Photographs from the Exhibition

Bunch of Clowns

Protesters Critical of Mainstream Media Wear Colorful Costumes to Hijack News Coverage During Republican National Convention
Center City
Jim MacMillan

I am pretty sure I captured this scene on Chestnut Street near South Broad Street on the eve of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000. I rememeber that it was really hot out. I was still shooting film at that point and was probably using a Nikon F5.

These protesters were dressed up as clowns in an exercise intended to demonstrate that they could easily hijack media coverage simply by looking ridiculous. I never understood if they were suggesting that theatrics could take attention from more serious demonstrations or from the convention itself but I got this picture published with a caption addressing their tactics which would seem to diminish either motive.

Visit the exhibition:

Portraits of Philadelphia: Photographs by Joseph V. Labolito and Jim MacMillan, 1981-2023

Through March 31, 2024 | More info

Charles Library at Temple University
1st Floor Exhibit Space
1900 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Hours | Map | Parking and Transportation

By Jim MacMillan

Jim MacMillan is the founder and director of the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting, as well as the the assistant director of the Logan Center for Urban Investigative Reporting at the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University.

During his photojournalism career, MacMillan spent 17 years at the Philadelphia Daily News and worked for The Associated Press in Boston and then in Baghdad during the war in Iraq, after which his team was awarded The Pulitzer Prize. He has also been recognized with the Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents, a National Headliner Award and the Pennsylvania Distinguished Visual Award for coverage of the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center.

Previously, MacMillan was a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, the Journalist in Residence at Swarthmore College, a Fellow with the Philadelphia Social Innovations Lab at the University of Pennsylvania and a Practitioner in Residence at the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University.

He was also an Ochberg Fellow with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University and the Knight Fellow in Medicine/Health Sciences Journalism with the Knight-Wallace Fellows at the University of Michigan. Previous faculty appointments include the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Swarthmore College, New York University’s Carter Journalism Institute and Klein College.