Casasús and the curse of the French

It sounds like Josep Maria Casasús, alleged ombudsman for La Vanguardia, is going around telling folks that I’m an American secret agent for asking him four months ago to do something about the paper’s plagiarising, fictionalising, semi-literate London correspondent, Rafael Ramos. John Chappell – who bravely reads the paper on Sunday – has the details of today’s explosion, and you’ll find a what-happened-when archive in my ethics section.

I’m still hoping that Casasús will provide an honest and honourable response to my complaint. However, he says that he has “vehement suspicions … that various political parties’ propaganda services, and also those of various governments and embassies, mobilize agents dedicated to sending letters to the editor and to the ombudsman.” If he honestly believes me to be one of these people, then I hope that he will have the courage to say so openly so that I can sue him. For the record, I currently have no party affiliation or contacts, although in the past I have written and advised freelance for mainstream green and left-of-centre parties.

I think the problem here is actually down to the intellectual heritage of 60s and 70s France. Casasús is apparently the guy who introduced structural analysis into Spanish journalism. This must have been a fairly easy task, since Spanish intellectual life is dominated by the proto-structuralist notion that there is a dark, hidden force out there that controls everything and makes black appear white and truth appear falsehood. If Casasús thinks that his column today is the last word on the Ramos case, then he has chosen to ignore clear empirical evidence of Ramos’ complete unsuitability for his job. Why? Probably because he genuinely believes

  1. that Ramos only did it because he was driven to it by the accumulation of 500 years of capitalist oppression, or
  2. that, amidst the self-inflicted smoke and mirrors of a failed intellectual movement, there is some magic potion at work that simply makes it appear as if Ramos is a liar, a thief, and an incompetent.

Casasús – if this is the last we have heard from him – is indeed a sorry case. Normally someone who lies and dissimulates for his employer is known as a whore, but this man seems to be doing so out of intellectual confusion. Whores can go far in journalism, but fools very rarely do.

If you want to see bad guys like Josep Maria Casasús and Rafael Ramos disappear into the cesspool of history with a splash rather than a plop, then a link to my and John’s stories will, of course, help influence their Google rankings. More on this another day, as well as on the Barcelona writer who believes that Englishmen wear kilts and play cricket by hitting balls through hoops with a hammer.

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