Fox News continued its war on poor people today when it hyped Herman Cain’s highly dubious claim that people are using food stamps to pay for "fitness training," which he “learned” via a caller to his radio show.
It was not very surprising that Cain would repeat a thing like this without bothering to verify it. He isn’t exactly known for having a thirst for knowledge. But what’s Fox's excuse? Apparently, the “fair and balanced” network was so eager to re-air Cain’s characterization of food stamp recipients as moochers being exploited by a government that wants to make them dependent that nobody cared enough to verify whether Cain was telling the truth.
As banners on the screen screamed ON THE DOLE and then FOOD STAMP NATION, Steve Doocy announced that on Friday, “a document dump” from the federal government revealed a rise in Americans’ use of food stamps, the “biggest number in history,” he said. “47,791,996 Americans had to get these SNAP cards to put food on their table – they say," he said with a sneer.
Gretchen Carlson added, “So some people are concerned at the fact that this number has continued to escalate dramatically over the last couple of years.”
The concern was not that people are hungry or are not earning enough money to feed their families adequately. For example, as the Working Poor Families Project reported, "the number of low-income working families is increasing and nearly one third of all working families—32 percent—may not have enough money to meet basic needs." Also not mentioned: 55% of all food stamp recipients are children under 18 or the elderly, over 65.
And speaking of the working poor, let’s not forget that Cain bears a hefty chunk of responsibility for their plight: