According to the Washington Examiner, a reporter just accused White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre of “discrimination.”
That reporter is Simon Ateba of Today News Africa.
The situation that gave rise to the “discrimination” accusation took place on Thursday during that day’s press briefing. Take a look:
Karine Jean-Pierre just stormed out of the briefing room after losing her patience with a reporter. pic.twitter.com/OXU16xhNQZ
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 8, 2022
“. . . see you tomorrow”
For those who can’t watch or who don’t want to watch the clip, it starts off with Jean-Pierre attempting to call on a reporter and with Ateba refusing to allow her to do so. Instead, he confronts her.
“Karine, why is it so hard to take a question on the U.S.-Africa Summit, when the President is meeting 50 African leaders — the biggest gathering of leaders of his administration?” he asked. “Why is it hard for you to give me a question?”
Jean-Pierre responded by claiming that “it is not hard.”
Ateba then cuts her off again, and Jean-Pierre attempts to move on but Ateba doesn’t allow her to. Then, after some more back-and-forth between Jean-Pierre and Ateba, Jean-Pierre slams her binder shut and abruptly ends the press briefing.
“Thanks everybody. I’ll see you tomorrow,” Jean-Pierre says before leaving.
It was after this exchange that Ateba accused Jean-Pierre of “discrimination.” Ateba, during an appearance on the Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlsen Tonight, said:
It’s been a disaster, a catastrophe. A real nightmare covering the Biden White House. Right now, I’m the voice of Africa in the U.S. But I can confirm that the level of discrimination against me and against African journalists in the White House is astounding, disgraceful.
Ateba went on to say that this is “shocking because she’s black, she’s an immigrant,” and because “I’m black and also an immigrant.” Ateba added, “she’s discriminating against me.”
The White House has not offered a counterstatement.
As Ateba suggests, the situation has been going on for some time now. One recent memorable incident occurred in November during a press briefing that included Jean-Pierre and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Jean-Pierre shut Ateba down when he argued that a fellow reporter ought to be able to ask Fauci a question about “the origin of COVID.”
The question here is why is it that Jean-Pierre has treated Ateba in this way? Based on this administration’s history with the press, the most likely explanation is that the White House simply doesn’t want to answer the type of questions that Ateba is asking.