Jake Tapper Says Campus Protests Are ‘Taking Room From My Show’ He’d Be Using to Cover Gaza | Video

“I don’t know that the protesters are accomplishing what they want to accomplish,” says the CNN anchor

Jake Tapper is upset about pro-Palestinian student protesters on campuses across the country, because they’re taking focus away from other important issues for both him and his CNN show, “The Lead With Jake Tapper.”

“We’re covering these protests and covering free speech versus security on campus,” he told guest Frederick M. Lawrence, the former president of Brandeis University. “This is taking room from my show that I would normally be spending covering what is going on in Gaza, or what is going on with the International Criminal Court talking about maybe bringing charges [against Israel].”

Tapper added, “I don’t know that the protesters are, from a media perspective, accomplishing what they want to accomplish. I’m actually covering the issue and the pain of the Palestinians and the pain of the Israelis.”

Students have set up encampments at dozens of universities, including USC, UCLA and Columbia University, to demand a ceasefire in Gaza and for the schools’ administrations to divest from Israel.

More than 1,000 arrests have been made nationwide since April 18, when New York police arrested more than 100 demonstrators at Columbia, the Associated Press reported Monday.

Similar protests are even occurring in France, where local police removed students from the Sorbonne University after pro-Palestinian protesters occupied the main courtyard, according to the AP.

The University of Southern California was criticized after canceling a scheduled address from Muslim valedictorian Asna Tabassum. It then opted to cancel the May 10 commencement completely, citing security reasons.

Lawrence said that universities who are punishing or expelling students should reconsider and that divivise language, such as referring to students or faculty as a “they” instead of “we,” is the wrong approach.

“Never think backing students into a corner is a good way of approaching it. You never refer to the students in the third person… There’s only one entity in the university. It’s ‘we.’ Of course it’s hard when passions are really high, but this is when it’s important to focus on that,” Lawrence said.

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner and a Chelsea Handler show are among the events recently met with organized protests seeking an end to bombing in Gaza as part of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.


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