Media’s take on poverty issues exposes the dishonesty of the press

posted at 1:21 pm on August 1, 2014 by Noah Rothman

There is perhaps nothing which so perfectly exposes the partisan instincts of the political press as do our various National Conversations on poverty issues. When poverty again becomes a major focus of the media, as it often does when Republicans are on the political ascendancy, the intentions of Democrats are almost always framed as pure and decent. Republicans, meanwhile, are morally bankrupt, indecent, and self-serving – often simply for refusing to throw money at the problem at hand.

Does that characterization sound a little unforgiving of the press? It should, and they have earned it. The most recent example of this noxious impulse was displayed this week in the political media’s coverage of two seemingly unrelated stories.

The first is the journalistic establishment’s take on a collective Democratic push to convince the public that the federal minimum wage is so low that forcing anyone to live on it essentially constitutes a human rights violation.

“Have you ever seen a congressman snacking on a measly tin of sardines?” an ABC News report published on Tuesday asked. “Or maybe a governor ordering a McChicken off the dollar menu?”

Gasp! The gross indignity of living on a budget which “doesn’t allow for luxuries.”

“I basically had a couple bags of peanuts in the cloakroom–and there was a little fruit in the office that I ate yesterday,” a tormented Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) told ABC.

“Rep. Tim Ryan has cut out his afternoon coffee break and trip to Dairy Queen with his kids. No fresh fish or glass of wine with dinner. When he ran out of vitamins, he didn’t go out and buy another bottle,” a sympathetic portrayal of Ryan’s ordeal in a post on MSNBC.com read. “This week, he’s decided that he can’t afford it.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) received equally favorable treatment from the press when, surrounded by cameras, she suffered the humiliation of having to consume a – shudder – tuna fish sandwich. And we’re not talking Bluefin here either. It came from a can!

Former Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland sought sympathy for his meager menu in an article he penned for Politico Magazine. “Most mornings started with eggs and toast, bought last Sunday during a grocery trip costing more than $15. Lunches were normally leftovers, macaroni and cheese or McDonald’s,” the former governor grumbled. “There were no big dinners or coffee stops on a whim.”

Strickland recounted his inability to buy cold medicine and how he chose more often to walk than to take public transportation; realities that millions of Americans contend with, even those who do not have to subsist on minimum wage.

None of this is to say that a minimum wage lifestyle is comfortable – it is not. And those who contend that it should be raised make compelling arguments (as do those who argue the opposite). The painfully tone-deaf fashion in which these politicians attempt to communicate to average Americans what it is like to live life as an average American, however, is equal parts insulting and comedic. Somehow, this obvious dynamic is lost on the press.

When Republicans attempt to raise awareness on poverty, the media is all too eager to imply that these self-interested actors are merely engaging in stunts and that their motives are suspect.

Take, for example, California’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari who, Bloomberg News declared, recently spent a week “pretending to be homeless.”

If you were predisposed to feel any sympathy for Kashkari’s campaign to raise awareness to extreme poverty, Bloomberg’s Karen Weise disabused you of that sentiment in the opening paragraph.

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari—a former investment banker who headed up the federal bank bailout, worked for investing giant Pimco, and now lives in a $10 million house in Newport Beach—spent a week on the streets of Fresno pretending to be homeless. Then he wrote about it for the Wall Street Journal.

The second paragraph notes how far behind the GOP gubernatorial candidate is in head-to-head polls with incumbent Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. The implication is clear: Kashkari’s is a publicity campaign and you should not become too invested in his crusade.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is also set to receive the media’s scorn and mockery as he reengages in an anti-poverty campaign aimed at tackling the issue from a conservative perspective. The last time Ryan mounted a similar push, he was derided in media outlets raging from Think Progress to NBC News as having evidenced racist sympathies simply for echoing a sentiment expressed by Barack Obama. He will surely receive similar treatment in the mainstream press as he embarks on an August book tour.

The disparity in the treatment the media dishes out to Republicans who dare attempt to chip away at the Democratic Party’s monopoly on empathy for the impoverished is telling. The “War” to eliminate income disparity has objectively failed, and those who continue to support failing anti-poverty programs are finding that the only arrow left in their quiver is to jeer at their critics.

