Press Sec Blows Up After Reporter Throws Wrench in WH's Hollywood Actor Briefing


The cast of the comedy-drama “Ted Lasso” joined White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the White House briefing room podium on Monday as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to talk about mental health.

It did not go well, as Jean-Pierre was bombarded with questions and statements from reporter Simon Ateba of Today News Africa.

The awkward exchange could not have been more humorous if it had been scripted by actor Jason Sudeikis and his soccer-themed show’s other writers and then streamed on Apple TV+.

Ateba has not been called on for a question by Jean-Pierre for seven months, and he has been quite vocal about it. He is actually suing the White House Correspondents Association, so good for him.

The reporter asks some decent questions when he does get a chance to have the floor — which is probably why he’s ignored. Sometimes he takes matters into his own hands and simply talks over others in the room.

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He’s a thorn in the side of Jean-Pierre and thus an ally for Americans. In any event, Ateba interrupted Monday’s pageant, much to the chagrin of the press secretary.

“No. No. No. No. No. No,” she said as Ateba began to shout. The room descended into momentary chaos.

“We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this. We’re not doing this!” she stated

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After some more shouting, and with President Joe Biden’s Hollywood guests appearing disturbed, Jean-Pierre tried to bring order to the room.

Ateba shouted, “You’re making a mockery of the First Amendment!”

“Are we ready? Are we going to behave?” Jean-Pierre asked after the situation finally quieted down.

A reporter, who Deadline identified as Kelly O’Donnell of NBC News, apologized on behalf of the Washington establishment media, and presumably the White House, to Hollywood’s uncomfortable ambassadors for mental health.

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“Sorry to our guests,” she could be heard on the video. “We apologize.”

Her priorities are obviously not where they should be.

Sudeikis and his co-stars eventually made their way into a private meeting with Biden and first lady Jill Biden, where they discussed mental health advocacy.

Mental illness is obviously a huge issue in this country. Biden has of course done nothing to alleviate the suffering.

The president’s policies have put families into financial hardship while the lingering effects of COVID lockdowns have people suffering from substance abuse, anxiety and depression.

Drugs are killing Americans at record rates, and the border is also wide open, which endangers communities that already had their own issues.

Naturally, Biden called on Hollywood for help.

One of the few actual reporters in the room crashed the party by reminding those who were present that the White House is supposed to answer to the American people and not be a red carpet for a bunch of entertainers.

Ironically, Ateba’s outburst was the only entertaining moment of the briefing.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.