by Debra Heine
The top White House reporter from Africa said Thursday that he is “censored and punished” by the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) for asking “totally incompetent” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre too many tough questions.
Simon Ateba, the Chief White House correspondent for Today News Africa, is reportedly being kicked out of the WHCA, which controls the White House briefings. The Cameroonian journalist was one of several members of the press barred from attending Joe Biden’s media briefing last month addressing the spate of unidentified aerial objects seen in United States airspace.
Ateba told Fox News host Tucker Carlson Thursday night that he believes NPR and WHPCA colluded with the White House remove him from the White House daily press briefings.
“The association has decided I’m not wanted, I’m not supposed to be a member of the association so they refused to renew my membership,” he explained.
The reporter speculated that the WHCA is trying to protect Jean-Pierre, who tends to flounder whenever she’s asked an unscripted question.
“When you do the right thing, when you ask the right question they try to silence you and try to censor you,” he complained. “The only thing that they are doing to me right now is trying to punish me for trying to be a good journalist for asking the question that the American people really care about.”
The reporter noted that the president of the WHCA, Tamara Keith, is the White House correspondent for NPR, a position she’s held since 2014. Keith will serve as the association’s president through July 15, 2023.
“A publicly funded media organization should be ashamed of herself!” Ateba told Carlson.
“Absolutely ashamed of herself!” Carlson agreed. “NPR’s correspondent, it’s fake reporter is colluding with the White House Press Secretary to throw the one guy in the room out who is asking questions—that’s what you’re saying?” the host added.
“Yes, exactly,” Ateba replied, before noting that unless she gets questions in advance, Jean-Pierre is terrible at her job and has to resort to telling obvious lies.
“When you do the right thing, when you don’t send questions in advance, Karine Jean-Pierre is totally incompetent and she can’t answer basic questions—she lies a lot,” The reporter declared.
“She has lied repeatedly about the classified documents and other things [and] when you ask those questions, when you press for the truth they silence you,” he complained.
Ateba expressed profound disappointment in the state of press freedom in America.
“I never believe that this could happen to me in the United States,” he lamented. “In Africa when looked up to the U.S. we saw the beacon of light, the beacon of excellence, the beacon of free speech.”
“But here I am right in the White House in the most powerful house in the world,” Ateba added. “Being censored and being punished by NPR and WHPCA who collude with the white house to punish someone who is doing the right thing.”
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) March 10, 2023
Carlson recently featured Ateba on his Fox Nation show, Tucker Carlson Today, where he expounded on his journey from battling poverty in Cameroon to his new life in the U.S. where he rose to being the top African reporter in the White House briefing room.
Ateba said that he was “grateful” for being invited to appear on Tucker Carlson Tonight, and tweeted “as always, I thank God for everything.”
“This too shall pass!” he tweeted.
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Debra Heine is a reporter at American Greatness.
Photo “Karine Jean-Pierre” by The White House.