To extend the metaphor, the press has become an unabashed ally of the left in the effort to prevent Republicans from gaining ground in the War on Poverty, and they should be treated by Republicans as combatants.


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–Drudge, doing the job the media don’t

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Storm them, and keep storming.

Wake them up and let them know who pays for their fat azzes.

obama should not only lose the senate; it s/b veto-override proof.

The luxuries in the invader-facilities should make all the poor pitchfork, politically, every single amnesty shill, incl Rahm Emanuel.

Keep going, good people.

All D-rats and RINO/DIABLOs are your direct enemies and traitors of the Land of Laws.

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:25 PM

the press has become an unabashed ally of the left in the effort to prevent Republicans from gaining ground in the War on Poverty, and they should be treated by Republicans as combatants.

You should have opened with that line. Noah, your posts are too wordy and take too long to get to the damn point.

bluegill on August 1, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Media’s take on poverty issues exposes the dishonesty of the press.

All the media does anymore is give lip service, think M.L., to the democrats

meci on August 1, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Poverty of the soul is the main problem of the press.

HonestLib on August 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

My typical breakfast: Cheerios and tea. Lunch is a pb&j sandwich on whole bread with a banana & coke on sale. Bite me.

rbj on August 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

“Most mornings started with eggs and toast, bought last Sunday during a grocery trip costing more than $15. …”

And here is the truth of the matter, it’s cost not wages that are hurting the middle class

Gwillie on August 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

How Neel Kashkari, Republican candidate for Gov. of California is taking on the poverty issue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzcSq9siHJg

crosspatch on August 1, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Hope to see you tonight in the QOTD thread. Keep up the good fight my friend.

HonestLib on August 1, 2014 at 1:28 PM

My cat stole the dead pigeon I was going to have for brunch.

HornetSting on August 1, 2014 at 1:29 PM

“Or maybe a governor ordering a McChicken off the dollar menu?”

What exactly is the problem? (Adam Sandler / Happy Gilmore voice) You think you’re better than me!?!?

VengeanceIsMine on August 1, 2014 at 1:31 PM

And those who contend that it should be raised make compelling arguments…

*sigh*

No, they don’t.

They lie about the effects of the minimum wage and push a policy that actually HURTS people at all levels of the economic spectrum.

Shump on August 1, 2014 at 1:32 PM

The painfully tone-deaf fashion in which these politicians attempt to communicate to average Americans what it is like to live life as an average American, however, is equal parts insulting and comedic. Somehow, this obvious dynamic is lost on the press.

A cow on Fox this morning “the US prisons, some, have swimming pools…the illegals’ facilities don’t…”

One can’t make this up.

To extend the metaphor, the press has become an unabashed ally of the left in the effort to prevent Republicans from gaining ground in the War on Poverty, and they should be treated by Republicans as combatants.

Not only that – the media, as the Sharktons and Jacksons, intentionally will keep the destitute on the dole, while claiming to be “for them”.

Also, see Pelosi and all the D-rats’ lifestyles, while they preach at you.

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:32 PM

My cat stole the dead pigeon city quail I was going to have for brunch.

HornetSting on August 1, 2014 at 1:29 PM

HonestLib on August 1, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Is this a new concept for you, Noah? If so, welcome to the party.

cornbred on August 1, 2014 at 1:35 PM

And what, like 1% of the work force makes the minimum wage?

gwelf on August 1, 2014 at 1:35 PM

None of this is to say that a minimum wage lifestyle is comfortable – it is not.

Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be forever. You work your way up. Life doesn’t just get better if the minimum wage gets raised.

Idiots.

portlandon on August 1, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Media’s take on poverty issues exposes the dishonesty of the press

Noah, name an issue that doesn’t expose the dishonesty of the press?

Athos on August 1, 2014 at 1:36 PM

To extend the metaphor, the press has become an unabashed ally of the left in the effort to prevent Republicans from gaining ground in the War on Poverty, and they should be treated by Republicans as combatants.

Just edited for accuracy. As said ealier really just needed to open with this and probably should have noted this is not new. I can personally testify that it has been like this for all my adult life, which close to 40 years. What little I know of recent history it has been much longer.

This is almost a man-bites-dog story by now.

