April 15, 2009

Player's obituary not front-page fare

The Baltimore Sun seems to have some seriously misplaced priorities about what constitutes news and where it belongs in a newspaper.

While the death of a local basketball player, who went on from a successful college career at Morgan State to a pro basketball career, is sad, it is hardly front-page news. Thus the article "Human Eraser" (April 9) belonged in the Sports section or in the obituaries.

The same day that article ran, a ship sailing under an American flag had just been attacked by pirates for the first time in 200 years, and that story was buried inside the paper ("Navy ship on site of pirate raid," April 9).

It is my understanding that one of the ways we know which stories are important is where they appear in the newspaper. So I ask, which story is more important - one about a dead basketball player or one about a pirate attack?

Barbara L. Pilert, Baltimore

Tab for earmarks really much higher

A headline on the front page of Friday's Baltimore Sun read: "Earmark list from Md. tops a billion" (April 10). And on the top of Page 21A, the continuation of the article had a headline reading: "Md. earmarks top $1 billion."

But the list of earmark requests from Maryland congressmen that ran with the article showed the following figures, in millions: $964.3 for C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger; $627.5 for Donna Edwards; $582.2 for Steny H. Hoyer; $462 for Elijah E. Cummings; $371.6 for Chris Van Hollen; $315.1 for Frank Kratovil Jr.; $310.3 for John Sarbanes and $308.4 for Roscoe G. Bartlett.

When I added those figures together, I got a total significantly larger than the $1 billion figure noted twice in the headlines: $3,941,400,000.

That's quite a difference.

Richard Seymour, Baltimore

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