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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