US President Joe Biden delivered remarks at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night. During the dinner, he bestowed the Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence on Israeli journalist Barak Ravid.

During the speech, anti-Israel protesters chanted 'Free Palestine' near the event, and draped a large Palestinian flag over the side of the DC Hilton.

He began with a scathing attack against Republican nominee Donald Trump: “The 2024 election is in full swing, and of course, age is an issue - I'm a grown man running against a six-year-old. Trump's speech was so embarrassing the statue of Robert E. Lee surrendered again. Trump is so desperate he started reading those Bibles he's selling - then he got to the first commandment, ‘you shall have no other gods before me’, and said “This book's not for me.””

He addressed the criticism he had faced from the assembled journalists: “Some of you complain that I don't take enough of your questions. The New York Times blasted me for “actively and effectively avoiding independent journalists.” I have higher standards. I do interviews with strong, independent journalists who millions of people actually listen to.’’

‘’On a serious note, I want to close tonight with my genuine thanks to the free press. There are some who call you the enemy of the people, and that's wrong and dangerous. You literally risk your lives doing your job, covering everything from natural disasters to pandemics to wars and so much more. Some of your colleagues have given their lives, and many have suffered grievous injuries. Other reporters have lost their freedom. Journalism is clearly not a crime anywhere in the world.”

He focused on the issue of imprisoned journalists: “Putin should release Evan immediately. We're doing everything we can to bring home fellow journalist Austin and Paul, and all Americans who were wrongfully detained all around the world. We're not going to give up until we get them home, all of them.’’

‘’The most urgent question of our time is whether democracy is still the sacred cause of America. That is the question the American people must answer this year, and you, the press, play a critical role in making sure the American people have the information they need to make an informed decision.’’

He once again denounced Trump. ‘A defeated former president has made no secret of his attack on our democracy. He said he wants to be a dictator on day one, and so much more. He tells supporters he is their revenge and retribution. He promised a bloodbath when he loses again. We have to take this seriously - eight years ago, you could have written off, but no longer, not after January 6th.’’

He specified he was not asking the journalists to be biased in their coverage of the elections. ‘’I'm sincerely not asking of you to take sides, but I'm asking you to rise up to the seriousness of the moment. Move past the horse race numbers and the gotcha moments and the distractions and the sides shows that have come to dominate our politics. Focus on what's actually at stake. In your hearts, you know the stakes couldn't be higher. Every single one of us has a role to play making sure democracy endures.’’

He ended by addressing te phenomenon of online misinformation. ‘’In the age of disinformation, credible information the people can trust is more important than ever. That makes you more important than ever. I'd like to make a toast to a free press, to an informed citizenry, to an America where freedom and democracy endure.’”