Thursday, May 30, 2024

Reporter Simon Ateba Sues White House for Attacking Free Press, Purging Hundreds of Journalists

'We urge the Court to uphold the First Amendment and declare these new requirements unconstitutional so Simon can continue to do his job...'

(Dmytro “Henry” AleksandrovHeadline USA) White House correspondent for Today News Africa Simon Ateba filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday to fight for the freedom of the press after the administration stripped the hard-pass press credentials from him and hundreds of other reporters.

The Center for American Liberty, the organization that filed the lawsuit, accused the White House of “effectively banning Ateba and more than 440 other reporters.”

“After months of not receiving answers to his inquiries from the White House press office, Mr. Ateba chose to utilize the only option available to him: speaking up during press briefings,” the lawsuit said.

“On several occasions since December 2021, Mr. Ateba asserted himself in the briefing room, speaking over other reporters and the White House Press Secretary in an attempt to make his concerns known.”

Center for American Liberty CEO Harmeet Dhillon added that the White House’s “new press credential requirements are unconstitutional and directly target Simon,” Blaze Media reported.

“By outsourcing the credentialing process, the White House is giving a group of elite-minded journalists unbridled discretion to pick and choose which reporters and outlets are worthy of holding the White House accountable,” Dhillon said.

“We urge the Court to uphold the First Amendment and declare these new requirements unconstitutional so Simon can continue to do his job.”

Ateba said that the lawsuit was not only about him, but also about “maintaining a free press and holding those in power accountable.”

“Today, President Joe Biden is in power. Tomorrow, it might be someone else. Regardless of who holds the office, no President should have the authority to decide who covers them,” he said.

“Today, the arbitrary new rules target me. Tomorrow, they might target you. This isn’t about just one individual. It’s about a free press, the cornerstone of democracy. In a democracy, people have a right to know, and journalists have a duty to tell.”

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