Chicago Mayor Sued For Allegedly Denying White Journalist Interview

A white journalist filed a lawsuit against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday (May 27), accusing her of discrimination. Lightfoot announced on May 19 that she would only grant one-on-one interviews to mark her second anniversary of her inauguration to journalists of color. 

According to NBC Chicago, a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation, a conservative outlet, emailed Lightfoot’s office with an interview request on May 20. Thomas Catenacci, the reporter, claims the mayor didn’t respond to the initial request or any of two follow-up emails and alleges discrimination based on his race. 

In his lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Catenacci said Lightfoot effectively denied him an interview because her office failed “to respond in a timely manner.” He added that “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.” 

“Every journalist and every person who consumes the news should be concerned by Mayor Lightfoot’s actions,” Catenacci said in a news release. “This affects everyone. I look forward to holding the mayor accountable,” he added.

Some have applauded Mayor Lightfoot’s decision, saying it’s a step in the right direction for equity and representation, while others, like Catenacci, say it’s discriminatory. 

“If I as the Black woman mayor, the first ever, don’t challenge us, the collective us, to do better, to really make sure that in every institution it reflects the diversity, nuance and texture, then shame on me,” Lightfoot said at the time of her announcement, per a report by WGN 9

So far, the city’s Department of Law has reportedly said they haven’t looked at Catenacci’s complaint yet. 

Photo: Getty Images

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