Boston Globe Stiffs Herald on Korean War POW Story

August 16, 2016

From our No Credit Where Credit’s Due desk

Nice piece by Laura Crimaldi in today’s Boston Globe about the return of a Korean War vet who died in a prisoner-of-war camp.

Remains of Korean War POW coming home to Cambridge

US Army Corporal Ronald M. Sparks spent his last night in Cambridge more than 65 years ago, baby-sitting for his three young nephews before he left to fight in the Handout_13soldier01_metKorean War.

The night made a lasting impression on one of the boys, 3-year-old Bob, who woke up and found Sparks reading a newspaper in his family’s living room.

Sparks, who was 19 then, never returned.

But Bob, who met Sparks for the first and only time that night, has found his lost uncle and is bringing him home decades after he died in a prisoner-of-war camp in North Korea.

 

The Globe piece has everything you want in a human-interest story – drama, history, valor, persistence, and a happy, if bittersweet, ending.

It’s missing only one thing: A nod to Boston Herald columnist Joe Fitzgerald, who had the story in yesterday’s paper.

‘Uncle Ron is home at last’

Quest brings Korean War casualty back for burial

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Bob Sparks was almost 4 the first time he saw his uncle Ron.

“It was just before he shipped out,” Sparks remembers. “He was babysitting me.

“When I awoke and saw him, I was frightened. I asked, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘I’m your Uncle Ron, your dad’s little brother.’ He was in his uniform, and when I asked ‘Are you a soldier?’ he smiled and gave me this crisp salute. It’s my only personal memory of him.”

Ron Sparks, 19, then left the family home in Cambridge, bound for the Korean War with the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division . . .

 

It’s not unusual for one of the Boston dailies to draft off the other on certain stories, and it’s not like the Herald bats a thousand in the credit where credit’s due department. But still . . .

C’mon, Globe editors. Be a mensch.


Trial and Error: Boston Globe Catches Up

August 26, 2015

As the hard reading staff noted yesterday, the Boston dailies have reached a split decision on which high-profile local trials they’re covering: The Globe has been on the Owen Labrie alleged rape trial, while the Herald has been all over the Michelle Carter alleged text-message manslaughter case.

Today, though, the Globe doubled down with Laura Crimaldi’s piece on Metro Page One:

‘It’s now or never,’ text said to friend

Teen urged to kill himself, DA alleges

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NEW BEDFORD — She professed her love for him and promised to care for his grieving family when he was gone. All he had to do, she said, was take some Benadryl and let a combustion engine poison him with carbon monoxide. A life without pain awaited in heaven, she said.

“You have to just do it. . . . Tonight is the night. It’s now or never,” said one of the text messages Michelle Carter, then 17, is alleged to have sent to Conrad Henri Roy III in the days before his 2014 suicide.

The text message, among thousands the pair was said to have exchanged before Roy, 18, was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck in Fairhaven on July 13, 2014, has become public as Bristol County prosecutors fight a defense request to have the involuntary manslaughter case against Carter thrown out.

 

Not to get technical about it, but the Herald’s Jessica Heslam had that story yesterday.

Then again, at least the lately local broadsheet did something on the trial it’s been largely ignoring.

The same cannot be said for the fusty local tabloid. The Herald is still not covering the St. Paul’s School case in New Hampshire, which is odd since you’d think the class issue – fancy prep school, entitled tradition of the senior salute, etc. – would appeal to the Heraldniks.

No? Huh.