Reporters on the Job
• A Fan of Joan : French politician Jean Marie Le Pen, often vilified by his critics as a racist apologist for the Nazis, presents a very human face of right-wing politics. "He is a jovial, personable man who revels in the attention journalists have been giving him during the unrest in France," says staff writer Peter Ford, adding, "and he's a past master at turning out quotable quotes."
Peter, who interviewed Mr. Le Pen at his home in Saint Cloud, France, says "He is careful not to say the sort of thing that used to earn him accusations of being a Holocaust revisionist, and seems confident of doing well in the next elections." But his décor offers some evidence of his nationalist stance. "The shelves in his mansion are littered with busts, figurines, and statues of Joan of Arc, the heroine of France's Hundred Years War against the English," Peter notes.
• Dodging a Grenade : Staff writer Scott Peterson came very close to seeing first- hand how quickly things in Fallujah, Iraq, can turn from handing out candy to violence. Scott went on a morning patrol with the Marine squad under Sgt. Mindo Estrella - whom commanders praised as "worth two squads on his own." Later that day, Scott put on his armored vest and helmet, grabbed his cameras, and joined Sergeant Estrella's unit as they began to file out for an afternoon patrol. But another marine from a different squad suggested that Scott should join the second one.
Two hours later, Scott's squad returned safely to camp; 10 minutes after that, passing the same spot, Estrella was hit with a grenade and wounded. "The doc who treated Estrella told me later that he said he was glad I wasn't on the patrol. He remembered Estrella and I talking and pulling up the rear together during the morning patrol."
David Clark Scott