Skwor on August 1, 2014 at 1:36 PM

You should have opened with that line. Noah, your posts are too wordy and take too long to get to the damn point.

bluegill on August 1, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Been meaning to tell you that you’ve been pretty sound, on lots of topics…especially when you focus.

On this comment – do you crap into people’s homes when you’re invited for dinner? We’re all free guests here. Focus on your own videos and blogs. I truly mean this sincerely, as you do good work in fighting the real evil of the land.

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM

HL, my good friend, I’ll make it a point to be there :)

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Leftists are Never liberal, just fascist deceiving thugs.

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:39 PM

The hourly employees I know think nothing of buying coffee every morning, buying lunch, having their nails done,etc. The boss has his coffee at home, takes leftovers for lunch and stretches the time between his haircut appointments as long as possible. And when the “stylist” raises her prices he looks for a less expensive one. I wonder why he’s the boss?

2L8 on August 1, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Come up to me with your “What did you say?”
and I’ll tell you straight in the eye


D.I.Y.

J_Crater on August 1, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be forever. You work your way up. Life doesn’t just get better if the minimum wage gets raised.

Idiots.

portlandon on August 1, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Yeppers.

Minimum wage jobs and those in poverty were never meant to be forever. Man, have times changed.

HonestLib on August 1, 2014 at 1:40 PM

A cow on Fox this morning “the US prisons, some, have swimming pools…the illegals’ facilities don’t…”

Obvious solution; put the illegals in prison!

2L8 on August 1, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Tragic.
 
Say, while you’re here, go ahead and tell us what additional food you bought with the extra $300 your family will get, on average, from food stamps each month:
 
http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43175

rogerb on August 1, 2014 at 1:43 PM

2L8 on August 1, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Slightly off topic, but still close enough.

I was taught and have lived with the motto…..Leaders eat last.

HonestLib on August 1, 2014 at 1:43 PM

You should have opened with that line. Noah, your posts are too wordy and take too long to get to the damn point.
bluegill on August 1, 2014 at 1:25 PM

On this comment – do you crap into people’s homes when you’re invited for dinner? We’re all free guests here. Focus on your own videos and blogs.
Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Sorry, but I will not hesitate to criticize Noah Rothman whenever I believe it’s appropriate. And that includes criticizing not only his liberal, pro-amnesty stances, but also the often subpar quality of his posts.

bluegill on August 1, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Seattle garnered over 20,000 signatures, in no time, to get rid of their stupid min. wage law, in Nov.

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:44 PM

None of this is to say that a minimum wage lifestyle is comfortable – it is not. And those who contend that it should be raised make compelling arguments

Really? Name one. Pushing a button on a machine that lowers frozen potato products into hot oil was never intended to be a career choice.

Happy Nomad on August 1, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Obama Debate Team captain Candy “More Gravy” Crowley should have disproved any notions about media integrity.

viking01 on August 1, 2014 at 1:46 PM

bluegill on August 1, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Who made you editor in chief for Salem?

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:47 PM

bluegill on August 1, 2014 at 1:44 PM

We all live in glass houses, just some of us don’t know it yet.

HonestLib on August 1, 2014 at 1:51 PM

This is why we need to mobilize. It would be expensive, but we need to fund people to follow the media around and picket them. Try to get your signs in all their stories, or make it so they can’t take an outdoor shot.

“I don’t believe the Party Media” would be a good thing to put in back of any Today show street scene.

Axeman on August 1, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Obama Debate Team captain Candy “More Gravy” Crowley should have disproved any notions about media integrity.

viking01 on August 1, 2014 at 1:46 PM

It was bad when Crowley put down her bucket of extra crispy just long enough to wave that transcript in her greasy paws. Even worse when it was proven that she was lying her ass off about that that transcript said. But that doesn’t mark the death of integrity as a journalistic concept.

That happened months before when Stephanopoulos asked a random question about abortion in the middle of a GOP primary debate that was supposed to be about foreign policy. The question was coordinated between OFA and the media to get the various candidates for the Republican nomination on tape talking about abortion to tee up the war on women theme.

