Co-hosts of “The View” criticized Today News Africa reporter Simon Ateba on Tuesday and called him a “horrible person” and an unserious journalist after he berated White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a press conference on Monday.
Co-host Joy Behar said he wasn’t a “serious guy” and was not a “serious journalist.”
She said he wrote an open letter to a Nigerian actress on his blog “saying that a topless scene she was in was offensive because, quote, ‘you are really not attractive,’ unquote.”
“He’s clearly a horrible person, and maybe shouldn’t be in the White House briefing room. However, he does have what’s called a hard pass, I believe. Which means he doesn’t have a seat assigned, so when other people don’t show up, he gets to ask questions,” co-host Sunny Hostin said. “He’s a filler….And he reports on relations between Africa and the United States. It is a global economy. He hasn’t been called on apparently in seven months.”
Ateba responded to the hosts of “The View” after the segment and called the hosts “disgraceful.”
“I am a journalist and a true journalist,” Ateba wrote on Twitter.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg argued that it only works if you are “respectful.”
“I think you have to have decorum especially because this is an important issue. I have been in this situation before, and there’s usually a Secret Service agent in the back and they can, like, remove someone out the door if they’re so disruptive. You can make the point and say, you know, I haven’t been called on, but then move on. You don’t get to filibuster the kind of briefing was my thought, Farah Griffin said.
Co-host Sara Haines noted that Ateba said during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that he was not called on even when the news was about the president or the first lady’s trips to Africa.
“I think there might be something here,” Haines said.
“You have to look at your behavior, sir. You have to look at your behavior because nobody wants to be jumped. Nobody wants to be jumped up there. The gig is tough enough,” Goldberg said.
Ateba called out Jean-Pierre on Monday during the press briefing and said she was “making a mockery of the First Amendment.”
The cast of “Ted Lasso,” including Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham, joined Jean-Pierre at the briefing to speak about 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 at one point. One reporter could be heard saying, “decorum” as several others appeared frustrated as well.