Lightfoot doubles down on decision to exclusively take interviews from people of color

Chicago Mayor Lori LightfootLori LightfootChicago teachers to 'step up resistance' if school district doesn't improve COVID-19 protections Chicago becomes latest city to require vaccinations for workers 2 brothers charged in fatal shooting of Chicago police officer MORE doubled down in a Monday podcast on an earlier statement that she would exclusively grant interviews to people of color. 

"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 on The New York Times's podcast Sway, which was released on Monday.

"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."

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Lightfoot, who is Chicago's first Black female mayor and the city's first openly gay mayor, announced in May that she would only grant one-on-one interviews marking the two-year anniversary of her inauguration to people of color.

The announcement led to mixed reactions among Chicago media and resulted in backlash from conservative outlets. Lightfoot is facing a lawsuit over the decision filed by a reporter from the Daily Caller. She has called the suit "completely frivolous."

"I am a Latino reporter @chicagotribune whose interview request was granted for today," reporter Gregory Pratt tweeted in May. "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."

"I'm a Black woman mayor. I'm the mayor of the third largest city in the country. Obviously, I have a platform. It's important to me to advocate on things that I believe are important," Lightfoot said in the interview.