- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 27, 2021

A White journalist is suing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot over her policy of granting one-on-one interviews only to minority reporters.

Thomas Catenacci, a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation, filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday asking the court to halt the mayor from enforcing her policy and to declare it unconstitutional. 

Ms. Lightfoot, a Democrat, announced the policy earlier this month, saying it was intended to create opportunities for journalists of color. 

“I ran to break up the status quo that was failing so many,” Ms. Lightfoot said. “That isn’t just in City Hall. It’s a shame that in 2021, the City Hall press corps is overwhelmingly White in a city where more than half of the city identifies as Black, Latino, AAPI or Native American.”

A spokesperson from the Chicago Department of Law said the city hasn’t reviewed the lawsuit or been served.  

Mr. Catenacci put in a formal request to interview Ms. Lightfoot last week after her rule was announced, but he did not receive a response despite following up several times. 

“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,” Mr. 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.”

Judicial Watch, a conservative-leaning government watchdog group, is assisting in the legal fight.

“Racial discrimination has no place in America, especially in the halls of government,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “Mayor Lightfoot’s admitted policy of race-based discrimination is flagrantly illegal and immoral. Simply put, we’re asking the court to find Mayor Lightfoot’s racist abuse unlawful.”

Since announcing her policy, Ms. Lightfoot has granted at least one request to a Latino reporter.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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