Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to only grant interviews with reporters of color has just come back to bite her as she’s been hit with a lawsuit for refusing to grant an interview to a white reporter.
Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit against Lightfoot on the behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation over her new policy about not giving interviews to white reporters, according to Fox News.
Filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, the lawsuit claims that Lightfoot violated reporter Thomas Catenacci’s equal protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment when she never responded to multiple interview requests from him. It also claims that she violated his First Amendment rights.
“Preventing journalists from doing our jobs in such a blatantly discriminatory way is wrong and does a disservice to our readers who come from all backgrounds,” Catenacci said. “Every journalist and every person who consumes the news should be concerned by Mayor Lightfoot’s actions. This affects everyone. I look forward to holding the mayor accountable.”
The lawsuit defines Catenacci as a “national reporter” who covers the economy, politics, and labor issues.
This came after Lightfoot celebrated the second anniversary of her taking office by announcing that she would only grant one-on-one interviews to Black and Brown reporters as she also scolded the Chicago media for its “overwhelming Whiteness.”
“In looking at the absence of diversity across the City Hall press corps and other newsrooms, sadly it does not appear that many of the media institutions in Chicago have caught on and truly have not embraced this moment,” the Democratic mayor said according to Fox News.
“I have been struck since my first day on the campaign trail back in 2018 by the overwhelming whiteness and maleness of Chicago media outlets, editorial boards, the political press corps, and yes, the City Hall press corps specifically,” she added.
Not stopping there, Lightfoot boasted about the diversity in Chicago leadership, including the “majority Black and Latinx City Council,” before calling it “unacceptable” that most reporters covering City Hall were White.
“Many of them are smart and hard-working, savvy and skilled. But mostly white, nonetheless,” she wrote.
This piece was written by James Samson on May 27, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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