Simon Ateba is an absolute international treasure who should be protected at all costs. All he wants — all he’s wanted for years at this point — is the chance to ask a single question, first of Jen Psaki and later of her replacement, admitted diversity hire Karine Jean-Pierre.
It all started so well from a celebration-of-diversity perspective, as KJP kicked the proceedings off by dedicating the new press briefing lectern to the “first two black women in the White House press corps.”
Then a black man, press correspondent Simon Ateba, totally ruined it. Not cool!
When Ateba pressed KJP and the Pentagon propagandist John Kirby — whom they bring out almost daily to accompany KJP because she isn’t competent to answer sensitive national security questions — on why they would discuss African issues without calling on an African reporter, KJP did her best substitute teacher/frazzled-suburban-mom-in-a-minivan routine: “we’ll turn this car around right this instant!”
Via Mediate (emphasis added):
The White House’s press briefing came to an abrupt end on Thursday when Simon Ateba once again interrupted his fellow reporters and caused a chaotic disturbance.
National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby joined Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for the briefing again, during which he was questioned about President Joe Biden hosting Angolan President João Lourenço at the White House today.
Kirby spoke about the U.S. interests in Africa that Biden hopes to advance with the meeting, but later in the briefing, Ateba cut in to ask a follow-up question, but then he complained, “It’s so surprising you are receiving an African leader and you don’t take a question from an African journalist.”
From there, the briefing devolved into unintelligible crosstalk, so Jean-Pierre dismissed Kirby as she stepped back up to the podium.
“We can end this briefing if it’s not going to be respectful here,” Jean-Pierre warned. The Today News Africa correspondent immediately resumed his outburst, so Jean-Pierre called the briefing quits right then and there.
As referenced in the above article, this I not the first time, by a country mile, that Ateba has led the mutiny against these rigged propaganda productions in which only preferred, loyal “reporters” are called on for softball questions while the rabble of unapproved journalists are left to languish in the back — the proverbial back of the bus, if you will — in silence.
It’s frankly amazing he is still allowed to enter the building. It’s certainly not for lack of trying to get him banned on the press office’s part. I suspect this may have been the last straw.