May 19, 2024

Simon Ateba’s Claims of Being Banned from White House Dinner Supported, Daily Beast Accused of Incomplete and Misleading Reporting on Discrimination Claims

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba

Following Simon Ateba’s statement that he was the only White House correspondent not allowed to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 29, The Daily Beast published a false and disparaging article on April 3, 2023, claiming that Ateba’s claims were false. However, this report was misleading and aimed to damage Ateba’s reputation.

In fact, Ateba’s claims were correct. He was the only White House correspondent whose membership was not renewed by the WHCA due to simply doing his job, which resulted in his inability to purchase a ticket for the dinner or access other benefits for White House reporters.

The Daily Beast report also suggested that Ateba was removed from the White House Correspondents’ Association because he was not gainfully employed. The article also attempted to discredit Ateba’s publication, Today News Africa, a reputable news organization that focuses on U.S.-Africa relations, by referring to it as a mere website. Ironically, the Daily Beast itself is a website.

The article by the Daily Beast regarding Simon Ateba was incomplete and misleading. It failed to acknowledge crucial information that contradicted its claims and instead attempted to disparage Ateba and his publication.

For example, the article fails to acknowledge that Ateba is the founder of Today News Africa, a registered news organization that pays taxes in the District of Columbia and has paid other journalists and interns. Furthermore, the article does not address Ateba’s claim that his membership was not renewed because he has been pressing Biden’s press secretary for answers on critical issues, which has been wrongly interpreted as disruptive.

The Daily Beast article’s claim that Ateba is not employed by a legitimate news-gathering outlet is also false, as demonstrated by Ateba’s tax returns and his status as the founder of a registered news organization.

The article also fails to address Ateba’s claims of discrimination as a Black African journalist, particularly when it comes to issues related to Africa. Ateba’s complaints of not being called on by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, and other African reporters’ complaints of being looked down upon, suggest a larger pattern of discrimination against African journalists.

In light of this information, it is reasonable to argue that Ateba has been unfairly treated by the WHCA and the White House. Ateba appears to be doing his job as a journalist and holding leaders accountable, which is a crucial function of journalism in a democratic society.

The WHCA’s failure to renew his membership and their denial of his request to attend the Correspondents’ Dinner seem to be part of a larger effort to silence his voice and prevent him from doing his job effectively. The Daily Beast article fails to acknowledge important information that contradicts its claims and it is clear that Simon Ateba has been unfairly treated as a journalist.

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