Readers remark on Comfort, taxes and deer in pool


November 04, 2007|By Paul Moore | Paul Moore,PUBLIC EDITOR

Paul Moore was on vacation last week but took time out to select some reader comments on journalism in The Sun:

On the Voyage of the USNS Comfort

A two-part series by Sun national reporter Robert Little that described how a Latin American medical mission of the USNS Comfort, a Baltimore-based hospital ship, accomplished far less than might have been possible because of public relations priorities, drew a significant number of e-mails, many positive and some negative.

"I read your Feel-good diplomacy article this morning as I was on that ship this summer. In your one week on the ship, you realized what took most of us a month to realize, that is was just a PR mission. As a medical provider, that was a disappointing realization, but the goal of the trip was to promote the good will of the US. While hard to grasp this concept, I guess it is feasible. The question is, `With better preparation, could we have provided better humanitarian care?' Thus could we do good PR and good medicine. The answer is yes. I don't know what your next article will be about, but the ship serves as an excellent example of what's wrong with the military. -A Medico"

"Your series on the hospital ship is very moving. Is there any way I could contribute some money to help the little girl with the cleft palate? - Jack Breihan"

"If your goal in writing the story on the Comfort was to give a liberal slant and gab President Bush, then Mission Accomplished. I read your story in disgust. The president helped ten of thousands of Third World people and you call it a `feel good mission.' I'm so frustrated with The Sun and reporters like you. If Clinton would have sent a ship to a Third World country, reporters like you would have called him the Messiah. I'm a Republican, not necessarily a Bush supporter. I'm just sick of this [expletive deleted]."

To Tax or Not?

Response to Jean Marbella's Tuesday column on the struggle to balance the Maryland state budget.

"Good job, Jean. You rousted the anti-tax crowd from their bunkers with a column that simply said the situation has no easy answers.They said there is an easy answer: Never raise taxes.Ah, to live in their world. Or, better, to put them in the real world. Now that would be a trick for a guru. - J Roberts, Roanoke, Va."

Deer Story

A comment on Dan Rodricks' column about the misadventures of some suburban deer:

"Thanks so much for giving my family something to laugh about this morning. You know, every now & then it is refreshing to read a story that you can read with your kids and smile. I know my third-grader will be sharing this story with her friends today during school. I just can't seem to get the picture out of my mind of the two deer that walked down the ladder into the pool ... too funny! This gives a new meaning to `Deer Park Water'! Dan, you know a good story when you hear one! Have a great day & thanks again for helping me to begin mine with a smile. -Kathy Stromberg"

What Happened in Carroll?

"I am a subscriber in Carroll County, wondering what happened to the Sunday Carroll section? I do hope that the Carroll Eagle is not a replacement for this Sunday section. ... I still haven't gotten over the last time The Sun cut back on Carroll County coverage, and hope that you haven't done it again. An explanation would be appreciated. - Michele Johnson"

A response from Sun editor Tim Franklin: The Sunday Carroll Eagle, which was delivered with your Sun yesterday, is our new local news publication in Carroll. This publication was launched, in large part, because it allows the Baltimore Sun Media Group (including Patuxent) to deliver more local news and information than we were giving readers in the Carroll section of The Sunday Sun. For example, yesterday's Sunday Carroll Eagle was 24 tabloid pages, compared to the six broadsheet pages in a typical Sunday Carroll section. That's literally twice as much Carroll content. At the same time, we still have a reporter assigned to cover the county full-time for The Sun. Her stories will appear regularly in the Maryland section. And, of course, we will continue to deploy reporters and photographers to major Carroll stories when news breaks. I really appreciate your readership of the Sunday Carroll section, and I hope you'll come to like the added content in the new Sunday Carroll Eagle. I assure you that we take your concerns seriously.

Count Us Out

"After switching from The Washington Post 25 years ago, we are switching back. The first page resembles the comics. Coverage of breaking news has been reduced, and buried. Follow-up and in-depth coverage is minimal when it occurs. Over-all The Sun has dumbed down and shrunk. We are very sad to see the crippling of a prestigeous, balanced newspaper known for its excellent investigative reporting. - Nancy and David Connell, Severna Park"

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