The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, alleges that Lightfoot's denial violates the DCNF and Catenacci's First Amendment rights and Catenacci's right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.
"On May 20, 2021, Plaintiff Catenacci requested, by email, a one-on-one interview with Mayor Lightfoot," the DCNF lawsuit said. "Plaintiff Catenacci sent a follow-up email on May 21, 2021. He also sent a third email on May 24, 2021. As of the date of this Complaint, Mayor Lightfoot's office has not responded to Plaintiff Catenacci's request nor has Mayor Lightfoot agreed to an interview with Plaintiff Catenacci."
The suit alleges that by "failing to respond in a timely matter," Mayor Lightfoot has effectively denied the request.
In fairness to Mayor Lightfoot, DCNF is a right-leaning news outlet. Rejecting the interview request could be less about race and more about being afraid of the questions asked such as ones about
. Two things Chicago has become known for besides having crappy pizza. Whether Catenacci was denied because of the color of his skin or because of the cowardice of the mayor's office, that's for a judge to decide. But when it's not only the policy of the mayor to deny white reporters, but it's a policy she freely admits out loud, there's enough of a reason to think race is involved here.
That's the bigger problem. Mayor Lightfoot thinks she can get away with racial discrimination because she doesn't think anyone will call her out on it. I'm sure Lightfoot assumes many in the media share her political opinions, so they'll just look the other way. Because many in the media share her political opinions and will most likely look the other way.
The courts are the only recourse. Can an elected official deny a free press because of a reporter's race? We're going to find out.