Posted on July 29, 2021

Lightfoot Says She Would ‘Absolutely’ Exclude White Journalists From Interviews Again

Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, July 26, 2021

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she would “absolutely” grant interviews only to journalists of color again after she drew waves of backlash earlier in the year when she announced the policy.

“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,” the Democrat said on a segment of the New York Times’s podcast Sway, released on Monday.

“Here is the bottom line for me: To state the obvious, I’m a black woman mayor,” she said. “I’m the mayor of the third-largest city in the country. Obviously, I have a platform, and it’s important to me to advocate on things that I believe are important. Going back to why I ran — to disrupt the status quo. The media is critically important to our democracy. … The media is in a time of incredible upheaval and disruption, but our City Hall press corps looks like it’s 1950 or 1970.”

In May, Lightfoot said the one-on-one interviews that mark the two-year anniversary of her inauguration would not be offered to white reporters. At the time, she said the initiative would foster diversity and inclusion to push back against the “overwhelming whiteness and maleness of Chicago media outlets.”


When Lightfoot was pressed on the subject and reminded of criticism from those who suggested politicians don’t get to choose their coverage, she remained defiant and said the move was meant to resist “systemic racism.”