Amid Booming Economy, NBC Hypes Homelessness

Even with the stock market reaching new record highs, the unemployment rate at an historic low, and economic growth on the rise, NBC News wanted viewers to know that “homelessness is surging” in certain parts of the country and “affecting regular working families.” That was the focus of correspondent Jacob Soboroff in a report for Thursday’s Megyn Kelly Today.

“Homelessness, it’s an uncomfortable topic....But today, even with a surging stock market and low unemployment, homelessness is surging and it is affecting regular working families,” anchor Megyn Kelly proclaimed as she introduced the segment during her 9:00 a.m. ET hour show. She further warned: “In fact, you don’t have to go far to meet a homeless person who not long ago might have been your own neighbor.”

 

 

Starting off his story, Soboroff declared: “Today, mental illness or addiction aren’t the only reasons people live on the streets. More working people are ending up homeless and calling RVs home.”

He interviewed one such family in southern California and noted: “Homelessness in Los Angeles surged 23% between 2016 and 2017 and there are now nearly 58,000 homeless people in L.A. County, with the number expected to rise again this year.”

Talking to the 16-year-old daughter of a single mother, Soboroff fretted: “Hannah says she’s no longer surprised to see working families fall into homelessness.” The girl observed: “It could be anybody. And it’s sad that it can be anybody because of the economy we live in.”

As the taped report ended Kelly breathlessly reacted: “Wow....Jacob, unbelievable.”

Soboroff lamented: “You know, many cities haven’t really caught up with the times to realize that there’s such a growing difference between the haves and have-nots and they’ve outlawed these RVs on the side of the roads. So cities are trying to catch up.”

He went on to characterize the plight of that family as part of a widespread crisis:

And for them, they figure it’s their only option. You know, they say, “To be able to have the luxuries of a wi-fi hot spot and a printer and a bunch of school books and stuff that if we lived in a home or an apartment we couldn’t afford, that’s the trade-off that they’re faced with making.” It’s the trade-off so many people across the country now find themselves having to figure out if they’re going to make.

The class warfare rhetoric continued as he announced moments later: “The thing to me that’s the most amazing about this is that this is happening in some of our most prosperous states, places like California....when people are doing really well, there’s people at the bottom of the economic ladder that are struggling more than they ever would have.”

Kelly concluded: “And I do think [when] most people think of homeless, they think of – they don’t think of somebody who’s working class or middle class who fell on hard times.”

The headline on screen blared: “Middle Class & Homeless; Employed Americans Are Living on the Streets.”

Earlier in the morning, the Today show only offered a scant 22 seconds on the stock market hitting 26,000 on Wednesday, as co-host Hoda Kotb mentioned:

All eyes are on the stock market this morning after another record-breaking milestone on Wednesday. The Dow surged more than 300 points to close above 26,000 for the first time ever. It was sparked by the release of stronger-than-expected quarterly results from some of the biggest U.S. companies. The milestone comes just seven trading days after the Dow hit the once unthinkable 25,000 mark.

The biased coverage on Kelly’s program was brought to viewers by Tide, Panera Bread, and Listerine.

Here are excerpts of the January 18 segment:

9:12 AM ET

MEGYN KELLY: Homelessness, it’s an uncomfortable topic. One we often associate with people living on the streets, mental illness, and even drugs. But today, even with a surging stock market and low unemployment, homelessness is surging and it is affecting regular working families. In fact, you don’t have to go far to meet a homeless person who not long ago might have been your own neighbor. NBC’s Jacob Soboroff has our report.

JACOB SOBOROFF: This is Los Angeles’s skid row, traditionally what homelessness looks like. But as unaffordablility grows, homelessness is geographically spreading and is starting to look a lot different too. Today, mental illness or addiction aren’t the only reasons people live on the streets. More working people are ending up homeless and calling RVs home.

(...)

9:15 AM ET

SOBOROFF: Homelessness in Los Angeles surged 23% between 2016 and 2017 and there are now nearly 58,000 homeless people in L.A. County, with the number expected to rise again this year.

(...)

SOBOROFF: Hannah says she’s no longer surprised to see working families fall into homelessness. For all the people at home know, your homeless neighbor could be giving your kid a swim lesson.

HANNAH: It could be anybody. And it’s sad that it can be anybody because of the economy we live in.

KELLY: Wow. Jacob Soboroff is with us now. Jacob, unbelievable.

SOBOROFF: Good to see you, Megyn.

KELLY: So first of all, where do they park the RVs? Where do those go?

SOBOROFF: That’s part of the problem here. You know, many cities haven’t really caught up with the times to realize that there’s such a growing difference between the haves and have nots and they’ve outlawed these RVs on the side of the roads. So cities are trying to catch up.

(...)

9:17 AM ET

KELLY: It’s not necessarily the safest place to live.

SOBOROFF: No, of course not. And for them, they figure it’s their only option. You know, they say, “To be able to have the luxuries of a wi-fi hot spot and a printer and a bunch of school books and stuff that if we lived in a home or an apartment we couldn’t afford, that’s the trade-off that they’re faced with making.” It’s the trade-off so many people across the country now find themselves having to figure out if they’re going to make.

(...)

SOBOROFF: The thing to me that’s the most amazing about this is that this is happening in some of our most prosperous states, places like California, both in southern and northern California. Where, if you adjust for the cost of living, California, the most prosperous state, the sixth largest economy in world – we talked about that, we talked about marijuana – is actually the state with the highest level of poverty. And it’s like, you don’t think about it that way, but when people are doing really well, there’s people at the bottom of the economic ladder that are struggling more than they ever would have.

(...)

NBDaily Economy Poverty NBC Video Megyn Kelly Jacob Soboroff

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