News & Politics

Mayor Lori Lightfoot Doubles Down on Racist Interview Policy

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, Pool

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is not apologizing for her blatantly racist policy, put in place during the two-year anniversary of her inauguration, of only granting interviews to “people of color.” She told Kara Swisher from the New York Times podcast “Sway” on Monday that she had no regrets about initiating the policy and would do it again.

“I would absolutely do it again. I’m unapologetic about it because it spurred a very important conversation, a conversation that needed to happen, that should have happened a long time ago,” Lightfoot said when asked about the issue.

“The media is in a time of incredible upheaval and disruption,” she said. “But our city hall press corps looks like it’s 1950 or 1970. When I look across the podium, whether I’m in a formal press conference or I’m out in the neighborhood, the reporters who show up are invariably, overwhelmingly white.”

The “conversation” Lightfoot is talking about is one where a black mayor gets to dictate to a free press who will cover her. The media, to its credit, was outraged at the time and pushed back.

Washington Examiner:

“I am a Latino reporter [at the Chicago Tribune] whose interview request was granted for today,” reporter Gregory Pratt tweeted. “However, I asked the mayor’s office to lift its condition on others and when they said no, we respectfully canceled. Politicians don’t get to choose who covers them.”

Similarly, NBC 5 political reporter Mary Ann Ahern told the Washington Examiner, “I expressed my outrage. Nothing has changed.”

Lightfoot told “Sway” that per policy may have been “exclusionary” but she denied that it was racist.

“No, it’s not about me choosing who covers me, right? I gave exclusive interviews,” the mayor said. “And we do get to choose who we talk to in exclusives. I gave exclusive interviews with journalists of color, right? One 24-hour period and it was like people’s heads exploded. I had journalists saying, ‘Does the mayor think I’m racist?’ No, it’s not about individuals. It’s about systemic racism.”

Generally speaking, politicians choose to give exclusive interviews to friendly reporters regardless of color. It appears that Lightfoot is counting on racial solidarity to get friendly coverage — a nauseating concept that will somehow disappear when the next white mayor takes office.

Essentially, Lightfoot’s policy is ignorant. It presupposes that a reporter has to be a certain color to cover her fairly. This is not a new concept. It’s the same nonsense used to justify “diversity” everywhere. We need black and female Supreme Court justices because white men just don’t understand issues affecting blacks and women. Even when blacks and women end up on the court — like Clarence Thomas and Amy Comey Barrett — if they don’t believe in the “right” ideology, they don’t really count because they agree with white men sometimes.

Lightfoot’s whining about systemic racism is a smokescreen. Her goal is to delegitimize all criticism of her office. As her city descends into a maelstrom of violent and bloody madness, the mayor remains obsessed with race as the reason for her troubles.

She has learned nothing.