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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week
Good morning,
Media personality Megyn Kelly was trending on Twitter this week for all the wrong reasons. In an insensitive way, she questioned tennis player Naomi Osaka’s battle with mental health issues.
While reading through the tweet exchange, columnist S.E. Cupp had a thought: When you’re neither adding value nor holding the powerful accountable, it’s hard to see what part of journalism you’re actually doing.
There are no political points to score here. No winners and losers. It’s not a public service to harass a woman over her depression. It’s just cruel, irresponsible, unnecessary and abusive, Cupp writes.
We’ve reached a new stage with COVID-19 that experts are now calling the “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Americans have ready access to the shot, but a significant number refuse to listen to health experts.
Conspiracists who believe in dangerous anti-vaccine nonsense are not only endangering their own lives and driving up new infections, 99% of which occur among those who have not gotten the shot. In various ways, the Editorial Board writes, they’re endangering the rest of us too.
To close off the newsletter, we hear from the executive director of the Illinois Hunger Coalition on why every Illinois student should get free school meals. Research shows that school meals help alleviate food insecurity and poverty while providing long-term improvements for our nation’s most vulnerable children. Read more from Diane Doherty in Letters to the Editor.
— Ismael Pérez, editorial board member

Media personality Megyn Kelly guests on the HBO show, ‘Real Time with Bill Maher. HBO
Media personality Megyn Kelly guests on the HBO show, ‘Real Time with Bill Maher. HBO
The pioneering American journalist John Chancellor once said, “The function of good journalism is to take information and add value to it.”
It’s not one of those self-righteous journalism quotes that presents the job as the last remaining thing standing between civilization and the Visigoths (although sometimes it actually is). It’s a basic principle, that having the privilege of a platform means you should use it for good.
There’s another axiom of journalism, that requires us to hold the powerful accountable, to ask uncomfortable questions of the comfortable.
When you’re neither adding value nor holding the powerful accountable, it’s hard to see what part of journalism you’re actually doing.
Instead, one might describe this as merely trolling, which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as, “someone who leaves an intentionally annoying or offensive message on the internet, in order to upset someone or to get attention or cause trouble.”
So it’s hard to see what value people like Megyn Kelly, an influential, smart and accomplished journalist, despite her well-known and well-earned controversies, are adding when they use their platform to attack a struggling 23-year-old female tennis player for the sin of appearing on the cover of a magazine.
After Naomi Osaka, one of the best tennis players in the world, withdrew from a major tournament and revealed she was battling some mental health issues, many of her fellow athletes, sports reporters and sponsors came out in full support, commending her on what they believed was a courageous admission.
At a time when mental health is slowly but surely being de-stigmatized, and importantly in communities of color, Osaka’s announcement was an impactful one that could show others that it’s OK to not be OK.
As someone who struggled with mental health and suicidal thoughts as a young girl, I can personally attest to the fact that these stories matter in reassuring someone else that it’s not weakness to seek help or treatment.
Anyone who’s looked even superficially at the issue of mental health knows depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts do not care about your wealth, status or success. Osaka’s financial comfort does not make her a powerful person against her demons.
So attacking her credibility and integrity isn’t some noble version of holding the powerful accountable. It’s just cruel and totally unnecessary.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board is the opinion voice of the hardest-working newspaper in America. It is headed by editorial page editor Tom McNamee and includes Thomas FrisbieLorraine ForteLee BeyIsmael Pérez and Mary Mitchell as members.
Our lead editorial
The Editorial Board on ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ affecting everyone:
Hundreds of millions of people around the world are begging for more vaccines. Yet millions of Americans continue, against all reason and the best scientific evidence, to refuse the shot — and make it that much harder to end this pandemic, for good.
More editorials we published this week
Another report blasts Chicago police actions during George Floyd unrest
If Chicago aldermen are to be responsible for constituent services, they need control over ward superintendents
In your words
“Healthful school meals for all students at no charge would be a game-changer. It would support families, schools, and neighborhoods by ensuring all students are hunger-free and ready to learn.”
— Diane Doherty, Executive Director, Illinois Hunger Coalition
Every Illinois student should get free school meals
Every day we publish submissions from Chicago Sun-Times readers weighing in on issues facing the city and its residents. Send letters to letters@suntimes.com or reply to this email to share your perspective.
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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

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