Wednesday, September 28, 2005

New Orleans Is Another City The LA Times Seems To Have Problems With!,0,1821544.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Reading the LA Times is a frustrating experience. I always feel I have to double check everything it says to see if it is actually true, or, even if it is not totally false, if it is really the pertinent information. Just skimming the hurricane overview today, a dozen things instantly stuck out to me as being... not quite true....

To just give one glaring example:

New Orleans accounts for about half of Louisiana's tourism--110 million visitors and $5 billion last year.

Other sources quote 10 - and not 110 - million visitors (hey - what's a hundred million or so among friends?) and state that New Orleans gathers around 60% of the state's tourist dollars. The five billion figure, though - may (possibly) be correct! One out of three!

Another example:

Parish: St. Charles/Jefferson/New OrleansIndustries: Manufacturing, fishing, tourism and servicesPopulation*: 987,681Main communities: New Orleans, Hahnville, Gretna and Vieux Carre

To begin with, 'Vieux Carre' is the fancy name for the French Quarter, which is, of course, part of New Orleans. Second, while this list is supposedly of the 'Main communities' and in several of the other parishes in this list, they do cite the larger communities, here, other than New Orleans - they do not list any of the main, or larger, communities.

Instead, this list has the parish seat for St. Charles - Hahnville - which has a staggering 2,792 people, much smaller than the 'main' communities in that parish - and Gretna, the seat of Jefferson Parish, which while larger than Hahnville, is still rather small compared to the other 'main communities' of Jefferson Parish such as the City of Kenner and New Orlean's largest suburb - Metairie - which are the dominant (i.e., main) communities in that parish.

Also, in one part of the longer list, the Times makes a distinction between incorporated and non-incorporated towns, but in other places - they do not chose to make that distinction, leading one to believe that all the other communities cited are incorporated - which they are not.

There is simply nothing resembling consistency in the way this list was put together.

I could go on and on and on, just in this one article. The point is - any reasonably educated person should be able to spot a lot of these things. But no one at the LA Times ever seems to.

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