Thu. May 23rd, 2024

In pictures: Protesters confront media and politicians at White House correspondents’ dinner

Alex Thompson By Alex Thompson May11,2024
An election-year roast of US President Joe Biden before journalists, celebrities, and politicians at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner has butted up against growing public discord over the Hamas-Israel war.
Hundreds of protesters outside the event on Saturday condemned both Biden’s handling of the conflict and the Western news’ media coverage of it.

Biden used the glitzy annual White House Correspondents’ Association banquet to jab at his rival, Donald Trump, following the jokes with solemn warnings about what he said would happen if the Republican won the presidency again.

Several men wearing only underpants kneel on a road, next to a group of women and other protesters.

Some demonstrators knelt in their underwear while blindfolded. Source: AAP / Terrance Williams/AP

Biden’s speech, which lasted about 10 minutes, made no mention of the ongoing war or the .

“Shame on you!” protesters draped in the traditional Palestinian keffiyeh cloth shouted, running after men in tuxedos and suits and women in long dresses who were holding clutch purses, as guests and other participants hurried inside.

A pro-Palestinian protester walks behind a woman in a red gown and tan coat

Some protesters ran after the event’s guests, shouting “Shame on you!” as they hurried inside. Source: AAP / Kevin Wolf/AP

Chants accused US journalists of under-covering the war and misrepresenting it.

“Western media we see you, and all the horrors that you hide,” crowds chanted at one point.

Other protesters lay sprawled motionless on the pavement, next to mock-ups of flak vests with “press” insignia.

People lying on a road, some of whom are wearing press vests. A large paper mache camera sits behind them

Pro-Palestinian protesters lay on the road, as attendees of the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner walk past them. Source: AAP / Terrance Williams/AP

Ralliers cried “Free, free Palestine.”

They cheered when at one point someone inside the Washington Hilton — where the dinner has been held for decades — unfurled a Palestinian flag from a top-floor hotel window.

The Palestinian flag hanging out a hotel window

The Palestinian flag was hung out a window at the Washington Hilton hotel. Source: AAP / Terrance Williams/AP

Criticism of the Biden administration’s support for Israel’s six-month-old military offensive in Gaza , with students pitching encampments in an effort to force their universities to divest from Israel.

Counterprotests back Israel’s offensive and complain of antisemitism.
Protest organisers said they wanted to bring attention to the high numbers of killed by Israel’s military since the war began in October.
A man pointing fingers at a woman in a hijab and red and white keffiyeh scarf.

A pro-Israel demonstrator (left) confronts a pro-Palestinian demonstrator (right). Source: AAP / Terrance Williams/AP

More than two dozen journalists in Gaza wrote a letter last week calling on their colleagues in Washington to boycott the dinner altogether.

“The toll exacted on us for merely fulfilling our journalistic duties is staggering,” the letter stated.

“We are subjected to detentions, interrogations, and torture by the Israeli military, all for the ‘crime’ of journalistic integrity.”

Press vests with red paint on them on a footpath

Press vests covered in red paint were displayed on the footpath to represent the journalists killed during the Hamas-Israel war. Source: AAP / Terrance Williams/AP

According to a preliminary investigation released on Friday by the Committee to Protect Journalists, nearly 100 journalists have been killed covering the war.

Israel has defended its actions, saying it has been targeting militants.
More than 34,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel’s bombardment started on 7 October, according to Gaza health officials.

The escalation in conflict came after an attack on Israel by Hamas in which over 1,100 people were killed and more than 240 taken hostage, according to Israeli tallies.

Alex Thompson

By Alex Thompson

Alex is an award-winning journalist with a passion for investigative reporting. With over 15 years of experience in the field, Alex has covered a wide range of topics from politics to entertainment. Known for in-depth research and compelling storytelling, Alex's work has been featured in major news outlets around the world.

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2 thoughts on “In pictures: Protesters confront media and politicians at White House correspondents’ dinner”
  1. Do you think the media should do more to provide unbiased coverage of the Hamas-Israel conflict, as highlighted by the protesters at the White House correspondents’ dinner?

    1. Absolutely, EmilyThinks21. The media plays a crucial role in shaping public perception, so it’s vital for them to provide balanced and unbiased coverage, especially in sensitive conflicts like the Hamas-Israel situation. Acknowledging diverse perspectives and presenting multiple angles can lead to a more informed and empathetic society.

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