Chaos as Reporter Confronts Jean-Pierre at WH Presser

Chaos as Reporter Confronts Jean-Pierre at WH Presser

March 21, 2023

The White House daily press conference on Monday descended into chaos after an African reporter confronted White House Press Propagandist Karine Jean-Pierre for not calling on him to ask a question for what he claimed was seven months.

Simon Ateba, White House correspondent for Today News Africa, confronted Jean-Pierre at the beginning of a press conference where the White House had brought in actors to talk about mental health. He was scolded by fellow reporters, who then apologized to the actors.

After the actors left the room, Ateba tried again, and reporters shouted him down.

Jeff Mason, a Reuters correspondent and former White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) president, told Ateba, “If you have grievances, you should bring them to her later. Right now this is for the entire press corps and the press corps is tired of dealing with this.”

Ateba responded that he had sat there in the briefing room for seven months without a question.

Brian Karem, a White House reporter who first gained public attention for an outburst at Trump White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, told Ateba, “Mind your manners when you’re in here.”

“If you have a problem you bring it up afterwards, but you are impinging on everybody in here who is only trying to do their job,” he said.

Associated Press correspondent Zeke Miller, also a former WHCA president, apologized to Jean-Pierre for the disruption.

“I just want to express our apologies from the press corps to the folks watching at home for the display you saw earlier. Our responsibility is to them,” he said.

Ateba slammed his fellow colleagues for rebuking him. He tweeted, “Instead of standing for me, @whca @tamarakeithNPR of @NPR attacks me in letter to her WHCA members.”]

He posted a screenshot of her email, which said the “extreme breakdown of decorum” created a “hostile work environment.”

Ateba also slammed the Associated Press’s Zeke Miller.

“He believes he’s better than me. But he’s not. He apologized to @PressSec Karine Jean-Pierre today for discriminating against me for seven months,” Ateba tweeted.

“In the past 7 months, as I sat behind him, I watched him him ask those questions at every press briefing, he became entitled, believing that he’s better than those who get no questions. This is insane!” Ateba wrote.

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