White reporter sues Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for racial discrimination
The Conservative journalist’s lawsuit alleges that Lightfoot illegally excluded white journalists from a single opportunity.
A white reporter has filed a lawsuit against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot alleging the politician discriminated against him by choosing to only allow colored journalists to interview.
Lightfoot, notes The Associated Press, wanted to pay more attention to colored journalists on the two-year inauguration anniversary.
However, Thomas Catenacci and his employer – the conservative Daily Caller News Foundation – say Lightfoot’s decision violates the Daily Caller’s First Amendment rights as well as Catenacci’s right to equal protection.
According to Catenacci, Lightfoot “[prevented] Journalist from our work in […] an obviously discriminatory manner. “
“Every journalist and person who consumes the news should be concerned about Mayor Lightfoot’s actions,” Catenacci said in a press release. “That affects everyone. I look forward to holding the mayor accountable. “
Catenaccis complained that Lightfoot did not respond to his request for an interview on the two-year anniversary of the mayor’s inauguration, and Lightfoot’s office did not respond to further inquiries in the following days.
Brown and gold hammer; Image by Bill Oxford, via Unsplash.com.
The Associated Press notes that Lightfoot’s first two years in office ended in mid-May. Lightfoot said she was affected by the “overwhelming” white press corps in Chicago and would only be interviewing journalists that day.
Lightfoot’s decision was widely publicized by conservatives including the Fox News personality and Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson.
Carlson, for example, called Lightfoot a racist and a “monster”.
However, Lightfoot defended her decision – and mocked those who tried to tarnish her character.
“The fact that the town hall press corps is overwhelmingly white with very little diversity is embarrassing,” Lightfoot said on May 20. “One day out of 365 I am saying that I will mark the anniversary of my two-year term with exclusive one-on-one meetings with journalists of color, and the world is going crazy.”
Geoffrey Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago, told the Chicago Tribune he expected Catenacci’s and the caller’s lawsuit to be dismissed in court.
According to Stone, elected officials are often picky about journalists. In addition, Lightfoot’s exclusion of white reporters from a single event and date cannot be construed as a blanket policy against Caucasian peoples.
“Since she’s only talking about one day, it seems like an exaggeration to make a fuss about it,” Stone told the Tribune.
Even so, Catenacci’s lawsuit insists that he was not allowed to interview Lightfoot on the anniversary of her inauguration – or the days that followed – just because he was white.
“To the best of its knowledge and belief, the defendant is aware that the plaintiff Catenacci is not a ‘Journalist of Color’, and the defendant has rejected the applicant’s interview request in accordance with its announcement that it will only allow interview requests from ‘Journalists of Color'”, says it in the lawsuit.
Chicago Mayor: Colored reporters get 2-year interviews
Lightfoot Discriminates White Reporters By Not Granting Interview: Lawsuit
Lightfoot is suing for limiting interviews to reporters of color