After more than a year of clashes with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Today News Africa reporter Simon Ateba has been removed from the White House Correspondents Association, and he has no intention of going quietly.
“Today is a dark day for freedom of the press in the United States of America. The forces of evil who felt belittled have removed me from the White House Correspondents Association,” Ateba tweeted on Friday. “The removal had the approval of one journalist called [Tamara Keith] who is WHCA President and works for NPR funded by donors and taxpayers.”
“They claimed that I do not have money and cannot be a member of WHCA,” he explained. “They also lied in their letter and did not follow their own membership guidelines.”
“May God forgive them,” he somberly added.
Today is a dark day for freedom of the press in the United States of America. The forces of evil who felt belittled have removed me from the White House Correspondents Association. The removal had the approval of one journalist called @tamarakeithNPR who https://t.co/ku6YlLJ9km… https://t.co/6sCa9iKgeT pic.twitter.com/2grSfnbwh2
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) March 4, 2023
Ateba copied a letter he received from Steven Thomma, the executive director of the White House Correspondents’ Association, in which Thomma said that the committee “did not see evidence that you are ’employed on the editorial staff of a newspaper, periodical, wire service, radio, TV, or other news-gathering organization that reports on the White House’ as required by our by-laws.”
“You have tweeted publicly that you do not receive a salary,” Thomma said, “and declined opportunities to provide information about your employment status.”
“This is a requirement of all members of the association,” he asserted. “Additionally, the committee noted repeated instances where your behavior violated the expectations for membership outlined in our bylaws, which have been detailed to you previously.”
As BizPac Review has previously reported, Ateba has long believed it is Jean-Pierre’s behavior that needs to be checked.
In late December, Fox News guest host Tulsi Gabbard announced that the Cameroon native was the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Winner of 2022.
African reporter says KJP has ‘discriminated against me for months now’ but he will continue grilling her https://t.co/LC5ZUEddyE pic.twitter.com/WnGDGmBWI1
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 1, 2023
Gabbard called Ateba a “hero and inspiration” and “Africa’s hardest-hitting and most prominent reporter.”
“It’s been hard covering the White House,” Ateba admitted at the time. “I don’t know how I was able to sustain my strength. I have worked really hard, even without money. I have not received a salary for the past three years, but I kept doing my job because I believe it’s a place between – a place of strength in the relationship between the U.S. and Africa.”
“As you know, we focus on U.S. and Africa relations,” he continued, “and I believe I find fulfillment by doing the right thing, when I asked her a question, what I seek the truth when I continue to push Karine Jean-Pierre, who has discriminated against me for months now.”
Last month, Ateba appeared on Fox Nation’s “Tucker Carlson Today” and explained why “he continues to fight for his place in the briefing room.”
In Africa, he told Carlson. “I feel like, oh my God, all the money that comes from the U.S. to these countries don’t actually go to the people who need it and to the people who do things that can even benefit the U.S.”
“Here I am, covering your ambassador of your ambassador, doing every single thing,,” he said, “and you give scholarships to every single person around me, except the person who has been there for you. Don’t you see?”
From Cameroon to the @WhiteHouse – @todaynewsafrica correspondent @simonateba shares why he continues to fight for his place in the briefing room. The full interview streams exclusively on @foxnation – plus: unlock free sign-up offers only at https://t.co/voL1YtiFBW pic.twitter.com/GHuH4yFxR8
— Tucker Carlson Today (@TuckerToday) March 1, 2023
It was then that he decided to move to the U.S. and cover the Biden administration because CNN told him that Biden was the good guy. The media had told him that the conservatives in America, the people in the Midwest, were racist “red-necked white guys.”
Once in the White House press room, he said, he could “now focus only on the U.S. – Africa relations.”
He looked forward to getting “the facts out.”
“How wrong I was,” he said.
In a Friday follow-up tweet to the news that the White House Correspondents’ Association has booted him from the press room, Ateba shared a story about his father’s strength.
“Anytime I am really sad, like today, when a few members of the @whca led by @NPR @tamarakeithNPR who felt intimidated or belittled by me remove me from the White House association without following their own rules… I think about my dad and the strength to do the right thing even in a heartbreaking moment, and I keep going,” he wrote. “May God Almighty help me. May God have mercy on those who did not have the courage to do the right thing.”
My dad had just died. And as he lay in a coffin, dressed in white, I looked at him and cried. He was being buried the next morning and some friends and neighbors who knew him had come to say goodbye before sending him to the world beyond.
Suddenly, I was informed that all the… https://t.co/mB5k1mAdVO pic.twitter.com/0czhtrOcNr
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) March 4, 2023
And then, on Saturday, Ateba asked Twitter for prayers and announced that he will be suing the White House Correspondents Association.
I have decided to take legal action against the White House Correspondents Association @whca since they made false claims against me and my company and did not abide by their own membership guidelines,” he tweeted. “From now on, I will let my lawyer talk about the case but I will fight like hell because as they sit in the briefing room collecting salaries, they don’t know there are people like me who build companies from scratch.”
“Pray for me,” he urged his followers.
I have decided to take legal action against the White House Correspondents Association @whca since they made false claims against me and my company and did not abide by their own membership guidelines. From now on, I will let my lawyer talk about the case but I will fight like… https://t.co/cWrbFjMr7Z pic.twitter.com/sEnzaKDHh3
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) March 4, 2023
And pray, they have.
The outpouring of support for the soft-spoken journalist has been overwhelming.
“I love that you won’t be intimidated!” replied one Twitter user. “They think they’re the ‘in crowd’ & I’m thrilled you’re exposing their corruption.”
“Fight back,” another encouraged Ateba. “You have an army backing your fight.”
“Keep up the good fight while remaining TRUE to your values. Clearly you’re not a PUPPET journalist and that scares them,” wrote a third. “‘We the People’ recognize the good guys from the bad apples and remember Karma always wins.”
I love that you won’t be intimidated! They think they’re the “in crowd” & I’m thrilled you’re exposing their corruption.
— oldhouselover (@oldhouselover1) March 4, 2023
Fight back. You have an army backing your fight.
— Mariana (@lonestarherd) March 4, 2023
Keep up the good fight while remaining TRUE to your values.
Clearly you’re not a PUPPET journalist and that scares them.
“We the People” recognize the good guys from the bad apples and remember Karma always wins.
— Colleen (@ColleenEngineer) March 5, 2023
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