When Lord Acton wrote that power corrupts, he could have had Lori Lightfoot in mind.
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, no, she is not a supporting character on a zany teen TV series carried by some obscure cable network.
She is actually the mayor of Chicago, she is a progressive and she is shit out of her mind.
She almost makes Jim Kenney a tower of decisive intellect. She is also — let’s check the progressive identity boxes — a Democrat, a woman, a POC (that means person of color for those of you over 50), a lesbian.
And as she approached the second anniversary of her inauguration — marked by the highest murder rate in Chicago’s history — she sent word she was willing to be interviewed for the occasion, one on one, only by Black and brown journalists.
I know some of you think I am joking. Or lying. Or writing satire worthy of the Onion.
No, no, no.
She said she was doing this to note, or protest, or made an issue of “the overwhelming whiteness and maleness of Chicago media outlets, editorial boards, the political press corps, and yes, the City Hall press corps specifically.”
I can’t say this played any part in her irritation, but (white?) journalists reported during the pandemic, when she ordered the city shut down, she got to her hairdresser, because she needed to look good, as chief executive, she explained.
She will need more than a hair dresser to look good. I’d start with dark sunglasses. (Oh, but now I am sexist? When she brought her dubious looks into the discussion?)
Because of critical reporting and commentary, Lightfoot canceled her Chicago Tribune subscription. Her skin is not just Black, it is thin.
It may be — for various historical reasons — that the press corps everywhere is largely white and male, but that is an issue for journalists to grapple with. And from the Society of Professional Journalists to the National Association of Black Journalists— we have. (NABJ sympathized with the idea, but disavowed the mayor’s tactic.)
It is not for slimeball politicians, no matter how well-intended, to use racism to determine who will be allowed to interview them.
Chicago is roughly one-third Black, slightly less white, and slightly less Hispanic and other.
Let’s be clear: Some elected officials refuse to talk to certain reporters who they don’t like or who they feel won’t give them a fair shake. Editors may assign another reporter, but the politician doesn’t get to choose which one.
For years, before (and after) I retired, Mayor “Spineless” Kenney would not talk to me. His paid PR minion would answer occasional questions.
Not so for Larry “Squinty” Krasner, whose designated, overpaid director of communications, does not respond to me, Ralph Cipriano and a few other journalists the elected cretins don’t like. Remember, the emperor didn’t like the one who pointed out he was parading in his skivies.
But not even these local eunuchs would have the gall to redline whole classes of journalists.
So I come back to the Progressive Trinity — Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. (I have already dealt with equity, which doesn’t mean what you probably think it does.)
Equality is race blind; equity is race conscious. (Not just race — also on the list might be income, gender, religion, nationality, shoe size.) Equity is almost a synonym for . . . Discrimination. If that sounds too pejorative, call it “making choices.”
Miss Mayor Lightfoot decides to discriminate against whites, but, really, is she going far enough?
Why should speak to an
oppressor male? They’ve long dominated the newsroom, so rule them out, too. I mean, what says “inclusive” more than limiting people’s opportunity?
And, sorry, you cisgendered women. Mayor Lightfoot wants you to take a back seat to the trans, the marginalized, you know, all that crap.
So I am having a little fun here.
Any news organization that goes along with Lightfoot ought to be boiled in pigslop because they are worthless.
I note with satisfaction, one of “my” people — reporter Gregory Pratt — pushed back in a Tweet:
“I am a Latino reporter @chicagotribune whose interview request was granted for today. 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.”
The next time you’re in Philly, Greg, the cerveza is on me.
Lightfoot illustrates the issues I have with progressives.
They may recognize an injustice, but the only way they have to fix one injustice is to create another.
Just another (lower case) black mark against the arrogant incompetent running America’s Second City.