Brianna Keilar and Evan McMorris-Santoro were so eager to stoke sympathy for this family of ten, and anger about inflation, they completely manipulated the framing and ignored obvious questions and fact-checks.
November 4, 2021

Two CNN reporters (one I usually really admire, one of whom I've never heard) put out some colossal garbage on the air Thursday morning. Brianna Keilar introduced Evan McMorris-Santoro's reporting as one of a typical middle-class family being hit hard by inflation, to the point of now having to struggle to feed their family.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that premise, assuming the family was actually typical, the information they conveyed was true, and the reporters for the news network helped provide context.

McMorris-Santoro, however, took us to Texas, where the family he profiled had eight teenaged children. EIGHT. TEENAGERS. They just "have a big heart for adoption." They also claimed the price of milk was $1.99 per gallon in June, and is now $2.79 per gallon, and (here's the kicker) that they buy twelve gallons of milk per week.

Holy bovine udders, Batman, that's a lot of milk.

Now, a lot of people on Twitter went off on this family, calling them out on their obvious bullsh*t, particularly about the price of milk and how much they bought weekly. (In March 2021, the average price of a gallon of milk in Texas was $3.48.) I didn't, however, see anyone mention their being in the grocery store unmasked, or the cringey mom's performative "gOd iS gOoD hE wIlL pRoViDe" she made sure to get in for the cameras at the checkout line. This, after hearing that her groceries were a whole $90 so far... NINETY DOLLARS for a family of ten people, though she still had another cart to ring up. (Lady, if you can feed a family of 10 on $200-$300 a week, you're a f*cking magician, quit your bitching.)

A lot of people were also furious at CNN for not fact-checking their story, for trying to pass this family off as "typical middle-class," and for ignoring the fact that they were CLEARLY and LOUDLY anti-Biden, Trump-loving Republicans in their off-CNN lives.

A few though, including ALL of us here at C&L, wish to emphasize the most egregious anti-journalistic move on the part of Keilar, McMorris-Santoro, and CNN: the fact that for each of those eight children, this Texas family should be receiving a $300-per-month tax credit, thanks to the Biden administration. That's a whopping $2400-per-month this family is receiving into their cash flow to help them pay what they're claiming is an 80-cent-per-gallon increase in milk prices.

I mean, I've mentioned before that I never do math unless my mom makes me, but this is just irresistible. Using the prices this family cites, if they are buying TWELVE gallons of milk per week, and the price has risen by 80 cents per gallon, that comes to $9.60 per week more for milk. Multiply that by four, as cringe-Christo-mama dramatically implores us to do in this video, and it comes to $38.40 extra for milk per month. The $2400 she's getting from Biden every month should more than cover it, unless my math skills fail me. Mom? Am I wrong?

How long would it have taken Keilar and McMorris-Santoro to fact-check this? How difficult would it have been to challenge them on how much they're receiving in tax credits? What's so difficult about asking them what sorts of other subsidies they're receiving from the government to help them support their family?

It's not difficult. Unless the point is to paint the economy as crushing for the middle class when in reality the Biden administration is doing things like giving families a $300/month tax credit per child to help them with things like rising milk prices. We all know news stories giving Biden and the Democrats credit don't fit with what the networks want to sell, though, don't we?

Shame on that entire news team.

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