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Friday, May 27, 2005

Comments

Amy Alkon

Susan Spano's faux blog from Paris is especially pathetic. There's a good chance they aren't posting comments anymore or are posting them rarely because they are so often filled with people fact-checking all the errors in her weary excuse for a blog. There are so many bloggers from Paris blogging for free -- among them, La Coquette, and formerly, Jason Stone, who do it so much better than the lady the LA Times is paying for the task.

Here are some of the many errors in her pieces that I've fact-checked on my own blog:

http://www.advicegoddess.com/mt/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=2&search=Susan+Spano

And here's the comment I sent recently that they surely won't print:

Regarding the shocking lack of curiosity and the reportorial laziness evidenced in the August 18 Postcard:

Ms Spano writes: "I consulted the two-volume "Dictionnaire Historique des Rues de Paris," by Jacques Hillairet and Pascal Payen-Appenzeller, in the reference section at the American Library in Paris, which happens to be on the Rue du General Camou. It was only marginally de-mystifying about the general, who was born in 1792 and died in 1868, when the street was given his name."

Luckily, there's also Google.fr, which turns out to be quite informative when the one book one has opened has a dearth of facts.

Now, my French isn't the hottest thing in the world, so please forgive any errors I made in translating and summarizing this page (http://www.oloron-ste-marie.fr/actualites/camou.htm) I found:

"Jacques Camou was born May 1, 1792, in Sarrance, to a peasant family. They wanted him to become a priest. But, he enlisted in the Army of Aragon, then became a sergeant. When he was just 17 years old, he became a second lieutenant. In 1813, he fought in Italy and was wounded. Then, in 1823, he fought in Spain, as a captain, and was wounded again. Then there’s Algeria, and more Algeria, the guy’s whole life is in the damn army. From 1841 to 1854, he’s still fighting away, and gets promoted from lieutenant-colonel to general of the division, more fighting still. It sounds like the guy spent about every waking moment in the army, only leaving it in 1862, having reached the age limit, then kicking the bucket in 1869. From a letter Le Maréchal Bosquet sends to Camou’s maman after his death: '...Camou is the best type of soldier, the simplest, the bravest, the most well thought of, the most loved...'”

(In other words, the man was a war machine...early Ahhhnold, with Camembert on the side. Or something like that.)

Amy Alkon

And Rob's main problem is the infrastructure at the LA Times. Like many dailies, they're terrified at the thought of reader dissent.

Stu "El Inglés" Harris

LAT might well be discouraged by the very disappointing "postcards" but OTOH they ought to have been much encouraged by the Cannes Festival blog. The journalist really worked hard on that, and provided an immediate perspective that printed reports could not. I loved it, personally.

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