WATCH: Journalist Simon Ateba Announces Filing of First Amendment Suit Against WH, Karine Jean-Pierre

A clip from Today News Africa reporter Simon Ateba's appearance on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," from announcement video. Credit: Center For American Liberty/Twitter

For months, RedState has been covering the travails of Cameroonian journalist Simon Ateba, the White House correspondent for Today News Africa, while trying to cover the Biden Administration during press briefings by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. I say trying to cover because Jean-Pierre had Ateba removed from the briefing room for asking uncomfortable questions in March. His ousting earned him an immediate appearance on former Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s number-one show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”


Now, Ateba says, his access via a “hard pass,” guaranteeing him the ability to cover the White House, was among hundreds of others recently scrapped by the Biden Administration—essentially, keeping him from fulfilling his role as a journalist. On Thursday, he announced the filing of a First Amendment suit against both the White House and Jean-Pierre.

While sharing a tweet by the legal nonprofit group Center for American Liberty (CAL) announcing its lawsuit on his behalf, Ateba writes:

After years of discrimination and targeting, I just filed my First Amendment Rights lawsuit against @whitehouse and the @PressSec Karine Jean-Pierre.

In the video, he explains why he filed the lawsuit:

As you know, a few days ago, the White House deactivated 442 hard passes, making it difficult for journalists to cover President Biden. Unfortunately, my hard pass was among them.

As a result, it’s difficult for me to access the White House. I was simply doing my job, for asking the right questions, for asking the tough questions.

He continues, giving a full-throated defense of the First Amendment and the freedoms it protects for the press—and a chilling warning about what journalists being denied those rights could mean for all Americans:

Without freedom of the press, there cannot be freedom. Without freedom of the press, there cannot be a free and fair election.


The message from CAL in support of his suit states:

We won’t stand for the White House targeting journalists for asking the tough questions. #SimonSays join us in fighting for freedom of the press!

Ateba told Carlson during his interview that it’s as simple as this, with this White House: “….[W]hen you do the right thing, when you ask the right question, they try to silence you, they try to censor you.”

The full complaint filing from CAL is here; you can also read the motion for preliminary injunction filing here.

You can watch the full announcement from Ateba in the video below:


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