The lawsuit was filed recently on behalf of Ateba by the Center for American Liberty, a nonprofit organization established by lawyer and respected Republican Party official Harmeet Dhillon.
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The complaint highlights the White House’s decision to implement more rigorous standards for press credentials in May 2023, which has raised concerns about potential violations of Ateba’s First Amendment rights. It asserts that Ateba was unjustifiably excluded from briefings without a sufficient rationale.
Furthermore, the complaint strongly asserts that Ateba’s press badge was blatantly disregarded by Jean-Pierre, who callously ignored his inquiries during briefings. Despite Ateba’s diligent efforts to seek information and comments through written requests, he was unjustly denied any meaningful access to the inner workings of the White House.
Ateba then bravely asserted his opinions during the briefings, ensuring that his voice could not be dismissed, as stated in the lawsuit.
It remains uncertain if the White House explicitly cited this as the rationale for denying him badge renewal. However, the Center’s complaint highlights that his badge was terminated without any explanation or reasoned justification.
Ateba, a known troublemaker, has consistently caused disruptions in the briefing room. It comes as no surprise that he has been warned about the consequences of his actions, including the possibility of having his press badge revoked. Furthermore, numerous White House correspondents have expressed their concerns about his disruptive behavior while trying to make his voice heard.
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In a scathing critique reported by The New York Post, he expressed his dismay in March over Jean-Pierre’s actions, which he deemed as a blatant disregard for the sanctity of the First Amendment. The conservative commentator argued that her decision to accompany the “Ted Lasso” TV show cast into the briefing room was nothing short of a mockery.
In a rather unorthodox manner, it has become customary for individuals to make untimely remarks and pose questions subsequent to the speeches delivered within the confines of the esteemed White House.
Journalism Under Fire: Lawsuit Exposes Threats to Freedom of the Press in White House |
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