Jon Stewart Eviscerates Fox News For Its Food Stamp Fixation. Just Metaphorically, Sadly

Don’t make Jon Stewart angry. Fox News accused him of mocking the network for “exposing fraud” in food stamps, so Stewart bites back with this look at how Fox presents poor people as cheats and freeloaders, caricaturing SNAP users based on a few ridiculous examples, like the surfer dude featured on six different Fox shows. The suggestion is that “if they weren’t such shitty people, they wouldn’t be poor. And those food stamps are just making them shittier. Of course, [Fox] didn’t say it so elegantly…”

And then come the clips. It’s a pretty brilliant use of Fox’s own hyperbole against them, and it’s a lovely example of why Jon Stewart is doing some of the best media analysis out there. Somebody’s got to be using this in a media studies class, right?

And since TDS insists on splitting its first act into two clips, let us serve you up the second, where the focus shifts to just how sincere Fox is in its concern about waste in government programs. Stewart acknowledges that there is about $3 billion annually in food stamp waste and fraud,* and then compares that to how Fox discusses benefits for the wealthy and corporate welfare. Needless to say, that’s another thing entirely:

We’ll have a Bonus Clipbait for you later, with the ridiculously silly Mitch-McConnell-based comedic antidote to this story. Also worth catching: Jon Stewart’s extended interview with Professor Anita Hill, subject of the new documentary Anita.

*Unfortunately, Stewart doesn’t note that most of the fraud and abuse is perpetrated not by people getting benefits they don’t deserve — or buying crab legs — but by retailers who illegally traffic in benefits. And the USDA has vigorously gone after such abuse, reducing it by three quarters over the past 15 years.

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  • Jaime Oria

    To add to yr note that food stamp waste & fraud is by retailers who illegally traffic in benefits: every “Medicare fraud” case I heard while sitting on a grand jury for 18 months was a criminal enterprise involving a clinic, at least one doctor or medical supply house (wheelchairs, crutches and adjustable beds were popular items to make bank with) and occasionally a pharmacist. You didn’t even need a patient in some cases, just a SS#; dead people – they’re not just for municipal machine elections…

    • sosuume

      Like Gov. Rick Scott of Florida. Nice to know crooks can get elected.

  • elSurfeador

    What nobody ever realizes with the surfer dude example. SNAP provides very meager assistance with most spending it on staples meant to carry someone. If it’s spent on lobsters, crab and expensive food, it would last about 4 meals. Fox doesn’t ever seem to not this.

    • uniquename72

      As a conservative, Fox long ago convinced me that Republicans –with their idiotic half-truths and illogical “corporations deserve welfare!” hypocrisy — are unworthy of my vote.A true conservative would realize that Stewart’s final sentence is absolutely correct from both a liberal and a conservative standpoint: Feeding, educating, and medically treating children is an INVESTMENT. It creates a larger, healthier, and more qualified work force and consumer class, which in turn strengthens American business.Welfare for corporations, on the other hand, does nothing. This is easily proven simply by looking at corporate profits (currently at an all-time high) and employment/poverty rates (currently nowhere near an all-time high/low).

      • elSurfeador

        Well stated, thanks for you post.

  • blder

    Andrea Tantaros is literally the worst

  • james

    so to say that welfare fraud is prevalent and that people are taking money away from people who actually need it is somehow and “attack on the poor?”

    • Annie Towne

      And again with the English comprehension problem…