Today News Africa chief White House correspondent Simon Ateba said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre “will not” meet with him this year.
Jean-Pierre reportedly informed Ateba she would not meet with the Today News Africa reporter in her office last Thursday.
“Hello folks, I may not get a question at the White House this year as Karine Jean-Pierre told me in her office last week that she will not meet up with me in 2023,” Ateba announced in a Tuesday tweet. “‘Maybe in 2024,’ she added. Unless I yell out a question, I may not be called on.”
“Tough place to be in folks!”
Hello folks, I may not get a question at the White House this year as Karine Jean-Pierre told me in her office last week that she will not meet up with me in 2023. "Maybe in 2024," she added. Unless I yell out a question, I may not be called on. Tough place to be in folks! pic.twitter.com/hRHeGS8WOp
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) January 10, 2023
Ateba was criticized for asking a question out of turn during former White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s final briefing on May 13.
“If you again demonstrate disrespect for your colleagues in the manner you did last Friday, the WHCA Board will act on behalf of the collective,” said White House Correspondents Association President and CBS News Radio White House correspondent Steven Portnoy, reprimanding Ateba. “I am pasting Article X of our bylaws for your reference.”
“Am I not worth asking a question at least once a month?” Ateba said at the time, alleging he faced discrimination inside the briefing room while noting legacy media reporters were continuously allowed to ask questions. “Am I not being in the room when President Biden receives President Kenyatta of Kenya? Am I less? Is that what press freedom is?”
“I am the victim here and I am being treated so unfairly by WHCA,” the reporter said in a May statement obtained by the Daily Caller. “It is sad and it is heartbreaking. America is the greatest country in the world and no country comes even close. Here in the United States, press freedom is respected, or so I thought, or so I was made to believe.”
“I will keep raising my hand hoping that one day I will be given an opportunity to ask a question which is important to US-Africa relations. It’s hard to be in a briefing room where you know that the only way to get a question is to yell out,” Ateba told the Daily Caller in a separate statement. “When you shout out your question, the people watching television at home have no idea how long you’ve been raising your hand without being called on and what steps you have taken to get called on.”