NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams announced on Wednesday's show that "the number of Americans relying on food stamps has hit another all-time record" with "Nearly 46 million of your fellow citizens are receiving food stamp assistance." Yet curiously he did not tie Barack Obama's fiscal policies to this economic tragedy, something the liberal media was prone to do when it came to blaming Ronald Reagan in the '80s for homelessness or George W. Bush for high gas prices.
In fact, in the face of this growing plight for an increasing number of Americans no anchor or reporter at the Big Three networks (NBC, CBS and ABC) has come even close to blaming the Obama administration in their food stamp stories.
In June an MRC study found that since the beginning of this year the Big Three networks have barely touched on the story finding that from January 1 through June 6 the NBC, ABC and CBS evening and morning shows there was a total of just six stories that mentioned food stamps as an issue. Since then (June 6 to August 4) there have been an additional six stories (three of which were aired in the last two days) bringing the total number of stories on the food stamp crisis for the entire year to an even dozen.
The following is a sampling of the most recent coverage from the Big Three networks of the food stamp epidemic:
August 3, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS: And we saw some astounding new numbers that came out today. They show the number of Americans relying on food stamps has hit another all-time record. These numbers would come as a huge disappointment to President Lyndon Johnson, who launched his war on poverty back in 1964. Nearly 46 million of your fellow citizens are receiving food stamp assistance. That represents 21 million American households. Numbers went up in 49 out of 50 states. Nowhere more than Alabama, which saw a 120 percent surge in food stamp use. Listen to this, 36 percent of the state's population now receiving government food aid, over a third of the people in that state. The Department of Agriculture suspects the increase can be attributed, at least part-time, to the Tuscaloosa tornado.
August 4, 2011
TAMRON HALL: We begin with new numbers this morning that paint a grim economic picture. There are more Americans relying on food stamps today than ever before, with some 46 million people receiving government assistance to feed their families. This as July saw the highest number of layoffs in 16 months, the steepest jump since the worst depths of this recession. To put these shocking numbers into context, let's check in with CNBC's Mandy Drury at the New York Stock Exchange. Mandy, it's hard breaking when you think about all of these people needing food stamps.
MANDY DRURY: It really is, Tamron. And the numbers are very concerning as well. There's now 15 percent of the American population is actually using those food stamps. There's also a big sign that there is lingering damage from the recession and the fear that we're headed back to a recession or a so-called 'double dip' has been one of the biggest factors hurting the stock market lately. The jury is still out though, tomorrow payrolls are expected to show that 75,000 jobs were created in July. That would be an encouraging sign. It would also help to offset some of those ongoing layoffs. Tamron, back to you.
Good Morning America
August 4, 2011
JOSH ELLIOTT: And more Americans than ever before are using food stamps. 15 percent of the population, a record high, now relies on them. Unemployment figures may be a part of the explanation as layoffs hit a 16-month high in July. Many of them in previously safe industries.