The Biden White House is doing everything in its power to shut down any dissent.
And now they’ve gone so far even some in the media are questioning them.
And now Joe Biden is in deep trouble after this reporter sued the White House over its new policies.
White House correspondent Simon Ateba of Today News Africa has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration after hundreds of reporters were stripped of their White House press credentials.
Shutting down the free press
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Ateba by the Center for American Liberty and accuses the Biden White House of “effectively banning Ateba and more than 440 other reporters.”
The fight for press freedom is in response to recent White House actions to bar certain members of the media from Biden administration press briefings.
Back in May, the White House press office announced it would implement stricter press badge restrictions, forcing journalists to reapply for access by the end of July.
Before this change, White House press badges had been automatically renewed.
Many believe this is yet another move by Joe Biden to shut down the free press and stop anyone from questioning Biden’s corruption and incompetence.
And they also changed what was needed for reporters to qualify to get White House “hard passes.”
Now, under the Biden administration’s new restrictions, in order to qualify for a hard-pass, reporters are required to prove their “full-time employment with an organization whose principal business is news dissemination.”
This especially targeted freelance and independent journalists, who had to submit letters from news outlets describing their affiliation.
Other requirements included providing a professional or personal Washington, D.C., address.
Don’t question me or else
The new Biden restrictions also state that reporters who fail to “act in a professional manner” can be stripped of their press credentials.
What qualifies as “failing to act in a professional manner” is left unclear, although it seems to mean anyone who questions the Biden White House.
In fact, the new rules were announced only after several occasions when Ateba sparred with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during daily press briefings.
Ateba has even accused Jean-Pierre of “making a mockery of the First Amendment” and discriminating against reporters like him from the smaller news outlets.
And according to Ateba, Jean-Pierre has not taken questions from him in months.
“After months of not receiving answers to his inquiries from the White House press office, Mr. Ateba chose to utilize the only option available to him: speaking up during press briefings,” the lawsuit stated. “On several occasions since December 2021, Mr. Ateba asserted himself in the briefing room, speaking over other reporters and the White House Press Secretary in an attempt to make his concerns known.”
Ateba lost his hard-pass credentials following the White House press office’s new rules.
Harmeet Dhillon, a Republican National Committeewoman, head of the Dhillon Legal Group, and CEO of the Center for American Liberty, stated, “The White House’s new press credential requirements are unconstitutional and directly target Simon.”
“By outsourcing the credentialing process, the White House is giving a group of elite-minded journalists unbridled discretion to pick and choose which reporters and outlets are worthy of holding the White House accountable. We urge the Court to uphold the First Amendment and declare these new requirements unconstitutional so Simon can continue to do his job,” Dhillon continued.
Ateba said the lawsuit “isn’t just about me” but about “maintaining a free press and holding those in power accountable.”
“Today, President Joe Biden is in power. Tomorrow, it might be someone else. Regardless of who holds the office, no President should have the authority to decide who covers them. Today, the arbitrary new rules target me; tomorrow, they might target you. This isn’t about just one individual; it’s about a free press, the cornerstone of democracy. In a democracy, people have a right to know, and journalists have a duty to tell,” Ateba said.