WH Press Briefing Gets Off to a Testy Start as Reporter Confronts Jean-Pierre: 'Are We Going to Behave?'


The White House press briefing got off to a rocky start as one reporter accused the press secretary of discriminating against him and other reporters.

Members of the cast of the Apple TV+ show “Ted Lasso” visited the White House on Monday to speak about mental health.

However, it was only a short period after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the cast members appeared that chaos broke out.

“No, no, no, no, no, we’re not doing this, we’re not doing this,” she said as Today News Africa’s Simon Ateba began to confront her before the briefing began.

Ateba accused the press secretary of discriminating against him and other press corps members and added, “This is not China. This is not Russia… You are making a mockery of the First Amendment.”

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“It’s been seven months. You’ve not called on me. That’s not right,” he added.

Other reporters could be heard urging Ateba to stop talking and let Jean-Pierre start the briefing. One reporter said, “Sir, let it go.”

“Are we ready? Are we going to behave?” Jean-Pierre asked before making some initial comments.

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After the “Ted Lasso” cast left, Jean-Pierre attempted to address Ateba’s outburst.

But before she spoke, Ateba said, “You can’t keep discriminating against some people in the briefing room because you can’t like them.”

While he kept talking, someone yelled, “Decorum!”

A couple of other reporters confronted Ateba over his behavior and suggested he should take up issues he has with Jean-Pierre “later.”

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“The entire press corps… is tired of dealing with this,” one reporter asserted.

Another reporter said, “Mind your manners when you’re in here. If you have a problem, you bring it up afterward.”

“But you are impinging on everybody in here who’s only trying to do their job!” he added.

Finally, Jean-Pierre said, “This is the White House Press Briefing Room, a historic room. A room that should have decorum, a room where folks should respect their colleagues and respect the guests that are here. And I understand that there’s going to be give and take… I will always, always respect that.”

“What has just occurred this last 10, 15 minutes is unacceptable,” she added.

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