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As the nation’s elite journalists arrived at the Washington Hilton to hobnob with President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, many were met by a small group of protesters shouting “don’t believe the liberal press” and holding signs adorned with photos of deceased conservative activist Andrew Breitbart.
A few notable attendees politely mixed it up a bit with the protesters, who also shouted accusations of hypocrisy at the well-dressed journalists and Hollywood celebrities.
Protester Kevin Martin asked MSNBC host Chris Matthews why he wasn’t driven to the event in a hybrid vehicle and whether he intended to donate uneaten food from the soiree to the “99 percent,” a reference to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Matthews listened politely and even said the protesters “make a good point.”
Woody Harrelson walked through the group of a dozen protesters, braving cracks about his alleged marijuana use, though he didn’t engage the group in conversation.
When Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius walked by, the demonstrators asked her to “repeal Obamacare.”
“She didn’t respond,” said demonstrator Kristinn Taylor. “But the difference between us and Occupy Wall Street is that she was comfortable stopping her car here and walking right through us. If this were an Occupy protest, she’d have never got out of the car.”
Some who walked by the group gave the middle finger, others said things like, “Oh brother, Breitbart people.” A smaller number of people, including Republican Representatives Allen West and Tim Scott, offered thumbs up and words of encouragement.
The group of demonstrators are members of Free Republic, a conservative organization. This is their 13th year protesting in front of the annual dinner, but this year the group dedicated their demonstration to Breitbart, who died in March.
“We made it a tribute to Breitbart, who walked point in taking on the liberal establishment,” Taylor said.
The group ended its demonstration in one of the hotel bars, taking on political conversations from all comers. In the past, notable attendees like James Carville, Ann Coulter, Al Franken and Sam Donaldson have joined the group for conversation or a drink at the bar with them.
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