The Chicago Sun-Times filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and that wasn’t
a surprise to those of us who found little in it worth reading besides
the Sports section.

But now they’re doing this odd thing, mixing bold-faced and
unabashed abortion advocacy with a principled call for free and fair
speech by pro-life advocates. All in the same editorial.

“The Chicago Sun-Times is a staunchly pro-choice paper. Abortion is
legal in this country and we’ll do everything we can to keep it that
way.

“But we also believe passionately in free speech and in promoting the marketplace of ideas.

“And we don’t think beer, cars and ladies lingerie are the only things that should be sold on TV.

“Ideas, ideologies and political views are also fair game — even the ones we may disagree with.

“We’re OK, then, with the decision by CBS to run, for the first
time, a so-called “advocacy ad” during the Super Bowl, a commercial
that will feature an anti-abortion message.

“The ad stars Tim Tebow, college football’s biggest star, and his
mother. They’re expected to recount the mom’s decision to follow
through with the risky pregnancy that produced her Heisman
Trophy-winning son, despite advice by doctors to terminate.

“We probably won’t like the ad, but that doesn’t mean it should not
air — so long as differing views are also welcome on CBS’ airwaves.”

A blog reader expressed his sentiments this way:

“Though I agree with the main point of the article pertaining to
free speech, I was shocked by the declaration of the first sentence of
the article!

The Chicago Sun-Times is a staunchly pro-choice paper. Abortion
is legal in this country and we’ll do everything we can to keep it that
way
.”

The gentleman concluded:

“I have been a subscriber of the Sun-Times for a number of years,
but after such a statement, I feel obligated to cancel my subscription.
The phrase “staunchly pro-choice” is so extreme. I feel the need to
spread the word about the Sun-Times to other people who value all
precious life, born or not yet born.”

Take away the blunt abortion advocacy and they sound darned
high-minded and open to ideological parity. But besides staking their
position on the great human rights issue of our time (one that is
rationally untenable), it’s even more disturbing that the newspaper’s
editors declare they will do everything they can to keep abortion
legal. That’s where they crossed a decisive line.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....