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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Chaotic, Simon Ateba Heckles, WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s Last Briefing

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s final briefing with reporters quickly devolved into chaos on Friday, when a reporter repeatedly attacked her aides, shouting her question about proper access to the room.

As Saki began to raise questions – and after fighting back tears after thanking members of the administration and press corps – TODAY News Africa’s chief White House correspondent Simon Ateba was heard shouting from the back of the press briefing room.

“Why don’t you ask questions from across the room?” Ateba attempted to start things off with a question about the ongoing lack of baby formula, asked as Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller.

“Why don’t you ask questions from across the room? Because for the last 15 months you haven’t,” Ateba shouted again.

Simon Ateba is the White House chief correspondent for TODAY News Africa.
Simon Ateba/Twitter

Saki was not initially surprised by Ateba’s lack of decorum, though a few minutes later, a Today News Africa reporter yelled at his colleagues again.

“Jane, can I ask you a question from behind?” He was heard saying. “Jane, can I ask you a question from behind?”

As he continued to speak to reporters in the front row in an attempt to question Saki, NPR’s Tamara Keith urged Ateba to stop.

A crowded room during Saki's final briefing.
The room was crowded during Jen Psaki’s final briefing.

“Simon, please, wait,” she said.

Ateba did not oblige and continued to yell at the other reporters in the room, until Saki eventually turned to him to say, “Simon if you can respect your colleagues and other media and journalists here, then It would be greatly appreciated.”

Saki has been criticized in the past for sticking strictly to answering questions from reporters in the first few lines of the briefing room, often missed by outlets such as The Post, Washington Examiner, Al Jazeera and other foreign media. Huh.

Reporters asked Ateba to stop several times.
Reporters told Simon Ateba several times to stop yelling.

After raucous protests, Peter Alexander of NBC News said he would voluntarily limit himself to two questions to give more colleagues a turn. Front-line journalists routinely help themselves half-heartedly, angering fellow journalists who may go weeks or months without being called.

Historically, journalists followed the informal norm of limiting exchanges to two questions.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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