santa Barbara Independent. Roberts responded to the roasters by saying, “How come I spent 32 years working in journalism, and nobody noticed till I stopped?”
Roberts, who was a political writer and later managing editor at the Chronicle for many years, went to work for McCaw in 2003 and resigned last summer, saying she was meddling in the newsroom. After he quit, she sued him and he’s counter suing. Many other reporters, editors and photographers have quit the Santa Barbara paper as well, and some of them are targets of McCaw lawsuits as well.