Reporter Files Landmark Legal Action After White House Strips Press Credentials

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The Biden administration is all for affirmative action and special accommodations for black people in education and the workplace.

Except when the black person doesn’t affirm what they stand for.

On Thursday, African journalist Simon Ateba initiated a federal lawsuit against White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the Secret Service.

The lawsuit, “Ateba v Jean-Pierre,” alleges that Ateba’s press badge was unjustly revoked after he caused disruptions during press briefings.


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Additionally, the lawsuit asserts that this action violated Ateba’s First and Fifth Amendment rights by attempting to unconstitutionally restrict someone who qualifies as “the press.”

On May 5, the White House introduced new regulations concerning press credentials, commonly referred to as hard passes.

This marked the first instance in U.S. history when a systematic procedure was outlined for the potential revocation of journalists’ credentials. This initiative aimed to address a longstanding legal gap that had previously prevented authorities from revoking press badges, according to the New York Post.

Should Ateba and others have their credentials reinstated?

Yes: 98% (237 Votes)

No: 2% (5 Votes)

The updated regulations were introduced following a March 20 briefing during which Ateba loudly exclaimed that Jean-Pierre was undermining the integrity of the First Amendment when she entered the briefing room alongside the cast of the Apple TV show “Ted Lasso” as a promotional stunt, the Post reported.

From what followed, it can be assumed that Ateba thought it was unfair that a group of actors from a comedy show should be given time at a press briefing in which he had not been able to ask a single question that concerned his online publication, “Today News Africa” audience.

Ateba shouted out to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “So are you going to take questions from me?… because you’ve been discriminating against me for the past nine months.”

According to Today News Africa, the new criteria for hard passes mandates reporters have “credentials either from the Supreme Court or one of the four Congressional Press Galleries.”


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But the publication contends that “Supreme Court credentials are typically granted only to those who cover it full-time” and that the congressional press galleries “criteria for credentials, based on ‘reputability,’ are seen as vague and exclusive.”

Ateba said his pass expired on July 31, but he has not applied for a new one because the updated rules mandated credentials from either the Capitol or Supreme Court, which he did not possess.

According to a recent statement to Politico’s West Wing Playbook, the number of hard pass holders went down after July 31 from 1417 to 975. The White House attributed this fall to journalists who no longer cover the White House and chose not to pursue reapplication, the Post reported.

The First Amendment was created for a reason — the framers knew full well the danger a free press poses to tyrants.

Ateba’s attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, said, “Defendants violated Mr. Ateba’s First Amendment rights by changing the criteria for hard pass credentials to intentionally prevent Mr. Ateba from obtaining hard pass access.

“Defendants did so by adopting credentialing criteria specifically designed to exclude Mr. Ateba from eligibility. Such discrimination amounts to a content-based regulation and viewpoint discrimination against Mr. Ateba in violation of the First Amendment,” Dhillon added, the Post reported.

It’s interesting to note the language of the lawsuit.

Imagine a lawsuit brought by an African man against a Republican administration alleging criteria “specifically designed to exclude” him.

Or imagine the optics of migrants in cages in 113-degree Arizona weather under a Republican administration, as the Daily Mail reported in August.

But of course, it’s not racism if you’re a Democrat.

Or so we are asked to believe.

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