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Chicago isn't that bad?

OK, we did get rid of bail and do release dangerous criminals into the general population. And yes, our Mayor has thrown law enforcement under the bus, so they can't do their job. And Tim Evans our Chief Judge, is an ineffective dinosaur. Kim Fox our State's Atty, is a err...parasite? Sorry, that's disrespectful to parasites.

And the City is, for all purposes, bankrupt and we tax the sheet out of businesses and drive them elsewhere.

But...Ok, I guess Chicago does suck a little. But we do have the Sox, Cub and Bears! Err...they suck too? I need to stop being so negative!

Chicago News Is Nothing but Crime

I stopped reading the papers and am giving up local television. I simply find it too dispiriting.

By Joseph Epstein, WSJ

Dec. 20, 2022 6:03 pm ET

I’m a news junkie, but the time has come for me to cut back. The first and best place to do so, I have decided, is local television news. It’s altogether too depressing, especially the nightly version that I usually watch before bed. In Chicago, where I live, most of each broadcast is given over to murders, carjackings, hit-and-runs, and interviews with grieving family members of the victims of these crimes.

Some years ago I stopped reading either of Chicago’s two local papers, the Tribune and the Sun-Times, those other vehicles of local news. Each paper grows thinner and thinner and, I am told by their readers, dimmer and dimmer. Local news isn’t readily available online. What brings me back time and again to local television is my continued interest in sports. Local stations provide scores, news of injuries, trades and the rest along with the weather, though I can get the latter, minus all the unnecessary flashy graphics, from my lady friend Alexa.

I long ago ceased to look to the nightly news for pleasing items (“Boy Rescues Dog,” “Stradivarius Found,” “Cookie Sale Planned”), which seem to have mostly disappeared. One of my local stations does feature an occasional segment called “Making Chicago Proud.” It spotlights people who supply meals or books or winter coats to families in poor neighborhoods. This segment scarcely offers any counterbalance to the ones Making Chicago Dreary.

So rampant has crime in all its varieties become that no neighborhood in Chicago is free from it. Owing to local television news, I learn about gang murders where stray bullets kill innocent victims (often children) on the city’s South and West sides, but now also carjackings and other robberies in the once-safe neighborhood where I grew up. Retail stores on plush Michigan Avenue have been ransacked. Formerly serene suburbs have experienced murders. Two people were killed recently near a restaurant I frequent. All this is brought home to me nightly by local television news.

At the end of a report on a crime, more often than not the reporter will say, “No suspect is in custody.” Not reassuring, that. Saddest of all perhaps are the interviews with victims or, if they are no longer alive, their families and friends, who tearfully beseech the criminals to turn themselves in, so justice can be done for the deceased. Yeah, right.

In connection with all this crime, local news in Chicago will often feature interviews with Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot or police chief David Brown. In their rather pathetic attempts to maintain that everything is under control, the appearance of all three only provides additional discouragement. In her various pronunciamentos, Ms. Lightfoot is especially adept at self-righteously conveying a sense of hopelessness.

The local news anchors do their best to keep up a cheerful mien. But the gloom of what they have to report only makes these attempts seem foolish. “Elderly woman beaten, killed in carjacking.” Not many laughs there.

Is turning my back on all the wretched news on local television uncitizenly, which is to say irresponsible? Is it even safe? Shouldn’t I know how bad things have become in the city? Can I live without local television news? Or, quite as much to the point, can I continue to live with it?

Mr. Epstein is author, most recently, of “Gallimaufry: A Collection of Essays, Reviews, Bits.”

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