Happy Nomad on August 1, 2014 at 1:54 PM

None of this is to say that a minimum wage lifestyle is comfortable – it is not. And those who contend that it should be raised make compelling arguments

NO – there are NO compelling arguments for raising the minimum wage – only emotional fact free non-reality based arguments.
1) Minimum wage jobs should not be a “lifestyle”.
2) Minimum wage jobs should not be comfortable to live on – or try to support a family on.
3) Minimum wage jobs should be for high school (or younger) kids for their FIRST job to gain experience and job skills.
4) Government mandated minimum wage should be abolished entirely.

dentarthurdent on August 1, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Hey, Schad. Just in case you haven’t seen it, more ammo.
http://americanthinker.com/blog/2014/08/its_the_suite_life_for_our_little_friends_from_south_of_the_border.html

The feds estimate it will cost approximately $74,000 a day to house 532 immigrants at the center. That’s an average of $140 a day per person.

lineholder on August 1, 2014 at 2:01 PM

The hourly employees I know think nothing of buying coffee every morning, buying lunch, having their nails done,etc. The boss has his coffee at home, takes leftovers for lunch and stretches the time between his haircut appointments as long as possible. And when the “stylist” raises her prices he looks for a less expensive one. I wonder why he’s the boss?

2L8 on August 1, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Lots of truth in that. Those that worked for me got paid better for their time than I ever did. If I would of gotten minimum wage for my time I would of been living like a king. Not that I’m complaining I was happy doing what I was doing.

wifarmboy on August 1, 2014 at 2:02 PM

We all live in glass houses, just some of us don’t know it yet.

HonestLib on August 1, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Unfortunately, Bite Me Biden likes to do his nekkid swimming in glass pool houses…..

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/01/biden-exposed-book-claims-veep-enjoys-swimming-in-nude/

dentarthurdent on August 1, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Noah, it would be interesting to see how much of the funds we’re currently spending on welfare programs actually get to the recipients.

For example, remember that report showing we were spending 60K per year per welfare recipient? How much of that is actually getting to recipients and how much of it is being squandered inside the system?

That could be a big point for Repubs, if they’d take it on!

lineholder on August 1, 2014 at 2:03 PM

The thing about the media is that they realize the fact that the public views them as biased and dishonest and don’t care. Gallup has shown that up to 69% of Americans have little or no confidence in the U.S. media.

bw222 on August 1, 2014 at 2:04 PM

I’ve never understood the stats on minimum wage.

Why is it based off of a 40 hour work week? If you don’t have enough money, get a second job and work 80 hours a week.

On Cruise Ships the staff works 7 days a week for 9 months at a time. They work 12-14 hour shifts. And they make lousy wages (But good tips). This is why they have to hire people from the Philippines, India or Indonesia.

Instead of complain about not having money and forcing another person (Namely, your employer) to pay you more money, you ought to work more. You’ll still get 8 hours of sleep, give or take, and have plenty of time to catch up on your favorite tv shows.

Does it seem like I have no sympathy? It’s because I don’t.

Baggi on August 1, 2014 at 2:05 PM

To extend the metaphor, the press has become an unabashed ally of the left in the effort to prevent Republicans from gaining ground in the War on Poverty, and they should be treated by Republicans as combatants mortal enemies.

FIFY

Immolate on August 1, 2014 at 2:06 PM

My cat stole the dead pigeon I was going to have for brunch.

HornetSting on August 1, 2014 at 1:29 PM

don’t laugh, pigeon, better rock doves, were brought to the US by Europeans for squab

RonK on August 1, 2014 at 2:07 PM

That picture has always rankled me about as much as Jan’s whining about having to eat like the little people for a week. What other grown ass person has their mom prepare their food for them like that? Yes, we all know somebody who never cut the apron strings but get real here.

Southernblogger on August 1, 2014 at 2:07 PM

lineholder on August 1, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Thank you.

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Wasting your breath, friend. I had suggested another approach to her, and she told me in no uncertain terms that her talent lies in complaining.

lineholder on August 1, 2014 at 2:12 PM

A cow on Fox this morning “the US prisons, some, have swimming pools…the illegals’ facilities don’t…”

One can’t make this up.

Oh, the humanity!

And what’s wrong with the McDonalds dollar menu? The last time I looked they had one of the very tasty looking burgers-something like beef and bacon and maybe cheese and grilled onions on the dollar menu.

