Still, the assumption would certainly have to be that the Sun-Times, once the determination has been made to run a photo with a story, would still be choosing the best photo they had available, right? I mean, they wouldn't intentionally be selecting worse than the best available. At least I hope not, regardless of their market niche.
Since you are from Chicago and are apparently familiar with the paper, did they have a pattern of intentionally running poor photography before all of this happened? And if so, why then would there have been a Pulitzer Prize award winner on that staff?