A White House press briefing Monday erupted when a reporter confronted press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for “making a mockery of the First Amendment” by not taking his questions for several months.
Today News Africa chief White House correspondent Simon Ateba began shouting her down as she stood at the podium in front of the cast of “Ted Lasso,” including Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham, who joined the briefing to discuss mental health.
“This is not China. This is not Russia. What you are doing, you’re making a mockery of the First Amendment,” Ateba said. “It’s been seven months you’ve not called on me. I’m saying that’s not right.”
“We’re not doing this,” Jean-Pierre repeated to him.
Fox News contributors weighed in on the debacle, with Joe Concha and “Fox Across America” host Jimmy Failla sounding off Tuesday.
“What he was speaking to in that moment is there’s a genuine lack of frustration by true journalists who aren’t getting a lot out of this administration. You could argue with his tactics, but they’re constantly being denied access,” Failla said.
“Last week, the press corps complained that they never get to ask Biden questions, and she goes, ‘Oh, you’ll get to ask Biden questions at the bilateral meeting Friday,” which they did, but he didn’t answer them.”
“We were told they were going to be the most transparent administration in history. This administration thinks transparent is a man who has a baby,” Failla joked later.
Joe Concha weighed in earlier Tuesday on “Fox & Friends First,” calling the “Ted Lasso” cast invitation “tone-deaf” as the country faces several concurrent crises.
“This was not the day to do that,” he said. “You have China and Russia, along with Iran and North Korea – this is the new axis of evil 2.0.”
Sounding off on the terse exchange between Jean-Pierre and Ateba, Concha said, “She only calls on those she deems as friendly, and then she’ll call on Peter Doocy because obviously she knows that’s something that’s going to be called out on the most-watched cable news network in the country if she does not.”
“Karine Jean-Pierre is a lot like her boss. She doesn’t answer any tough questions, and we saw last week – finally – the White House press corps had enough when they protested around the president’s handlers shouting them down when they tried to ask questions of him in the Oval Office.
“This is the least transparent presidency of our lifetime,” he continued.
Concha added that the hopes more reporters will begin protesting Jean-Pierre’s selective choices on who to call out during press briefings.
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on “Outnumbered” on Tuesday that she does not agree with Ateba’s tactics, noting how she faced the same type of behavior from several reporters during her tenure in the Trump administration.
“The Playboy reporter [Brian Karem] comes to mind, who shouted in the same manner at me. I didn’t have the benefit of the White House Correspondents’ Association yelling ‘decorum’ on my behalf,” she said, adding, “I don’t agree with the tactics but agree with the grievance.”
The hosts agreed that Ateba’s tactics are unlikely to yield results as far as getting his questions answered. “Outnumbered” panelist Kennedy said she disagrees with Ateba’s claims of racism.
“Sometimes it’s not racism, sometimes people are just annoying,” she said as fellow guest Guy Benson agreed that the left is often guilty of playing the race card.
Reporting from Fox News.