Chicago reporter William Kelly had to go to extreme measures to get his last word in with outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot. He made the most of it, too. Kelly had some choice things to get off his chest. This comes after he sued her for “silencing him by pulling his city press credentials.” She didn’t like the questions he’d been asking. The ones which cost her the election.
Lightfoot told ‘get lost’
Lori Lightfoot wasn’t happy with the way her final council meeting went. The Chicago City Council meeting exploded with rhetorical fireworks on Wednesday, March 15. Things got interesting when Chicago reporter William Kelly was handed the microphone. “You shut down our schools, you shut down the churches, you shut down the businesses,” he calmly scorched.
“You did the one thing I thought could never happen: As somebody who was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, I never thought in my life that I would ever see the city of Chicago brought down so low.” That was only the beginning.
“I hope that, after today’s city council meeting,” he told Lightfoot, “you will pack your suitcase and get the hell out of my city.”
A local reporter who had his press credentials revoked tells outgoing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to "pack your suitcase and get the hell out of my city." pic.twitter.com/jNwWuCxgG8
— MRCTV (@mrctv) March 16, 2023
He later told the press that “the tense moment was his chance to speak out on behalf of the citizens of Chicago.” Someone had to do it. Since he couldn’t just join the press gaggle and raise his hand, Kelly had to get creative.
It was a good thing he resorted to guerrilla tactics to get the microphone by grabbing it through the back door, by posing as an ordinary citizen.
“Even if she didn’t pull my press credentials, I still would not have had the opportunity to ask her a question or speak for the people of Chicago after the city council meeting because Mayor Lightfoot canceled her post-city council meeting press conference.”
Public comments lottery
Kelly had an angel looking over his shoulder, making it his lucky day. “I applied for the public comments section right before the meeting. It’s a lottery. It’s limited to five people to speak for three minutes, and the luck of the Irish – St. Patrick’s Day – I was one of the five.” Kelly had a history of grilling the mayor with questions which made her eyes bug out.
The way Fox puts it, “Kelly formerly had standoffs with Lightfoot on several occasions” and alleged she sought to “prevent anyone from questioning her about her multiple failures in office or about [her] false statements” in his lawsuit last year.
In his legal complaint, he detailed how “he had caused ‘great embarrassment‘ for the ill-fated mayor by asking her ‘hard and embarrassing questions.’” He mentioned her heavy handed censorship on Wednesday. “I used to be sitting over there with my colleagues, but I’m standing over here,” he declared, while indicating his press pool friends.
William Kelly, reporter as Lori Lightfoot pulled his reporter license, she didn’t like hard questions.
You shutdown our churches, businesses, & schools. Never thought our city could go that lows.
NOW PACK YOUR BAGS AND GET THE HELL OUT OF MY CITY.https://t.co/LszXeaHA2O
— Amanda Stafford (@RosannaM1970) March 16, 2023
“You told me that crime was down, my videos went viral, amassed millions likes and shares, and it was hurting your re-election campaign, so you revoked my media credential.” Lightfoot “did not respond to Kelly’s comments at the council meeting.” She was speechless.
Kelly says there’s enough evidence of Chicagoans “silenced during Lightfoot’s administration” to fill a book, so he is. He’s writing one to “make sure the same mistakes will not happen in future administrations.” He felt compelled to confront Lightfoot at the council meeting.
“I felt like I had to do that because so many Chicagoans have told me they feel like I’m speaking for them, and they never had their voices heard.” For the record, “The city cited an altercation between Kelly and the mayor’s security detail for revoking his press credentials.” Most call that a “pretext.“