Cameroonian reporter is shut down by Biden's White House -- for asking tough questions
The behavior of the White House Press Corp offers proof that most of the U.S. mainstream media is part of the establishment.
Some say the news media has a Democrat bias. That claim assumes that the news media and the Democrats are independent entities and that the Democrats are somehow controlling the media.
That is simply not true.
For decades, most of the mainstream media had functioned as a PR wing for the Democrats. Their LinkedIn profiles may state their place of work to be the NYT or the WaPo or MSNBC or NBC News etc. but they report to the Democrat party leadership.
For any given news, their opinions are indistinguishable, they even use identical terminology. The only variation is some willing propagandists go the extra mile toward the left to please their masters while others stick to the script.
During the Trump presidency, the White House Press Corp became vicious rottweilers ready to bite first and ask questions later.
They knew their petulance would earn them prominence. Former CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, the perpetually sullen self-righteous CNN propagandist, is a perfect example of this. Acosta made a name for himself getting publicly humiliated by President Trump. This enabled a book deal and a show on CNN.
The ferocious rottweilers from the Trump presidency devolved into perpetually tail-wagging poodles during the Biden administration.
But sycophancy seldom earns respect.
Hence, despite the silence on issues and tacit support, the White House Press Corp is frequently humiliated by the Biden administration; even their access to key events at the White House was restricted.
WATCH: President Biden, during meeting with Indian PM Modi:— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 24, 2021
“The Indian press is much better behaved than the American press…I think, with your permission, you could not answer questions because they won’t ask any questions on point.” pic.twitter.com/VppL7973ma
The first White House Press Secretary under Biden was Jennifer Psaki who usually had two responses to any questions -- the first of which was, ‘I cannot comment on that right now,’ and the second, ‘I will get back to you regarding that,’ which she never did.
Many thought it was a sign of Psaki’s incompetence. That may have been part of it, but it was the Biden administration's arrogance and entitlement.
They were telling the press ‘you won’t get any information and you have no choice but to accept it.’
This attitude reflects Biden’s mindset.
Biden is usually enraged even when the poodles of the press ask him elementary questions.
Biden’s next White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, made Psaki look like an omniscient wordsmith. Jean-Pierre is usually clueless, speechless, patronizing, and averse to any questions she deems adversarial.
Enter Simon Ateba, a reporter from Cameroon, who works for Today News Africa, a news outlet that focuses on U.S.-Africa ties.
The suppression of the news about Biden’s mishandling of classified documents for almost two months was scandalous. It was meant to protect the Democrats during the 2022 midterms.
The suppression continues even now with the Biden administration refusing to divulge any more information.
It took Ateba to state the obvious which is an act of rebellion during these times of emergency.
During a briefing last week, he told Jean-Pierre that she didn’t seem a good fit for her job. As always he was ignored.
#WATCH | Reporter slams WH Press Sec over #ClassifiedDocuments scandal:— El American (@ElAmerican_) January 25, 2023
“You don't seem a good fit for this job.” pic.twitter.com/6CO8As7lFz
So what caused Ateba to be so blunt with Jean-Pierre?
We go back to a time not so long ago.
Last December, Ateba asked Jean-Pierre why she wasn’t taking questions from him, a journalist from the African continent, when a three-day summit with 49 African leaders was scheduled to occur soon.
This incurred Jean-Pierre’s disapproval, and she rejected Ateba’s claim about not taking his questions. She pretended to answer his question but in seconds moved on to the next reporter, claiming that Ateba had shut her down, for a follow-up question.
When the heat got to be too much, she stormed out of the press room, implicitly blaming Ateba for causing such chaos.
Last November, Ateba challenged Jean-Pierre after she brushed off another reporter's question about the origins of COVID during Dr. Anthony Fauci's final briefing.
'She has a valid question about the origin of COVID,' rightly said Ateba, urging Jean-Pierre to bring the Fauci, standing at the side, to the podium. 'Dr. Fauci is the best person to answer!'
Jean-Pierre responded by calling Ateba 'disrespectful' and refused to answer the question.
Last August, White House Director of Strategic Communications for the National Security Council, John Kirby, had two testy exchanges with Ateba.
On one occasion, Kirby asked Ateba to be more respectful.
Back in December 2021, Ateba challenged Psaki about the travel ban of southern African countries due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 when the same variant was found in 57 countries, including countries in the EU.
Moment of chaos in the White House Briefing Room as, for the second time today, Today News Africa's Simon Ateba goes full Jim Acosta on Jen Psaki, demanding he be called on to denounce the Biden administration's travel ban on countries in southern Africa pic.twitter.com/FczAZi8f1s— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 2, 2021
And it happened a third time. Needless to say, Jen Psaki and Simon Ateba won't be confused as being BFFs pic.twitter.com/3nsv1YyMqU— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 2, 2021
Ateba appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show multiple times to narrate his experiences of poor treatment during the White House press briefings.
For Democrats, Carlson is the second worst person in the world, after President Trump, of course. This explains why Ateba’s relationship with the White House has worsened.
Ateba says Jean-Pierre has not called on him at briefings in more than four months, which explains why he has to shout out questions over his colleagues, which usually are ignored.
Ateba said he attempted to have a meeting with Jean-Pierre to resolve whatever problems she may have, but she has refused to meet with him until 2024. This means that for the rest of the Biden administration, Ateba is effectively banned.
His offense was asking tough questions.
A consistent theme in the White House’s response to Ateba is that he needs to be more respectful.
Perhaps they forget that in a democracy, the press must hold the powerful accountable and is under no obligation to be polite or deferential when asking questions or when the powers make an attempt to suppress or misstate facts related to the national interest.
If Jean-Pierre thinks the Ateba is disrespectful, she should watch the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman:
In a democracy, a government serves the citizens and is obliged to be transparent with the people they serve. Since the very beginning, the Biden administration has consistently violated myriad inviolable norms with its unprecedented lies and obfuscation.
Let's look at it the way the Democrats would.
A person of color is being discriminated against in Biden's White House for doing his job.
Had this happened during the Trump administration, Ateba would have been a national hero. He would have been a contributor on MSNBC and would have been offered a book deal. But since he is speaking truth to Democrats, he has become a pariah.
Simon Ateba is among the very rare members of the White House press corps who is doing his job and deserves to be congratulated for doing his job, but instead, he was unofficially banned.
This is another affront that the Biden administration is engaging against democracy in the U.S.
Hopefully, the Trump administration will welcome him back in January 2025.
Image: Screen shot from Fox News video, via YouTube