Simon Ateba, a Cameroonian journalist who is the White House correspondent for Today News Africa, told Newsmax on Wednesday night that being snubbed by press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during briefings makes him sad for the country because the First Amendment is such a pillar of freedom.
Ateba told "Eric Bolling the Balance" that Pierre has not called on him in seven months. Ateba caused a stir during Monday's briefing when he asked Pierre to call on "everyone from across the room."
"The country is almost turning like China, you know," Ateba said. "In many countries around the world, you ask a question to the people in charge, they retaliate and discriminate against you. And I didn't know that we face certain things in the U.S. The U.S. is the most advanced country in the world because here we have freedom. You can ask questions without fear of retaliation. But I have seen that in the Biden White House, that is different."
Ateba, who has frequently clashed with Jean-Pierre, said he wasn't even called upon when the White House played host to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in December.
"You have almost all the leaders of the African continent who are being hosted by President [Joe] Biden in Washington, D C., and the African journalist who covers the White House and focuses on U.S.-Africa relations is not given the opportunity to ask even one question," Ateba said.
During Monday's briefing, which included the cast of the Apple+ TV show "Ted Lasso" to discuss mental health, Ateba was pleading with Jean-Pierre to be given a chance to ask a question. But his colleagues were calling him rude and telling him to let Jean-Pierre continue with the briefing.
The journalists' behavior was in sharp contrast to how CNN's Jim Acosta was treated by his colleagues during the Trump administration. Acosta was a constant disruptive force during that administration's press briefings, yet he was treated almost as a hero, and CNN rewarded him with a promotion to weekend anchor and chief domestic correspondent.
Even ABC's "The View" weighed in on Monday's briefing. The show's Black co-hosts, Sunny Hostin and Whoopi Goldberg, attacked Ateba. Hostin said Ateba "is clearly a horrible person and maybe shouldn't be in the White House briefing room." Goldberg said, "You have to look at your behavior, sir. You have to look at your behavior because nobody wants to be jumped."
"They should be ashamed of themselves," Ateba said. "You know, the two Black women, they're always talking about equity, being there for the little guy, and racism, and trying to defend Black and Brown people.
"But here, I am Black from Africa. I've not had a question in seven months while Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary, calls on people from across different continents except Africa, and the Black women on 'The View' the review found that acceptable. It's disgraceful."
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