The White House Correspondents Association on Monday threatened Today News Africa reporter Simon Ateba with expulsion after he interrupted Friday’s briefing and heckled Jen Psaki.
Chaos erupted in the press briefing room on Friday on Jen Psaki’s final day as White House Press Secretary.
Today News Africa’s Simon Ateba repeatedly heckled Psaki and interrupted other reporters.
Simon Ateba was upset that Psaki called on AP reporters first and skipped over reporters in the back where he was standing.
Ateba began shouting over AP’s Zeke Miller.
“Simon, please stop,” ABC’s Mary Bruce said.
Psaki jumped in and scolded Simon Ateba again as he interrupted Mary Bruce.
“Simon, if you could respect your colleagues and other media reporters in here, that would be greatly appreciated. Go ahead, Mary,” she said.
More disrespectful shouting from Today News Africa’s Simon Ateba demanding Psaki take his questions immediately while ABC’s @MaryKBruce tries to ask about the baby formula shortage.
You can dislike Psaki, unwritten rules (ex. AP first), or the people there, but it’s still wrong pic.twitter.com/N1dX8LXBIm
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 13, 2022
The WHCA is threatening Simon Ateba with possible expulsion according to an email obtained by Mediaite.
A reporter who interrupted Friday’s White House press briefing has been threatened with suspension or expulsion from the White House Correspondents Association were he to do the same again.
In an email to Ateba, obtained by Mediaite, White House Correspondents Association President and CBS News Radio White House Correspondent Steven Portnoy chided him on Monday for the interruptions.
“Your disruptive behavior at last Friday’s briefing interrupted your colleagues and reflected poorly on the press corps,” he said. “There is no right of any reporter to be called on by any official. Preventing your colleagues from asking their questions is no way to seek relief.”
Portnoy warned that Ateba would be suspended or expelled were he to repeat his behavior from Friday.
“We note that you have been granted status as an Associate Member of our organization. With that comes a responsibility to act in a collegial manner with your fellow WHCA members,” he said. “If you again demonstrate disrespect for your colleagues in the manner you did last Friday, the WHCA Board will act on behalf of the collective. I am pasting Article X of our bylaws below for your reference.”