Karine Jean-Pierre Facing Lawsuit After Journalist Loses Press Pass

Karine Jean-Pierre Facing Lawsuit After Journalist Looses Press Pass

(UnitedVoice.com) – Simon Ateba has had a difficult time in the White House press briefing room over the last several months. The journalist for Today News Africa recently had his press pass revoked. Now, he’s suing the press secretary.

On August 10, Ateba filed a lawsuit against Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, accusing her of violating his First Amendment rights. The lawsuit contends the White House violated the reporter’s rights when it changed “the criteria for hard pass credentials to intentionally prevent [him] from obtaining hard pass access.”

In May, President Joe Biden’s administration announced new rules for pass holders, which allowed them to revoke press passes. White House press pool journalists were all ordered to reapply for their hard passes. When he did, Ateba lost his. Today News Africa is his own website and is relatively obscure in the US. The lawsuit alleges the new criteria were “specifically designed to exclude Mr. Ateba from eligibility.”

Ateba has sparred with the press secretary and other reporters repeatedly. In March, he yelled at Jean-Pierre when the cast of the Apple TV show “Ted Lasso” was visiting the White House. She responded to his shouts by saying, “We’re not doing this.”

In July, the White House warned Ateba that if he continued to shout over others in the briefing room, he could have his press pass revoked. The reporter shared the letter on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter; it acknowledged that journalists sometimes had to shout. However, the letter stated that shouting should stop when the press secretary has called on someone to respond. Ateba would not stop at that point; he commonly shouted over the other reporters in the room. He claimed he was being discriminated against.

The letter listed the number of times Ateba shouted over others in the briefing room.

The White House has not responded to the lawsuit at the time of this writing.

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