At a recent panel discussion at the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University, President Obama took issue with Fox News.
It’s easy to scapegoat the poor, and Obama has little patience for it.
Over the past 40 years, sadly, I think there’s been an effort to either make folks mad at the folks at the top or to be mad at the folks at the bottom. And I think the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, or don’t want to work, are lazy, or undeserving…got traction. And look, it’s still being propagated. I mean, I have to say that, you know, if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant menu… they will find folks who make me mad, I don’t know where they find them.
But that constant cherry picking to make villains of the poor has an aggregate affect of preventing any serious discussion of inequality in America. It produces apathy on the part of the electorate.
That becomes an entire narrative. Right? That gets worked up. Very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress, which is much more typical, raising a couple of kids, and is doing everything right, but still can’t pay the bills. If we’re gonna change how John Boehner and Mitch McConnell think, we’re gonna have to change how our body politics thinks, which means we’re gonna have to change how the media that reports on these issues, and how people’s impressions of what it’s like to struggle in this economy looks like, and how budgets connect to that. And that’s a hard process, because that requires a much broader conversation that typically we have on the nightly news.
Watch the full discussion here via the White House.