'Pretty Special'

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Editor’s Letter by Gwyn Lurie CEO and Executive Editor of the Montecito Journal Media Group

Candid Condescension

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midst the national news that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned for his misogynistic and retro (at best) workplace behavior, I wouldn’t want you to miss our own local cringeworthy episode. Not much shocks me these days. But yesterday, while watching local journalist Josh Molina interview influential Santa Barbara real estate developer Ed St. George on his podcast “Santa Barbara Talks with Josh Molina,” I almost choked on my latte. Not since All in the Family’s Archie Bunker got all worked up when he and his liberal neighbor, Irene, were Ed St. George (courtesy of “Santa Barbara Talks with Josh Molina”) competing for the same job and Archie said: “It’s a crime against nature. Women were created for two things: makin’ meals and babies… It’s true. Look at the cave women...” (it gets cringier, but I’m using some restraint) have I heard such Neanderthalic nonsense. The difference is, of course, Bunker was a fictional character, created to make us laugh, provoke discussion, and encourage action. Ed St. George is for real and dead serious.

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Your advice is bizarrely retro. I suspect Meagan, with her many competencies you so fastidiously listed, can make these informed life decisions on her own.

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In Molina’s interview, St. George is asked to comment on the surprising challenge of City Council member and newly appointed Coastal Commissioner, Meagan Harmon, by City Hall insider Nina Johnson, senior assistant to the City Administrator. “What do you think of Nina Johnson challenging Meagan Harmon?” Molina asked St. George. His answer was breathtaking: “I like Meagan. I think we all like Meagan... Meagan’s the girl I think we all kind of had a crush on in junior high or high school, maybe our first crush. She was the girl that got along with the jocks, was really nice to the nerds. Here she is. She graduates high school. She joins the Peace Corps. I think she joined the Peace Corps, right? Correct me if I’m wrong...” (You’re wrong.) “...I think she went to Afghanistan, spent a couple of years there, comes back to Santa Barbara, decides to enroll in law school. Graduates from law school. Passes the Bar. Gets a job with a good firm here in Santa Barbara. Answers an ad for an interim council member, interim, just for a short time. Ends up being longer than just interim. She gets nominated by the council...” (Okay, so far I’m liking this Meagan person.) St. George continues: “...In the meantime, she’s pregnant. I’m sure that’s been one of her life dreams, as it is with a lot of women. So now she’s got... an infant

Editor’s Letter Page 94

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