Below is a WONDERFUL example of media bias in a “news” story. It’s a NEW YORK TIMES article decrying a modest proposed “Trump” food stamp (SNAP) eligibility reform.
Given that it’s a NY TIMES article, arguably it is BY DEFINITION biased. But more important for me, it’s printed in my local SAN DIEGO U-T. And doubtless printed in hundreds of other papers across the nation — plus it serves as the basis for scores of bleating TV stories. It’s defined as news — the NY TIMES doesn’t even bother to name the author/reporter.
Start with the U-T headline — “Nearly 700,000 set to lose Access to Food Stamps.” That a big number — until you realize that 36,400,000 people now receive the SNAP food subsidy. That’s a tepid reform that AT MOST affects only 1.9% of current recipients. Nowhere is this fact mentioned.
The reform is limited to able-bodied adults without minor children. It does not include people over age 49 (the age limitation is NOT included in the article). Also it exempts people with “a disability” — a loosey-goosey designation in itself. Again, not mentioned in the story.
This reform also applies only to LONG TERM SNAP recipients — most can score this benefit for 3 months simply by being unemployed. Of course, that’s not mentioned in this story.
There’s potential exemptions for areas with over 6% unemployment. Need I mention that this fact was not revealed in the NY TIMES propaganda piece?
The sensible government rationale for this reform is that in this booming labor market, such unemployed SNAP recipients should be able to find a job — and get off this welfare benefit. That IS mentioned in the article, followed by welfare pimps claiming that too many such people can’t find a job.
But MOST IMPORTANT, what the NY TIMES fails to mention is that there’s two OTHER ways one can qualify for food stamps. Either participate in a work training program 80 hours month, or “volunteer” to work a few hours (the number is undefined) a month in community service — largely useless jobs like picking up trash or raking leaves. It’s IN the regulation, but apparently no one bothered to read the damn thing.
Now, if someone is so high, or drunk, or crazy that they can’t pick up trash, then they probably can’t figure out how to qualify for SNAP benefits in the first place. If they CAN figure it out and they meet the other requirements, then they likely can pick up trash.
Note that the inference is that all 700,000 will lose their SNAP benefit, through no fault of their own. That’s false. They will lose their benefit only if they fail to take advantage of any ONE of the following three options:
1. Get a job.
2. Enter a work training program.
3. Pick up trash.
Okay, okay, option “three” may include various “community service” jobs. In addition to picking up trash, they may be able to rake leaves, clean sidewalks, remove graffiti, etc.
BTW, if you think my NY TIMES example is an aberration, Google “SNAP reform” and limit your search to the last 30 days or so. Granted, many use the NY TIMES article as the basis for their own story, but that’s no excuse for these gross misrepresentations by most of the media.
Will this program really save taxpayers money? Let’s look at a real world example. In Maine, when they required able-bodied single adults to work, get job training, or perform 26 hours of community service a month, 80% of those bums (yes, BUMS) decided not to receive their food stamp welfare rather than comply.
How can 80% of these “needy” people turn down free food for a little labor? I suspect that closer analysis would show that most of these 700,000 single able-bodied adult SNAP recipients ARE working — off the books. Millions of Americans work for cash — including (but not limited to) drug dealers, prostitutes, burglars, robbers, panhandlers, handymen, nannies, maids, gardeners — and many, many others. They really DO have a better option than performing public service gigs.
Maine’s stunning fiscal success upsets progressives. Which tells us a lot about progressives.
People don’t starve in America. Millions do suffer from malnutrition, but that’s usually their choice — fast food, starches and empty calories. This bad judgment is now encouraged by the relatively new “charge it” feature on the SNAP card (EBT — Electronic Benefit Transfer). The DC government idiots allow SNAP recipients to use their benefit at fast food joints — low quality food at much higher prices (compared to grocery store items). Arguably the fattest demographic in America are the poor.
Here’s the NY TIMES story. Note the uncomplimentary photo of Trump’s Agriculture Secretary:
NEW YORK TIMES
Nearly 700,000 set to lose Access to Food Stamps
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue cited the nation’s low unemployment rate in defending a new rule that will tighten work requirements for federal food-stamps recipients. (ANDREW HARNIK AP)
The Trump administration, brushing aside tens of thousands of protest letters, gave final approval Wednesday to a rule that will remove nearly 700,000 people from the federal food-stamp program by strictly enforcing federal work requirements.
. . .
To read the rest of this screed masquerading as a news story, go to the URL:
RIDER NOTE: Lest you think the above article is an aberration, here’s the Reuters story about the SNAP reform (also published in the NY TIMES):
I’ll save you the infuriating read. It doesn’t mention:
1. Adults with children are not impacted.
2. People over age 49 are not impacted.
3. People with a disability are not impacted.
4. People not deemed “able-bodied” are not impacted.
5. People getting SNAP for three months are less (generally the newly unemployed) are not impacted.
6. People who choose to go into a work training program are not impacted.
7. People who choose to perform a couple dozen hours of no-skill “community service” are not impacted.