Today News Africa reporter, Simon Ateba, recently caused quite a stir during a press briefing when he insisted on knowing why some reporters – like himself – rarely get called on. This resulted in backlash and criticism from some media outlets, as well as The View. However, despite the negative attention, it seems the outrage has only boosted his popularity.
A tumultuous White House press briefing got underway Monday after Africa News Today reporter Simon Ateba questioned why press secretary Karine Jean Pierre doesn’t call on certain reporters.
The briefing began with Ateba interrupting Jean-Pierre as she introduced the cast of Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” to discuss mental health. Ateba asked Jean-Pierre why she does not call certain reporters “across the room.”
Ateba yelled out that she must call on him regardless of whether she agrees with his line of questioning, which caused an uproar among his colleagues. The sound of others screaming down Ateba could be heard, calling for “decorum,” while another screamed “let it go.”
Jean-Pierre scolded the briefing room for improper etiquette after Ateba called out once again. She threatened to end the briefing and said “disrespecting” colleagues and the guests will not be tolerated.
Sunny Hostin said on “The View” the next day that Ateba was a “horrible person.”
In response to the ladies on The View attacking him, he replied on Twitter: “About me – First and second degrees in journalism and mass communication, done only one job, never disrespected a woman in my life, love all people, never discriminated against anyone in my life.”
He continued: “I have been attacked by pirates on the Gulf of Guinea with an AK47 to my head, arrested in Cameroon and kept in a dark cell during an investigative story, kidnapped in Nigeria and left for dead but survived and became a better person with a kind heart. I have written countless stories and asked some of the most profound questions at countless press conferences. I am a journalist and a true journalist.”
Meanwhile, the news coverage and attacks on Ateba benefitted him with 60 thousand new Twitter followers in one day.
Despite facing criticism from The View and other liberal outlets, Ateba’s bold move during the press briefing has been seen as brave and justified. His willingness to hold public officials accountable for their actions shows a level of integrity that is sorely lacking in today’s media landscape. It’s no wonder he has gained such a massive following in just 24 hours. His actions not only highlight the importance of responsible journalism but also the necessity of holding those in power accountable. It’s time for more reporters to follow his lead and demand transparency from those in positions of authority.
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