The 21st Century is just not turning out the way I expected at all.
The details of the underlying controversy can be read here, if you dare. What interests me is this part:
The suit was filed by former Chicago Park District deputy general counsel George Smyrniotis against the city and Lightfoot….The lawsuit alleges that when Lightfoot heard of the plan, she said she would cancel the parade’s permit, and she ordered an immediate Zoom call.
On that call, Smyrniotis says that Lightfoot “proceeded to berate and defame” the lawyers and questioned their credentials.
Lightfoot told them “not to do a [fucking] thing with that statue without my approval.”
“Get that [fucking] statue back before noon tomorrow or I am going to have you fired,” Lightfoot also said, according to the suit.
She is also accused of making obscene comments to Smyrniotis and King.
“You make some kind of secret agreement with Italians. … You are out there stroking your dicks over the Columbus statue, I am trying to keep Chicago police officers from being shot and you are trying to get them shot,” Lightfoot allegedly said. “My dick is bigger than yours and the Italians, I have the biggest dick in Chicago.”
Smyrniotis says the comments defamed him by claiming he couldn’t do his job.
Well all righty then!
- The lawsuit is frivolous. Smyrniotis is a lawyer and should know that. This is an abuse of process, and potentially worthy of professional discipline. Insults are not defamatory. Opinions about “dick” size are not defamatory. The lawyers who claim to have been defamed are trying to embarrass the Mayor, who does a good job embarrassing herself on a regular basis, and needs no assistance.
- Similar language coming from a male politician would be considered unremarkable. The episode is sexist, absolutely.
- This is not to say that Lightfoot’s language is civil, professional or excusable. It isn’t. It’s bullying and disrespectful, not to mention ridiculous.
- What people say in meetings that are supposed to be private should not be made public. Publicizing rhetoric uttered in a heated exchange is far more unethical than the terms of the exchange itself.
Pointer: Steve-O-in NJ.