Maybe it’s time for a burger run.

talkingpoints on August 1, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Low wages and high unemployment rates among minorities?

It’s obviously the fault of evil rich white men like the Kochs.

UltimateBob on August 1, 2014 at 2:27 PM

…those who contend that [the minimum wage] should be raised make compelling arguments…

Hot Air, ladies and gentlemen…

Kensington on August 1, 2014 at 2:28 PM

“Most mornings started with eggs and toast, bought last Sunday during a grocery trip costing more than $15.”

Fifteen bucks for a grocery trip? I spend that much just on the gas to get to the grocery store. Don’t tell me, let me guess. Ted Strickland wrote his article for Politico on Monday. Right?

flyovermark on August 1, 2014 at 2:32 PM

obama’s America

92,001,000 Americans Not Working…

…increased by 11,472,000 since Obama

– Drudge

Schadenfreude on August 1, 2014 at 2:35 PM

And here is the truth of the matter, it’s cost not wages that are hurting the middle class

Gwillie on August 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Hear, hear!

How about doing something about $3.60 a gallon gas, $4 a gallon milk, $3 bread, $5 a pound hamburger, and $500 electric bills? All because of liberal policies and government interference in markets.

rockmom on August 1, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Only a politician would see value in a career at McDonalds. Its much like their own. It isn’t supposed to be a career. Its supposed to be a high schoolers first, and temporary, job. Nothing more.

BobMbx on August 1, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Food & fuel /electricity / heating are somehow not counted in the inflation index.
Uh, duh, those are the two things eating Americans alive.

Tard on August 1, 2014 at 2:39 PM

How about doing something about $3.60 a gallon gas, $4 a gallon milk, $3 bread, $5 a pound hamburger, and $500 electric bills? All because of liberal policies and government interference in markets.

rockmom on August 1, 2014 at 2:37 PM

All of those are necessary because Utopia. You’re welcome.

Kensington on August 1, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Only a politician would see value in a career at McDonalds. Its much like their own. It isn’t supposed to be a career. Its supposed to be a high schoolers first, and temporary, job. Nothing more.

BobMbx on August 1, 2014 at 2:38 PM

And frankly, we’d all be better off if all the current politicians were replaced with high school kids.

dentarthurdent on August 1, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Or maybe a governor ordering a McChicken off the dollar menu?”

What in the hell is wrong about buying a McChicken? My favorite!

Herb on August 1, 2014 at 2:58 PM

My cat stole the dead pigeon I was going to have for brunch.

HornetSting on August 1, 2014 at 1:29 PM

don’t laugh, pigeon, better rock doves, were brought to the US by Europeans for squab

RonK on August 1, 2014 at 2:07 PM

A friend of mine was stationed in Japan. We, being the enterprising women that we are, we’re trying to configure a scam to send the abundance of pigeons here to sell in Japan……Japanese go gaga for pigeon, squab, or my new favorite, city quail..h/t HonestLib.

HornetSting on August 1, 2014 at 3:03 PM

I will trade my income with any veteran Congressman – for life.

Any takers?

formwiz on August 1, 2014 at 4:10 PM

I was going to comment, but I think I’ll just second the offer:

I will trade my income with any veteran Congressman – for life.

Any takers?

formwiz on August 1, 2014 at 4:10 PM

obladioblada on August 1, 2014 at 8:29 PM

There are no real poor in this country. I currently visiting in S. IN. just.north of Louisville. I see a lot of so called ‘poor’ roaming the streets around here. They’re smoking , have a lot of tattoos, drinking alcohol, wearing decent clothes, have cell phones. This isn’t poverty. Real poverty is having no basic necessities for life. And in the US if you had nothing like that you could then get welfare benefits. Poor is being unable to provide.yourself food clothing and shelter. Everything else is.up to you.

Badger40 on August 2, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Minimum wage jobs are entry level, pass through, jobs that people, other than those with diagnosed disabilities that prevent it, should grow out of as they gain work experience, job training, or education.

At one time high school and college students filled many if not most of those jobs such as stocking and filling in for cashiers in grocery stores or doing similar work in fast food or other retail establishments. I’m not sure when we morphed into the current situation with those now being full time, permanent employment but I don’t see it as an improvement.

Nomas on August 2, 2014 at 9:42 AM